Pirate Party Australia is disappointed, but not surprised, by the latest Assange revelations.

Julian Assange has been charged under seal by the US Government, confirming what has been long suspected.

As the result of a cut-and-paste error [1], the US Government has revealed what was suspected all along – that the US Government has been secretly working to prosecute Assange to the full extent of their available laws. Assange has claimed this all along, and this new evidence shows his concerns were justified.

The Pirate Party supports all whistleblowers. Wikileaks publications have assisted in revealing government crimes, distortions and public lies, where the US Government has been known to hide inconvenient truths under the cover of security.

Daniel Elsberg, who published the “Pentagon Papers”, is now generally recognised as a courageous figure and supports Assange. His analysis was that the US military and intelligence apparatus frequently deluded themselves about realities of the Vietnam War because they were living in a security bubble, and when they did properly recognise a truth, they withheld it from the US public for political rather than security reasons. We find it difficult to believe that institutions would suddenly become so ethical as to now be above abusing security for other reasons.

This attempt to charge Assange for publishing leaks undermines the integrity of the press, who have often published leaked material in the public interest. Elsberg is a classic case. Further, the US media has leaked material that would have been classified in a foreign country. To charge Assange would put papers such as the New York Times in the same boat. Needless to say, selective enforcement is part and parcel of Government, but we can try to keep a lid on extreme examples. The integrity of the press remains a moral issue, one that has been identified by Edward Snowden. It also appears to be a US constitutional issue, though this is of course a matter for the US.

Assange has been left to rot by the Australian Government. Not a word nor a statement except when the PM laughed off a plea for support [2], in spite of the millions of people in Australia and all over the world who are closely watching these developments. There are millions of all of us that are in full support of Julian given his grave situation.

We do not deny that Assange has been accused of sexual crimes. Nevertheless, we make a few points: A first that Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy is more restrictive than a regular prison term, having considerable impacts on his physical and mental health, and has been assessed to be an arbitrary detention by the relevant UN working group [3]; it is probably a greater effective detention than what he would have suffered had he been found guilty of any of the alleged crimes. He has been in effective detention for around eight years since 2010, two of which under house arrest and the last six in the embassy. Second, Assange’s concerns about US machinations have been validated. Last, we would endorse the alleged offences being investigated by an objective party outside the regular legal system, agreed on by those with a direct interest, where a publicly available assessment would result, with the possibility of a voluntary redress which Assange could chose to undertake.

Australia’s Foreign Policy is decided outside the reach of democratic scrutiny – in secret and behind closed doors with no public accountability. Australian intelligence agencies were tasked by our Government with bugging discussions by the Government of East Timor as a result of commercial pressures. We have not been a good neighbour. There are numerous other examples of Australian Government policy being driven by corporate or foreign interests (including the US) while ignoring the concerns of the Australian public.

This recent error provides a further illustration of how the US Government will never cease to lie and distort if it suits their ends.

Pirate Party Australia demands from the Ecuadorian Government
That the cruel and inhumane conditions being imposed upon Julian be ceased immediately, including those restricting his freedom of speech, as well as the invasions of his and his visitors’ privacy. [4]

Pirate Party Australia demands from the UK government:
1) That they comply with the UN decision [5] by providing a written guarantee not to extradite Assange to the USA if he leaves the embassy premises, and failing that,
2) That they give Assange free passage out of the country, or, at the very least,
3) That they give free passage for the purposes of long-overdue medical treatment.

Pirate Party Australia demands from President Trump and the USA Congress:
1) That they leave our fellow citizen alone and drop all Wikileaks related charges.
2) That they allow Julian to come home to his family – safely and uninjured.

Pirate Party Australia demands that the Australian Government provide proper well deserved support to one of our citizens isolated overseas as they have in numerous other cases where they
would not offend an ally, by:
1) Providing sound consular assistance to Julian Assange.
2) Issuing Julian Assange with a valid passport.

We implore all Australians, and all citizens of the world – regardless of background – to consider the grave situation Julian is now in, and the vital need to give him support.

[1] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/
[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/pm-rejects-pamela-anderson-s-calls-to-help-bring-assange-home
[3] https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/04/julian-assange-wikileaks-arrest-friday-un-investigation
[4] https://couragefound.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Julian_Assange_Protocol_Final_11_Oct_2018.pdf
[5] https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17012