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Drew Pavlou, a 23-year-old activist, former Senate candidate and outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was ordered by Australian Federal Police to leave Parliament House in Canberra yesterday or face arrest if he refused to do so.

Renowned for his confrontational style of protesting, trenchant criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping and China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, Pavlou had been at Parliament House to meet with MPs and senators on the parliament’s intelligence committee.

A video of the incident, posted by Pavlou to social media, shows him being approached by AFP officers at the Queen’s Terrace cafe – a publicly accessible part of the building – and told he was a “high risk” individual and an “active protestor” and must leave or he would be trespassing.

He can be heard in the video saying he had no intention to protest at the Parliament and was there only to meet MPs.

Liberal Senator James Paterson, who had met with Pavlou earlier in the day, said he was concerned the activist’s removal was an overreach.

“Australian citizens who protest frequently visit Parliament House for meetings, including union officials and environmental activists, without being asked to leave by the AFP,” Paterson said.


“I am concerned that Mr Pavlou’s lawful activism is being cited as a reason why he was not permitted in areas of Parliament House open to the public, particularly as he had bipartisan meetings in the secure area of the building without incident.”

A spokesperson for the AFP confirmed they had “engaged a male at Parliament House yesterday who then departed the building voluntarily”, but declined to say why he was instructed to leave.

“No arrests were made as a result of this incident. No further comment will be made on this matter,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this year, Pavlou was evicted from the Wimbledon men’s final for staging a centre court protest over the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of women’s tennis player Peng Shuai.

During the 2022 federal election campaign, while running as a candidate for the Queensland Senate, Pavlou took a “F— Xi Jinping” sign to a shopping centre in a heavily Chinese part of Sydney, sparking a confrontation with locals and drawing the attention of police.

Australian human right advocate Drew Pavlou at Wimbledon.Credit:PA

On another occasion, Pavlou and others disrupted a campaign event for then-Liberal MP Gladys Liu, who was showered with fake Chinese yuan while Pavlou shouted about Hong Kong.

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