The Hon Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600 4 June 2012
Dear Prime Minister
RE: JULIAN ASSANGE
Regrettably we feel compelled to write to you about the plight of Mr Assange.
Julian Assange interviewed on Late Night Live Radio, 6 June 2012. Full audio is available via the RadioNational website.
Phillip Adams: Good day, beloved listeners. Last night on this little wireless program, I was talking to Shapiro about the Obama kill-list. It's pretty dangerous being deemed an enemy of the American people these days, because at any moment a drone will come in and take you out. And of course tonight we've learned that another member of Bin Laden Proprietary Limited has been killed by one of those precision attacks. I think if I was Julian Assange, I'd be more concerned with a drone attack than with mere extradition, but let's see how Julian is feeling at this time of, well, endless strife. Julian, who's talking to us from his hideout in the English countryside where he's under house arrest, joins us on the program. How are you coping with this incredible stress level?
Julian Assange interviewed on 2UE Radio, 4 June 2012. Full audio is available via the 2UE website.
Tim Shaw: Well, I'm really pleased to say, as promised, joining me live on the line from London is founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. Good morning from here, good afternoon/evening to you, Julian.
Julian Assange: Good morning.
The following is an open letter to the Australian people from Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange.
On the 30th May 2012, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam raised concerns over Julian Assange's looming extradition to the US before Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The response he obtained regarding the protection of Julian Assange's rights as an Australian citizen (fully transcribed here) was quite vague and evasive.
It is the first bilateral visit to Sweden by a US Secretary of State in a long time, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt writes, as he wishes a warm welcome to US Secretary Hillary Clinton who will arrive in the country just 4 days after Britain's Supreme Court announces its decision on whether Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden.
The announcement of Clinton's visit to Sweden, which will center around the subjects of "Internet freedom, green energy, Afghanistan and the Middle East", as well as other broad topics such as democracy and counter-terrorism, took place just 3 days after the Supreme Court published a date for Julian Assange's verdict to be issued. (The Supreme Court published the date of its judgment on May 23, Secretary Clinton's visit was announced on May 26.)
UPDATED WITH VIGIL INFO AND STATEMENT FROM CIARON O'REILLY:
Numbers are still growing for tonight's Brisbane #Rally4JA vigil from 4pm. Many thanks to Ciaron, Adele, Damien, Peter, Jimmy, Angela, Mark, Maggie, Carole, Razza, Kay, Cully, Martin, Phil, Janet and possibles Sean, AJ, Jim, Simon. Anyone else interested in joining contact Ciaron ciaronx AT yahoo dotcom or come along from 4pm outside DFAT corner Ann and Creek streets. There will be speakers and musicians from 5pm with the UK Supreme Court decision expected after 6pm AEST.
This Brisbane vigil joins in solidarity with the vigil in London outside the UK Supreme Court. It has been organised by former anti-war prisoner of the United States Ciaron O'Reilly, a Brisbane-born veteran protestor who has regularly assisted Julian Assange at court cases in the UK.
Last Thursday, human rights and Julian Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson was held up on her flight from London to Sydney for security reasons. Over the years, journalists have been interrogated and detained at borders, often for purely political reasons. This incident was unprecedented with a lawyer now facing similar treatment.
Robinson was told that she is on an "inhibited" list of mysterious origin and that the Australian High Commission in London needed to be contacted before her departure. At some point, she was given the green light to board without that call being made and was able to get to her destination. When pressed, Australian Attorney General Roxon showed concern about the incident. She said that "this is not the result of any action taken by the Australian Government. We believe [Robinson], as an Australian who is not subject to any criminal charges or allegations, should be free to travel in and out of Australia."
The Guardian reported that "The Australian high commission in London has no record of a call being received from UK authorities concerning her travel". Virgin Atlantic, the airline that stopped Robinson, deferred responsibility to security services, while the UK Border Agency and DFAT each deny involvement.
WikiLeaks News (Releases):
After a public forum on WikiLeaks, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam made the following comment:
The Australian Government has done the absolute bare minimum above stuff-all to help this Australian citizen in trouble. […] They've attempted to block and delay Freedom of Information requests, they haven't answered straight questions, they've voted against motions, and to me it's starting to look not like indifference but like hostility.
This hostility from the Australian Government is becoming more and more apparent, especially as Julian Assange awaits the UK Supreme Court's decision on whether he'll be extradited to Sweden. Not only is the Government offering little support to its citizen, but it is making derogatory and false remarks against the WikiLeaks organization, refusing to offer timely release of relevant information, and passing new laws which make it difficult for WikiLeaks to continue operating legally and raise safety concerns for its founder.