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Australian police arrest pregnant woman after she calls for protest against COVID lockdown

Officers charged her with 'incitement.'

Updated: September 2, 2020 - 2:23pm

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Police officers in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia arrested a pregnant mother of three in front of her children on Wednesday after she called for an anti-COVID-lockdown protest in the southern Australian city. 

Officers came to the home of Zoe Buhler, 28, and put her in handcuffs under charges of "incitement" in connection with her posting a protest event on Facebook. 

Video of the event circulated on social media, showing Buhler being cuffed while telling the officers: "I have an ultrasound in an hour."

After being informed that she is being arrested due to her Facebook post, Buhler in the video insists that she wasn't breaking any laws by doing so.

"You are, actually, you are breaking the law," an officer responds. 

The police inform Buhler and her partner that law enforcement are authorized to "seize any computers [and] any mobile devices" on the premises. Buhler can eventually be heard crying during the arrest. 

The Guardian reported that Victoria police said in a statement that "any gathering [like that planned by Buhler] is in blatant breach of the chief health officer’s directions and puts Victorian lives at risk."

"Those still thinking of attending the protest in Ballarat on Saturday can expect a swift and firm response from police," the department also said.

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