The ‘G20 Human Rights Observers’ team has released their preliminary report into the G20 protest last weekend. It’s available as a PDF.
The 3-page statement is an initial summary of observations made by Human Rights Observers over the three days.
A team of 28 Human Rights Observers monitored interactions between police and members of the public during the protest actions around the G20 meeting from early on Friday 17 to late in the afternoon on Sunday 19 November…
The report is highly critical of protester behaviour and describes a high level of aggression and deliberately provocative behaviour toward the police from some protest groups and individuals.
It also states that there was a “high level overall of police discipline and restraint in the face of deliberately provocative actions by some protesters, lasting many hours.”
However, the statement points out that this initial discipline and restraint declined as the protests wore on and numerous concerning incidents involving police use of force occurred. The team highlights the police baton charge against a non-threatening crowd at the Melbourne museum on the Sunday afternoon.
“Our timeline analysis points to a decline in police restraint over a period of time” Mr Kelly said. “Whilst it is understandable that stress and provocation would cause a decline in police discipline, the maintenance of appropriate police protocols, lawful actions and consideration of human rights is even more important during times of stress.”
The statement also points to the arrest of Mr Drasko Boljevic by plain clothes police officers. The statement calls on the Victorian and Federal Police forces involved in ‘Taskforce Salver’ to exercise careful observation of the law when undertaking any further arrests.
Mr Kelly admits that both police and some protest groups are likely to be critical of this initial statement. “Whenever there is an escalation of political violence, the human rights of citizens become increasingly difficult to protect. It would be regrettable if protest groups, the police or the public missed this point.”
The Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic) Inc, with the support of Pt’chang Nonviolent Community Safety Group Inc. and the Human Rights Law Resource Centre (HRLRC) co-ordinating the Observer Team. A detailed report will be compiled with the assistance of experienced human rights lawyers and released by the end of the year.
In other news, Australian Attorney-General Montgomery Burns and ASIO have won the right to appeal the disclosure of documents knowledge of which threatens to destroy the foundations of the Australian state and send otherwise decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens into a crazed frenzy of violent acts and jay-walking. “Lawyer Charles Gunst, for the Director-General of Security [Paul O’Sullivan], told the court its judgment in this case could set a precedent and cause irreparable harm to national security.” The freedom (non-incarceration) of the two men deemed by ASIO to constitute a risk to national security, meanwhile, is verboten, and the two left to rot:
‘Rotting’ on Nauru
The Age reported in September that Mr Faisal was medically evacuated to Brisbane after becoming suicidal. It said Mr Sagar remains the last asylum seeker kept on Nauru.
Outside court today, the men’s solicitor, Maurice Blackburn Cashman partner Anne Gooley, accused ASIO of delaying their case by pursuing the appeal.
She said an appeal before a full bench of the Federal Court was not likely to be heard until next year.
“In the meantime, (one of my clients) is in a psychiatric institution, not knowing what’s going to be happening to him, and (another) is on Nauru, ‘rotting’ as we speak,” she said.
“He’s obviously going to be disappointed at this latest delay … he’s been on Nauru for five years now.
While the rest of us can sleep safely in our beds.