• Press Release

France shutting down anti-racist organization risks freedoms

November 20, 2020

Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Responding to the announcement by Gérald Darmanin, the French Minister of Interior, that the French government will dissolve the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), an NGO that combats discrimination against Muslims, Nils Muižnieks, Europe Director at Amnesty International said: 

“The proposed dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France would be a shocking move from the French government. This move could have a chilling effect on all people and organizations engaged in combating racism and discrimination in France. 

“The dissolution of an organization is an extreme measure that can be justified only in very limited circumstances, such as if it poses a clear and imminent danger to national security or public order. The French authorities have failed to provide to date any evidence that could justify the dissolution of CCIF.

“Amnesty International is extremely concerned about the signal that this sends to NGOs and the fight against discrimination in France. We call on the French authorities to immediately reverse this decision.”


On November 19, (late pm) CCIF were sent a letter informing them of the dissolution. They now have eight days to reply before the dissolution will be decided by the government

The current French law on dissolving organizations is problematic as it enables the government to dissolve an organization on vague grounds and without requiring prior judicial scrutiny. Under French law, the Council of Ministers can dissolve an organization by decree. The announcement of the dissolution occurs in a context in which the government is undermining freedoms of expression and of association.

Amnesty International Statement https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur01/3359/2020/en/

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