No Jail Time for Abbott Headbutter

Target: Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Drop charges against Astro Labe.

Australian man Astro Labe could now face up to a decade behind bars, after charges related to headbutting former prime minister Tony Abbott were upgraded. Prosecutors have announced Labe’s original charge of common assault has been amended to causing harm to a Commonwealth public official. While the original charge carried a maximum penalty of an AU$2800 (US$2200) fine or 12 months imprisonment, the new charge could see Labe imprisoned for up to 10 years.

The charges stem from Labe’s headbutting of Abbott in September. Labe approached the former prime minister on a street in Hobart, and allegedly struck Abbott with a single headbutt. Abbott himself has downplayed the incident, claiming Labe left him with no serious injuries. “The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip,” Abbott told media shortly after the incident. At the time, Abbott had no clear signs of visible injury.

Labe has admitted his role in the incident, and said he “seized the moment” to strike Abbott because, “I believe in human rights.”

“That’s largely why I hate Tony Abbott because he doesn’t believe in any human rights,” he said at the time.

During his time as prime minister from 2013 to 1015, Abbott’s government was mired in allegations of human rights abuses towards refugees and asylum seekers. In late 1014, a United Nations report concluded that under Abbott, conditions in Australia’s offshore asylum seeker detention centers were tantamount to torture.

“The government of Australia, by failing to provide adequate detention conditions; end the practice of detention of children; and put a stop to the escalating violence and tension at the regional processing center, has violated the right of the asylum seekers including children to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the report concluded.

At the time, Abbott responded to the report by claiming Australians are “sick of being lectured to by the United Nations.”

If you’re sick of excessive charges against people who headbutt former heads of state accused of human rights abuses, sign this petition.


Dear Tony Abbott,

From eating raw onions to threatening to shirtfront Russian President Vladimir Putin, your political persona was always laced with macho and bravado. Now, a man is facing up to a decade behind bars for giving you a sore lip.

“Now he wasn’t very good at it I’ve gotta say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip,” you stated shortly after being headbutted by North Hobart man Astro Labe.

Labe is being charged with one count of causing harm to a Commonwealth public official. This charge is only applicable due to your former political position, and he would be facing no more than a year of jail time if he’d struck any ordinary Australian. In other words, you’re hiding behind a special law for politicians to inflict an excessive penalty on Labe. That’s not very manly of you, Tony.

Ten years behind bars for a busted lip is clearly excessive, and in a just world Labe would be slapped with community service or a small fine. Instead, his life could be about to be ruined over his in-the-moment, ill-advised political statement. We call on you to be the bigger man, and drop charges against Labe.

Use your head and give him a fair go.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Screen Capture

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    free this man.

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