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FABRIZIO IODICE DELGADO: Pregnant mum arrested and charged for allegedly advocating against coronavirus lockdown in Australia

FABRIZIO IODICE DELGADO



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A pregnant woman was handcuffed by police in front of her children and led away in her pyjamas in Australia after allegedly inciting activists to demonstrate against the coronavirus lockdown.

Zoe Buhler’s partner helped her livestream the arrest on Wednesday at her home where she lives with two children, aged three and four, in the Victoria state city of Ballarat. The video has been viewed millions of times.

The 28-year-old has since been charged with using social media platforms to incite others to break pandemic restrictions by attending demonstrations.

“The police could have given me a phone call and said, ‘Look, you need to take down your event or you could be charged with a crime,’ and I would have done that,” she told reporters.

“It could have been as simple as that. You know, I’m not someone that would you know ever commit a crime or anything like that,” she added.

Melbourne, the state capital, has been under unprecedented lockdown restrictions since early August.

A nighty curfew was imposed, while large parts of the economy were ordered to close to curb the spread of the virus.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius described handcuffing Ms Buhler as “entirely reasonable”.

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“The optics of arresting someone who is pregnant are terrible,” he said.

Police have also arrested three men and charged them with inciting others to break pandemic restrictions over planned protests in Melbourne on Saturday.

Australia reported its biggest one-day rise in coronavirus cases in more than a week on Thursday, denting optimism that a stringent lockdown of its second-largest city will soon be lifted.

Authorities said 127 cases have been detected in the last 24 hours, up on the 109 cases recorded on Wednesday and the biggest one-day jump since August 28.

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A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

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A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

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A UK government public health campaign is displayed in Piccadilly Circus

Reuters

3/45

Chinese paramilitary police and security officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they stand guard outside an entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing

AP

4/45

A usually busy 42nd Street is seen nearly empty in New York

AFP via Getty Images

5/45

Bondi Beach, Australia

Getty Images

6/45

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

Getty Images

7/45

View of the illuminated statue of Christ the Redeemer that reads “Thank you” as Archbishop of the city of Rio de Janeiro Dom Orani Tempesta performs a mass in honor of Act of Consecration of Brazil and tribute to medical workers amidst the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic

Getty Images

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Rome

AFP via Getty Images

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An Indian man paddles his bicycle in front of a mural depicting the globe covered in a mask, as India remains under an unprecedented lockdown over the highly contagious coronavirus

Getty Images

10/45

Aerial view of the empty 9 de Julio avenue in Buenos Aires in Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

11/45

A view of an empty Grand Canal

Reuters

12/45

Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain

Getty Images

13/45

Aerial view of the empty Central cemetery in Bogota, Columbia

AFP via Getty Images

14/45

Miami, Florida

AFP via Getty Images

15/45

The facade of the Palacio de Lopez (seat of the government palace)

AFP via Getty Images

16/45

Aerial view of the empty Simon Bolivar park in Bogota

AFP via Getty Images

17/45

An LAPD patrol car drives through Venice Beach Boardwalk

AP

18/45

Venice Beach, California

Getty Images

19/45

Los Angeles, California

Getty Images

20/45

Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

21/45

Many shops stand shuttered on the Venice Beach boardwalk

Getty Images

22/45

Empty escalators are seen at a deserted train station during morning rush hour after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses

Reuters

23/45

A nearly empty Times Square in New York

AFP via Getty Images

24/45

Caracas

AFP via Getty Images

25/45

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador

AFP via Getty Images

26/45

A general view of an unusually quiet Midland Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

27/45

A general view of an unusually quiet Civic Square at lunchtimein Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

28/45

A policeman rides his motorcycle wearing a face mask in front of a closed shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

29/45

Florida Keys

AP

30/45

The historic Channel 2 Bridge closed to fishermen, bikers and pedestrians in Florida Keys

AP

31/45

The Beach on Scenic Gulf Drive near Seascape Resort in south Walton County, Florida sits empty of tourists

AP

32/45

Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

33/45

A deserted Rajpath leading to India Gate in New Delhi

AFP via Getty Images

34/45

A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

35/45

A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

36/45

Empty roads are pictured following the lockdown by the government amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal

Reuters

37/45

An empty New York Subway car i

AFP via Getty Images

38/45

The empty pedestrian zone is seen in the city of Cologne, western Germany,

AFP via Getty Images

39/45

Place de la Comedie in the city of Montpellier , southern France

AFP via Getty Images

40/45

An empty street in Kuwait city

AFP via Getty Images

41/45

A building is covered by the Portuguese message: “Coronavirus: take precaution” over empty streets in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil,

AP

42/45

A general view shows an empty street after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Reuters

43/45

Parliament of Canada is pictured with empty street during morning rush hour

AFP via Getty Images

44/45

A near empty beach on Southend seafront in England

PA

45/45

Near empty Keswick town centre in Cumbria, England

PA

The majority of the cases were detected in Victoria state which reported 113 new cases in the past 24 hours, despite the state capital, Melbourne, nearing the end of a six-week lockdown.

As result, state authorities said restrictions may have to continue beyond September 13.

“I can’t rule out that we have to continue (with some) rules. I simply can’t,” state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

New South Wales reported 12 cases, a day after it posted its biggest one-day spike in new infections for two weeks.

Queensland state accounted for the remaining two cases.

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Australia

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Coronavirus

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Melbourne

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New South Wales

FABRIZIO IODICE DELGADO