London police respond to arrest of Australian activist on bomb threat charges

Australian human rights activist Drew Pavlow was arrested and subsequently released by London police in connection with an alleged fake bomb threat emailed to the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Pavlu, 23, was arrested while holding a “small, peaceful human rights protest” outside the Chinese Embassy in London to promote human rights .
After trying to glue his hand and at the embassy gate, Mr Pavlou said he was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police for allegedly emailing the embassy a fake bomb threat.
A statement from the London Metropolitan Police said the man was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of breaking into diplomatic premises, making a false bomb threat and criminal damages.
According to Mr. Pavlow, police officers told him that the Chinese embassy had filed a report on the email he received, which said: “This is Drew Pavlow, you have until 12:00 noon to stop the Uyghur genocide or I will blow up the embassy.” bombshell, regards, Drew. “
Mr. Pavlu “vociferously denied” sending the email, pointing to previous alleged instances of fake emails sent to government officials using his name.
“Why would I give up my whole life… to go to the Chinese embassy and hold a peaceful protest, and then send a message about a planted bomb with my name?” Mr Pavlu told SBS News.

“It’s just crazy. Nobody will ever believe it.”

The Metropolitan Police said the man, whose identity cannot be identified on their application but matches the location of Mr. Pavlu’s arrest, was offered legal advice and an on-call lawyer at 8:00 pm that same day.
But Mr Pavlu said he was denied the right to speak to any lawyer or his lawyer, Michael Pollack, as well as to the Australian consular authorities, because it was past midnight.
“Hours went by, and hours, and hours, and they just said, ‘The duty attorney didn’t answer your calls,’” he said.

Mr. Pavlov was detained for almost 24 hours and released at almost 4:00 pm the next day.

Close-up of Drew in a black t-shirt and glasses.

Human rights activist Drew Pavlow was arrested in the UK and released after a protest he held outside the Chinese Embassy in London. Source: Getty / AFP / Patrick Hamilton

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the government had offered consular assistance to Mr. Pavel.

“Officers of the Australian High Commission in London will be taking up Mr Pavel’s claim that he was denied access to the consulate before he was released to UK authorities,” a DFAT spokesman said.
“Due to our confidentiality obligations, we are unable to provide further information.”
Mr Pavlou said the consular authorities had been “a great help” but remained concerned about his future.
“This is just a black mark on my reputation forever. This is the darkest thing that has ever happened to me.”

He said that although his passport had been returned, he had been urged to remain in the United Kingdom until 14 August, when he had to report to the police station.

“Holiday from Hell”

Mr. Pavlu went to London about ,
where she described claims of her silence as “a huge misunderstanding” and that she “never disappeared”.
“It was supposed to be a week-long vacation to help support Peng Shuai’s Wimbledon campaign. Talk about a vacation from hell,” Mr. Pavlow said.

CEO and co-founder of renowned Hong Kong Watch group Benedict Rogers echoed Mr Pavla, describing the Australian experience as “a totally absurd and outrageous injustice”.

“@DrewPavlou is a totally peaceful young man who heroically dedicates his energies to highlighting the #Uyghur genocide, #Tibet, the elimination of freedoms #Hong Kong and the #CCP’s repression in China,” Rogers tweeted.
“He needs to be applauded, not arrested.”

SBS News has contacted the Chinese Embassy in the UK for comment.