Amnesty International said in a statement Friday that France’s closure of anti-racism organizations threatens freedoms.
The French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanan announced that the French government would dissolve the anti-Islamophobia group in France (CCIF), a non-governmental organization that fights discrimination against Muslims.
In response, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muznex said, “The proposed solution to dissolve the Association Against Islamophobia in France is a terrible step by the French government, and this step may have a chilling effect on all persons and organizations involved in combating racism and discrimination in France.”
He added, “The dissolution of an organization is an extreme measure that can only be justified in very limited circumstances, such as if it represents a clear and imminent threat to national security or public order. The French authorities have not yet provided any evidence that could justify the dissolution of the International Council for Social Solidarity.”
“Amnesty International is very concerned that this sends a signal to NGOs to fight discrimination in France. We call on the French authorities to immediately reverse this decision,” he said.
Amnesty International said that on 19 November a letter was sent to the anti-Islamophobia rally in France to inform them of the solution, and they now have 8 days to respond before the government decides on the solution.
The organization added that the current French law on dissolving organizations is problematic, because it enables the government to dissolve an organization for vague reasons and without the need for prior judicial scrutiny, and under French law, the cabinet can dissolve an organization by decree. She indicated that the announcement of the solution comes in a context in which the government undermines freedom of expression and association.