By Susan Price

Dr Reihana Mohideen, University of Melbourne: It’s outrageous that Leila Khaled, a living symbol of the Palestinian people's struggle against occupation and for a free Palestine, will be refused a visa to attend and speak at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference in Perth.

Leila Khaled is a freedom fighter, not a terrorist. Leila Khaled is also a symbol of heroism for feminists in the Global South. Denying her a visa is also an affront to these feminist activists.

The fact that Leila Khaled’s visa is being denied when a genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people, by Israel and backed by the United States, is another example of the Australian government’s complicity in this genocide.

Meanwhile the Australian government invites the authoritarian, far-right, corrupt and elitist Philippines President Marcos Jnr to address the Australian parliament, a slap in the face for the Filipino people who are struggling against the extra-judicial killings and persecution of union, women, indigenous, environmental, human rights and other progressive activists in the Philippines.

The message is clear. The Australian Labor government supports and welcomes human rights violators and those responsible for genocide. While Palestinian, freedom fighting feminists, are considered to be their enemy.

Dr Reihana Mohideen