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Flag burning law must be extinguished


Flag burning law must be extinguished

Green MP Keith Locke is calling for the Government to repeal the flag protection law, following Friday’s overturning of an activist’s conviction for burning a New Zealand flag at a protest against Australian Prime Minister John Howard last year.

“Justice France’s acquittal of Paul Hopkinson on the charge of burning the New Zealand flag is a victory for freedom of speech and democracy,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s Human Rights Spokesperson.

“The Judge made it clear that penalising flag burning would be contrary to the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

“It is a bad look for a Labour Government to be upholding a repressive Muldoon-era law, it should be repealed now. I will be pushing this issue in Parliament when it resumes this week.

“Unfortunately when I questioned the Government on this matter following Mr Hopkinson’s arrest they refused to repeal the law. Hopefully in light of Justice France’s comments they will now think again,” said Mr Locke.

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