Australian government offers consular assistance to activist arrested during protest at Chinese Embassy 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 UK.
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 trying to stick his hand and the at the embassy gate, Mr Pavlou said the Metropolitan Police in London 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 had filed a report on an e-mail she had received which said: “It’s Drew Pavlou, you have until noon to arrest the Uyghur genocide or I blow up the embassy with a bomb.”
Mr Pavlou “vehemently denied” sending the email, pointing to previous alleged cases of fake emails using his name being sent to government officials.
He said he was denied the right to speak to lawyers or his lawyer, Michael Pollack, and Australian consular authorities because it was past midnight.
“This is madness. Just utter madness. I don’t know what to do,” Pavlou said in a statement to SBS News on Saturday.
A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said they “do not confirm or comment on the identity of anyone arrested who has not been charged with a criminal offence”.
“The Met adheres to strict codes of practice under the Policing and Criminal Evidence Act in relation to the detention of persons in police custody,” the spokesperson said.
“Anyone wishing to complain about their treatment by the Metropolitan Police can contact the Met’s Professional Standards Branch or the UK Independent Office for Police Conduct.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed to SBS News that they offered consular assistance to Mr. Pavlou, who was arrested and later released.

Mr Pavlou said he was detained for 23 hours before being released at 3 p.m. the following day.

“Officials from the Australian High Commission in London will raise Mr Pavlou’s claim that he was denied consular access prior to his release with UK authorities,” the spokesperson said. DFAT.

“Due to our confidentiality obligations, we cannot provide further details.”

Mr Pavlou said that although his passport had been returned, he had been strongly advised to stay in the UK until August 14, when he was due to report to the police station.

Mr. Pavlou traveled to London on ,
where she described claims of her silence as a “huge misunderstanding” and that she “never went away”.
“It was supposed to be a one week vacation to help support the Wimbledon Peng Shuai campaign. Talk about a vacation from hell,” Mr Pavlou said.

The chief executive and co-founder of leading group Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, threw his 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 bringing to light #UyghurGenocide, #Tibet, the dismantling of #HongKong freedoms and the crackdown on the #CCP in #China,” Rogers tweeted.
“He should be applauded, not stopped.”

SBS News has requested comment from the Chinese Embassy in the UK.

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