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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, today successfully moved a motion calling on the House of Representatives to recognise the importance of bringing Julian Assange’s extradition to an end and allowing him to return home. Shamefully the Opposition, except the Member for Bass, Bridget Archer, voted against the motion. The vote marks an unprecedented show of political support for Mr Assange by the Australian Parliament.

“On 20 and 21 February, the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom will hold its hearing into whether Mr Assange can appeal his extradition to the United States of America,” Mr Wilkie said. “This Walkley Award winning Australia journalist remains incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh in the UK, awaiting extradition to face charges for material published in 2010, which revealed shocking evidence of misconduct by the USA.

“If Mr Assange is extradited to the US, it would be a direct attack on media freedom, as it would set a frightening precedent for all journalists that they too are at risk of being locked up, just for doing their job.

“The Australian community has long called for Mr Assange’s release, with his unjust treatment being a uniting call for a significant number of Australian Parliamentarians from all parties.
“The vote today is the biggest demonstration yet that Mr Assange’s incarceration is unjust, and once again demonstrates the widespread support for him in the halls of Parliament House. The US must recognise the weight of Australia’s political support and abandon the extradition proceedings.”