Recently, two Australian journalists in China rushed to our embassy and then back home. No such help seems to be on offer for another Australian on the far side of the world. Pirate Party of Australia calls on the Foreign Minister, the Honourable Senator Marisa Payne to demand the free and unprejudiced release of Assange on the basis of human rights, free speech and his Australian citizenship.

“Australian foreign policy has rarely been about principle, but rather kowtowing to our allies and hiding behind words that ultimately mean nothing. Assange may yet receive a fair trial, in the application of unjust laws. The Government only took an interest in Timor Leste after being dragged in by public opinion, and since did the dirty by spying on them. Assange is just more of the same, and many Australians recognise the hypocrisy” said John August, Pirate Party Australia Treasurer.

As the UK trial begins this week for extradition of Assange to the US[1], civil rights activists all over the world are shocked at Australia’s cavalier abandonment of its own citizen for the “crime” of reporting on the crimes of others. Assange’s legal teams have assembled an ensemble of international witnesses to testify before the court on the politicised nature of Assange’s persecution[2].

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/julian-assange-wikileaks-extradition/2020/09/06/dff773be-eede-11ea-bd08-1b10132b458f_story.html
[2] https://dissenter.substack.com/p/julian-assanges-extradition-case

“Since his arrest and imprisonment by UK authorities, we have seen the US Government take the draconian action of compiling charges which would result in the imprisonment of Assange for 175 years [1], an assessment by a UN body seeing Assange as the victim of concerted abuse involving 4 democratic nation states over numerous years [2], and a misleading statement being issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) over accusations of its failure to protect a citizen [3]”, said John August, Deputy President of Pirate Party Australia.

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow, speaks to the effect that Julian Assange’s situation has had on his mental health, with his comments that “in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.” He further comments that: “In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.” [2]

Along with two medical specialists, Professor Melzer visited Mr. Assange in Belmarsh high security prison in early May, concluding: “The evidence is overwhelming and clear. Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.” Further, he comments: “I fear if that pressure is not alleviated soon it might escalate in terms of the psychological consequences – and I think that’s what we’re now seeing.” Commenting on Australian assistance for Assange, Mr. Melzer said: “Australia is a glaring absence in this case. They’re just not around, as if Assange was not an Australian citizen. That is not the correct way of dealing with that.” [4]

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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.

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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.


To:
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.

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Pirate Party Australia are perturbed at yesterday’s ruling by the UK Supreme Court to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden. Contrary to the ignorant prejudicial opinions of Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, he has not been charged with any criminal offence in Sweden or any other country, yet has been held for over 500 days under house arrest.

“The Australian Government’s continued and willful ignorance of US intentions to extradite Mr. Assange, an Australian citizen, possibly on the grounds of espionage and conspiracy, is completely unacceptable. The government must be more active in seeking to ensure the safety of Mr. Assange,” said Simon Frew, Deputy President of Pirate Party Australia. “Our continued alliance with the United States should not be at the expense of the rights of Australian citizens.”

“While the case remains somewhat up in the air, it seems very likely he will face extradition to Sweden,” Mr Frew continued. “There are a number of concerning issues with the legal process. The Supreme Court used the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a document regarding the interpretation and operation of treaties between states, as a basis in their determination. This had not been raised by either side during the proceedings of the appeal. Legal analysis seems to indicate this may give Mr. Assange and his team opportunity to re-open the case.” 

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