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Response by FIFA

Author: FIFA, Published on: 22 April 2018

FIFA welcomes the acknowledgement by Human Rights Watch of FIFA’s efforts in support of Semyon Simonov. These activities are a reflection of FIFA’s belief that all those who advocate for human rights to be upheld need to be able to do so freely and without fear of reprisals. Any activity that limits the important and legitimate work of human rights defenders therefore is in opposition to the values FIFA stands for. FIFA is fully committed to implementing its own responsibility to respect and help protect the rights of human rights defenders who work to advance human rights in relation to FIFA’s activities in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...FIFA is currently in the process of finalising a more detailed statement on human rights defenders and media representatives specifying this broad commitment and takes a series of measures to implement its commitments. This includes for instance the development of a complaints reporting mechanism for human rights defenders and media representatives, which FIFA intends to launch in due course...As outlined by Human Rights Watch in its article, FIFA has taken a series of measures in support of Mr Simonov, including the attendance of a court hearing in February 2018. As part of these efforts, FIFA has repeatedly stated its position that Mr. Simonov, and indeed all human rights defenders working to advance human rights in relation to FIFA’s activities, need to be able to go about their work without restrictions, which includes freedom from being surveilled.

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This is a response from the following companies: FIFA