Australian state of Victoria bans displays of Nazi swastika
'Nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or antisemitism'
The Australian state of Victoria on Tuesday passed a law banning the public display of Nazi symbols, including the swastika.
The state in the southeastern part of the country, home to Melbourne, has thus become the first jurisdiction in Australia to specifically ban the display.
Violators face up to a year in jail or a $15,000 fine.
"Nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or antisemitism," Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said.
Exceptions will be made for showing the Nazi swastika in historical, educational or artistic contexts and also for using the swastika when associated with Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religious practices.
The law comes amid a spike in antisemitic incidents in Australia and across the world. Antisemitism in Australia rose by 35 percent in 2021, according to a report published in April by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
"The Nazi symbol glorifies one of the most hateful ideologies in history - its public display does nothing but cause further pain and division," said Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes in a statement.