Activists pay a heavy price for speaking up against the Chinese government’s human rights abuses. Amnesty International has documented the various types of harassment faced by Uyghurs living overseas as part of the Chinese government’s effort to silence dissent.
Amnesty International has written to Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong about human rights activist Drew Pavlou, who was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London last Thursday. He had staged a protest at the Chinese embassy when the Metropolitan Police arrested him over an alleged bomb threat sent to the embassy from an email under his name.
Framing peaceful protests as threats to national security and sending fake emails are common tactics used by the Chinese government against Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers. Mr Pavlou believes the fake email address was designed to frame him for his activism. According to his lawyer, circumstantial evidence suggests his client is a victim of a set-up by the Chinese state.
Amnesty International is concerned about the well-being of the 23-year-old activist who has received many threatening messages since the news broke about the false bomb threat.
We urge the Australian government to offer Mr Pavlou every assistance for his safe return to Australia as quickly as possible and ensure his fundamental rights are protected, particularly given the claims made about how he was treated during the arrest and detention.
We also ask for a thorough investigation into the matter.