Russell Brand has blasted the Covid laws in Australia as “terrifying” and “divisive”.
It comes after Australia faced a backlash from other countries for closing off its borders – leaving tens of thousands of Australian citizens stranded around the world.
The nation recently re-opened its borders for the first time in 18 months, and it is set to enforce new rules on its citizens later this month.
The new rules include more lockdowns, quarantine measures and mask-wearing.
Taking to his YouTube channel, Russell passionately reacted to Australia’s handling of the Covid crisis.
Russell claimed that “you can’t move a muscle” in the country as he worried that civil liberties were being squashed, and he hailed the Covid powers handed to police to detain people as “terrifying”.
He said: “Limitless power no clear boundaries and the ability to detain – that is terrifying.
“You’re confronting something that sounds very unusual and fearful. This is not just Australia’s problem this could become the world’s problem.”
Civil rights groups in Australia have been fighting a national charter of human rights to protect peoples’ freedoms.
Responding to the new legislation by Victoria premier Dan Andrews, Russell said that he felt that it was difficult “not to feel a sense of justice stirred when you’re watching what is happening in Australia.”
Australia’s Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment passed through the house recently and will come into effect on December 16.
The new bill means the health minister will have the power to declare a pandemic despite being an unelected official, and launch fines of up to $21,909 (£11,813) and $454,350 (£244,797) for businesses who break the rules.
Russell went on to share a number of news articles and experiences from people in Australia before quoting Harley Hodgson – who quarantined at a camp for 14 days.
From The Grayzone, Russell quoted: “You feel like you’re in prison. Like you’ve done something wrong. It’s inhumane what they’re doing.”
Brand continued: “I suppose that the argument is that the coronavirus is so lethal that any measure necessary to protect human life must be taken.
“Some people would contest that brings to the forefront question about liberty, potential hypocrisy where we are not so concerned about this in other areas, and of the qualitative aspects of life.”
He suggested that the new rules are “divisive”, and that he wanted to see them through a “lens of human liberty, freedom and democracy”.
The podcaster also talked about the new rules being a “problem”.
He added: “Surely there should be some curtailment, some statute of limitations on how long these restrictions last, how they are enacted, whether they can be revoked.
“Playgrounds closed, increased policing, large fines, curfews, restrictions on freedom of movement, being stopped and questioned by police.
“Is there any situation you wouldn’t consider that a problem?”
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