Australian state Victoria bans display of Nazi symbol
Anyone displaying Nazi swastikas in public will face hefty fines, imprisonment
Victoria has become the first Australian state to ban the display of the Nazi swastika.
The Parliament of Victoria passed the Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022 on Tuesday, which “makes it a criminal offense for a person to intentionally display the Nazi symbol (the Hakenkreuz, often referred to as the Nazi swastika) in public,” read a statement by the state government.
Under the new law, anyone intentionally displaying the Nazi symbol in public will face penalties of up to 22,000 Australian dollars ($15,213) and 12 months in jail, or both.
The state government said the move “sends a clear message that the dissemination of Nazi and Neo-Nazi ideology through the public display of the Nazi symbol has no place in Victoria.”
“The Nazi symbol glorifies one of the most hateful ideologies in history – its public display does nothing but causes further pain and division,” said Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes.
“It’s a proud moment to see these important laws pass with bipartisan support – I’m glad to see that no matter what side of politics, we can agree that this vile behavior will not be tolerated in Victoria.”
The new law also recognizes the cultural and historical significance of the swastika for the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and other communities “as an ancient and sacred symbol of peace and good fortune.”
The statement clarified that the new law “does not prohibit the display of the swastika in such religious and cultural contexts.”
Victoria’s government said it will keep monitoring “the use of hate symbols and may consider the inclusion of additional symbols at a later stage.”
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid