Australian government offers consular assistance to activist arrested at Chinese embassy protest in London

The federal government has offered consular assistance to Australian human rights activist Drew Pavlou after he was arrested and subsequently released by police following a protest outside the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom.
Mr Pavlou, 23, said he was arrested after staging a “small peaceful human rights protest” outside the Chinese embassy in London to defend the rights of .
After attempting to glue his hand and the to the embassy gate, Mr Pavlou said London’s Metropolitan Police arrested him for allegedly sending a bomb threat to the embassy in an email.
According to Mr Pavlou, police officers told him that the Chinese embassy filed a report about an email it received that read: “This is Drew Pavlou you have until 12 PM to stop the Uyghur Genocide or I blow up the embassy with a bomb regards Drew.”
Mr Pavlou “vociferously denied” sending the email, pointing to previous alleged instances of fake emails using his name being sent to government officials.
He said he was denied his right to speak with solicitors or his barrister, Michael Pollack, as well as Australian consular authorities as it was past midnight.
“This is insanity. Just utter madness. I have no idea what to do,” Mr Pavlou said in a statement released to SBS News on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed to SBS News that it had offered consular assistance to Mr Pavlou, who was arrested and then subsequently released.

Mr Pavlou said he was detained for 23 hours before being released at 3pm the next day.

“Officials from Australia’s High Commission in London will raise Mr Pavlou’s claim that he was denied consular access before being released with UK authorities,” the DFAT spokesperson

“Owing to our privacy obligations, we cannot provide further details.”

Mr Pavlou said that while his passport was returned, he was strongly recommended to remain in the UK until 14 August when he is required to attend the police station.

Mr Pavlou travelled to London about ,
, where she described the claims of her silence as a “huge misunderstanding” and that she “never disappeared”.
“This was supposed to be a one-week holiday to help support the Wimbledon Peng Shuai campaign. Talk about a holiday from hell,” Mr Pavlou said.

Chief executive and co-founder of prominent group Hong Kong Watch Benedict Rogers has thrown support behind Mr Pavlou, describing Mr Pavlou’s experience as a “totally absurd and outrageous injustice”.

“@DrewPavlou is a totally peaceful young man who heroically devotes his energies to highlighting #UyghurGenocide, #Tibet, the dismantling of #HongKong’s freedoms & #China’s #CCP repression,” Mr Rogers tweeted.
“He should be applauded, not arrested.”

SBS News has requested comment from London’s Metropolitan Police and the Chinese embassy in the UK.

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