In an attempt to get a real response for once, this letter has been sent to each person listed below via snail mail. We truly look forward to their response.
The Honourable Julia Gillard, MP, Prime Minister of Australia,
Senator The Honourable Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
The Honourable Nicola Roxon, MP, Attorney-General of Australia,
The Honourable Kevin Rudd, MP, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs,
I am writing to you today on behalf of Pirate Party Australia to express our disgust at this Government’s continued abject failure to act regarding the political safety of one of our citizens, Mr Julian Assange.
We are extremely disappointed that Mr Assange has had to seek asylum with a foreign government, and would like to know why there has been no intervention on his behalf. We understand that the UK police have a warrant for his arrest on the grounds that Mr Assange has broken his bail conditions by seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. We also understand that he is merely wanted for questioning in Sweden, and has offered numerous times to comply with investigations, both while in Stockholm, and via video link from the United Kingdom.
It appears very suspicious that an individual who has achieved a high degree of notoriety for exposing ‘sensitive’ documents and raising the bar of accountability for all governments around the world should be pursued so rigorously for something so slight as questioning for allegations of sexual assault. Swedish authorities have exploited the European arrest warrant system, and all the while the allegations have not been substantiated. Extradition in this case is both abnormal and unnecessary.
This issue has been handled abysmally by the current government. The initial knee-jerk statement by the Prime Minister that Mr Assange is a criminal was unfounded and irresponsible, and recent comments by both the Attorney-General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs exemplify the Government’s inaction over the fate of an Australian citizen. Why should Ecuador pick up the slack for us? If the government of Ecuador is considering granting Mr Assange political asylum, why hasn’t our government already extended the offer?
Pirate Party Australia and many other activist groups believe that Mr Assange’s future should not be placed in jeopardy. Through his work with Wikileaks, Mr Assange has brought to light many concerning aspects of modern government. By publishing leaked documents, he has not placed lives at risk – it is those who have concealed this information that must be held accountable and accept responsibility for their actions. Democracy should operate on transparency. The citizens of the world have the right to know what their elected representatives are doing in their names.
While we recognise that there is no solid evidence to indicate the extradition requests by Sweden are politically motivated, there is great concern that Mr Assange’s situation is not as straightforward as claimed. If he is not being prosecuted, why is he being pursued so aggressively? Why was an Interpol Red Notice issued if he is not a fugitive?
We implore the Government to speak up on behalf of Mr Assange and to demand an end to the circus that the situation has become. He has already endured appalling treatment, being placed under house arrest for more than eighteen months, and has a tarnished reputation as a result of unproved allegations. He should not be treated this way, and we should not be made to watch foreign governments toy with one of our citizens.
It is time for the elected representatives of all Australians to stand up.
Pirate Party Australia