More Than 60 Australian Lawmakers Urge US to Drop Charges Against Assange

By Dave DeCamp

A group of 63 members of Australia’s parliament have urged the US to drop the charges against WikiLeaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange, who faces up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the US and convicted for exposing US war crimes.

According to The Guardian, the 63 MPs, which include members of Australia’s House of Representatives and Senate, said in a letter that if Assange is extradited, there will be “a sharp and sustained outcry in Australia.”

Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison for over four years on no charges as the US is trying to extradite and imprison him for publishing documents obtained by a source, a standard journalistic practice. If Assange is convicted, it would have grave implications for press freedom in the US and around the world.

The Australian lawmakers said in the letter that they were “resolutely of the view that the prosecution and incarceration of the Australian citizen Julian Assange must end.” They expressed support for a cross-party Australian parliamentary delegation that is due to visit Washington next week to lobby for Assange’s freedom.

“It serves no purpose, it is unjust, and we say clearly — as friends should always be honest with friends — that the prolonged pursuit of Mr. Assange wears away at the substantial foundation of regard and respect that Australians have for the justice system of the United States of America,” the MPs said.

The letter is the latest sign that the Australian government is stepping up the pressure on the US to end its persecution of Assange. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected Australia’s concerns when he visited the country in July to further cement the US-Australian military alliance, but Canberra has refused to drop the issue.

After Blinken’s visit, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese insisted he was standing “firm” on the issue. He said the case against Assange “has gone on for too long. Enough is enough.” Albanese will travel to the US for an official state visit at the end of October.


One Reply to “More Than 60 Australian Lawmakers Urge US to Drop Charges Against Assange”

  1. Vendetter

    America was caught with their pants down after killing innocent casualties during the Iraq war, including Reuters journalists. Wikileaks put it all out there with their data dump, hence Assange in custody is nothing more than American revenge for what he did. America never admits that they did anything wrong, so why are they msking an example of Assange in this case? The world is well aware now, it’s not as if America can scoop it up and hide it away. Too late for that.