Styx forest defenders day in court

Media Enquiries

After two months in prison for taking non-violent action to protect native forests, Ali Alishah appeared today in Hobart’s Magistrates court for his disputed facts hearing.

Judgement and sentencing was adjourned until tomorrow at 10am. Ali has been held on remand until then.

Bob Brown was also in court this morning over the same protest where he was arrested alongside Ali and Colette Harmsen. Brown and Harmsen entered pleas of not guilty and will be back in court on the 5 July for hearing.

Ali Alishah is the first citizen to be defending his actions against the draconian anti-protest laws in Tasmania. In February, he was arrested twice for defending the ancient forests of the Styx Valley of the Giants. Ali was held in prison for the last two months after he would not comply with bail conditions that restricted his ability to protest logging activities.

Ali is disputing that his protest exposed himself and others to serious risk of injury.

“Tasmania must repeal the anti-protest laws. Non-violent protesters in Tasmania have a proud history of defending native forests and never causing harm to ourselves or others. In all cases where harm has been experienced by protesters, it has been when they’ve been assaulted by loggers,” said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager said after Ali’s hearing.

“Ali Alishah passively sitting next to a stationary logging machine with a lock-on around his neck is not risking harm to himself or others. The solution to removing the risk of harm from Tasmania’s native forests is to remove the logging machines, and to stop the firebombing of forests and wildlife-killing that is carried out every day,” said Jenny Weber.

“Ali is a prisoner of conscience. It is unconscionable that this harmless and intelligent protestor is kept in jail any longer,” Bob Brown said.

“The anti-protest laws were designed to stifle free speech and targeted forest defenders. The accusations that protesting poses a ‘serious’ risk of harm to protesters and others is not true. The risk of harm by protesters to themselves and others while defending native forests from destructive logging is, in fact, minimal,” said Dr Colette Harmsen.

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