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Australian state passes bill to ban Nazi swastika

Australian state passes bill to ban Nazi swastika
Bill needs approval of New South Wales’ upper house to become law

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) - Australia's New South Wales state on Tuesday took a major stride in criminalizing the display of Nazi symbols.

The state parliament's lower house passed a bill to ban the swastika, a symbol which is associated with the Holocaust and the crimes committed specially against Jewish people.

The bill must pass the upper house to become law.

“A person who knowingly displays, by public act and without reasonable excuse, a Nazi symbol commits an offence,” according to the bill.

The display of a swastika in connection with Buddhism, Hinduism or Jainism does not constitute the display of a Nazi symbol, it added.

The symbol can also be displayed "in good faith" for an academic, artistic or educational purpose, or another purpose in the public interest, it added.

If the ban becomes official, penalty will include 12 months in prison or an 11,000-Australian-dollar ($7,668) fine for individuals, while companies will be fined 55,000 Australian dollars ($38,343).

Victoria, the country's second most populous state, became the first state to ban the public display of Nazi swastikas in June.

Those who display the Nazi swastika in that state face a 22,000-Australian-dollar ($15,337) fine and 12 months in prison.

Similar laws are on the agenda in the states of Queensland and Tasmania.

If passed in those two states, the display of Nazi symbols will be prohibited in half of the eight states of the country.

source: News Feed
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