My open letter to newly elected Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese argues that as Australian PM he could almost certainly force Britain to end its illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange and also force the US to end its efforts to extradite him. Were Britain and the US to not accede soon to diplomatic efforts by Prime Minister Albanese, he could easily raise this issue at either the United Nations or the International Criminal Court. Should this occur, those two governments' despicable and monstrous treatment of Julian Assange could be revealed in full before the whole international community including the people of the UK. The US and the UK would most likely free Julian Assange rather than face the overwhelming international opprobrium that would ensue.
Dear Prime Minister Anthony Albanese,
As you are surely aware, Julian Assange could very shortly be extradited to the United States, where he will almost certainly be sentenced to prison in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. This sentence would be for his alleged endangering the United States' national security in breach of its 1917 Espionage Act. If this occurs, then any one of many thousands of other journalists who have similarly revealed crimes committed by the United States' government could face the same fate at the whim of the United States' government.
This poses a threat not only to journalism across the world, but also to our own Australian national sovereignty. If Julian Assange, who has broken no Australian law, no Swedish law and no British law and who is not even a citizen of the United States, can be made to spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement only for publishing facts that the United States' government would have preferred to have kept hidden from us, then what other Australian citizen can't also be similarly imprisoned at the whim of that government?
A large number of authoritative figures have said that the treatment of Julian Assange by the Swedish, British and United States' governments since 2012, when he sought asylum in the confined spaces of the London Ecuadorian embassy, is illegal. His imprisonment in solitary confinement in London's Belmarsh prison in the 3 years since April 2019 is even more so.
Over one year ago, on Tue 23 Mar 2021, you were reported to have said to a Labor caucus meeting, “Enough is enough. … I can’t see what is served by keeping him incarcerated.” that was after almost 9 years since Julian Assange was forced to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian and after almost two years solitary confinement in Belmarsh prison.
Now more than a year has passed since then. Surely, you can see that if you now used your authority, as the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, to demand Julian Assange's immediate release by the British government that it would almost certainly accede to that demand?
Were the British Government to choose not to comply with this demand, you would have recourse to the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. This is in addition to international public opinion which is overwhelmingly in support of Julian Assange.
Were the monstrous treatment of Julian Assange by the British Government of Julian Assange ever to be discussed either at the United Nations or before the International Criminal Court, that government would then face almost unanimous repudiation by the international community including by the British public. In preference to that, the British government would almost certainly release Julian Assange immediately.
Julian Assange's long ordeal would finally come to an end and he would be free to join his wife Stella and their two children and get on with their lives together in Australia should he choose to come back here.
As a matter of utmost urgency, I urge you to pick up the phone now and ring British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to demand Julian Assange's immediate release. For the reasons given above, I believe that Boris Johnson would almost certainly release Julian Assange without further delay.
Furthermore, why not also allow our Parliament to debate the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange? Why has so little been said on the floors of our Parliament about the plight of that most well-known and most revered Australian anywhere? Why has our Parliament prevented motions in support of Julian Assange being put? Why has so little time been given by our Parliament in recent years towards the issue of Julian Assange? Why not finally enable fellow Labor MP Julian Hill's foreshadowed motion of 16 June 1921 in support of Julian Assange to be finally put to Parliament and debated?
P.S. I will also be sending copies of this e-mail to a number of other Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senators and other figures around the world who have been outspoken in their support for Julian Assange. I have also published this as How you can end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange - an open letter to Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Appendix: Julian Assange's brother urges Anthony Albanese to publicly condemn US extradition
As reported on the Australian ABC 2 news channel's 7.30 report of Tuesday 21 June:
Supporters of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange are urging the Albanese government to make a clear public statement, demanding his extradition from the UK to the United States be stopped. There's a perception that successive Labor and Coalition governments have not made his situation a priority, and so the question now is whether the new Albanese government will. Here’s political reporter James Glenday.
Sat, 2022-06-25 11:09
Jennifer Robinson calls upon Albanese to act now to free Assange
In an interview with the Australian Channel 10 TV station program @theprojecttv Julian Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson calls upon Australia's newly elected Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to contact US President Joe Biden in order to ask him to drop their charges against Julian Assange. She also explains that she will be appealing to the UK High Court against UK Home Secretary Priti Patel's decision to allow the US to extradite Julian Assange and will be cross-appealing earlier decisions by the lower courts. She will also, if necessary, make an appeal to the European Court of Human Rightsagainst the extradition to buy more time.
However, as I argue above, stronger and more outspoken action by Anthony Albanese, the newly elected Australian Labor Prime Minister, with recourse, if necessary, to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court, would probably achieve freedom for Julian Assange much sooner.
Mon, 2022-06-27 02:07
Assange's plight demands urgent sitting of Australian Parliament
Below is an email I have just sent to the following MPS and Senators who are members of the Julian Assange Support group: Mr Adam Bandt MP, Mr Steve Georganas MP, Ms Zali Steggall MP, Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP, Mr Julian Hill MP and Senators Nick McKim, Janet Rice, Larissa Waters and Peter Whish-Wilson.
How you can end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange - an open letter to Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Dear (Members/Senators ...),
I include below, as an appendix, a copy of open letter I sent to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday 24 June. That open letter urged him, without delay, to use his authority of Prime Minister of Australia to prevent Julian Assange's extradition to the United States and to make the UK government end its illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange forthwith so that he can finally rejoin his wife Stella and their two children and begin to get on with his life again.
If the Prime Minister fails to act, as I have asked him, through whatever means he has at his disposal - see Appendix below (or "Open Letter" posted above) - then I think that this issue should be raised as a matter of utmost urgency before the House of Representatives and before the Senate. Given the dire emergency, this matter should not wait until 26 July, one month from now when both houses are next scheduled to sit. I think special sittings of both houses should be called without further delay to discuss this.
Appendix: How you can end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange - an open letter to Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese - published 24/6/2022 (please see "Open letter" published above.)