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Court upholds Davos demonstration ban

A court in canton Graubünden has upheld a ban on demonstrations by opponents of the World Economic Forum, which is due to start in Davos this week.

Davos municipality’s ban on demonstrations had been contested by a coalition of anti-globalisation groups who say they oppose the meeting of top politicians, business people and academics. They wanted the right to make their opposition public, they said.

Anti-globalisation demonstrators scored a major success at a meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle in 1999. Last year major demonstrations took place in Davos, despite a similar ban.

The Graubünden court ruled that holding mass street demonstrations went beyond the normal use of public places, and was not a legal right. The Davos authorities had argued that the fact last year’s banned demonstrations went ahead, and turned violent, meant there was a risk of a repetition this year.

The court said that public appeals for a mass demonstration this year increased the risk of violence, and that it could not therefore strike down the Davos ban.

The globalisation opponents have 30 days to appeal to the Federal Court. But the World Economic Forum ends on January 30.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR