"Now that you are Prime Minister, we urge you to waste no time in making good on your wish to see Julian Assange’s ordeal come to an end, as the issue is now beyond critical, with his current health status meaning time is of the essence. It is now much too late for legal remedies. A political solution is required, in order to stop the legal precedent being established of a USA Extradition for a non-USA journalist who exposed USA war crimes." ..."IPAN also notes the resolution passed at the Australian Labor Party’s Special Platform Conference, held on March 30-31 2021, where Labor called on the Australian government… [to] be doing everything necessary to ensure that Mr Julian Assange is treated fairly and humanely…and that Labor believes it is now time for this long drawn out case against Julian Assange to be brought to an end.”"
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)
PO Box 573 Coorparoo Brisbane Qld Australia 4151
IPAN’s Vision: An Independent and Peaceful Australia
The Prime Minister of Australia 29 May 2022
The Hon Anthony Albanese, MP
Canberra, ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister
Re: Charges against Julian Assange need to be dropped
I am writing to you in my capacity as Chairperson of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), a network of organisations (community, faith and peace groups, trade unions) and concerned individuals, from all regions of Australia who are united by our support for an independent Australian foreign policy based on peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Firstly IPAN’s would like to congratulate you on becoming Prime Minister and the election of a Labor Government.
IPAN is gravely concerned about the plight of Julian Assange, Australian citizen and journalist and currently a political prisoner in London’s Belmarsh Prison. This potential for Julian Assange to be extradited to the USA to face 175 years imprisonment and possible execution for publishing news material that was in the public interest, is a direct attack on the very fabric of democracy across western democracies.
We appreciate that as Labor Leader you were on the record as giving your support to calls to release Julian Assange from prison after more than 10 years without freedom. Your simple statement that "Enough is enough"#sdendnote1sym" name="sdendnote1anc" id="sdendnote1anc">i spoke for so many Australians. In addition, your comments that “Journalism isn’t a crime – and journalists shouldn’t be prosecuted for just doing their jobs. Labor will always defend press freedom”, go to the heart of the issue.
IPAN also notes the resolution passed at the Australian Labor Party’s Special Platform Conference, held on March 30-31 2021, where Labor called on the Australian government… [to] be doing everything necessary to ensure that Mr Julian Assange is treated fairly and humanely…and that Labor believes it is now time for this long drawn out case against Julian Assange to be brought to an end.”#sdendnote2sym" name="sdendnote2anc" id="sdendnote2anc">ii
Now that you are Prime Minister, we urge you to waste no time in making good on your wish to see Julian Assange’s ordeal come to an end, as the issue is now beyond critical, with his current health status meaning time is of the essence. It is now much too late now legal remedies. A political solution is required, in order to stop the legal precedent being established of a USA Extradition for a non-USA journalist who exposed USA war crimes.
The new Labor Government has an opportunity to ensure that Julian Assange is not extradited, so as to avoid the very real and tragic possibility of Julian Assange otherwise dying in Belmarsh Prison or in Fremont, Colorado, if extradited.
Australia is not a country that abandons its citizens to foreign captors – and it is hard to imagine that the UK or USA would allow one of their citizens, if in Julian Assange’s situation, to languish in a foreign prison.
There are many politicians and ordinary citizens’ voices saying we have had enough of lies about crimes that Julian Assange has not committed and enough of allegations that he is a traitor, a spy, and a leaker. People have also had more than enough of claims that he is not a journalist, and that WikiLeaks is not a publishing organisation. Like you,
there are also now many people in many countries saying: ‘Enough is enough’.
Julian Assange is not the enemy - he has not killed anyone, but is a pacifist and a truth-teller. The WikiLeaks founder in 2010 released video footage taken from an American Apache helicopter shot in 2007. Reuters tried to obtain the
video through an FOI request. The Pentagon blocked the request.
A WikiLeaks video 'Collateral Murder'#sdendnote3sym" name="sdendnote3anc" id="sdendnote3anc">iii shows clearly US troops murdering 12 civilians in Iraq; one a Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, Saeed Chmagh. Two children, also shown in the footage, were shot at from the helicopter while riding in a mini-van, when the driver stopped to assist the wounded. It was horrific.
As a publisher Julian Assange published material provided to him by US Army Intelligence officer Chelsea Manning about USA war crimes committed in Iraq in 2010. Julian Assange responded as he felt a journalist should do.
American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, known more recently for his association with the conservative side of politics, likens Julian Assange’s situation to the New York Times publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. “If the New York Times, in 1971, could lawfully publish the Pentagon Papers knowing they included classified documents stolen by Rand Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg from our federal government, then indeed WikiLeaks was entitled, under the First Amendment, to publish classified material that Assange knew was stolen by former United States Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from our federal government.”#sdendnote4sym" name="sdendnote4anc" id="sdendnote4anc">iv
The assurances given by the US Government about Julian Assange’s treatment in USA prisons, cannot be relied upon, and shouldn’t be relied upon since he has not committed any crime. Freedom for Julian Assange would be a great step forward for freedom of the press and democracy around the world.
Unlike the WikiLeaks whistle-blower, Chelsea Manning, who was pardoned by former President Barack Obama, we ask you to urge President Joe Biden to drop the charges against Assange. He doesn’t even need to be pardoned as he has not been convicted of anything. We urge you to put an end to this persecution of an innocent man, and free Julian Assange so he can bring his family back home to Australia.
There is also currently significant political support for the Australian Government, regarding ensuring Julian Assange is not extradited to the US, with the ‘Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group’ having had 30 members, with representatives from every party, prior to the Federal Election.
We also urge you to see the new documentary Ithaka, which has been shown in most capital cities in Australia and is now screening in rural Cinemas; soon to be on ABC on the 7th of June, before subsequently being available NETFLIX. This film portrays the journey of John Shipton’s extraordinary campaign to save his son, by rallying public support through London, Europe and the US. It is inspiring and unforgettable.
IPAN urges you, as Prime Minister, to please do what you can to convince Priti Patel, Boris Johnson and ultimately, President Joe Biden to drop the request for the extradition of Julian Assange.
Thank you for taking the time to consider these critical issues that have been raised in this paper. We look forward to the response from the Labor Government.
M 0431 597 256
cc Senator Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Senator Katy Gallagher, Attorney General
#sdendnote2anc" name="sdendnote2sym" id="sdendnote2sym">ii https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/australian-labor-party-resolution-of-support-for-julian-assange/ Australian Labor Party Resolution of Support for Julian Assange
#sdendnote3anc" name="sdendnote3sym" id="sdendnote3sym">iiihttps://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/
#sdendnote4anc" name="sdendnote4sym" id="sdendnote4sym">iv https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/438578-alan-dershowitz-is-julian-assange-another-pentagon-papers-case/