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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and at least two dozen other protesters demonstrating at an energy conference in London were charged by British police Wednesday for violating public order, under a controversial law many say violates civil liberties, the Washington Post reported.

The 20-year-old Swedish climate activist was charged with “failing to comply with … the Public Order Act,” after being arrested blocking the entrance to the Energy Intelligence Forum, known as the “Oscars of oil,” the Guardian reported. She was released on bail and is to appear in court in mid-November.

Thunberg’s arrests also underscore how European governments have begun to crack down on climate protesters – she was also detained at protests in Sweden, Norway, and Germany this year.

The United Kingdom, however, has gone furthest in Western Europe to restrict and punish protesters, giving police new powers to block protests and arrest participants via the 2023 Public Order Act, critics say.

The country’s Conservative government says the police need to be able to prevent mass disruption. Over the past few years, for example, activists from Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil have shut down large parts of London.

Opponents, however, say the law severely restricts civil liberties, while United Nations officials have called it “deeply troubling,” with a “chilling effect” on “civic freedoms” and said it must be repealed.

Meanwhile, some environmental activist groups in the UK have refrained from disruptive tactics as a result of the law. But others shrug and say they are willing to be arrested.

Still, while the detained protesters face fines of around $3,000, foreigners in the UK such as Thunberg could be prevented from entering the country again.

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