Unnecessary arrest of UNSW educator Cherish Kuehlmann was unlawful and an overreach by NSW Police to silence activist voices
23 February 2023 - The arrest of University of NSW student Cherish Kuehlmann last Saturday at her home in the middle of the night was an unnecessary and potentially unlawful use of police powers. The arrest followed a peaceful protest in Martin Place on Friday afternoon where a small group of people were protesting the cost of living crisis, housing availability and massive profits by the banks. Cherish had voluntarily complied with police directions and requests for information at the afternoon protest.
Greens MP Sue Higginson and spokesperson for justice said “The arrest of Cherish at her home and in the middle of the night is an outrageous abuse of arrest powers by the NSW Police. The decision to arrest a peaceful protestor several hours after they had voluntarily complied with providing their information to the police was completely unnecessary and quite possibly unlawful,
“Ms Kuehlmann is not a dangerous individual, she is not someone that a reasonable person would consider a flight risk and she had already complied with police directions earlier that day. The NSW Police should have made attempts to request her presence at a police station before they raided her house in the middle of the night, detained her for several hours and applied onerous bail conditions that limit her ability to move around the city,
“Out of court settlements for civil cases against the NSW Police costs tens of millions of dollars every year but the unlawful arrests and assaults against NSW residents continues. In reality, unlawful arrests and arrests like what occurred against Ms. Kuehlmann could be considered criminal assaults. The arresting officers in these cases are breaking the law and should be held accountable to the same laws they are supposed to protect,
“The arrest of Ms Kuelhmann was completely unreasonable and seems to have been used as an intimidation tactic against a person who is regularly and actively involved in peaceful protest actions. This outrageous act by the NSW Police is another incidence of the persecution of peaceful activists in NSW,