'Full Explanation' Demanded For Arrest Of Four Journalists At Adani Protest
Media and climate groups are speaking out after four French journalists were arrested for trespassing while covering a protest near Adani's Carmichael coal mine in north Queensland.
The group were covering the protest at a coal terminal for French television station France 2 on Monday when they were arrested by Queensland police.
The demonstration involved two activists from the group Frontline Action on Coal locking their hands to a barrel of coal at the Abbot Point terminal north of Bowen.
Four journalists as well as three protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing; two Victorian women aged 20 and 22-years-old were also charged with obstructing a railway and contravening police direction.
The journalists were released seven hours later with bail conditions banning the crew from going within 20 kilometres of the Adani Carmichael site or less than 100 metres from any other Adani site.
The crew are due to appear in Queensland's Bowen Magistrates' Court on September 3.
President of the Media Section for the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Marcus Strom, said the charges against the journalists should be dropped as journalists "should be free to go about their work reporting on matters in the public interest and should not be arrested for simply doing their jobs."
"The Queensland police should provide a full explanation of why a clearly identifiable French TV crew was arrested," Strom said.
Strom added the bail conditions preventing the crew from revisiting the site are preventing them from carrying out legitimate news reporting.
Hugo Clement, one of the French journalists, posted on Twitter that the arrest will not stop the group from continuing to investigate the dangers they say are posed to the Great Barrier Reef.
Former leader of the Australian Greens, Christine Milne, said on Twitter that "Australia has become a plutocracy governed by resource extracting industries".
"Democracy has been sacrificed" on the coal and gas altar, Milne said in a reply to Clement's statement.
Extinction Rebellion, one of the largest global activist groups addressing climate change, claimed that te arrest of the French journalists is "indicative of the government's denial of climate breakdown and its persecution of those who seek to tell the truth."
Frontline Action on Coal were responding to reports that Adani would begin clearing land on the Galilee Basin mine site this week.
The group stated on Facebook that they will "not be silenced, nor will those trying to shed light on the injustices that are happening in this country".