Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie MP, is pleased with a British court’s decision to deny the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. However, the finding does not go far enough and the Government of the United Kingdom continues to improperly hold Mr Assange in detention.
“The Court’s finding confirms the terrible personal toll on Julian Assange and the grave risk to his life should he be extradited to the United States,” Mr Wilkie said. “But regrettably it fails to address central issues like freedom of speech and media freedom, and the entirely improper US claim to extraterritoriality.
“Moreover the judgement still leaves Mr Assange desperately vulnerable to extradition to the US. With a US appeal looming against the decision, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison must pick up the phone and call US President Donald Trump and US President-Elect Joe Biden to ask them to drop the extradition bid. And he must also speak with the UK PM and demand Mr Assange’s immediate release from prison.
“This is a shameful chapter of history which shows London and Canberra care more about kowtowing to Washington than they do about protecting an Australian citizen, who has never been found guilty of any offence.
“The substantive matter remains that Julian Assange is a publisher and journalist who has always acted in the public interest, and nowhere is that clearer than WikiLeaks bringing to light hard evidence of US war crimes. He should be lauded as a hero, not a villain.”