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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2255


Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (13:36): Australia has a proud history of passionate political expression, and last week, when Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, threatened to 'beat up' Australians who protest his visit to the ASEAN summit in Sydney next month, he was rightly condemned by thousands of Australians both within and outside the Australian Cambodian community. Let me be absolutely clear: while Hun Sen continues to imprison numbers of Cambodia's pro-democracy movement, while Hun Sen continues to order human rights violations and while Hun Sen continues to suppress the right of Cambodians to participate in free and fair elections then Australians, including Cambodian Australians and including Labor Party members of parliament, will criticise him.

I will not stand by while Hun Sen threatens to assault members of the Cambodian Australian community, a proud community of Australian citizens who have stood tall against intimidation and harassment by the Hun Sen regime. When Hun Sen arrives in Sydney next month he should expect protesters, because Australians do not accept political intimidation. Australia's democratic tradition means we speak out. I speak out to call on Hun Sen to end the oppression of journalists and human rights activists, and to pursue reforms that respect the rights of his people and respect fundamental principles of free democracy, and I call on the Turnbull government to make these points clearly and firmly right now, as well as at the ASEAN summit.