Austrian non-profit AllRise filed a landmark complaint in court on Tuesday in the Dutch city of The Hague. It argues that the actions of Bolsonaro and his administration are “a widespread attack on Amazon, its dependents and its defenders, resulting in persecution, murder and inhuman suffering not only in the region, but also on the global population,” the group said in a statement. said.
The 286-page filing said there were “grounds for an immediate and thorough ICC investigation and prosecution.”
It cites “the ongoing widespread attack on the Brazilian legal Amazon and its environmental dependents and defenders contrary to Article 7 and Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute.”
“This attack, and the many crimes committed under its auspices – including but not limited to murder … harassment … and other similar inhumane acts … – require an urgent and thorough ICC investigation and prosecution,” the filing reads.
As well as arguing that crimes against humanity have been committed against individuals who depend on and work to protect the rainforest, the petition states that Bolsonaro bears responsibility for the future suffering that may stem from his Amazon policies. will result.
“Climate science demonstrates that through the rapid acceleration in deforestation, its contribution to climate change, and the responsible link between frequency and intensification, there will be long-term consequences for death, devastation, and vulnerability at regional and global levels in the future. extreme weather events,” the filing reads.
The document, which was submitted to the ICC prosecutor, is supported by the Climate Observatory, a group of 70 Brazilian civil society organizations.
Any individual or group may send information to the ICC Prosecutor’s Office for review and consideration of an international criminal investigation. According to the ICC website, it has received over 12,000 such communications so far.
There is no commitment on the time limit for the ICC to conduct its preliminary examination.
Granthshala has reached out to President Bolsonaro’s office for comment, but has yet to receive a response.
In September 2020, Bolsonaro claimed that Brazil protects its environment, and argued that the Amazon region needs economic development for the welfare of residents.
Those claims are met with skepticism as deforestation and emissions increase in the country.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and 59% of its vast area is covered by forest, most of it the Amazon – which acts as the “air conditioner” for the entire planet, influencing global temperature and precipitation patterns , and absorbing carbon dioxide.
Bolsonaro has long portrayed environmental concerns expressed by foreign governments, local indigenous groups and organizations as the prelude to a hypothetical alien invasion of the Amazon.
On the UN General Assembly stage in 2020, as flames raged in the Amazon, he claimed that foreign agents were quelling wildfires in “the most brutal misinformation campaign”.
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