Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has congratulated the Australians who are in Malaysia supporting thousands of locals protesting against the construction of an Australian toxic rare earth refinery plant near a city of 600,000 people.
The processing plant being built by Australian miner Lynas Corporation has met with strong resistance from locals with protests as big as 15 000.
"I am concerned about the 16 locals arrested during yesterday's peaceful protests including Australian Natalie Lowrey who has been detained for over 24 hours," said Senator Rhiannon.
"I understand that two of the protesters were beaten by the local police and one is still in hospital.
"The Malaysian government would be wise to respect the right of people to protest and to immediately release Ms Lowrey and all those detained.
"I spoke to Ms Lowrey's lawyers in the early hours of the morning. I am in touch with Ms Lowrey's colleagues and I will continue to monitor her detainment.
"Ms Lowrey has been a long time campaigner against the Lynas rare earth processing plant situated 25km from the town of Kuantan in Malaysia.
"There is grave concern that this plant will generate toxic and radioactive waste and there is still no waste management plan from the company.
"The Greens have long advocated for the rare earths mined in Australia to be processed and the resulting waste to be managed here.
"It is truly shameful that an Australian company has shipped all the dangers associated with its business to a less wealthy neighbour.
"Over the years I have met a number of the Lynas protesters. Their resolve is so strong that I have no doubt there will continue to oppose this plant until Lynas closes its doors and leaves the country," said Senator Rhiannon.
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