Australian Greens Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale has called upon the Australian Government to swiftly intervene to ensure that Julian Assange is not extradited to the United States.
“This arrest is a dark day for press freedom around the world,” Di Natale said.
“Regardless of what you think about Assange as an individual, he is facing extradition to the US on charges relating to his work to shine light on potential war crimes – an act that won him Australia’s highest honour for journalism.
“Seeking to punish Assange for exposing evidence of US atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan would put a chilling effect on moves towards open and more transparent democracy.
“This is not a simple case of someone breaking local laws while overseas. If extradited to the United States, Assange will be on trial for alleged crimes he committed while not even in the country. Foreign nations must not be able to extradite and charge journalists who have exposed their wrongdoing. It sets a terrible precedent and would be a disaster for the free press.
“Australia must do more than simply provide a tokenistic offer of consular assistance. I call on the Foreign Minister to make the most of our so-called special relationship with the United States to ensure that Assange is not extradited to the US”
“It’s time the ALP showed some courage and stood up for a more open and transparent democracy instead of again falling into line behind the Coalition.”