Nazi symbol banned in Victoria

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Victoria passed a law banning the public display of Nazi swastika.

The bill, hailed as a “thunderbolt” for white supremacists when it was introduced last month, passed parliament on Tuesday.

It criminalizes anyone who intentionally displays the Nazi symbol in public, and those who do so will face penalties of up to nearly $22,000, 12 months in jail, or both.

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People will only be charged if they fail to comply with a police directive to remove the symbol.

Victoria’s Attorney General Jaclyn Symes said the swastika glorified one of the most heinous ideologies in history, and its public display only caused more pain and division.

“It is a proud moment to see these important laws passed with bipartisan support,” she said.

“I’m glad to see that, regardless of the political side, we can agree that this despicable behavior will not be tolerated in Victoria.”

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Religious versions of the symbol related to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions will remain legal.

There will also be exemptions for historical, educational and artistic purposes, while memorabilia bearing the Nazi the swastika can still be traded as long as the symbol is covered when on public display.

The legislation will come into effect in six months to enable a campaign on the origins of the religious and cultural swastika to be rolled out, the state government has said.

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