At the disappointing news that the Senate tonight passed the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill and the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill, Claire O’Rourke, External Affairs Director at Amnesty International Australia, said:
“In passing these draconian laws, both sides of Australian politics have thrown our rights and freedoms under the bus.
“Unbelievably, the Australian Parliament has today made it a crime for charities to expose human rights violations, and to communicate with the United Nations about those violations.
“While we welcome the amendments made to the Foreign Interest Transparency Scheme Bill, so that charities won’t have to register as foreign agents, it’s nevertheless alarming that charities can still be prosecuted under the Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill.
“We are dismayed that Australia, a country that claims to cherish its freedoms, has taken this leap towards authoritarianism.
“But we will not be silenced by the threat of prison – we will continue to hold Australia to account on its human rights record.”