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Tasmanian anti-protest bill contravenes Australia’s human rights obligations – UN experts


TOTT News

06-21-2012mainakiaiSpecial Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai.
Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

A group of independent United Nations experts have urged lawmakers in Tasmania to refrain from adopting legislation against protests that disrupt businesses, saying the proposed bill would contravene Australia’s human rights obligations.

Among other things, the experts said that the legislation could silence legitimate and lawful protests, is disproportionate, and targets specific issues such as the environment.

“If passed, the law would almost certainly run afoul of Australia’s human rights obligations, which Tasmania is also obliged to uphold. State governments in Australia need to ensure the legislation they adopt is in line with the country’s international obligations under international human rights law,” they said in a news release.

The Tasmanian government argues the law is necessary to prevent businesses being disrupted by protesters, especially as Tasmania has been the focus of…

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