Police in Victoria, Australia have been forced to apologise to Rebel News Australia Bureau Chief, Avi Yemini.
A formal apology was agreed to in early July after lawyers for Yemini successfully argued the Rebel News reporter was ‘wrongfully arrested and detained,’ on three separate occasions.
The first wrongful arrest took place on January 26, 2020, when Yemini was detained for his “own safety,” while he was trying to report on “Pay the Rent” activists protesting the national holiday, Australia Day.
The second and third events occurred on September 5, 2020, and January 26, 2021, when the Rebel News journalist attempted to cover pro-freedom rallies challenging “vax or the axe” mandates, and Victoria’s lengthy lockdowns.
In the formal apology, Victoria Police admitted, “On each occasion, Mr. Yemini was wrongfully arrested and detained by members of the Victoria Police force whilst reporting for Rebel News.”
They then added, “Victoria Police sincerely apologises for the hurt and embarrassment suffered by Mr. Yemini […] as a consequence of the arrests and subsequent detention.”
Asked about the intermittent harassment by police at his home during the CCP virus lockdowns, Yemini told Caldron Pool that freedom of the press was the priority.
This included dubious claims from Victorian Police that the Rebel News journalist’s arrests were “safety related, for breaching the peace, and having no lawful right to be out during a lockdown.”
The admission of wrong-doing by police vindicates the important work carried out by Yemini, and Rebel News, in what was the most COVID-19 locked down state on the planet outside Communist China.
Also noteworthy is how Yemini’s important win won little news coverage or analysis. This is despite the case’s strong implications for freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
One would think this would be headline news.
Sky News host, and veteran Herald Sun commentator, Andrew Bolt agreed.
Labelling Victoria Police as “politicised,” he asked, “what is going on, and why is the media so uninterested in what seems to be another example of the brutal authoritarianism of the Victorian Labor Government and its minions?”
“The unlawful arrests of journalists” should be a big concern for everyone in the media, he said.
Speaking with Yemini, Bolt, then thanked him for taking the case to court, saying:
“We cannot have the armed-wing of government (so to speak) arresting journalists that they don’t like because they’re being inconvenient. Whether it be speaking an inconvenient truth causing people to attack them. Arrest the attackers! Don’t arrest the victim.”
The lack of political and media interest is in large part due to how often legacy media falsely portrays, the Rebel News journalist, and former Israeli soldier, as a “divisive far-right” or so-called “alt-right” figure.
Like many in new media, Yemini is, at times, lampooned by dinosaurs who’ve forgotten that the fourth estate exists to keep the light of Burkean classical liberalism, and constitutional Democracy burning.
Commenting on the lack of media interest, Avi explained to Caldron Pool, “This is why it’s so important to have alternative media. The mainstream media only tends to cover what fits their agenda.”
While ensuring the Rebel News Journalist’s rightful place in Australia’s fourth estate, Victoria Police’s formal recognition of its abuse of power is also win for new media’s back-to-basics, purist, 21st-century journalism.