As video of a racial abuse incident aboard a Melbourne bus goes viral, a YouTube user identified as the French woman targeted by the abuse said it could happen anywhere.
"I don't want to fuel hatred or anything, I will not judge Australians or foreigners on the same one and the same person," a poster called "Fanny0403" wrote.
The quote was attributed by AAP to Fanny Desaintjores, the 22-year-old French woman who was subjected to the racist tirade.
"We find idiots everywhere, even in France, this man was alcolisé, I didn't understand everything, but I preferred to keep quiet," she wrote.
"It was an incident that couldï»¿ happen anywhere even in France so I don't judge you in any country. Just the dangers of alcohol and drugs."
She signed off " The French girl on the bus".
Police are now actively searching for those captured in the video.
Acting Sergeant Julie-Anne Newman from Victoria Police said the incident was only reported to police today.
“Transit and Public Safety Command detectives are investigating a report that two men and a woman made verbal threats and racist taunts towards a group of women travelling on a bus on Remembrance Day,” she said.
“A witness was able to video-record some of the incident with a mobile phone and has provided the footage to investigators”
SBS understands that more video captured by witness Mike Nayna, not included in his version on YouTube, has also been provided to police.
Mr Nayna told SBS News that before he was able to remove his personal phone numbers from his YouTube channel, which he runs with his stand-up comedy partner, they themselves received harassing and abusive phone calls.
“They just rang up and yelled 'c***' and hung up,” he said.
His YouTube video had only 301 views on Tuesday. Today, it has close to a million.
A CRIMINAL OFFENCE?
Dr Anna Chapman from Melbourne University's School of Law is a racial discrimination expert.
“The act is called the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, Victoria 2001 and there have been very few criminal prosecutions, but none the less there are [criminal] provisions,” she said.
“There are two aspects to the criminal offence, the offender must know their conduct is liable to incite hatred and the offender has to threaten physical harm to the person or their property.
“From what I've seen [in the video], there is certainly the threat of physical harm to her. It looks like there is probably a criminal offence here.”
Dr Chapman said the statute provides a maximum penalty of around $8,400 dollars and/or six months prison.
Investigators are appealing for anyone who was involved in the incident or has any information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.