DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: A specialist group of international criminal and human rights lawyers filed a criminal report with the Office of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, maintaining that he committed crimes against humanity.
The complaint was filed before the World Economic Forum meetings took off at Davos in Switzerland. Adityanath, who was reported to be attending the meet, did not eventually go.
The group, Guernica 37 Chambers, has filed the complaint against him for crimes against humanity committed between December 2019 and January 2020 in Uttar Pradesh – during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The group, in its press release, cited the “principle of universal jurisdiction” in Article 264 of the Swiss Criminal Code.
The group has singled out Adityanath and his administration’s treatment of protesters, noting that the suppression of protests could amount to crimes against humanity.
Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath is reported to have ordered the false imprisonment, torture and murder of civilians between December 2019 and January 2020 in Uttar Pradesh to suppress protests against the adoption of the CAA in India. As set out in the criminal report, these acts may amount to crimes against humanity as they are alleged to have been committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians, mostly the Muslim population in the country.
The group notes that it has “sufficient basis to believe that senior members of the UP State Government, including Chief Minister Adityanath, are responsible for ordering the UP police under their command” and singles out Adityanath’s speeches.
“The Chief Minister’s role in the escalation of police violence is particularly apparent in a speech given on 19 December 2019 calling on the police to take “revenge” against protesters. Despite being an Indian State official, the Chief Minister does not enjoy diplomatic immunity for these crimes.”
The lawyers also note that following the adoption of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December 2019, “which embodies a wider pattern of discrimination against Muslims in India,” many members of the Muslim community across the country took to the streets to peacefully protest the law. However, it says, UP Police violently cracked down on protesters.