Free Assange Protest in London: June 24

By Neenah Payne

Stella Assange Addresses Australian National Press Club reported on the visit to Australia by Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, the Australian founder of WikiLeaks. Stella was in Canberra, Australia on May 22 to address The National Press Club with Jennifer Robinson, Australian human rights lawyer and barrister.

See Stella’s passionate plea as she said the life of her husband is “in the hands of the Australian government” as she pleaded for Canberra to do more to influence the US to stop the pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder. “This is the closest we’ve ever been to securing Julian’s release.

Stella Assange’s Visit To Australia in May

Stella Assange traveled for the first time to Australia where she addressed The National Press Club in Canberra with Jenifer Robinson, Australian Human Rights Lawyer and Barrister.

Watch the full press conference here:

In her first visit to Australia, Stella met with the cross-party Free Assange Parliamentary group alongside Julian’s brother Gabriel, father John Shipton, and lawyer Jen Robinson to brief the politicians on Assange’s case.

You can read Stella’s full speech here:

Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, joined Stella Assange to discuss the continuing incarceration of her husband Julian in Belmarsh Prison. Mr. Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson was also in attendance.

Julian’s case has reached breaking point, and the Australian Government, Opposition, and his fellow citizens have come together to reject the fact that the United States Government is keeping an Australian citizen in prison and making him suffer because he had the courage to shine a light on injustice,” Mrs. Assange said.

The Australian people are committed to Julian’s freedom, and the unity we see in politics reflects that. It is important to show the Biden administration that Julian’s freedom is not up for debate. It is essential to press freedom, it is essential to justice, and it is essential to its most important ally, Australia.”

Mr Wilkie said it was vital for the Australian Government to ramp up its support for Julian.

Julian Assange is facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars in a United States prison unable to witness his two young boys, Gabriel and Max, growing up just for exposing the truth,” Mr Wilkie said. “This political persecution of Julian strikes at the very heart of media freedom, as his extradition would set a frightening precedent for all journalists that they too are at risk of being locked up, just for doing their job.

“There has been growing support for Julian in Australia, with politicians from all parties agreeing that the persecution of Julian has gone on too long and must be brought to an end. In Question Time, I asked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to meet with Stella to discuss what can be done to bring Julian home. Disappointingly, he didn’t agree to a meeting, but it was heartening to hear him again express his concern that Julian’s incarceration had gone on long enough.

“This Australian has been kept away from his family for too long and is desperate to be reunited. The Government must do everything in its power to see the extradition dropped and Julian to be reunited with his family and allowed to return to Australia.”

She then joined the protest in Sydney alongside Julian Assange’s father John and brother Gabriel Shipton. “What I feel intensely is a concerted effort to bring Julian home from the Australian politicians, obviously from the government and also from the Australian population,” Stella said.

She has called on the prime minister to help free her husband and she also appeared on Australia’s The Project where she explained how Julian’s health is deteriorating since during his time in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy and his incarcerations in Belmarsh Prison.

You can listen to Stella speaking at ABC Radio National where she discussed the push to secure her partner’s release. She also believes they are closer than ever to a resolution in Assange’s long-running case, securing Julian’s release from prison is a matter of life and death.

Watch Stella’s full interview on ABC’s 730:

“Julian is in a 3x2m single cell. He’s in his cell for over 22 hours a day and he only gets to see his family once or twice a week for little more than one hour at a time”.

FBI Reopens Assange Probe

Julian Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson was invited to Australia’s QandA show where she also spoke about Julian’s case and said the US is “prosecuting journalism” in its bid to extradite the jailed WikiLeaks founder and that it “diminishes our ability to raise free speech concerns internationally.”

FBI Reopens Probe Into Julian Assange reported on June 2:

The FBI has restarted its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported on Thursday. According to a front-page story in the SMH, the FBI is looking to build its case up against Assange, who was indicted by the US Justice Department in 2019 for exposing US war crimes by publishing classified documents he obtained from a source, a standard journalistic practice….

Assange’s legal team was surprised by the FBI request, which came amid building pressure on the Biden administration to drop the charges against the WikiLeaks founder. A delegation of Australian lawmakers recently met with the US ambassador to Australia and called on Washington to free Assange, who has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison since the indictment. “It appears they are continuing to try to investigate, which I find unusual given the amount of time that has passed since the investigation began,” Stephen Kenny, Assange’s Australian lawyer, told SMH….

Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton said it appears that the US might be seeking a new indictment against Assange and that it showed an acknowledgment of “how weak the charges” are against him.

The Biden administration has also come under domestic pressure over Assange. A group of House Democrats led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) recently sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to drop the charges.

Free Julian Assange: Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg & Jeremy Corbyn Lead Call at Belmarsh Tribunal

Former British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and famed linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky joined others earlier this year calling on President Biden to drop charges against Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder has been languishing for over four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States. If he is extradited, tried and convicted, Assange faces up to 175 years in jail for violating the U.S. Espionage Act for publishing documents that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Belmarsh Tribunal at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in January was organized by the Progressive International and the Wau Holland Foundation.

London Protest Saturday, June 24

On Saturday 24th June, Davide Dormino will bring his Anything to Say? statue to London for one day only! If you have anything to say, then join us in Parliament Square from 1pm.

“Anything To Say?” is a life-size bronze sculpture portraying three figures each one standing on a chair. The fourth chair is empty because it is our chair. The one for us to stand up on to express ourselves or simply to stand next to Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, who had the courage to say “No!” to the intrusion of global surveillance and to lies that lead to war.

When: Saturday 24 June at 1pm BST
Where: Parliament square, London UK

Mark your calendars!

National Day of Action July 3: Julian’s Birthday

If you are in the States, sign up for a National Day of Action for Julian’s Birthday! More than 130 people signed up to host banner drops and other actions on July 3, Julian’s birthday. Get involved here.

Check out this Free Assange Emergency Toolkit and find out how you can help.

Write to Julian for his Birthday – write a letter today to ensure it arrives on time. This campaign is sponsored by Assange Campaign Australia.

On July 3rd, Julian Assange will wake to his 52nd birthday and his 11th without his freedom.

Over the last long and lonely decade – Julian has been torn away from his loved ones. This is a terrible pain on any day, but especially today, on his birthday, a day meant to be filled with joy and celebration, not confinement and solitude.

Will you take a moment today to send Julian a short note to celebrate his birthday?

We will be delivering them to him in Belmarsh Prison just ahead of his birthday. They don’t need to be long or elaborate, and the prison has some strict requirements. We will need your full name and address, and you’ll need to keep your message short and general as his mail is checked and monitored.

Will you write a letter today to ensure it arrives on time?

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post

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