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    Irish MEPs wore "Free Assange" t-shirts at the European Parliament. | Photo: Twitter / @ClareDalyMEP

Published 3 July 2019

Two Irish members of the European Parliament wore t-shirts at the EU parliament to support Julian Assange while his father celebrated his birthday in Melbourne.

Two newly elected Irish Members of the European Parliament (MEP) wore “Free Assange” t-shirts on the first day the European parliament’s reopening Tuesday in Strasbourg. 

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Independent politicians Mick Wallace and Clare Daly wore t-shirts supporting the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange whose birthday falls on July 3. 

“Assange is in prison because he exposed the ugliness of US Foreign Policy. Anyone who cares about a free independent media should challenge the treatment of Julian Assange,” Wallace wrote on Twitter. 

Wallace and Daly, who were members of Ireland’s parliament, also carried signs saying “End fortress Europe” and “Since 2015 over 10,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean.” They also met Assange in 2013 when he was in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. 

Meanwhile, In Australia, the whistleblower's father celebrated his son’s 48th birthday Wednesday with a crowd of supporters at Melbourne's Federation Square. 

"It's very distressing and one can't think too much about it without becoming overwrought, so it's best to attend to practical matters, to assure that Julian can come home and we can have a cup of coffee together at Fed Square," his father John Shipton said. 

He said he would prefer to celebrate Assange’s birthday with him in prison. 

"His health has stabilized and his spirit is extremely strong, and (he is) determined to fight for his freedom and for freedom of press to inform us of what our governments are doing," Shipton said.

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for skipping bail after spending seven years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape allegation made in 2010. Assange denies the rape accusation.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority, which is investigating the allegation, said on its website Wednesday that it had begun analyzing evidence and it would not take any significant decision about its next steps until that process was complete.

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