Incitement charge against refugee rights activist dismissed

Chris Breen (centre) with supporters after the charge was dropped. Photo: Chris Slee

A judge dismissed a charge of “incitement” against refugee rights activist Chris Breen on March 29.

She said the prosecution had failed to prove Breen, a member of the Refugee Action Coalition (Victoria) was the author of a Facebook post that the prosecution claimed incited people to break last year’s COVID-19 health restrictions.

Breen was accused of urging people to participate in a car cavalcade last April 10. The cars sporting signs calling for the refugees to be freed drove past the Mantra Hotel in Preston where about 60 refugees were detained.

The judge did not rule on defence’s argument that the car convoy was not illegal because it was done for compassionate reasons — to give support to the detained refugees.

The COVID-19 regulations in force at that time allowed people to leave home for compassionate reasons.

Thirty people were fined $1652 each for participating in that convoy. Their cases are expected to be heard later this year.