Australians face prison time for public display of Nazi symbols

Attorney-General introduces legislation to criminalise Nazi symbol display and sale, exempting certain contexts.

Australians face prison time for public display of Nazi symbols
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People who publicly display Nazi symbols will face up to a year in prison under new laws introduced to federal parliament this week by the attorney-general.

Selling Nazi memorabilia, privately as well as in retail and online stores, will also be an offence, under the new legislation.

The Nazi salute will not be banned however, because it falls under the jurisdiction of states and territories.

The government’s bid to ban Nazi symbols follows violent clashes between neo-Nazi demonstrators, counter-protesters and police at protests calling for a slowdown to immigration and for women’s rights.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus told parliament that the legislation proved the government was “against displays of hate”.

He said Nazi insignia was dangerous because it was “easy to remember and understand” and transcended language and cultural divides.

The legislation would not affect the use of the swastika for religious people who use the symbol to observe Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Displaying the symbols for journalistic, educational or artistic purposes is not an offence.

Jewish organisations welcomed the legislation.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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