Australian state becomes 1st in country to ban display of swastikas

An Australian state has become the first in that country to ban the display of the swastika, with threats that those who knowingly share the symbol could face a prison sentence or a hefty fine.

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“Victoria has become the first in Australia Public display of Nazi emblem banned“Recognizing anti-Semitic sentiment and its role in inciting hatred,” tweeted Victoria’s Attorney-General and Emergency Services Minister Jacqueline Sims. “It is a proud moment to see these important laws being passed. It sends the strongest possible message that this despicable behavior will not be tolerated. ,

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“In our state, no one has the right to spread racism, hatred or anti-Semitism. sometimes. so last night we passed the law ban the nazi symbol, And now, it’s the law,” Premier Dan Andrews wrote on Twitter.

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Those who knowingly display the Nazi emblem face up to one year in prison or a $22,000 fine (just under CA$20,000).

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According to SBS News in Australia, investigations into right-wing terrorism have almost increased 750 percent in 18 monthsAnd officials say they only expect that number to climb.

“Islamist or religiously motivated violent extremism remains the major threat of approx.” 85 percent of our workloadScott Lee, assistant commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, told the outlet last October.

“It’s very important to us and where we see individuals … where they have a violent extremist ideology and have expressed an idea of ​​acting on that violent intent, and are either trying to get firearms, we We take it very seriously and we act.”

According to the BBC, Victoria is responding to what it calls “gaps” in its anti-hate speech laws. demand for change increased last year A couple unfurled the Swastika flag at their home in the state in 2020.

However, the emblem would still be permitted to appear in educational, artistic or historical contexts. In addition, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religious groups may still use the symbol, as it has been part of these religions for centuries.

Under the new law, offenders will be prosecuted only if they refuse a request to remove the emblem.

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