The Australian government plans to introduce legislation to ban swastikas and other Nazi symbols nationwide in response to an increase in far-right activity, according to Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. While some Australian states already prohibit these symbols, the federal law would expand the ban to include the trade of such material.
Dreyfus expressed concern over the rise in violent far-right activity and emphasized the need for a federal law to address the issue. The proposed legislation aims to put an end to the trading of Nazi memorabilia and any items bearing Nazi symbols. Dreyfus stressed that promoting hatred and violence has no place in Australia.
The Labor Party government, which holds a majority in the House of Representatives but not the Senate, will introduce the ban to Parliament. However, the timing of when the legislation might pass or take effect remains uncertain.
If the ban is enacted, individuals displaying Nazi symbols could face penalties of up to one year in prison.
Certain exclusions from the ban are expected, such as allowing the use of the swastika for religious, educational, or artistic purposes. These exceptions would not affect the use of the symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Dreyfus acknowledged that the number of neo-Nazis in Australia is relatively small, but he highlighted concerns raised by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization regarding their activities over the past few years. He expressed hope that their numbers will continue to decrease until they eventually disappear.
The proposed ban on Nazi symbols in Australia reflects the government’s commitment to combatting far-right extremism and promoting a society free from hatred and violence.
In Germany, Nazi salutes and phrases such as ‘Heil Hitler’ and ‘Sieg Heil,’ whether written or verbal, are illegal. Moreover, mimicking the physical salute by straight-extending one’s right arm is not tolerated there regardless of what is or isn’t said when saluting.
Such offenses in Germany are punishable by up to three years in prison.