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Federal Court upholds complaint by World Economic Forum opponents

Police confront anti-globalisation protesters at the Davos forum last January Keystone

The Federal Court in Lausanne has upheld a complaint against the Graubünden administrative court by opponents of last January's World Economic Forum in Davos.

This content was published on July 11, 2000 - 11:17

It ruled that the Graubünden court was at fault in supporting a call by the Davos local authority for a one-day postponement of a planned demonstration against the World Trade Organisation.

The organisers of the protest complained to the Federal Court after the Graubünden court rejected their appeal against postponement.

They claimed the decision was an infringement of their right to a legal hearing and freedom of assembly. They said it also contravened the United Nations Convention on Human Rights.

Issuing its judgement, the Federal Court criticised the Davos authorities and the Graubünden court for rejecting the request to hold a demonstration on January 29, the day President Clinton arrived in Davos.

It said the authorities were wrong to block the request without explanation, given that the organisers had offered not to hold a march in return for the right to gather on the day in question.

The court ordered the Davos authorities to pay the complainants SFr2,000 in damages.

Despite the Graubünden ruling, the organisers went ahead with their protest on January 29, arguing that it wasn't possible to contact all those expected to participate.

Around 1,300 people took part in the demonstration, which gave rise to clashes with police and caused damage totalling SFr100, 000.

swissinfo with agencies

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