2 October 2020
The prosecution and sentencing of Stipe Lozina, 43, yesterday for the vicious
physical assault of a 38 week pregnant woman, Rana Elasmar shows how woefully
unfit Australian laws are for protecting Australians of different ethnicities and
Lozina brazenly punched and stomped on the head of a 38 year week pregnant
woman, 15 times, as if she was nothing because of her religion.
Lozina was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm rather than a hate
crime, as hate crime laws do not exist in NSW.
While it is yet to be confirmed that the hate motivation of the crime was considered as an aggravation, the sentence of 3 years, with only 2 years non-parole, provides inadequate protection to the Muslim community or justice for the hate crime.
He may have pleaded guilty, but media reports showed he only had disrespect,
not remorse, by turning his back to her and shouting during the sentencing.
This outcome does not reflect community expectations and underlines that the
NSW Parliament must take urgent action to introduce hate crime laws.
This case also underscores the urgency of national and NSW laws to provide a
vilification remedy for people of faith.
The soon to arrive Online Safety Bill at the federal level must act on
dehumanisation and hatred targeting whole minority communities, not only
individual abuse as previously suggested.
Hate materials portraying us as a subhuman existential threat are widely available
online and nothing is being done about it.
AMAN commends Ms Elasmar for her inspiring bravery and leadership
throughout this ordeal.