Demonstration for the climate – The Federal Court orders the destruction of the DNA profile


The High Court of Lausanne disavows the Balois Public Prosecutor’s Office, which wanted to keep the DNA profiles and the fingerprints of three demonstrators.

An image of this action which took place in July 2019.


“The Federal Court orders the destruction of the DNA profile and fingerprints of a climate activist who participated in the blockade of a bank in Basel in July 2019. The same goes for the fingerprints of two other people. The measures taken by the public prosecutor are disproportionate in view of all the circumstances ”.

In a press release released Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Supreme Court considered the appeal of three participants in a climate demonstration in Basel. He recalls the facts: “On July 8, 2019, they participated, as part of the“ Climate Action Days ”, in the blockade of a bank building in Basel. The people concerned and other participants are suspected of writing slogans around the building with coal, covering surveillance cameras and blocking the entrances. Not having complied with the police order to leave the scene, they were provisionally arrested. The public prosecutor ordered the taking of fingerprints and DNA samples as well as the establishment of DNA profiles. ”

“Protected by freedom of expression and assembly”

The three had appealed against these levies in their canton. But the Canton of Basel-City Court of Appeal upheld all measures against a person and, in the other two cases, ordered the Public Prosecutor’s Office to destroy the DNA profiles, but keep their fingerprints. The three therefore went to the Federal Supreme Court so that the Public Prosecutor could destroy the rest as well. The TF admitted their appeal, considering that their retention was not justified: “There are no signs of future or already committed offenses with the required degree of seriousness,” notes the TF. Irrespective of this, the contested measures turn out to be disproportionate, in view of the examination of the competing private and public interests. The rally in question was conducted peacefully and is protected by freedom of expression and assembly. The collection and profiling of DNA as well as the entry of identifying data can have a deterrent effect ”.

The TF also considers that “the systematic registration of politically active persons, who make use of their fundamental rights, is not in a reasonable relationship with the objectives pursued by the creation of DNA profiles and the entry of identifying data”.

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