P.Last April, while I was at the hospital awaiting my surgeon’s results, I was surprised to receive an email threatening to sue eter Dutton for defamation for a single tweet. I did not share my email his address with his attorney.
Since then my life has been complete hell.
I don’t remember much of what the surgeon said to me that day. All I could think of was this notice of concern I received from someone who is now the leader of the Liberal Party. How can I combat this? I didn’t have the funds.
this is. . .was a minister, a very wealthy and powerful person with parliamentary privileges Sued me, an unemployed refugee advocate, over a six-word deleted tweet that linked to a news report.
Thankfully, I was able to crowdfund Chuffed’s legal fees so I could properly defend this claim.
Since the news broke that Dutton sued me, my twitter I got more followers. I was lucky enough to have a modest following online and crowdfunding using my small platform. This is an opportunity not given to everyone. Property or popularity should not determine access to legal representation.
Unfortunately, in addition to the support and solidarity, I also received harassment From the time Dutton filed a lawsuit against me, through merciless online trolls. People on the far right have harassed me and my family by demanding deportation.
One particularly concerning example of harassment I experienced was by a white supremacist who was obsessed with me and my family for months. reported to the police. Ultimately, it was referred to the Security and Counter-Terrorism Command for investigation.
I also received harassing emails at my house.
It took a toll on my mental health. I have depression, anxiety and PTSD. Some days I couldn’t even get out of bed. Sadly, during this past year and a half, he has attempted suicide several times.
I have not made this clear before, but I am also a rape victim, so the subject of the lawsuit is very triggering and traumatic for me. was raped by a man This is another reason why I decided to fight this case. I speak out now because the bravery of many survivors in recent years has helped me find my voice and make some noise.
I hope my disclosure will help other survivors do the same.
I was unable to work due to these health issues. I incurred a large amount of debt and bills. Even with open suicidal thoughts, getting proper mental health can be very difficult. It is very expensive and the waiting list stretches for months. Mental health care should be free for all, with appropriate resources and readily available. It is a tragedy that it is not.
When I tried to find a job, I was knocked back out of the job because my employer expressed concern about a federal lawsuit and the possibility of a lawsuit in the Supreme Court.
Ultimately, on the legal side, in May of this year, a full bench of federal courts established me after finding on appeal that I did not defame Dutton. i wonBut that wasn’t the end of the story.
Dutton, even though I won he should not pay My attorney fees because I did the crowdfunding.
Notably, he proposed last October that taxpayers fund defamation lawsuits against MPs.workplace qualifications”.
In June, after my appeal was successful, Dutton Special Permission to Appeal to High CourtDuring this time, Dutton launched a PR campaign to portray Dutton as softer, kinder, and gentler as the new opposition leader. This was not the Dutton I know.
The issue with Dutton has been resolved. Last month, he withdrew his special leave application at the High Court. The entire court stamped an order ending the proceedings.
The end result was that I was vindicated by a full court of federal court certifying that I had not defamed him. Donated. None of that money went to Dutton.
I had promised to donate to charity, so I hoped to get the cost from him.
The law surrounding crowdfunding is still undecided and in the end, rather than risk losing the case and getting a cost order against me, or even further litigation in the High Court, I would rather settle the matter. have chosen to I don’t think I could have survived it.
I won my appeal, but I will try to deal with the personal effects and rebuild my life for the long haul. It takes a lot of time and effort.
A man who has built a career in politics builds a career in politics, orchestrating a brutal detention system, denigrating Lebanese Muslim immigrants, and stoking fear about “African Americans.” is an extraordinary experience. In 2008, he attacked the media and advocates, joked about rising sea levels in Pacific island nations, and boycotted an apology for a stolen generation.
Despite all this, Dutton claimed my single deleted tweet hurt his feelings.
The increasing trend of politicians suing for defamation, especially those seen as free speech fighters, raises genuine concerns about free speech. There must be some limits to that freedom, especially regarding hate speech, which should never be tolerated, but politicians should expect to be the subject of negative opinion.
Politicians who use defamation laws to stifle the expression of public opinion are a real cause for concern.
Politicians submit themselves for public scrutiny. They should expect to be judged for their actions, policies, commentaries and politics. It’s not a PR makeover stunt asking Australians to ignore decades of history in public life.
I may be one of the first civilians to be sued by a politician for defamation, but I doubt I will be the last. This can happen to anyone.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2022/oct/08/peter-dutton-suing-me-for-defamation-almost-ruined-me-and-it-could-happen-to-anyone Peter Dutton’s defamation lawsuit against me almost ruined me.Shane Batsy