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Magistrate drops bail conditions for UNSW’s SRC education officer Cherish Kuehlmann  

Student activist and SRC education officer, Cherish Kuehlmann, has challenged her bail conditions in court this morning and won.  

In late February, Kuehlmann was charged with ‘aggravated entry on enclosed land’ after participating in a 30-person protest at Commonwealth Bank. The charge carries a maximum penalty of $5,500.  

Magistrate Clare Farnan dismissed her bail conditions and said, “the police want [her] to maintain a 2km radius from Town Hall in case she attends a protest? There are lawful protests that members of the community are lawfully entitled to attend… she can continue to engage in with activism, which is her democratic right.” 

Farnan cited the bail conditions as “inappropriate” and told the court that there was no reason for the NSW Police to impose bail, given Kuehlmann had no prior convictions.  

Kuehlmann said, “The NSW Police wanted to set a precedent by slapping activists with trumped up charged with harsh bail conditions to crack down on protest.” 

In a letter to the Magistrate, Kuehlmann outlined that the bail conditions did not only restrict her role as SRC education officer and an active socialist, but had a considerable impact on her personal life and ability to conduct her job to the full extent.  

A media release from Kuehlmann’s team stated, “protesters claim Cherish’s arrest is part of a broader pattern of police harassment and crackdown on peaceful protest in NSW.” 

Thousands of people rallied around Cherish through an online petition that requested the police to drop the charges.  

The Nation Union of Students (NUS) also wrote in a letter of support for Cherish, which states, “The NUS is not able to effectively advocate for all students when their elected representatives are not able to attend events and meetings where required”. 

Outside the court, Cherish’s lawyer Sidnie Sarang said,” It hampers her entire livelihood. She already missed the Mardi gras parade. I am already worried about what she will miss out on this year”. 

Editor: Anh Noel