“With Victoria Police reportedly withdrawing charges against BLM protest organisers, the principle should be extended to all those who peacefully exercised their democratic right to protest,” said Morgan Begg, Director of the Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.
On Tuesday, Nine newspapers reported that Victoria Police would be withdrawing charges laid against two organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest held in June 2020.
“Every Victorian must be held to the same standard under the law, and their rights should be preserved and protected, regardless of their political beliefs,” Mr Begg said.
“Today, Zoe Buhler, who was arrested while pregnant in her home because Victoria Police took issue with a social media post, still faces charges much more serious than the BLM protesters.”
“It is the duty of the Victorian Government to restore the rule of law by granting an immediate and transparent amnesty.”
In July 2020, IPA research revealed how Victoria Police potentially acted unlawfully in arbitrarily allowing the Black Lives Matter to go ahead, while harshly enforcing social distancing orders against Victorians who disapproved of the government rules.
“Throughout the course of the lockdowns Victorians witnessed the breathtaking hypocrisy in how Victoria Police and the Andrews Government treated different groups of protestors.”
“It was never right for the Andrews’ Government to extinguish the right to peacefully protest under the guise of public health,” Mr Begg said.
You can find the IPA’s research here.