Assange Supporters Call for Release Ahead of US Talks

July 29th, 2023 - by Michael West /

Supporters of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Urge
Australian Ministers to Push US for His Release 

Michael West /

AUSTRALIA (July 28, 2023) — Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong will told talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brisbane on Friday as part of the annual AUSMIN meetings, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also attending.

The brother for Julian Assange, Gabriel Shipton, said the talks was one of the last face-to-face meetings between the ministers before the 51-year-old faces extradition from the UK to the US.

“Julian is inches away from extradition to the USA,” Mr. Shipton said in a statement.

“The meeting between the secretary of state and the prime minister could be the last chance to put a stop to Julian’s nightmare.”

Assange has been held in prison in London since 2019, after thousands of documents were leaked in 2010 about US operations in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In 2021, a UK judge ruled Assange not be extradited to the US due to concerns for his mental health, but the decision was overturned on appeal.

While Mr. Albanese had raised the issue of Assange with US President Joe Biden, Mr. Shipton said the case needed to brought to attention at the AUSMIN talks.

“Eighty eight per cent agree the Biden administration should drop the charges against Julian,” he said.

“Each day the US administration ignores the Australian public on Julian’s freedom it becomes clearer and clearer Australia’s true standing in the alliance.”

US ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy said she understood the concerns raised by Assange’s supporters.

“For Julian Assange, it means a lot that he has this kind of support, but we’re just going to have to see what happens,” she told ABC Radio on Friday.

“This has been raised at the highest levels of our government, but it is an ongoing legal case. So the Department of Justice is really in charge.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.