Australian Parliament Asks US to Stop Action Against Assange

February 15, 2024 Hour: 12:28 pm

On Wednesday night, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and 85 lawmakers supported a motion to urge the United States and the United Kingdom to end the legal proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allow him to return to Australia.


Assange to Present Final Appeal to Avoid Extradition on Feb 20

This motion, presented by independent legislator Andrew Wilkie in the Lower Chamber, garnered 86 votes in favor and 42 against in a legislative session held at the Canberra Parliament.

Assange, 52, faces over 18 criminal charges under the US Espionage Act and risks being sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

The Australian journalist has been detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison (UK) since 2019, when the Ecuadorian embassy in London revoked the asylum granted in 2012 by then-President Rafael Correa.

“The motion sends a clear message to the UK and the United States that Julian has the support of the Australian people,” said Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother.

Starting February 20, the London High Court will hold a hearing to consider Assange’s latest legal appeal to avoid extradition to the United States.

Since coming to power in May 2022, Albanese has taken a more active role regarding Assange’s potential extradition to the United States, which was also discussed with President Joe Biden during the Australian leader’s visit to Washington in October 2023.

In an interview with the Australian ABC in 2023, Albanese stated that Assange’s situation is frustrating because “the person who leaked the information now walks freely after spending time in jail.”

He was referring to former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who leaked classified information and was released in 2017 after her 35-year prison sentence was commuted.

Assange is accused of his alleged role in obtaining and subsequently disclosing classified documents related to U.S. national defense through WikiLeaks, including evidence exposing human rights violations by the U.S. Army in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The WikiLeaks founder, who claims that legal actions against him are politically motivated persecution, suffers from fragile mental health and is at risk of suicide if his appeal is rejected.

Autor: teleSUR/ JF

Fuente: EFE

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