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Aussie Pols Plead For Biden To Drop Charges Against Assange

Aussie Pols Plead For Biden To Drop Charges Against Assange
Image by Manon Levet // Reporters sans Frontières France

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MPs and Senators urge the US Government to revoke its appeal of the UK judgement against extradition

In a video message to the US President Joe Biden, 11 Australian politicians from across the political spectrum have appealed to the US Government to drop its Espionage Act charges against Australian citizen, Julian Assange.

The MPs and Senators have urged President Biden to take the “opportunity for urgent reconsideration”, following a UK court’s decision to deny the US extradition request, rendered earlier this year.

Julian Assange is currently held in HMP Belmarsh, a high security London prison, pending a High Court ruling on whether the US may appeal against the UK refusal to extradite. He is detained for publishing activity that won him Australia’s highest journalistic honour, the Walkley Award for most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.

The Australian politicians warn that Assange’s prosecution threatens journalists worldwide.

Susan Templeman, MP, Australian Labor Party (ALP) said: “Citizens expect us to protect journalists and publishers, not to imprison them for their work”.

Senator Carol Brown ALP added: “The world’s leading human rights and press freedom groups are unequivocally denouncing the charges against [Julian Assange]. And we join them.”

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens, told Biden: “Australian citizens want Julian Assange to be free”

And Peter Khalil MP, ALP, noted: “Indeed, one of the largest petitions in Australia’s history, with over 600,000 signatures, has been tabled in the Australian Parliament, calling on the US to free Assange.”

Julian Hill MP, ALP, who has spoken in parliament about Assange, appeals to the UK: “We are imploring the British government to release him from prison, and send him home.”

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