US climate activist 'banned from Switzerland for 3 years’ over protest against banks
A US protester who took part in a recent environmental protest against Swiss bank UBS in the city of Basel has been ordered to leave Switzerland for three years, according to Swiss media reports.
An Austrian woman has also been handed an expulsion order of one year over the July 8th demonstration, Swiss daily Anzeiger reported, citing documents from the Basel public prosecutors’ office which have not been made public.
The two were ordered to leave the country by July 11th or face “forced expulsion”, the paper said.
The expulsion orders can be appealed.
The group which organized the protest, Collective Climate Justice, said in a statement that the bans meant “non-Swiss activists effectively have their right to speak out about political issues in Switzerland removed”.
“No matter the duration of the bans, this is an unreasonable measure of the Swiss authorities. We cannot accept it,” said Tobias Pflüger with German political party Die Linke, which was also involved in the protests.
Arrests after Zurich protest
The Zurich and Basel protests captured widespread attention as activists dressed in Hazmat-style suits demonstrated against what they see as the climate-damaging practices of Swiss banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse.
Police broke up the Basel protest without incident but a number of protesters who targeted Credit Suisse in Zurich were arrested after they refused to move on.
Collective Climate Justice said some of those activists were held for up to 48 hours and that one person remained in custody.
Participants in the Zurich demonstration were handed fines of up to 9,000 Swiss francs (€8,120) or suspended prison sentences of several months.
Basel protesters were fined or handed expulsion orders as Swiss authorities aimed to set an example for activists considering taking part in future climate change demonstrations.