Australian journalist Avi Yemini has attracted over $50,000 in donations to help cover the cost of a lawsuit filed against the Victorian government in the states Supreme Court on Sept. 15.
The fundraiser was launched by his employer, Rebel News, on Sept. 17 and surpassed its $50,000 goal within 6 hours.
Yemini told The Epoch Times on Sept. 17 that he was humbled by the publics response.
“It shows how upset people are with whats happening here in Melbourne,” Yemini said.
In response to the outbreak, the state government has enforced strict lockdown rules that have raised concerns around heavy-handed policing, the mental wellbeing of Victorians, and the legality of the curfews.
Discontent about lockdown measures has grown in recent weeks after the Victorian government extended its emergency powers in September for an additional six months and extended stage four restrictions by two weeks.
On Sept. 5, Melbournians gathered for a rally against the Stage Four lockdown at Albert Park. The gathering was then disrupted by Victoria Police, and Yemini, who was there working as a reporter, was arrested.
Victoria Police confirmed Yeminis arrest in a statement, saying: “A 34-year-old male from Berwick was arrested for hindering police at a protest in Melbournes CBD on Saturday 5 September.
“The man had been asked to move on multiple times by the Forward Commander as he was obstructing the police response to the protest. After repeatedly failing to comply with police direction, he was arrested for hindering police. He was then released with enquiries pending,” the statement read.
Yemini denies that he was acting unlawfully and that police did not tell him to move on. He said that his case is clear cut and indicated he is confident that there wasnt much chance of losing.
“The commander initially said he was arresting me because I didnt have a purposeful reason to be there, which was false,” Yemini said. “So they changed it to hindering which was just as ludicrous.”
Ezra Levant, the publisher of Rebel News, told The Epoch Times the video clearly shows police misconduct.
“The videotape shows that Avi was not hindering any police work; he was with other media, Read More – Source
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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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