Standards for verifying information on attacks or pressure on civil society actors for joint responding of the Coalition.
During verification of information on attacks, legal or reputational pressure on human right activists, verifier should use a “balance of possible options” or “stipulation of evidences”
This standard means that during verification of information on possible attack, legal or reputational pressure on human right activists because of his/her professional activity more facts prove that such attack or pressure exists than it proves the opposite.
If to express this principle in numeric terms than 51 per cent of collected facts should prove that an attack or pressure took place and that they will be motivate by human right activity of an individual or organization.
While forming its opinion and in case of reaching the above listed standard of verification, Coalition should indicate which exact standard was applied. A standard phrase for identification of respective standard is as follows: “it is obvious to suggest” or “to conclude that…”
During verification of information, Coalition should find the answers to the questions as follows:
- Whether human right activists conducted any other type of activity (political, business etc.) except human right activity?
- Whether an attack or provocation were motivated by any other reasons, not related to human right activity i.e. robbery, personal hatred, revenge of the violent behavior of the victim of attack that took place in the past etc.?
- Whether the method, location and the time of the attack on human right activist is typical in comparison with other similar cases in same location? Alternatively, whether the pressure done to human right activists/organization is disproportional to the pressure done to other individuals/organization under similar circumstances?
- Whether the attack or start of the organized pressure correlates with public statements of the human right activist or his/her organization?
- Whether general context of the attack or pressure prove its similarity to other cases of attacks or pressure to similar organizations or individuals
Basing on the answers to these questions, Coalition makes a decision on the reaching respective verification standards and decides on publication of joint statement regarding the attack or pressure.
If the Coalition decides to publish joint statement regarding the attack or pressure on human rights activists or organizations without reaching verification standard, Coalition may apply lower verification standard with a mandatory indication of this fact in its statement. At the same time, the following formula should be used: “it may be reasonable to suggest” or “it may be reasonable to conclude that…”