Fake Email Tactics Used by Repressive States

The arrest of human rights activist Drew Pavlou in London has put a spotlight on the Chinese regime’s tactics used for suppressing dissenting views.

Australian activist Drew Pavlou is a vocal critic of the Chinese regime. He came to the UK to protest at the Wimbledon Tennis finals. He joined others wearing “Where’s Peng Shuai?” T-shirts to raise awareness for the missing Chinese tennis player.

London’s Met Police arrested him following a fake bomb threat email, which the Chinese embassy says was sent to them from an account matching his name. He described how he was handcuffed in a painful position, denied legal representation and not allowed to contact anyone.

Pavlou says he’s been sent death threats on social media as well.

He’s now on bail. Pavlou and his barrister are calling for an investigation into the Chinese embassy’s involvement.

It raises questions about the Metropolitan Police’s judgment of  Pavlou’s case. They appear to have taken the hoax bomb email at face value.

NTD heard from a campaigner who says such fake email threats are part of a wider effort of transnational repression by authoritarian regimes.