Pavlou renews fight with Chinese diplomat

Drew Pavlou alleges China's former Brisbane consul-general started a harassment campaign against him.

Drew Pavlou alleges China's former Brisbane consul-general started a harassment campaign against him. Photo: AAP

Even if Drew Pavlou wins what he believes is a landmark case against a Chinese diplomat, the activist says it won’t stop the bomb threats.

However the human rights campaigner hopes a protection order against Xu Jie is successful, saying China’s ex-Brisbane consul-general started a brutal, systematic harassment campaign against him.

“The Chinese Communist Party has been behind an extended campaign to brutally go against me and my family,” Mr Pavlou said.

“My younger brother has been targeted with bomb threats, my family have continued to be targeted with death threats, I have been assaulted multiple times on Australian streets.

“Sadly I can’t even post (on social media) where I will be in advance for fear of being targeted with bomb threats.”

Mr Pavlou on Friday launched a Brisbane District Court appeal after his Peace and Good Behaviour Act application against Dr Xu was dismissed in August 2020.

The complaint two years ago followed a July 2019 protest at University of Queensland in which Mr Pavlou was twice assaulted.

Dr Xu issued a press release after the confrontation, which Mr Pavlou said incited violence against him.

Drew Pavlou says former Brisbane consul-general Dr Xu Jie issued a press release after the confrontation at Queensland University which incited violence against him. Photo: Getty

Mr Pavlou was unsuccessful in court two years ago after a Brisbane magistrate ruled Dr Xu had diplomatic immunity.

However he has launched the appeal after seeking legal advice from international experts even though Dr Xu is no longer Brisbane consul-general or in Australia.

Dr Xu did not appear on Friday.

‘Brutal campaign of harassment’

“It’s the principle. I think the court should issue an order against him to make clear such conduct is unacceptable … even if Xu Jie has left the country,” Mr Pavlou said.

“His statement … that really did act as the starting gun to the extended and at times brutal campaign of harassment me and my family have received in Australia.”

Mr Pavlou praised his lawyers Andrew Stumer and Mark Tarrant but did not expect to win, saying it did not sound like Judge Bernard Porter considered Xu Jie an ongoing threat to him.

“He is drawing a distinction between Xu Jie the individual and the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

“I personally believe Xu Jie was acting as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party.

“The ongoing threats that I face from the Chinese Communist Party are quite significant and I think his statement really was the … dog whistle.”

Judge reserves his decision

After Friday’s hearing, Judge Porter reserved his decision until a later date.

“It’s a legally difficult question but the judge is dealing with it in a very professional manner so I am very thankful,” Mr Pavlou said.

“If he does conclude Xu Jie as an individual represents no threat to me I would respect the decision.”

Even if he is not successful, Mr Pavlou believed his matter was still a “landmark case”.

“The fact the judge is going to write a detailed judgment and will very likely make commentary on Xu Jie and the statement … is significant,” he said.

No matter the result, Mr Pavlou says the harassment won’t stop.

He said his family had endured dozens of bomb and death threats as well as efforts to defame them in the past year alone.

“Whatever way the decision goes, sadly I think that … extended campaign of harassment towards my family will continue.”


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