Far-right activist Lauren Southern has had her visa declined by the Australian government ahead of an upcoming national speaking tour.
Hours before the 23-year-old was due to fly over her Electronic Travel Authority was declined, something Southern cited as one of the many “unprecedented” hurdles the government put up to stop her entering the country, according to news.com.au.
“We’ve been told [by our immigration lawyers] that it’s unprecedented,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
“But I’m not surprised they are dragging out the process. There are so many people that are offended by debate and free speech that sometimes governments cower, it’s just way easier to play into the hands of people who are totalitarian.”
The political commentator has previously come under fire for outspoken criticism of radical Islam.
In 2016, she pretended to be trans while reporting on a university rally against a professor’s anti-trans comments, and took to the microphone to defend the professor before being shut down.
And in March this year, she was banned from entering the UK after distributing flyers claiming that Allah was a gay and trans God, before she defended herself by claiming it was part of a social experiment.
On Twitter, she said she was trying to prove Islam to be a homophobic religion by provoking British Muslims.
Southern said her visa being declined set a “very scary precedent for free speech”.
“I have criticised radical Islam, I have criticised the increasing blasphemy laws that are being brought into our societies,” she said.
“You won’t see Christians violently attacking people for criticising their religion like you do with Islam.”
Speaking to Sky News, Cory Bernardi said he suspected “there is a little bit of political interference, because people sometimes don’t like what she has to say”.