Connect with us

Published

on

A proposal allowing police to preemptively lock up those they believe “might” violate coronavirus lockdown measures has gone before the Victoria state parliament, with many fearing it opens the door to unprecedented abuses.

If passed, the law would allow police to indefinitely detain any Victoria resident who either tests positive for Covid-19 or is a close contact of someone who has, as long as the officer believes they are “likely to refuse or fail to comply” with quarantine regulations. The state’s parliament began hearings on Thursday but has not issued a public decision as of Friday. 




Also on rt.com
Kim Jong-Dan’s draconian Covid-19 crackdown in Australia exposes some deep-seated corruption



Even more ominously, the law would allow the state’s departmental secretary to appoint any public servant they consider “appropriate” to also exercise the new pre-crime detention powers, based solely on the secretary’s personal judgment. 

The legislation extends many of Victoria’s emergency provisions until next April, meaning the police (and their newly appointed civilian cronies) would retain their “pre-crime” powers even if the pandemic used to justify them is long gone.

Mentally ill, drug-addicted, or homeless Victoria residents can also be confined in hotels for two weeks as a precaution under the proposed law. Several news reports suggest the bill will allow police to preemptively detain “conspiracy theorists” – and while that term is not actually spelled out in the text itself, “wrongthink” social media postings have already been used by Victoria police as a rationale for detaining otherwise-innocent Australians.

Pregnant mother-of-two Zoe Lee Buhler was arrested in her home earlier this month for “incitement” after she posted on Facebook about a protest in the small town of Ballarat, despite specifying the demonstration would be nonviolent and adhere to all mask-wearing and social distancing regulations. Video of her arrest, which went viral, shows her pleading with cops to be allowed to delete the post rather than be hauled off in cuffs in front of her two young children.

While Buhler has demanded an apology from Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, he defended his officers’ actions, while admitting he hadn’t actually seen the video of her arrest. Protests across the state have grown in number despite heavy-handed police repression, with Andrews’ political opposition emboldened by the uprising of anti-lockdown sentiment.

Victoria’s lockdown is already the most intense outside the measures imposed in Wuhan, China in the early days of the pandemic. Police have been given permission to enter homes without a warrant, and Melbourne residents are under a strict curfew. 




Also on rt.com
Australia’s totalitarian-style lockdown has set a precedent other countries may be tempted to follow



As civil rights group Liberty Victoria has pointed out, police have already been given unprecedented powers

With its first international news channel launched in 2005, RT is now a global, round-the-clock news network of eight TV channels, broadcasting news, current affairs, and documentaries, with digital platforms in six languages and RUPTLY video news agency. Round-the-clock news channels in English, Arabic, Spanish, and documentary channel RT Doc, in English and Russian, broadcast from Moscow, while RT America airs from Washington, RT UK from London, and RT France from Paris. Today, RT is available in more than 100 countries spanning five continents.

Click to comment

WORLD

Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

Published

on

By

pakistan-blast:-at-least-seven-dead-in-peshawar-school-attack

Published

image copyrightGetty Images

At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

Map

An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

Continue Reading

WORLD

Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

Published

on

By

duterte-seeks-best-covid-vaccine-deal-but-‘will-not-beg’-or-allow-private-suppliers-to-rip-off-philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




Also on rt.com
Western pharma is ‘all about profit’: Philippines’ Duterte vows to solely procure coronavirus vaccines from Russia & China



Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




Also on rt.com
Sputnik V questions ANSWERED: Head of team financing world’s first Covid-19 vaccine explains formula to critics



Think your f

Continue Reading

WORLD

At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

Published

on

By

at-least-7-killed,-70-wounded-after-bomb-goes-off-at-religious-school-in-pakistan-–-hospital-official

At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

Continue Reading

Facebook Trending

You May Like

Black Lives Matter

Trending