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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 the Australian Federal Police to leave Parliament House in Canberra yesterday or face arrest if he refused to do so.

Famous for his confrontational style of protesting, sharp criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping and China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, Pavlou had been in Parliament to meet with MPs and senators on Parliament’s intelligence committee.

A video of the incident, posted by Pavlou on 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” person and an “active protester” and must leave or he would trespass.

He can be heard in the video saying that he had no intention of protesting in Parliament and was only there 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 protesting often 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 legal activism is being cited as a reason why he was not allowed into areas of the Parliament building open to the public, particularly as he held bipartisan meetings in the secure area of ​​the building without incident.”

An AFP spokesman confirmed they had “engaged a man in Parliament House yesterday who then left the building voluntarily”, but declined to say why he was asked to leave.

“No arrests were made as a result of this incident. There will be no further comment on the case, says the spokesman.

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

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

Australian human rights activist Drew Pavlou at Wimbledon.

Australian human rights activist Drew Pavlou at Wimbledon.Credit:ON

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

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