Update, 16 June: (see comment) The House of Representatives Selection Committee has ruled that Julian Hill's motion cannot be put this coming Monday 21 June. That motion will now have to wait almost 7 weeks, until 9 August, in the next (joint - both Senate and House of Representatives) sitting of Parliament, before it can be put and debated!
Earlier this afternoon at 2:03pm, I received, from Labor Member of Parliament, Julian Hill, a response to an e-mail I had sent him and a number of other MPs at around 1:00am earlier today. That email included a PDF file which is attached below. That PDF contains a motion that Julian Hill hopes to put to the House of Representatives, this coming Monday 21 June, in support of Julian Assange. The text of the proposed motion is also included within this article as an Appendix. Mr Hill has given that Notice of Motion to the House of Representatives Selection Committee. That motion, if allowed by the Selection Committee, will be put to the House this coming Monday 21 June. Essentially the motion calls upon the Australian Government to act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange, to get the United States' government to cease its attempts to extradite Julian Assange and for Julian Assange to be allowed to return to Australia.
Should the motion be put this coming Monday, then, at long last, more than two years since Julian Assange's arrest at the London Ecuadorian embassy, and more than nine years since June 2012, when Julian Assange was forced to seek asylum within the confined spaces of that Embassy, the issue of Julian Assange's arrest will be debated on the floors of the Parliament of Australia - the country of which Julian Assange is still a citizen.
However, the rules of Australia's Parliament have only allowed this motion to be put as a Private Member's Motion (PMM). This rule has restricted the actions of members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary Support Group for some time. The rules also allow only 3 members each to speak for only 5 minutes for the motion and another 3 members to each speak for only 5 minutes against the motion.
Whilst this total of only 15 minutes speaking time for the motion is inadequate for its importance, those three five minute speeches for the motion will still be sufficient to clearly show to any listener with an open and critical mind that the Government's treatment of Julian Assange is unconscionable.
Then after the debate, each member of the House will have to either vote for the motion, vote against the motion, or abstain. This means that Labor and Liberal will have to show their hand. It is possible, however, that Liberal members will not be allowed the requisite vote of conscience. If that happens, the Government's attitude will become very clear. Votes either way or abstentions will be then permanently recorded in Hansard. Members voting against this motion are unlikely to be well regarded by decent, compassionate, and informed Australians. Those members who abstain will be regarded little better.
Whether or not the motion is carried by the Australian House of Representatives, just holding the debate, and holding to account the Australian government for its shameful abandonment of Julian Assange, could enormously boost the morale of those campaigning around the world to free Julian Assange. The written and video records of this debate will become very valuable resources for that campaign.
How you can help
It is still possible that the House of Representatives Selection Committee could refuse to allow Julian Hill's motion to be put, which would be an outrage.
To try to ensure that this Private Member's Motion (PMM) is put on Monday, Julian Assange's supporters in Australia should contact their local Member of Parliament to ask that member, firstly, to do what he/she is able, to ensure that that motion is put on Monday and, secondly, to vote for that motion. Where that member is unable to undertake to support that motion, he/she should be asked to at least undertake to listen to the debate and otherwise inform himself/herself about Julian Assange.
A full list of members of the Australian House of Representatives can be found here on the aph.gov.au web-site. A list of those members, who are also members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary Support Group can be found here.
Please feel encouraged to post back to me (through Twitter, Facebook or comments to the foot of this article) any responses, supportive or otherwise, which you may receive from your local Member.
As well as contacting your MP, you could work for Julian Assange's freedom in other ways:
- Post to Twitter or Facebook or other social media posts which link back to this article or which, otherwise put Julian Assange's case.
- Write articles or post comments in support of Julian Assange to your own blog site or to other blog sites. Link from there to other resources in support of Julian Assange.
- Phone talk-back radio to put the case Julian Assange.
- Attend protests for Julian Assange, such as, for example, our weekly vigil for Julian Assange, which commences at 6:30pm each Friday evening outside Melbourne's Flinders Street Station. Consider publicly speaking, yourself, in support of Julian Assange at those protests.
- Make banners and placards in support of Julian Assange to take to these protests.
- Distribute leaflets for Julian Assange such as this double-sided A5 leaflet (210K PDF), which has been adapted to become the article (11/2/21).
- If you live in the United States, see if you can get in touch with Julian Assange's father John Shipton or his brother Gabriel Shipton. They are currently in Philadelphia, in a tour of the United States to promote the cause of Julian Assange. They are receiving hugely favourably responses.
Appendix: Notice of Motion by Julian Hill MP
MEMBER FOR CLARKE: I give notice that on the next day of sitting (Monday 21/6/21 - JS) I shall move that this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) the trial and extradition of Mr Julian Assange are inconsistent with international law, and Australian legal standards, and contravene the legal rights and protections for which those laws and standards provide;
(b) the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has found that Mr Assange 'showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma';
(c) several medical reports find that Mr Assange is in ill-health due to prolonged arbitrary confinement, and indeed the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that the 50-week sentence of Mr Assange for bail violation, which formally ended on 21 September 2019, was punitive and disproportionate given the nature of the offence and the usual sentence;
(d) Mr Assange is facing extradition for an alleged political offence, which is expressly prohibited by Article 4(1) of the Anglo-US Extradition Treaty and an abuse of power; and
(e) Mr Assange is an Australian citizen and, if convicted in the US, faces 175 years in prison, which would be in effect a death sentence;
(2) acknowledges that Mr Assange is a publisher and journalist, as recognised by his 2011 Walkley award and 17 other awards for excellence in journalism and promoting human rights, and that his charges:
(a) are a direct assault on press freedom; and
(b) threaten the protection of others who publish classified information in the public interest; and
(3) calls for Mr Assange to be allowed to return to Australia.
The PDF file of the proposed motion, immediately above, is attached below.
Thu, 2021-06-17 00:36
Motion for Julian Assange now cannot be put for 7 more weeks!?!
Below is some of the correspondence between myself and Julian Hill MP, who advised me yesterday, on 15 June (this was first mistakenly written as '15 March' - apologies, JS 21 June), that he had put a notice of motion that is included in the above article. The text of the e-mail was:
I then published the above e-mail and e-mailed Julian Hill, thanking him for his efforts and I also made posts to Twitter to advise other supporters of Julian Assange of this very welcome development. However, earlier today, at 1:02 PM on Wednesday 16 June, he e-mailed me, advising me:
My response to Julian Hill was:
Julian Hill has not yet responded.
I posted this bad news to Twitter:
What can be done about this?
That (by my count) 24 supporters of Julian Assange in this country's Federal Parliament cannot be an effective voice for the illegally imprisoned Australian citizen Julian Assange on the floors of our Parliament should be considered unacceptable. Other means to hold the Federal Government to account for its unconscionable conduct, whether inside or outside of Parliament, will have to be found.
As well as members of the Group, members of the major parties should also be approached by their local constituents. It should be put to each of those MPs:
If that member agrees with you that this is not acceptable, ask that member to move a formal motion to suspend standing orders so that, without any further delay, Julian Hill be allowed to put his foreshadowed motion (included above) and that Andrew Wilkie also be allowed put his own foreshadowed motion.
Should youfind the time and energy to approach your local member as I have suggested, please advise me of how he/she responds, whether that response is favourable or unfavourable.
Wed, 2021-10-27 20:36
Will Parliament meet its obligation to discuss Julian Assange?
The following is posted to Assange chronology at KellieTranter.com :
(I think this is my fourth attempt to post here since 2:11AM this morning.)
Thank you for this most useful resource.
However, I think you should also point out somewhere in this chronology that, whilst millions are protesting around the globe for Julian Assange, both the Australian Government and the Opposition have apparently colluded to prevent any substantial discussion of Julian Assange on the floor of our Parliament. One example is Labor MP julian Hill's motion. He first foreshadowed, on 15 June (four and a half months ago), the following motion:
This has yet to be put. Whilst I had naively thought that a motion only needed a mover and a seconder to be put, apparently any motion not formerly put by the Government or the Opposition is designated a "Private Member's Motion" (PMM) which must pass through an arcane set of procedures, before it can even be put. However, a PMM can only be put on Mondays in a time period of less than 2 hours. In that period, that PMM and all other PMM's approved of by the Parliamentary Selection Committee the previous Wednesday must also be put and debated.
So far, not one motion concerning Julian Assange has been approved by the Selection Committee. Greens Senator Andrew Wilkie has, so far, made two unsuccessful attempts.
Whilst this motion, if put, might not be carried, I think that a full debate on the floors of our Parliament at least would greatly raise the profile of Julian Assange and make may more people understand the facts behind his illegal imprisonment and torture. Furthermore, the Australian public and the rest of the world, as they are entitled to, would know where each and every one of our elected members of the House of Reprentatives and the Senate stand in relation to this outrageous treatment of Julian Assange.
The fact that nearly all of our Parliament seemingly fears any discussion about Julian Assange is most revealing.
Fri, 2022-08-12 01:16
'Quiet diplomacy' will free Julian Assange?
I posted the comment below beneath Australian Labor Party and Assange: Burying the Politics (8/8/22) by Kellie Tranter | . It is awaiting moderation.
If, instead of 'quiet diplomacy' that Julian Hill also seems to be advocating in his 23 minute interview by Cathy Vogan which is embedded above, the Australian Government were to adopt the language and style of Mexican President Lopez Obrador, I think Julian Assange would be free much sooner. In June this year, President Obrador said that Asange is the "best journalist of our time, in the world. He added , "Mexico opens its doors to Assange." On 4 July he said, "If they take him to the United States and he is sentenced to the maximum penalty and to die in prison, we must start a campaign to tear down the Statue of Liberty."
In that interview, Julian Hill seems, unfortunately, to have forgotten his own foreshadowed motion of 10 June 2021 in support of Julian Assange. That foreshadowed motion was disallowed by the shadowy Parliamentary Selection Committee. Here it is:
The above foreshadowed motion is included within my article "Julian Hill MP to put crucial Motion for Julian Assange to the Australian Parliament this coming Monday 21 June - how you can help" (16/6/2021) at https://candobetter.net/admin/blog/6134/julian-hill-mp-put-crucial-motion-julian-assange-australian-parliament-coming-monday
I would have thought if the then Liberal/National Government were confident that they could justify, before Parliament, their seeming failure to end the UK's illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange, then they would not have been at all hesitant to allow Julian Hill's motion to be put.
The fact that this Parliamentary Selection Committee, which is controlled by both the Government and Opposition parties, disallowed Julian Hill's motion indicates to me that the government understood that, even if they succeeded in using their numbers to vote it down , their arguments would not be seen by the broader public to have withstood challenges from members of the Julian Assange Parliamentary Support Group. For its part, the then Opposition, which is now the Labor Government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, was just as fearful of a debate on Julian Hill's foreshadowed motion. I expect that they are no less fearful today.
The open-and-shut case for Julian Assange would have been put before the Australian public. The course of the debate would most likely also have shown that the Australian government could have, at any time since June 2012, to used its power as a sovereign national government to make the UK government end its illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange.
Those members who would have decided to vote against Julian Hill's motion or abstain from Julian Hill's motion could then be held to account for this by their electors at the next election if not sooner.