The West

A Perth protester has been threatened with 12-months jail if he steps foot in the CBD exclusion zone during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Veteran human rights campaigner Seamus Doherty said WA Police came to his house just before 7am this morning to tell him he had been named on an excluded persons list.

“I think it’s an infringement on my human rights and my right to freedom of speech,” Mr Doherty said.

“I have been in WA for 35 years and have never committed a crime.

“I have never been arrested at a protest.

“Why are they trying to make an example of someone who is a peace activist?

“I have a walking impediment, I walk with a walking stick so what are they trying to prove?”

Mr Doherty, who is a member of the CHOGM action network which is planning several protests during the event on topics ranging from human rights to climate change, has been banned from the exclusion zones from October 20 to November 4.

Mr Doherty said he was not going to let the threat of a stint in jail discourage him from attending CHOGM

He wanted the police to justify why he had been put on the list.

“They had me under surveillance for six months, surely after that time they would be able to work out whether I was a criminal or whether I was not a criminal.”

Police spokesperson Neil Stanbury refused to confirm whether Mr Doherty was on the excluded persons list but The West Australian has seen the letter which confirms that he is.

Mr Stanbury said he would not disclose how many people had been put on the list.

“We are not going to be publicly releasing names or the number of people on the list but can say it is a small number.”

The West Australian has learnt of at least two other people being black-listed.

He said the Commissioner had the right to bar people from certain areas if he believed they would pose a threat to the safety of people or property.

“The Commissioner will obviously consider the persons prior history…”

Mr Doherty has been banned not only from security areas but also St Georges Terrace, The Esplanade and the foreshore.

The West Australian

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