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Coalition of civil society organizations calls on Socfin to disassociate from former country director's statement that accused govt. of surrendering its authority to NGOs; Socfin did not respond

Author: Human Rights Defenders Network Sierra Leone, Published on: 4 October 2016

"Shrinking Civil Society Space in Sierra Leone: Silencing Freedom of Expression", 7 Sep 2016

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Socfin to respond - Socfin did not respond.] The network notes with grave concern the inciting statement of Mr. Gerben Haringsma, the former Country Director of SOCFIN…in which he stated that “The NGOs are destroying this country…No serious investor in the agribusiness sector will come to Sierra Leone again…”This statement by Mr. Haringsma is not only a direct attack on NGOs and civil society organisations but a deliberate and calculated incitement of the government against NGOs, civil society organisations and affected communities…In view of the above we call on…The SOCFIN Agricultural Company to: Publicly disassociate from the statement by their former country director, and thereby act in line with the internationally recognized “responsibility of all business enterprises, both transnational and others, to respect human rights, including the rights to life, liberty and security of person of human rights defenders, and their exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and participation in public affairs, which are essential for the promotion and protection of all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, and the right to development,” as per UNHRC resolution A/HRC/RES/27/31.

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Related companies: Socfin