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Bush hecklers barred from speech

Brown is cautioned by Andrew for his outburst during Bush's address.
Brown is cautioned by Andrew for his outburst during Bush's address.

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Facing criticism both inside and outside the Australian parliament, the President Bush defended the war in Iraq.
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CNN's Richard Quest talks to one of the senators who disrupted U.S. President Bush's address to the Australian parliament.
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Hu Jintao
George W. Bush
Bob Brown

CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) -- Two Australian senators who heckled U.S. President George W. Bush during his address to parliament were blocked from attending Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech to lawmakers.

Anti-war Australian Green Party senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle were barred entry to the parliament as the nation's lawmakers filed into the House of Representatives to hear Hu speak on Friday.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Neil Andrew banned the senators because of their protests during Bush's address on Thursday.

"Today is a shameful day and Neil Andrew should hang his head in shame for having orchestrated this denial of two senators representing many Australian people from a rightful seat in the chamber," Brown told reporters.

On Thursday, both senators were ordered ejected from parliament for heckling Bush's address.

But the American leader shrugged off the interruption and won applause by saying "I love free speech as the senators were ordered out of the chamber.

Both Brown and Nettle refused to leave. Brown even shook Bush's hand after the address that was capped by a standing ovation while Nettle tried to pass the U.S. president some papers, which Bush refused.

Brown -- an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and a campaigner to have two Australian nationals held at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay returned to Australia -- interrupted Bush as the president was talking about the end of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

"I didn't shout anything, I spoke very loudly so that President Bush got the message about the two Australians who are illegally held at Guantanamo Bay after President Bush repatriated the four Americans from that hell hole," Brown told CNN.

"But I did say to President Bush, 'Respect Australia. Return the Australians to this nation for justice and if you respect the world's laws, the world will respect you.'"

Prime Minister John Howard labeled Brown's outbursts "something of an embarrassment."

"Bob Brown did it quite deliberately," Howard said in a radio interview. "It was a politically contrived stunt."

Several Australian lawmakers have protested that Hu, who leads communist China, is being accorded the same honor as Bush in addressing parliament.

Those lawmakers have aired reservations about the Hu address because of China's policies towards Tibet and its human rights record.

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