The recent ruling by the UK Supreme Court that Julian Assange, the Australian founder of Wikileaks, be extradited to Sweden is extremely concerning to anyone who cares about free speech. Wanted in Sweden over charges that many feel are politically motivated, there is a real concern that this will lead to him being shipped off to the USA. Anger at Assange’s whistle blowing in the USA is palpable, with some commentators accusing him of terrorism and calling for his death, so there are serious concerns for his safety.
On the 1st of June I was asked to represent the Greens, along with NSW MP David Shoebridge, at a rally outside the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the government department that has shamefully neglected to give any real assistance to an Australian citizen being mistreated overseas. It was inspirational to see former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks also speak at the rally. None know better than he the terrible fate that can await a person when they fall into the US military justice system and we can only hope that his experience – years of imprisonment and torture with no help from the Australian government – is not what awaits Julian Assange.
The speech I gave at the rally can be found here.