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Australia detains French TV crew filming anti-coal protest

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Australia detains French TV crew filming anti-coal protest

By Sonali Paul

 

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French TV reporter Hugo Clement is seen in a police van after he was arrested while filming protesters blockading the Abbot Point coal port near Bowen, Queensland, Australia July 22, 2019. Frontline Action on Coal/Handout via REUTERS

 

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A French television reporter and his crew were arrested on Monday while filming protesters blockading a coal port in Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland.

 

Reporter Hugo Clément said he and his television crew from French public broadcaster France 2 were filming protesters blocking access to Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprise’s Abbot Point coal terminal for an environmental documentary about oceans, including the Great Barrier Reef.

 

“We were just doing our job. They say we were trespassing, but we were just filming in a public space. I was not blocking the railway,” Clément told Reuters by phone after being released on bail.

 

He said he and his crew would have moved had the police asked them to, but were instead just arrested and put in a police van. One of the cameramen was handcuffed after trying to continue to film when they were being arrested.

 

State police confirmed that seven people, including four French men aged 29, 30, 32 and 39, had been arrested and charged with trespassing on a railway at the Abbot Point coal terminal.

 

Police did not identify any of the seven.

 

Clément and his crew are due to appear at the state’s Bowen magistrates’ court on Sept. 3. He said he was not sure whether they would have to appear in person.

 

Police set bail terms banning the crew from going within 20 km (12 miles) of Adani’s Carmichael mine site or less than 100 metres from any other Adani site.

 

Adani’s Carmichael mine and rail project has been the target of protests for nearly a decade by protesters worried about coal’s impact on climate change and damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Opponents lost their battle in June when the company finally received approval to begin construction.

 

Adani, owner of the coal port, said it was aware of the protest but had no comment on the arrests.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-07-22
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17 hours ago, Inn Between said:

Seems rather fascist, doesn't it?

 

Australia was very high up on my wish list of destinations to visit when I was a teenager (many years ago) but it's dropped right to the bottom as its attitude of freedom, sense of adventure and spirit of invention seems to be gone for the most part, suppressed by increasing nanny state governments over the past few decades. 

 

I really don't say that in criticism of Oz I'm sure it's a safe and lovely place to live, but it's just not the type of country that interests me.  

We have the rule of law in Australia and despite my opposition to Adani and its mine, the police have removed people who were trespassing, we will see what transpires in the court. 

You may note that we have very very few offenders or suspects shot by law enforcement. 

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18 hours ago, Enoon said:

 

Police/Local Government "hand in hand" with big, private, business?

 

Sounds a bit closer to a certain nation in SE Asia.

 

 

Just go for a walk in Sydney or Melbourne CBD... Asians 90%

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24 minutes ago, from the home of CC said:

there's no environmental issues in France, BS..

So?

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16 minutes ago, stevenl said:

So?

concentrate on their own back yard and when their country is perfect environmentally then venture out and conquer the world or is that not dramatic enough for them..

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They would have made better use of their time filming saboteurs under a protest boat...

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2 hours ago, rosst said:

We have the rule of law in Australia and despite my opposition to Adani and its mine, the police have removed people who were trespassing, we will see what transpires in the court. 

You may note that we have very very few offenders or suspects shot by law enforcement. 

Seems strange they arrested the film crew (French) and left the protestors on the railway line.

 

Reckon the mining company had something to do with the arrests???.

They probably didn't want the already tarnished reputation to be further tarnished in France.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, RJRS1301 said:

Seems strange they arrested the film crew (French) and left the protestors on the railway line.

 

Reckon the mining company had something to do with the arrests???.

They probably didn't want the already tarnished reputation to be further tarnished in France.

rather strange indeed.

trespassing on a railway line? is that private property?

 

I guess now they have less to worry about their reputation.

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5 minutes ago, manarak said:

rather strange indeed.

trespassing on a railway line? is that private property?

 

I guess now they have less to worry about their reputation.

Yes, I believe so .

 

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31 minutes ago, tifino said:

They would have made better use of their time filming saboteurs under a protest boat...

Way too late for that one

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