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George Christensen likens COVID-19 restrictions to Hitler, Pol Pot regimes

Outspoken Coalition backbencher has used a speech in federal parliament to liken state and territory COVID-19 restrictions to the despotic regimes of Nazi Germany and Cambodia, calling for civil disobedience as a response.Key points:Queensland Nationals federal MP George Christensen has been a vocal opponent of COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccinationsHe’s compared state leaders’ pandemic responses to Hitler, Mao, Stalin and Pol PotLabor is accusing Mr Christensen of using a post to incite violenceMr Christensen has been one of the most vocal critics of pandemic controls, prolifically posting on social media to voice his opposition to lockdowns and .”The totalitarian regimes responsible for the most heinous atrocities in the 20th century — think Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot — they didn’t get there overnight,” Mr Christensen said.”They use fear to control, they excluded the dirty people — softly at first — they justified the exclusion, they moved to harder exclusions, and eventually eliminated people, either socially or physically.”In 21st century Australia, state premiers are racing down that familiar path, trying to outsmart each other, drunk on power, setting up their own biosecurity, police states completely medical apartheid.”Mr Christensen — who represents the North Queensland electorate of Dawson and is retiring at the next — cited the situation in his own state as justification for his views.”With non-vaccinated Australians increasingly demonised, ostracised and socially eradicated in Queensland, the Premier tweeted the people not vaccinated raised red flags — not just one but 22 of them,” he said.”The totalitarian path, the path that we are unquestionably on, has never ended well.”The solution is a rediscovery of human dignity along with, and I don’t say this lightly, civil disobedience.” refused to condemn George Christensen by name in Question Time.(ABC News: Tamara Penniket)Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked by Opposition Leader whether he “unequivocally and without reservation” would condemn Mr Christensen’s comments on civil disobedience.”As the son of a police officer, I believe that everyone should obey the law,” Mr Morrison responded.”Every single person should obey the law, and no one should encourage anyone to disobey the law.”And I indeed, Mr Speaker, would condemn any encouragement, any encouragement whatsoever, by any person in any place, Mr Speaker, regarding acts of civil disobedience.”At no point did the Prime Minister condemn Mr Christensen by name. However, Mr Morrison followed his condemnation with reference to the union movement.”‘I’ve been very clear in my denunciation of violence and threats and , and I don’t care, Mr Speaker, whether that has occurred most recently, or it happened at the Shrine of Remembrance, Mr Speaker, or indeed when people and Labor tried to crash through the doors of this building many years ago.”He then cited ACTU Secretary Sally McManus’ comments in 2017, saying she did not think there was a problem with breaking if they were “unjust”. Social media posts prompt counsellingShortly after Mr Christensen’s speech, Shadow Home Affairs Minister asked what actions the Prime Minister was taking against Mr Christensen over posts on his Telegram account, which Labor argued incited violence against Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and federal Labor frontbencher Catherine King. George Christensen is facing criticism for his use of the social media site Telegram.(Supplied)Members of the public commented on a post from Mr Christensen in late October about the Andrews Government’s pandemic law proposal saying the Premier needed “a bullet between his eyes”.Comments on a video of Ms King from late August included reference to organising “public hangings”.Government Senate leader  responded that Mr Christensen had been counselled by the Prime Minister on the tone of the posts.He later corrected the record, and said Deputy Prime Minister had spoken to him. Labor has accused George Christensen of using social media to incite violence.(Supplied)Senator Keneally said the posts had been referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).”There are absolutely no posts of mine on my Telegram channel that are in any way illegal, nor could they be mistaken as illegal,” Mr Christensen told the ABC.”The claim is nonsense.”It appears comments have now been switched off on Mr Christensen’s Telegram account.When contacted for comment, a spokesperson from the Australian Federal Police said: “The AFP does not confirm or deny who it is investigating.”