UN official ‘alarmed’ by jailing of climate activist who blocked traffic on Sydney
A senior UN official has said he is “alarmed” a peaceful Australian climate protester has been jailed for 15 months – and refused bail before her appeal – amid global concern at her “disproportionate” punishment.
On Friday, Deanna “Violet” Coco was sentenced to 15 months in prison for blocking a single lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April in a protest staged to draw attention to the global climate emergency.
Clément Voule, the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of association and peaceful assembly, said online: “I am alarmed at a NSW court’s prison term against climate protestor Deanna Coco and refusal to grant bail until a March 2023 appeal hearing.
“Peaceful protesters should never be criminalised or imprisoned,” Voule said.