Monday 3rd of July will mark Julian Assange’s 52nd birthday. This will be his 13th birthday without his freedom and away from his loved ones, and it must be his last.
Julian Assange’s family confirm that his deteriorating health, his incarceration in Belmarsh prison and the continuing threat of prosecution by the United States government is causing him profound harm.
Amnesty International Australia campaigner Rose Kulak says:
“If he loses his appeal against extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States, Julian Assange faces extradition to the US where he risks being subjected to prison conditions that constitute ill-treatment, following a trial that will send a message to journalists around the world that they could be next.
Prime Minister Albanese and the Australian government must do everything in their power to protect Assange, an Australian citizen, from ongoing and threatened human rights violations, and take all necessary measures to ensure his safety.
The Prime Minister must ensure that this is the last birthday Julian Assange must spend in fear, locked away from his loved ones.
Amnesty International Australia calls on the Australian government to demand that the United States drop the charges against Julian Assange and end extradition efforts.
If one publisher can be targeted like Julian Assange for their work, what’s to stop it happening to others, including investigative journalists and other media figures.
Just as Australia faces a reckoning of our conduct in Afghanistan, with courageous whistleblowers and journalists exposing alleged war crimes perpetrated by members of the Australian Defence Force, our government is failing to defend Julian Assange as the United States government seeks extradition and criminal charges against him for actions that exposed war crimes in Iraq.
The continued persecution of Julian Assange has a chilling effect on the rights of journalists and whistleblowers to expose corruption, crime and abuses of power, which threatens the transparency, accountability and strength of our governance.
Julian Assange used his platform to expose war crimes that would have otherwise remained concealed. Prosecuting him will have a significant ‘chilling effect’ on media freedom and will risk exposing him to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment. The Australian government must do everything in its power to have the US drop the charges against him and to ensure his release.”