2 June 2017, GENEVA – On 10 October 2016, an article by the Tribune de Genève (TDG) signed by journalist Alain Jourdan claimed in its title concerning the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (“The Geneva Centre”) that it was “One mandate too much for the former Algerian diplomat” indicating in the sub-title: “Human Rights Council:  Idriss Jazairy exercises simultaneously the functions of Special Rapporteur and of Executive Director of an NGO, an unprecedented situation.” The defamatory attack initiated by TDG was referred to by the international press “as Islamophobic”. On 21 October 2016, the Algerian newspaper Liberté (http://www.liberte-algerie.com/enquete/idriss-jazairy-victime-dislamophobie-256978) ran an article entitled “Idriss Jazairy, victim of Islamophobia” that was also published in the French investigative journal Mediapart (https://blogs.mediapart.fr/salim-koudil/blog/211016/chronique-dune-desinformation-idriss-jazairy-victime-dislamophobie) on the same day.

Since there is no statutory incompatibility between the voluntary work of a Special Rapporteur with paid employment as Head of an NGO and that there are more than 10 other NGO leaders and over a quarter of all Human Rights Council Mandate Holders who exercise NGO functions, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre - having failed to convince TDG that the article was untrue in its very title - resorted to the Swiss Press Council which is the ethical council of the Swiss press.

The Swiss Press Council having reviewed the complaint of the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre concluded on 26 May 2017 that indeed the journalist had violated Number 1 of the “Declaration of the Duties and the Rights of the Journalists” concerning his obligation “to seek the truth”. While the Council did not call for a publication of a rectification by the TDG, it nevertheless decided to notify its decision to all Swiss media and also expressed this position on its own website. This decision has therefore become public and is being disseminated through all available media channels including Google.

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