OUT OF CONTROL: Riot police storm family home because dad didn’t get Covid test fast enough

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Imagine it’s night-time, and you’re safely at home with your wife and kids. Maybe you’re playing a board game or watching a family movie together. And then suddenly you hear heavily-armed riot police shouting at you through your door!

They’re wearing gas masks and carrying a battering ram — a heavy steel weapon made for smashing through locked doors.

If you don’t come out immediately, they’ll bash their way in and grab you, right in front of your terrified wife and kids!

Who would deserve such treatment?

A murderer would. A violent criminal on the run.

But Mehmet Erhan and his wife Angela did nothing wrong.

There was no crime. You see, Mehmet had just returned to Adelaide from Melbourne, where he was working.

One of the lockdown rules was that he had to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival.

No problem.

Mehmet quarantined himself at home and waited for the government’s mobile Covid testing unit. He signed up for their first available time slot — they’d come to him.

Trouble is, that was a few hours outside of the 24-hour rule. And that’s when the riot squad came roaring in.

The mobile Covid test was literally hours away, the next morning. Mehmet asked the police to call the mobile clinic to confirm it — he really was on their list, he really was complying.

But they simply refused. They wanted to play their war games. And so they shouted to him: if he didn’t immediately let them in, they’d smash their way in and grab him in front of his wife and kids!

He did what any dad would do: he spared his children that traumatic spectacle.

What a disgrace. And that arrest began a 14-day nightmare of incarceration for Mehmet, along with two criminal charges for “failure to comply”.

But he did not fail to comply. He did everything he was asked to do. In fact, he took no fewer than THREE covid tests, and was negative for all of them.

In fact, it was the police who moved him from place to place, exposing him to countless other people — instead of letting him stay at his own home.

This case is outrageous. A paramilitary-style raid on a dad who was in quarantine and patiently waiting for the government.

You’d think his two-week imprisonment would be punishment enough. But now he’s facing prosecution, too.

Well, not if we have something to say about it. We’ve hired our star lawyer, Mani Shishineh, to defend Mehmet.

We need to help this family. But more than that, we need to have a judge send a message to police across Australia: the pandemic is not an excuse to become a police state. This is Australia, not China. We don’t have police smashing down doors in the middle of the night for a paperwork problem.

If you want to help us help Mehmet, please click here, or visit www.FightTheFines.com.au. Mehmet and Angela have been through enough already — the least we can do is hire a great lawyer for them.

Thanks for your support.

If we don’t do this, who will?

P.S. We do need police. But we need them to fight criminals, not to smash their way into family homes. Helping Mehmet with this case is a way of pushing back against intolerable infringements of our civil liberties.

P.P.S. Talking to Mehmet and Angela, I could see that our offer of help visibly reduced the stress in their lives! Thank you for that — please click here to help us help them.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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