Julian Assange has been arrested and urgent action for his release is needed

Photo by Victoria Jones/PA via AP: Julian Assange gestures as he arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Editorial comment

Australian citizen and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has just been forcefully removed form the Ecuadoran embassy just hours ago.

We must all demand his immediate release and right to return to Australia.

Video from The Guardian

Julian Assange is bundled out of the Ecuadoran Embassy

A travesty of justice is being committed. The fact that this comes on the wake of an exposure of unethical extreme surveillance, is more than a coincidence. This wrongdoing is tied up with the involvement of one or more persons in blackmail. Assange was threatened with the release of damaging information, unless millions of dollars were handed over.

Assange’s removal has been on the cards anyway. Ever since the US friendly Lenin Moreno government came into government in Ecuador and has conspired with Washington and the United Kingdom to punish Assange.

The United States immediately filed for his extradition to that country. to face charges in a less than open court, where he could face 30 years imprisonment.

What is the crime? He was involved in exposing the behaviour of corrupt politicians and heads of corporations; as well as bringing to light the massive scale of the money laundering industry and evidence of war crimes committed by certain governments.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks told us what we had the right to know in the first place and deserve to be praised for this, not condemned.

Human rights activists, legal experts around the world, and some governments, have protested against the treatment of Assange, as he was roughly bundled out of the building, his arrest by British authorities and the prospect of being extradited to the United States. Protests are bound to increase in the coming days.

There is a stark contrast between this treatment and the treatment of Julian Assange and Rupert Murdoch, who, even after being found to act corruptly, bribing certain people in the United Kingdom, continues to be feted on by those out to get the WikiLeaks founder. This says a lot.

We in Australia, have a special responsibility to stand up, to take up every opportunity to make sure justice prevails.

Extraordinary efforts to get Assange have taken place, because there are forces that want to keep us in the dark. They want to use him as an example to silence others.

WikiLeaks said in a statement: “Assange has been arrested in relation to a US extradition request for conspiracy with Chelsea Manning’ for publishing Iraq war logs, precisely the persecution for which he was granted asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012.”

“This man is a son, a father, a brother. He has won dozens of journalism awards. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize every year since 2010. Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to dehumanise, delegitimise and imprison him.”

This persecution is an attack on us all: A denial of our right to know of wrongdoing that affects us. It is a curbing of free speech. If they succeed, a serious consequence will be a new clamping down on what the rest of us can talk about.

This impinges directly on Australia. Not only because Julian Assange is an Australian citizen.  Also, because the Australian government has a duty to protect Australian citizens and is failing to carry out this duty. It goes Further. Our politicians for the most part, have been far too and therefore complicit in carrying out an injustice.

We must put our political leaders on notice. We must ensure they carry out their responsibility to Julian Assange or be held accountable as violators of human rights.

The case has also exposed just how far Washington’s dominance over Australia’s political affairs has become. Isn’t it about time that we asserted our capability of standing up as an independent sovereign nation sand longer be an appendage to a foreign power?

A servile Australian government links in with its progressive shift from transparency and the gradual erosion of basic democratic rights. Measures have been put in place to restrict journalists and make it more difficult for whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing. This has gone on with targeting and vilifying sections of our community. The surveillance of ordinary citizens is being ratcheted up.

We will all pay a heavy price if we don’t stand up and turn this back.  

4 Comments on "Julian Assange has been arrested and urgent action for his release is needed"

  1. The end of fearless journalism all journalists should be concerned.

    • Chris Knight | April 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Reply

      We know that the LNP lickspittles don’t care about this heroic Australian but where is the ALP shadow Foreign Minister? This is when Labor show us their mettle or fall over as the impotent half the Duopoly.

  2. INJUSTICE
    DISCRIMINATION
    LET JULIANNE ASSANGE FREE.

  3. I agree with every point in this article, but it is lacking in direction as to what we should do. We need to organise.

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