The Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will use today’s Free Assange rally to warn that the treatment of Julian Assange has chilling implications for all Australians.
WHEN: 12.30pm TODAY Friday 31 July 2020
WHERE: Parliament House lawns HOBART
Mr Wilkie said the Australian Government had hung Mr Assange out to dry, a fact that should concern every Australian.
“I expect many people would agree that when an Australian is overseas and in strife there is at least a moral obligation on the Australian Government to do what it can to help out,” Mr Wilkie said. “But for Mr Assange the Government cares only for kowtowing to its mates in Washington.
“Moreover what happens to Mr Assange will set a shocking precedent for our response to the ridiculous claims of extraterritoriality by other countries.
“If Mr Assange is extradited from the UK to the US, and the Australian Government does not try to stop it, the precedent will have been set that if any Australian offends the government of another country - particularly if that Australian is a journalist - the Australian Government will roll over and allow it.
“Let’s also remember the substantive issue here is that Mr Assange simply revealed hard evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of the inhumane treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He should be lauded, not pilloried. And certainly not handed over to the country guilty of the war crimes he reported on.
“Picture this, we’ve got one lone Australian sitting in his cell in Belmarsh high-security prison, up against the might of the United States military, intelligence and legal systems. There's nothing fair about that when all he did was the right thing.”