Styx forest defender sentenced to prison

Media Enquiries

Today, Ali Alishah, who has served two months in prison for defending native forests in Tasmania, has today been sentenced to four months in jail, with one month suspended. Alishah will be released from Risdon prison on 19th May.

“The magistrate’s critique that Ali Alishah’s actions enhanced the risk to the public if police are called to protests is political and echoes logging industry rhetoric. The court heard that there has never been an injury due to Tasmania’s peaceful forest protests. That reality should be judged against the fact that logging native forests is so dangerous that nearly 100 men have lost their lives in the industry since 1955. Ali Alishah pleaded guilty. The magistrate’s superfluous comments on the so-called danger of peaceful protests was an unjustified attack on protest in general and is out-of-court. It’s contrary to the respectful view of peaceful protest taken by the High Court,” Bob Brown said.

“There is something very wrong in Tasmania when a forest defender is in prison as it proves the logging industry runs the state. Today, the draconian and excessive anti-protest laws have been enacted to attempt to stifle non-violent protesting about the flattening of forests and wildlife slaughter. Non-violent protests do not risk serious harm to the protesters or others. Safety is of paramount importance in all our protests. Citizens will be undeterred by this sentence today, they will continue to protest as long as the governments and corporations dangerously risk our liveable planet,” said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager.

“Ali Alishah, at personal costs, took considered measures to highlight the wastage of the public native forest estate in Tasmania. The State of Tasmania has seen fit, rather than to halt the loss and wasteful export of an immeasurably important asset, to jail a patriot at great cost to the taxpayer. This has only served to strengthen Ali’s resolve. He wishes to congratulate all those who held the line in defence of Tasmania’s public forest estate in his absence, and thanks his fellow prison inmates for their kindness and support in him taking his stand,” said Fabiano Cangelosi, Ali Alishah’s legal counsel.

“Logging coupe TN062G, a carbon-dense forest lying a mere 200 metres away from the world heritage area, is being destroyed and will be burnt with the permission of parties to the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, while our ‘leaders’ tout their climate, conservation and sustainability credentials. They may wish to fool themselves but the markets and the people are not fooled,” Ali Alishah said today.

“I am immensely grateful to all who’ve answered the call, and continue, to defend Tasmania’s irreplaceable public native forests. Three months served will be nothing, I would gladly serve three months in defence of Tasmania,” Ali Alishah said.

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