Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini has been hit with a financial setback in his fight for freedom of speech in Australia.
Avi was banned from attending a press conference at the Parliament of Victoria two years ago, after being escorted out by a police officer on the orders of one of Premier Dan Andrews' staff members.
He was removed after his openly critical stance towards Andrews and his administration.
Avi took the matter to court in an attempt to challenge the ban, arguing that it was a violation of free speech and press freedom. Despite hiring top lawyers and a skilled barrister, Yemini ultimately lost the case. The court ruled that politicians have the right to ban journalists from entering legislature property.
The ruling itself was a disappointment to advocates of free speech, but the court's additional order that Yemini pay $67,500 in legal fees to the Andrews government is a massive punishment.
With no financial support from civil liberties groups or other journalists, Avi and his team crowdfunded their legal battle with contributions from hundreds of grassroots viewers.
He believes the order to pay the legal fees is an attempt to discourage others from challenging the government and fighting for their rights.
Avi is now appealing for help to cover the costs, stating that he will continue to fight for free speech in Australia as long as he is breathing. If you can help, please consider contributing using the donation form on this page.