Andrew Wilkie MP and George Christensen MP, Co-Chairs of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group, are deeply disappointed with the unsatisfactory response from the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in the Government of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, which advised that Julian Assange will not be granted compassionate release from prison on the basis that he does not meet the criteria and he also presents as a flight risk.

“The fact that Julian Assange is in prison in the first place is complete nonsense,” Mr Wilkie said.

“All he did was expose hard evidence of US war crimes, corruption and the inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He should be lauded as a hero, but instead the UK Government is digging in its heels and kowtowing to the Trump administration.

“The risks Mr Assange faces during the COVID-19 pandemic make it even more important that his extradition to the United States be dropped and that he be returned to Australia. If the British and American Governments won’t entertain that, then surely they can demonstrate the most basic human decency and release Mr Assange into community detention in the UK.”

“It is very disappointing to see that we have been sent little more than a form letter from the head of the UK Justice committee following our approaches for the compassionate release of Julian Assange into home detention due to the current health concerns,” Mr Christensen said.

“Also, to suggest that Mr Assange is some form of flight risk in these restricted circumstances is laughable.

“Julian Assange has children and other family members he could safely spend time with during the lengthy wait for his hearing in September, and as a low-risk prisoner he should be afforded this opportunity.”

Mr Assange’s next court appearance has been set for September. Until then, he will remain incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh in virtual solitary confinement. This maximum security prison is normally used to detain the worst of the worst, including terrorists and murderers, not those that expose them.

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