Environmental activists from the Austrian organization AllRise have submitted a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The document accuses the Brazilian leader of launching a massive campaign to kill environmentalists and expose the world’s population to emissions from deforestation. According to activists, Bolsonaro “systematically removed, neutralized or weakened laws, agencies and units involved in protecting the Amazon.”
Brazil’s president has been accused of destroying 4,000 square meters of rainforest every year. According to activists’ calculations, deforestation, in which the Bolsonaro administration is involved, will lead to 180,000 deaths worldwide.
“In recent years, science has been able to see a causal relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and their consequences,” Oxford University’s Robert Stewart-Smith told AFP.
The ICC currently has at least three complaints against Jair Bolsonaro filed by indigenous groups in Brazil. By contrast, Tuesday’s complaint is the first to directly link deforestation to human health.
– What is happening in Brazil exhausts the concept of crimes against humanity defined in the Rome Statute (the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court – PAP), that is, the deliberate destruction of the environment and its defenders – stated in an interview with AFP, AllRise founder Johannes Weissmann.
The ICC is not obligated to bring cases on the basis of cases brought before the Court by individuals or groups. This right is reserved for states parties to the Rome Statute, the United Nations Security Council and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who may initiate an investigation into a case brought by AllRise.
Greenhouse gas emissions from burning the tropical Amazon forest and farm activities set up in its place are higher than the annual emissions of Italy or Spain. French media reported that due to deforestation in the region, more carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere than the rest of the Amazon can absorb.
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