The Guardian: Rights groups condemn ‘police repression’ at ‘peaceful’ pro-Palestine rally in Sydney

Protesters who participated in a pro-Palestine rally in Sydney on Tuesday night, forcibly dispersed by the police, are challenging the assertion made by New South Wales Premier Chris Minns that the police response was reasonable.

Twenty-three individuals were arrested and charged by NSW police during the protest at Port Botany, which targeted the unloading of a ship owned by the Israeli company ZIM, known for its support of the Israeli government in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The organizers, Palestine Justice Movement Sydney and Unionists for Palestine, along with civil rights groups, criticized the police for their handling of the situation. Riot squad and mounted officers were deployed to forcibly disperse the crowds, including children.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties, the Human Rights Law Centre and the Australian Democracy Network released a joint statement saying they were “deeply concerned” about the “police repression of a peaceful protest”.

They also accused police of causing a “crowd crush” and alleged that officers “physically pushed” several independent legal observers who were there.

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