Austrian NGO accuses Bolsonaro of “crimes against humanity” in the ICC

An Austrian non-governmental organization (NGO) today filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of “crimes against humanity” due to deforestation in the Amazon, with an impact on global health.

In the complaint, which the court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is not obliged to follow up, the NGO AllRise states that the Government headed by the Brazilian President is responsible annually for the deforestation of approximately 4,000 square kilometers of the Amazon forest and that the deforestation rate has increased 88% since he came to power.

The NGO accuses him of having sought to “systematically” weaken or remove laws and official bodies that regulate these practices, as well as environmental protection activists.

These actions “are directly linked to the negative impacts of climate change around the world,” say the plaintiffs, who rely on an assessment by Oxford University climatologist Friederike Otto, lead author of the latest evaluation report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), described as a “red alert” for humanity by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Experts invoked in the complaint considered that emissions from deforestation conducted during Bolsonaro’s tenure could cause more than 180,000 additional deaths worldwide by the end of the century.

“We want to understand the causal relationship of what is happening in Brazil, this massive deforestation, with the global climate,” AllRise founder Johannes Wesemann told AFP France-Presse (AFP).

“It is exactly (…) the definition of a crime against humanity: the intentional destruction of the environment and its defenders,” he said.

The complaint also targets several high-ranking Brazilian government officials, lawyer Nigel Povoas told AFP.

“We affirm that, due to the policies that are being pursued, they are complicit in helping those on the ground who commit murder, persecution and other inhumane acts,” he said.

Bolsonaro is already the target of several complaints filed with the ICC.

In January 2021, Chief Raoni Matuktire, an emblematic defender of the Amazon rainforest, had already asked the ICC to investigate “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by the Brazilian President, accused of “persecuting” indigenous peoples, destroying their habitat and violate their fundamental rights.

In July 2020, health workers in Brazil also asked the ICC to open an inquiry into “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by Bolsonaro, this time for his management of the pandemic of covid-19.

More recently, in August of this year, the Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (Apib) also accused the government of Jair Bolsonaro of genocide of the native population, asking the ICC to open an inquiry.

The ICC is not obliged to deal with the thousands of requests submitted to the Attorney General, who decides independently which cases to refer to the judges.

For a formal investigation to be opened, the ICC’s prosecutor, created in 2002 to try the worst atrocities committed in the world, must conclude that it has a mandate to do so and that the complaint is solid enough to justify the investigation.

Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by

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