Pirate Party Australia are ecstatic over the decision of the Ecuadorian Government to provide political asylum to Australian journalist Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower-centric media organisation.
The Party remains extremely dissatisfied with the Australian Government’s lack of support for the journalist. Mr. Assange was to be extradited from the United Kingdom to Sweden for questioning over sexual abuse allegations, but broke his bail conditions by applying for asylum and staying at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“Why has Ecuador, a nation with a poor record for respecting press freedom, accepted an asylum application from an Australian citizen, while our own government has continually refused to provide any form of assistance to Julian Assange?” asked David W. Campbell, President of Pirate Party Australia.
“Pirate Party Australia demands an inquiry into the reasons that compelled an Australian citizen to apply for political asylum – and in fact be accepted as a political refugee – in Ecuador rather than his own country.”
Reports indicate that the British Government will refuse to grant him safe passage from the country, and are still intent on extradition. Mr. Assange fears that extradition to Sweden would ultimately lead to extradition to the United States, where he will suffer political persecution following Mr. Assange’s alleged part in the disclosure of US state secrets in an incident known as Cablegate.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, has publicly said that there is no evidence that the US planned to seek extradition. However, Ecuador claims they have requested information on this matter and the US has refused to assure them that no extradition will be sought.
“The British Government’s threat to revoke the Ecuadorian embassy’s status and the failure of the British, Swedish or American Governments to provide any protection or guarantees for Julian Assange, demonstrates the unprecedented pressure both Assange and the Ecuadorian Government have been placed under,” continued Mr Campbell.