By Susan Price

United Australian Palestinian Workers condemns the Australian government's refusal to grant Leila Khaled a visa for the Ecosocialism 2024 Conference in Perth. It is an outrage and a direct attack on free speech and human rights.

Khaled is a fearless advocate for justice, recognized worldwide for her tireless work in defending human rights. The government's decision, particularly in the face of ongoing atrocities in Gaza, is an egregious injustice.

Palestinian activists like Khaled face immense obstacles in getting their voices heard on the global stage. It is absolutely essential that she be allowed to speak out on behalf of her people, who are enduring unspeakable suffering and oppression.

We vehemently condemn the Australian government's cowardly decision to silence Palestinian voices. Khaled's past resistance efforts should not overshadow her ongoing dedication to peace and justice.

It is utterly hypocritical for the government to deny her a visa while welcoming individuals with far bloodier histories. Allowing Khaled to speak at the conference would demonstrate Australia's commitment to freedom of expression and human rights. Anything less is a betrayal of our principles and a barrier to achieving true peace and justice in the region.

Bashir Sawalha is President of the United Australian Palestinian Workers.

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