Calls of ‘Truth not War’ can be heard around the globe this week as supporters of the world’s most famous political prisoner, Australian journalist Julian Assange, rally for his immediate release by the 21st anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Peace (21 Sept 2022).

Julian’s growing army of millions of supporters – from ordinary people to governments, politicians, professional and non-government organisations, charities, activists, lawyers, journalists, authors, academics, doctors, artists, unions and grass-roots community groups – are all calling on the USA and UK Governments to stop the US extradition and drop the charges against the award-winning Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder.

On 5 April 2010, WikiLeaks published ‘Collateral Murder’, a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen civilians in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.

Julian, who was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize Gold Medal in 2011, has now been detained and imprisoned in the UK for over 12 years in what former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer describes as “murder by slow torture”.

Julian’s father, John Shipton says that the politically-motivated US charges are ‘unprecedented in our times, of attacking knowledge’: our right to know the truth, the truth about government war crimes and policies, adherence to law and international law and abrogation of the International Declaration of Human Rights.

“Julian Assange, for publishing the truth; the truth of monumental state crimes, is constantly pursued with severe and unrelenting malice, exceedingly bitter animosity and a vile, deceitful and unscrupulous crusade of lies and slander,” says John.

“The precedent set by this political prosecution is extremely dangerous. The extraterritorial application by the United States of its laws to Australian citizen Julian Assange and the death penalty sentence equivalent, 175-year incarceration. Julian will pay the ultimate price for exposing the truth and his persecution inevitably chills and intimidates exposure of government criminality and public contribution to policy formation. Erecting a wall of secrecy between government and the people. Results of which, are before our eyes; corruption, war crimes and crimes against humanity … us!”

“I mention the destruction and immiseration of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen … We cannot and must not allow this to occur.”

The United States government has charged Julian with 17 counts under the Espionage Act 1917 and one charge of conspiracy to commit unauthorised access to a government computer, a violation of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a terrorism offence under the US Patriot Act.

However, last month US Republican Senator Rand Paul called for the repeal of the Espionage Act after it was used by the FBI to justify a recent raid on the home of former US President Donald Trump.

The US Government and its spy agency the CIA, now face multiple court proceedings in the UK, USA and Spain over:

  • their ongoing persecution of Julian Assange including the plot to murder and kidnap him
  • violations against Julian’s basic human rights
  • illegal bugging of a foreign embassy (the London Ecuadorian Embassy)
  • hacking into world leaders’ personal phones and emails
  • the violation of the US First Amendment of American citizens who visited Julian during the 7 years he spent in asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy before he was forcibly dragged out by London police, and
  • Julian’s ongoing, unjustified, solitary confinement incarceration in the high-security HM Belmarsh Prison where he is seriously ill and being denied lifesaving medical attention, access to his legal team and regular family visits.

Julian’s brother, Gabriel Shipton – who is in Mexico with his father for talks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – says that Assange relatives, along with those of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Che Guevara have been invited by the President as special guests to attend the country’s Independence Day celebrations on 16 September.

“We are humbled by the invitation from Mexican President Obrador. The Mexican President continually stands for Julian’s freedom publicly and in his talks with President Biden. He has also offered Julian the protection of Mexican citizenship. Our family again plead with the Australian government to simply stand up for one of its own citizens and publicly call for Julian’s immediate release,” says Gabriel.

Adds John Shipton: “We urge Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to act soon, otherwise it may be too late to save Julian’s life. And if Julian dies or if the US extradition succeeds, it will also be the death of truth in war, the death of press freedom and journalists, freedom of speech, the protection of human rights plus international law and whistle blowers. There’s a lot at stake here.”

https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/

The Official Australian Website in Support of Julian Assange