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International law experts file criminal case against Yogi, attending WEF in Davos

By Rosamma Thomas*  

Guernica 37, a group of lawyers with expertise in international law striving to attain justice for crimes regardless of national borders, has filed a criminal report with the Swiss Federal Prosecutor against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who attended the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos between January 16 and 20, 2023.
In a press release from London on January 17, Guernica 37 noted that CM Adityanath, who is also the state home minister, “is reported to have ordered the false imprisonment, torture and murder of civilians between December 2019 and January 2020 in the state of Uttar Pradesh to suppress protests against the adoption of the Citizenship Amendment Act 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 of the country.”
The press release cites the speech made by CM Adityanath on 19 December 2019, calling on police to “take revenge” against protesters. These are crimes for which Adityanath does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, despite being a government official, the press release notes. Over 300 people were detained and 22 protesters killed in Uttar Pradesh during the CAA protests. 
The press release notes that these crimes were not investigated, and the chief minister, who also holds the home portfolio, is himself the final executive authority over UP police.
UP CM ordered false imprisonment, torture and murder of civilians between Dec 2019 and Jan 2020
“Domestic avenues to address these crimes have remained unsuccessful alongside international avenues as India has not acceded to the individual complaint mechanisms of the United Nations human rights treaties nor has it ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The UP authorities have so far ignored calls by victims’ families, human rights groups, domestic courts and the UN mandate holders to investigate and prosecute these violations. The escalation of violence and impunity requires urgent actions to hold the perpetrators accountable,” the release notes. 
It concludes with the hope that investigation by the Swiss authorities will serve as “official recognition and acknowledgement of the gravity of the alleged crimes.”
This comes even as the Government of India scrambled to remove from YouTube a documentary that charted the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his actions during the riots of 2002 in Gujarat, while he was chief minister of the state.
WEF, on its website, describes the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which was banned in India after the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, as “a nationalist organization devoted to nation building”. PM Modi is described as “author of several books, including poetry”. The agenda at the Davos 2023 meeting includes “brain transparency”.
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*Freelance journalist

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