Australian Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi announced Wednesday that she filed proceedings in the Federal Court against One Nation leader Pauline Hanson over one of Hanson’s tweets, which Faruqi alleges breached the Racial Discrimination Act.
Section 18C of the act prohibits “offensive behaviour based on racial hatred”, with offensive behaviour being defined as acts that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” another based on race or ethnic origin.
Faruqi tweeted in September 2022 that she would not mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II due to the British Empire being “racist” and built to the detriment of colonised people. In the same tweet, Farqui called for a treaty with the First Nations people of Australia. Hanson responded to this tweet by stating that Faruqi had taken advantage of the opportunities in Australia but still wasn’t happy and told Faruqi to “pack your bags and piss off back to Pakistan”. Faruqi labelled the tweet “insulting and humiliating” and said that she was “drawing a line in the sand”.
This action follows the Greens party moving to censure Hanson for her comments on September 27, 2022. Censure motions are an expression of disapproval from the Senate when dissatisfactory performance is found. However, the motion was amended; Hanson’s name and comments were removed from it and generally respectful debate was instead called for.
Faruqi then lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission, but no outcome was reached.