On Tuesday July 3rd. 2018, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, born in Townsville Queensland Australia, turned 47!
Julian has been detained without charge in England, on behest of the U.S. government since he was 39! In that time Julian was jailed (in solitary confinement in HMP Wandsworth) and electronically tagged under house arrest, before finding asylum in the small five-room embassy of Ecuador (then under radical reformer, President Correa).
For the past 6 years Julian has be surrounded by British police in the sensory deprivation of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge London. For the last 3 months, a day after a meeting with the U.S. Southern Command in Quito, the Ecuadorian government (now under backslider President Lenin) has jammed the internet & phone in their own embassy and denied visits to Julian.
Throughout these long years the Australian government has, at best, been negligent in its responsibilities & duty of care in relation to this Australian citizen. In truth, Australian governments – both Liberal & Labor – have proactively co-operated with the ongoing persecution of this heroic publisher – who has never published anything untrue.
Julian consistently exposes high crimes against the poor executed by the world’s rich and powerful. Amongst other things, the Australian government presently refuses to re-issue Julian a passport
On Tuesday, July 3rd, acclaimed LGBT/ human rights activist Peter Tatchell (born Melbourne), London/ Camden Catholic Worker, Ciaron O’Reilly (Brisbane) sound engineer Rick (Sydney) and gardener Lorraine (Broome) ) approached the Australian High Commission on The Strand to deliver an Open Letter signed by Australians – home & abroad
Open Letter to the Australian government:
Mr George Brandis
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Strand, London WC2B 4LA . June 2018
Dear Mr Brandis,
We Australians, here in London and from further afield, welcome the first ever visit to Julian Assange by Australian consular staff on 8 June 2018 as a sign of a new regard for Mr Assange’s human rights as you take the helm at the High Commission.
As of this month, Mr Assange has been confined six years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which the UN has deemed an arbitrary deprivation of his liberty: a grave human rights abuse which ought to end expeditiously and for which, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, he ought to be compensated by Britain and Sweden.
We hope you share our deep concern at attacks on whistle-blowers and the danger posed to our democracy, security and good governance when whistle-blowers are thus deterred. As President Obama said in 2008, in relation to US government whistle-blowing, ‘We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk … [W]histle-blowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal.’
The High Commission has a duty to ensure Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, is treated no less favourably than local citizens detained for similar offences. British citizens enjoy the protection of the UK Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantee their right to freedom of expression. ‘This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’ and to do so ‘without interference by public authority’.
He also has a right to be presumed innocent and given a fair trial and a right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. As Australian High Commissioner, you must ensure Mr Assange’s treatment by UK authorities accords with those standards.
In light of the above, we, the undersigned ask you to convey our urgent and emphatic request to our Government to do its utmost to defend Julian Assange’s human rights and the free and lawful operation of Wikileaks. Specifically, we ask the Australian Government to:
- Promptly renew Mr Assange’s Australian passport following its recent expiry;
- Ensure Mr Assange is guaranteed full and timely access to all necessary medical and dental care;
- Respect and defend his right to receive information and impart information freely, without interference by any public authority;
- Robustly defend Mr Assange at home and abroad and object to threats levelled against Mr Assange by high-profile US citizens and others;
- Strenuously oppose any application to have Mr Assange extradited to the United States, where it is unlikely he would receive a fair trial; and
- Press the UK government to ‘facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner’ and both the UK and Swedish governments to compensate him for his arbitrary detention.
- We thank you for your attention to these matters of fundamental importance to a free and democratic society.
John Pilger, Sydney NSW, journalist & film-maker.
Shirley Shackleton, Journalist, mother, widow of slain Australian journalist Greg
Peter Tatchell, Melbourne Victoria, Human rights campaigner.
Ciaron O’Reilly, Brisbane Queensland, Catholic Worker, former anti-war prisoner of U.S.
Jo Valentine, Perth W.A., former Senator for Western Australia.
Tony Ansell, Asquith NSW, Salesperson.
Jeff Armitage Sydney NSW, Retired.
Dr Olivia Ball, Melbourne Victoria, Researcher.
Susannah Ball, Melbourne, Librarian.
Somerset Bean, Adelaide South Australia, graphic designer
Greta Bird Carlton Victoria, Teacher.
Simon Bliss, Brisbane Queensland, Teacher.
Dr Lisa Bridle, Brisbane Queensland, Social Worker/Disability Advocate
Eden Boucher,, Adelaide S.A. musician “Lovers Electric”, mother of 4.
Craig Buckley, Brisbane Queensland, Barrister.
Robert J. Burrowes, Daylesford Victoria, Cofounder ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.
Tim Carter, Brisbane Queensland, Retired Principal.
Gabriel Cerasani, Noosa, Queensland, concerned citizen.
Norman Close Brisbane Queensland, Pastor.
Pam Close, Brisbane Queensland, concerned citizen.
Janet Connollly, Brisbane Queensland, Nurse.
Ian Curr, Brisbane Queensland, democratic rights activist.
Dr C Dassos, Broadbeach Queensland, General Practitioner
Glenys Davies, Inglewood W.A., Physiotherapist
Jim Dodrill, Ipswich Queensland, President of Ipswich Ratepayers and Residents Association.
Ben Dowling, Brisbane Queensland, Coffee industry worker.
Franz Dowling, Brisbane Queensland, University student.
Jim Dowling, Dayboro Australia, Support worker.
Rebekah Dowling, Brisbane Queensland, Student teacher .
Paul Dyson, Sydney, Software engineer.
Simone Eclair, Deagon Qld, Comedian.
John Erickson (aka John Treason), Brisbane Queensland, Musician.
Terry Fisher, Brisbane Queensland, Solicitor
Stephen Fugate, Brisbane Queensland, retiree.
Rik Garfit-Mottram, Canberra ACT, Sound engineer.
Brian Gwynne, Brisbane Queensland, Manager.
Sandy Hay, Newcastle NSW, concerned citizen.
Alex Hills, Canberra ACT, musician.
Tom Hinchliffe, Brisbane Queensland, Primary school teacher.
Allen L. Jasson, Adelaide S.A.., Software engineer, former Australian Army.
Kylie Johnson, Ashgrove Queensland, Ceramist.
Angela Jones, Brisbane Queensland, Researcher.
Rev Fr Pan Jordan OP, Brisbane Queensland, Catholic Priest.
June Kelly, Tasmania, Stenographer and Independent Researcher Global Affairs
John Matthew Kelly, Sydney NSW, Former Broadcaster with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Michael Kennedy, Brisbane Queensland, Computer programmer.
Stephen Langford, Sydney NSW, Retired nurse. Order of Timor.
David Lazgo, Brisbane Queensland, Psychologist.
Rebecca Leech, Adelaide South Australia, concerned citizen
Suzie McDarra, Bardon Queensland, Massage Therapist.
CIaran MacLennan, Brisbane, Waterside worker.
Dr. Gary MacLennan, Brisbane Queensland, consultant.
Kay McPadden rsj, Sydney NSW, Religious Sister.
Kez Majkut, Melbourne Victoria, Public Servant
Teresa Marshall, Brisbane, Administrator.
Rev. Fr. Peter Murnane OP, Cobden Victoria, Catholic Priest..
Rev. Simon Moyle, Melbourne Victoria, Baptist minister.
Bob Muntz, Ascot Vale Victoria, Retired.
Darryl Nelson, Rothwell, Teacher.
Pat Nelson, Melbourne, retired teacher.
Dana Nicklin, Greenslopes Queensland, Brisbane, Mediator.
Brian O’Brien, Toowoomba Qld, Registered Nurse.
Catherine O’Brien, Toowoomba Queenlsand, Registered Nurse.
Ben O’Brien, Sinnamon Park Queensland, Registered Nurse.
Sarah O’Brien, Teacher, Sinnamon Park.
Sally O’Brien, Westbrook Queensland, Child Counsellor.
Michael O’Keeffe, Northern Rivers NSW, Ecologist.
Mary OReilly, Brisbane Queensland, Mother of 3.
Sean O’Reilly, Brisbane Queensland, Psychiatric Nurse, father of 2.
Anne Rampa, Dayboro Australia, Bus Driver.
Rev. Dave Smith, Sydney NSW, Anglican vicar, Pugilist, father of 4.
Beryl Scneider, Caboolture Queensland, Business woman.
Peter Shaw, Brisbane Queensland, Self-employed
Mary Sweeney, South Yarra, Victoria, concerned citizen.
Fleur Taylor, Melbourne Victoria, editor.
Kathy Thompson, Buderim Queensland, Registered Nurse
Kevin Traynor, Waterford Queensland, concerned citizen.
Sally Traynor, Waterford Qld, Driving Instructor.
Eliza Tree, Castlemaine Victoria, artist.
David Turley, Adelaide S.A., musician “Lovers Electric”, father of 4.
Michael Tysoe, Fairfield Queensland, Musician.
Jennifer Upton, Brisbane Queensland, Accountant.
Pat Ryan, Warick Queensland, Counsellor.
Dave Whelan, Melbourne Victoria, Lawyer.
Caron Lewis, Melbourne Australia, Small Business Owner
Christine Whitewood 104 Badger Creek Rd Healesville 3777 Retired