Geneva climate activist found guilty by top court

Climate activists stages protests in several Swiss cities over the past few years and a number of cases ended up in court. Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott

Switzerland’s highest court has found guilty a climate activist who was caught painting a bank building in the city of Geneva three years ago.

This content was published on October 13, 2021 - 14:38 with Keystone-SDA/ug

The judges said the defendant had no right to justify his action by citing a climate emergency as the threat is not imminent and cannot be eliminated through other means.

The Federal Court also said the protester of the Breakfree Switzerland group could not claim the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly of climate activists.

The man daubed the façade of a Credit Suisse subsidiary in Geneva with red handprints, an action he said was done to protest against the bank’s investments in fossil fuels.

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The case now goes back to the Geneva cantonal court which had acquitted the defendant last October. A first court had handed down a suspended CHF300 ($323) fine for causing damage to property.

Last year the Federal CourtExternal link also ruled that a group of 12 climate activists who staged a tennis stunt outside a subsidiary of the bank in Lausanne could not cite a climate emergency as a defence.

Over the past few years several cases against climate activists have been brought to court.

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In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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