Senate debates

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Questions without Notice


2:59 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I certainly am, and I have no doubt that all senators would be, deeply concerned with the reports of Australians, here in Australia, being harassed for their participation in protests and the reported threats made against their families in Iran.

Of course, the right to peaceful protest is at the heart of Australia's democracy. Our concerns were relayed in no uncertain terms to the Iranian charge d'affaires this morning, and the Department of Home Affairs Counter Foreign Interference Coordination Centre is working with the community to conduct targeted engagement on foreign interference.

My message to anyone involved in such activities is this: Australia's laws on foreign interference are unequivocal. Allegations of foreign interference are investigated, and we will prosecute if appropriate. We will defend our democracy and people's right to protest and express their views within Australia just as we stand up for the rights of those to do so elsewhere. (Time expired)


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