Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Julian Assange’s fight for freedom

Julian Assange’s fight for freedom   https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/julian-assanges-fight-for-freedom/12409182?fbclid=IwAR2rdBdg8aKbjWtITDgh-0EYRgJ_jqGuHL2HhlBxZe6cWz_Jwtt5HxUXl9k

By Phillip Adams on Late Night Live  n a revised edition of his book ‘The Most Dangerous Man in the World’, Investigative reporter Andrew Fowler reports on a tangled tale regarding the negotiations between Julian Assange and the US Department of Justice, to strike a deal with the incoming Trump Administration.  At that time, Wikileaks was in a strong bargaining position with its Vault 7 CIA disclosures, but a lack of trust and mounting pressure from various sources saw Assange decide to publish the CIA secrets.

Duration: 18min 48sec

Broadcast: Wed 1 Jul 2020,

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Julian Assange’s father in tireless fight to free his son, calls on Scott Morrison to help Australian citizen Julian

Assange’s father calls extradition process ‘disgrace’  https://telanganatoday.com/assanges-father-calls-extradition-process-disgrace?fbclid=IwAR1a7bQ0W_Xcgc9EIeGaAHVP7Zmm2cM6nNV65ZXtkhCwNUlarqIYTJVw6xo1 July 20, The 80-year-old is organizing public events in Australia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and hopes to travel to London in August to support Assange during his extradition trial.  

Sydney: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s father, John Shipton, is fighting tirelessly for the release and return of his son, who is facing an extradition trial in London for publishing classified information, a process he described as abuse.

“We maintain that the extradition request is a fraud in the English court… It’s a fraud in the English legal system, it’s a case of abuse of process, it is a disgrace,” Shipton, who travelled from Melbourne to Sydney to campaign for his son’s release, told Efe news in an interview.
The 80-year-old is organizing public events in Australia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and hopes to travel to London in August to support Assange during his extradition trial which, he says, is being carried out under “dire” circumstances.

In May 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, said, after visiting Assange in the Belmarsh prison along with two medical experts, that he showed “all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma”.

Assange has spent almost a decade in confinement, first under house arrest in a British town and then at the Ecuadorian embassy in London between 2012 until 2019, when Ecuador withdrew his political asylum status.

Shipton has urged the Australian government to mediate with the UK administration for the release of his son, who is wanted in the US on 18 charges of espionage and computer intrusion, for which he could be sentenced to prison for up to 175 years.

“I believe the government can, if it wishes to, assist us in bringing Julian home. I believe that (it) is very simple for the Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) to pick up the phone and ring (his UK counterpart) Boris Johnson and say Julian Assange is an Australian citizen in dire circumstances.

“This will resolve this immediately and that’s easily possible,” he told Efe news during the interview.

July 2, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

USA adds a new indictment to its charges against Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Assange faces new indictment in US, By ERIC TUCKER, 29 June 20,  WASHINGTON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought to recruit hackers at conferences in Europe and Asia who could provide his anti-secrecy website with classified information, and conspired with members of hacking organizations, according to a new Justice Department indictment announced Wednesday.

The superseding indictment does not contain additional charges beyond the 18 counts the Justice Department unsealed last year. But prosecutors say it underscores Assange’s efforts to procure and release classified information, allegations that form the basis of criminal charges he already faces.

Beyond recruiting hackers at conferences, the indictment accuses Assange of conspiring with members of hacking groups known as LulzSec and Anonymous. He also worked with a 17-year-old hacker who gave him information stolen from a bank and directed the teenager to steal additional material, including audio recordings of high-ranking government officials, prosecutors say.

Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack, said in a statement that “the government’s relentless pursuit of Julian Assange poses a grave threat to journalists everywhere and to the public’s right to know.”

“While today’s superseding indictment is yet another chapter in the U.S. Government’s effort to persuade the public that its pursuit of Julian Assange is based on something other than his publication of newsworthy truthful information,” he added, “the indictment continues to charge him with violating the Espionage Act based on WikiLeaks publications exposing war crimes committed by the U.S. Government.”

Assange was arrested last year after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had sought refuge to avoid being sent to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, and is at the center of an extradition tussle over whether he should be sent to the United States.

The Justice Department has already charged him with conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history by working together to crack a password to a government computer.

Prosecutors say the WikiLeaks founder damaged national security by publishing hundreds of thousands of classified documents, including diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that harmed the U.S. and its allies and aided its adversaries.

Assange maintains he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection. His lawyers have argued the U.S. charges of espionage and computer misuse were politically motivated and an abuse of power.

Assange generated substantial attention during the 2016 presidential election, and in investigations that followed, after WikiLeaks published stolen Democratic emails that U.S. authorities say were hacked by Russian military intelligence officials. An investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller revealed how Trump campaign associates eagerly anticipated the email disclosures. One Trump ally, Roger Stone, was found guilty last year of lying about his efforts to gain inside information about the emails. Assange, however, was never charged in Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The allegations in the new indictment center on conferences, in locations including the Netherlands and Malaysia in 2009, at which prosecutors say he and a WikiLeaks associate sought to recruit hackers who could locate classified information, including material on a “Most Wanted Leaks” list posted on WikiLeaks’ website.

According to the new indictment, he told would-be recruits that unless they were a member of the U.S. military, they faced no legal liability for stealing classified information and giving it to WikiLeaks “because ‘TOP SECRET’ meant nothing as a matter of law.”

At one conference in Malaysia, called the “Hack in the Box Security Conference,” Assange told the audience, “I was a famous teenage hacker in Australia, and I’ve been reading generals’ emails since I was 17.”

June 29, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Trump’s Justice department doubles down on USA allegations against Julian Assange

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Assange Hit With New Superseding Indictment, Reflecting Possible FBI Sting Operation The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday unveiled the new superseding indictment against the WikiLeaks publisher, adding to existing computer intrusion charges. By Joe Lauria, Consortium News June 24, 2020  The Justice Department on Wednesday said it had filed a second superseding indictment against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, adding to existing computer intrusion charges.“The new indictment does not add additional counts to the prior 18-count superseding indictment returned against Assange in May 2019,” the DOJ said in a press release.

“It does, however, broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged,” the release said. “According to the charging document, Assange and others at WikiLeaks recruited and agreed with hackers to commit computer intrusions to benefit WikiLeaks.”…….

The indictment quotes Assange at hacking conferences encouraging hackers to obtain a “Most Wanted Leaks” list of classified materials that WikiLeaks sought to publish.

It provides new allegations that Assange instructed a “teenager” from an unnamed NATO country to conduct various hacks “including audio recordings of phone conversations between high-ranking officials” of the NATO nation as well as members of parliament from that country. The indictment claims Manning “downloaded classified State Department materials” about this country.

WikiLeaks has identified the “teenager” as Sigurdur Thordarson, “a diagnosed sociopath, a convicted conman, and sex criminal” who had impersonated Assange to embezzle money from WikiLeaks………..

Thordarson, an Icelander, became an FBI informant, and was flown to Washington in May 2019 for an interview with the FBI.

The superseding indictment says Assange was allegedly able to learn from “unauthorized access” to a website of this government that police from that country were monitoring him. The indictment says the source of this information was a former member of Anonymous who worked with WikiLeaks named Sabu, identified in the press as Hector Monsegur, who became an FBI informant after being arrested in June 2011.

In the same month, Iceland’s Interior Minister Ögmundur Jonasson prevented FBI agents from entering Iceland, testifying that “FBI dirty-tricks operations were afoot against WikiLeaks.” He said the agents had been sent to seek “our cooperation in what I understood as an operation to set up, to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.”  The possibility remains that the new evidence against Assange was obtained in an FBI sting operation.

Jeremy Hammond, a hacker arrested for obtaining the Stratfor files, is named in the new indictment has having revealed information about his activities with Assange to Sabu in December 2011. Last September, Hammond, who was serving a 10-year sentence in Memphis, TN, was brought by prosecutors investigating Assange to Alexandria, VA to compel him to give testimony against Assange. Hammond has refused.

Reiterates Original Charges

The new indictment repeats the existing espionage and computer intrusion charges………

In 2010, Robert Parry, one of the best investigative reporters of his era, and the founder of this website, wrote that the then pending plans of the Obama administration to indict Assange “for conspiring with Army Pvt. Bradley Manning to obtain U.S. secrets strikes at the heart of investigative journalism on national security scandals.”

Parry added:

“That’s because the process for reporters obtaining classified information about crimes of state most often involves a journalist persuading some government official to break the law either by turning over classified documents or at least by talking about the secret information. There is almost always some level of ‘conspiracy’ between reporter and source.” [Emphasis added.]

Parry thus admitted to encouraging his sources to turn over classified information even if it meant committing the lesser crime of leaking classified information if it could help prevent a larger crime from being committed. In this way Assange encouraged Manning to turn over material such as the “Collateral Murder” video in the hope that it could end the illegal war in Iraq…….

The New York Times reported at the time that “federal prosecutors were reviewing the possibility of indicting Assange on conspiracy charges for allegedly encouraging or assisting Manning in extracting ‘classified military and State Department files from a government computer system,’” Parry wrote.

“The Times article by Charlie Savage notes that if prosecutors determine that Assange provided some help in the process, ‘they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them,” wrote Parry.

This is precisely what the Trump Justice Department has done in the first computer intrusion indictment against Assange and now with this superseding one. https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/24/assange-extradition-assange-hit-with-new-superseding-indictment-broadening-computer-intrusion-charges/?fbclid=IwAR3uZdqQkMLxeheGyUVLpkUYPIo0ywUZwFiQcu6pD9woYSYyPhZtyh3kiw4

June 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Doctors accuse UK and US of Assange ‘psychological torture’ amid new indictment

Doctors accuse UK and US of Assange ‘psychological torture’ amid new indictment, UK News : Jun 25, 2020

US prosecutors are seeking the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition on grounds that he damaged national security by publishing classified documents.  More than 200 doctors from 33 countries have signed a letter saying British public officials could be held accountable for the “psychological torture” of Julian Assange.

It came as the WikiLeaks founder faced a new indictment in the US, which alleges that he sought to recruit hackers at conferences to train in obtaining official secrets.

In their letter, printed in The Lancet, the Doctors for Assange group accuse UK and American officials of “intensifying Julian Assange’s psychological torture” and call for his immediate release.

They add in the letter, which has also been sent to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, that Assange is at medical risk because of increasing abuse of his “fundamental human and legal rights at the hands of judicial, prison and contracted security authorities”.

Earlier this month, the 48-year-old was said to be too ill to attend the latest court hearing in his extradition case.

He is wanted in the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act as well as conspiracy to commit computer intrusion after the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011……

US prosecutors are seeking his extradition on the grounds that he damaged national security by publishing hundreds of thousands of classified documents, but Assange maintains he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection.

His full extradition hearing is set to take place on September 7, having originally been scheduled for May 18, although a crown court has not yet been found to take the case.

A further administrative hearing is due to take place on June 29.https://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2020/06/25/doctors-accuse-uk-and-us-of-assange-psychological-torture-amid-new-indictment/?fbclid=IwAR28IW4pqkYDsqMW-GxrZ3kGC7l0xE4aVan58Ppt34RhTCQpP5hJebTbAvw

June 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Injustice of UK court process regarding Julian Assange. Assange too sick to attend

Monica Del Mestre 3 June 20
1. It is extremely concerning that Assange has not been well enough to attend the past several hearings, even remotely. Yet proceedings continue as if this has nothing to do with him – not dissimilar to when he couldn’t follow properly from the glass dock in Woolwich Crown Court.

2. In addition to other ongoing health concerns, Assange faces the serious risk of exposure to Covid in Belmarsh prison, and has been advised that even going to the video room to take part in hearings is unsafe. This is another reason he should be immediately released.

3. Assange’s lawyers have long complained they have had insufficient access to him in prison. Under lockdown conditions, they have had no access to him at all. They have repeatedly flagged that this lack of access seriously impacts their ability to prepare his defence.

4. One of the next steps agreed today is that psychiatric reports on Assange from the prosecution and defence will be due to the court on 31 July. Remember that UN Special Rapporteur @NilsMelzer has expressed alarm many times that Assange shows symptoms of psychological torture.

5. It is a welcome step that the continuation of the full extradition hearing was adjourned, as lockdown conditions present clear barriers to open justice – but 7 September may not be late enough to make a meaningful difference. Also the court is still struggling to find a venue.

6. It remains extremely frustrating that the court does not adequately accommodate NGO observers. I have never experienced so much difficulty accessing a trial in any country as at Woolwich Crown Court in February, and the teleconference option we now have is far from sufficient.

7. The press are also facing severe restrictions. Only 6 journalists have been allowed to attend in person the past 2 hearings, with others limited to the awful phone line. This case is of high public interest and a better solution must be found before the full hearing resumes.

8. Assange’s next callover hearing has been scheduled for 29 June at 10 am. We urge the court to find workable solutions to enable his safe attendance and ensure the press and observers are able to properly monitor proceedings. /END

June 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

The torture that awaits Julian Assange in the US.

From the frying pan into the fire. The torture that awaits Julian Assange in the US.https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2020/05/10/from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire-the-torture-that-awaits-julian-assange-in-the-us/   
Tom Coburg
 10th May 2020    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is currently held in Belmarsh prison awaiting hearings that could see him extradited to the US to face prosecution for alleged espionage-related offences.

Award-winning US journalist Chris Hedges described the torture that would await Assange in the US prison system, adding “they will attempt to psychologically destroy him”. If extradited, Assange would likely be detained in accordance with ‘Special Administrative Measures’ (SAMs). One report equates this to a regime of sensory deprivation and social isolation that may amount to torture.

Journalists speak out

US journalist Chris Hedges spoke about the treatment Assange is likely to receive in the US. He argues that the US authorities will “psychologically destroy him” and that conditions imposed could see him turned into a ‘zombie’ to face life without parole:

Australian journalist John Pilger agrees:

If Julian is extradited to the US, a darkness awaits him. He’ll be subjected to a prison regime called special administrative measures… He will be placed in a cage in the bowels of a supermax prison, a hellhole. He will be cut off from all contact with the rest of humanity.

From the frying pan…

Assange is already in a precarious position, alongside all other UK prisoners. Belmarsh is a high-security Category A facility and, as with all other prisons in the UK, inmates there are at risk to infection from coronavirus (Covid-19).

On 28 April, the BBC reported that there were “1,783 “possible/probable” cases of coronavirus – on top of 304 confirmed infections across jails in England and Wales”. Also that there were “75 different “custodial institutions”, with 35 inmates treated in hospital and 15 deaths”.

Vaughan Smith, who stood bail for Assange, reported that the virus was “ripping through” Belmarsh:

We know of two Covid-19 deaths in Belmarsh so far, though the Department of Justice have admitted to only one death. Julian told me that there have been more and that the virus is ripping through the prison.

Assange has a known chronic lung condition, which could lead to death should he become infected with coronavirus. Assange’s lawyers requested he is released on bail to avoid succumbing to the virus, but that request was rejected.

As for the psychological effects of segregation, a European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment report argued that it can “can have an extremely damaging effect on the mental, somatic and social health of those concerned”.

…and into the fire

It’s likely that Assange will be placed under SAMs if he is extradited to the US. The Darkest Corner, a report authored by the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and The Center for Constitutional Rights, describes how SAMs work.

In its summary, the report explains that:

SAMs are the darkest corner of the U.S. federal prison system, combining the brutality and isolation of maximum security units with additional restrictions that deny individuals almost any connection to the human world. Those restrictions include gag orders on prisoners, their family members, and their attorneys, effectively shielding this extreme use of government power from public view.

It continues:

SAMs deny prisoners the narrow avenues of indirect communication – through sink drains or air vents – available to prisoners in solitary confinement. They prohibit social contact with anyone except for a few immediate family members, and heavily regulate even those contacts. And they further prohibit prisoners from connecting to the social world via current media and news, limiting prisoners’ access to information to outdated, government-approved materials. Even a prisoner’s communications with his lawyer – which are supposed to be protected by attorney-client privilege – can be subject to monitoring by the FBI.

It ominously adds that: “Many prisoners remain under these conditions indefinitely, for years or in some cases even decades”. Moreover, these conditions can be used as a weapon to force a prisoner to plead guilty:

In numerous cases, the Attorney General recommends lifting SAMs after the defendant pleads guilty. This practice erodes defendants’ presumption of innocence and serves as a tool to coerce them into cooperating with the government and pleading guilty.

The report provides further details on how SAMs incorporate sensory deprivation and social isolation measures that “may amount to torture”. Also, it argues that the SAMs regime contravenes both US and international laws.

ECHR article 3

Should the UK courts agree to extradite Assange, he could face months, if not decades, of psychological torture. However, Article 3 of the European Court of Human Rights states clearly: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Under that article, the US extradition request should be rejected by the UK courts.

For a publisher to be subjected to such a nightmare scenario would be intolerable.

May 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Assange unwell, stuck in solitary confinement while court hearing delayed till September

In his fight against extradition to the US, where he faces 175 years in prison and being subjected to harsh conditions under “Special Administrative Measures”, Assange is rendered defenseless. He is in effective solitary confinement, being psychologically tortured inside London’s maximum-security prison. With the British government’s refusal to release him temporarily into home detention, despite his deteriorating health and weak lung condition developed as consequences of long detention, Assange is now put at risk of contracting coronavirus. This threatens his life.

Now, as the world stands still and becomes silent in our collective self-quarantine, Assange’s words spoken years ago in defense of a free internet call for our attention from behind the walls of Belmarsh prison:

“Nuclear war, climate change or global pandemics are existential threats that we can work through with discussion and thought. Discourse is humanity’s immune system for existential threats. Diseases that infect the immune system are usually fatal. In this case, at a planetary scale.”

Assange’s US extradition, Threat to Future of Internet and Democracy, CounterPunch by NOZOMI HAYASE 8 May 20 On Monday May 4, the British Court decided that the extradition hearing for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, scheduled for May 18, would be moved to September. This four month delay was made after Assange’s defense lawyer argued the difficulty of his receiving a fair hearing due to restrictions posed by the Covid-19 lockdown. Monday’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court proceeded without enabling the phone link for press and observers waiting on the line, and without Assange who was not well enough to appear via videolink.

Sunday May 3rd marked World Press Freedom Day. As people around the globe celebrated with online debates and workshops, Assange was being held on remand in London’s Belmarsh prison for publishing classified documents which exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. On this day, annually observed by the United Nations to remind the governments of the importance of free press, Amnesty International renewed its call for the US to drop the charges against this imprisoned journalist.

The US case to extradite Assange is one of the most important press freedom cases of this century. The indictment against him under the Espionage Act is an unprecedented attack on journalism. This is a war on free speech that has escalated in recent years turning the Internet into a battleground.

Privatized censorship Continue reading

May 9, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia goes backwards in latest world press freedom index

April 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Doctors again call on Australian govt about Julian Assange’s precarious health, risk of coronavirus

Almost 200 medical doctors say Julian Assange’s health is at increased risk from coronavirus,   https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-news/2020/03/18/almost-200-medical-doctors-say-julian-assanges-health-is-at-increased-risk-from-coronavirus/  
John McEvoy
 18th March 2020  On 18 March, almost 200 medical doctors wrote to Australian foreign minister Marise Payne to warn that Julian Assange’s health is at increased risk from the new coronavirus.

“Mr Assange could die in prison”

This is the latest in a number of letters sent by Doctors for Assange to express concern over the WikiLeaks publisher’s deteriorating health.

On 22 November, the group signed an open letter addressed to UK home secretary Priti Patel, saying: “we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison”.

In a follow-up letter published on 4 December, the doctors wrote:

When the UK, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, repeatedly ignores not only the serious warnings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, but also its unequivocal investigative and remedial obligations under international and human rights law, the credibility of the UK’s commitment to human rights and the rule of law is fatally undermined.

Fertile breeding grounds”

The latest letter, signed by medical doctors from countries including the UK, Australia, Sweden, and the US, was written in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic.

The letter reads:

We wrote to you on December 15 2019 that Julian Assange’s life is at risk due to nearly a decade of human rights abuse including arbitrary detention, psychological torture and medical neglect. Now, with the president of the Prison Governor’s Association warning that prisons provide “fertile breeding grounds” for coronavirus, Julian Assange’s life and health are at heightened risk due to his arbitrary detention during this global pandemic. That threat will only grow as the coronavirus spreads. …

We therefore stand by our previous calls for the Australian Government to urgently intervene to protect the life, health and human rights of its citizen Julian Assange, before it is too late, whether due to coronavirus or any number of catastrophic health outcomes.

Coronavirus is the latest threat to Assange’s life, adding onto years of arbitrary punishment and psychological torture.

March 19, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics | Leave a comment

The demonisation of Julian Assange: Former foreign minister Carr calls on the Australian govt to intervene

As anger mounts over Assange’s persecution, former foreign minister Carr calls for moral appeals to Australian government, WSWS, By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2020

Popular opposition to the ongoing imprisonment and state persecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is increasing following last week’s extradition hearing in Britain. The four-day show trial, which blatantly violated Assange’s basic legal rights and subjected him to even more psychological torture, has deeply shocked many people and intensified the determination of those fighting for Assange’s release.

Addressing a public meeting last week in the New South Wales (NSW) parliament, Bob Carr, a former federal foreign minister and state Labor premier from 1995–2005, denounced the bogus espionage charges against Assange and warned that if extradited to the US, he would die.

Carr and other speakers, including Assange’s Australian lawyer Greg Barns and former SBS television journalist Mary Kostakidis, insisted, however, that those defending Assange should concentrate on lobbying state and federal MPs.

This orientation, they suggested, would pressure the Liberal-National Coalition government and Foreign Minister Marisa Payne to ask Washington to release the WikiLeaks publisher.

uCarr called for Payne to have a “friendly chat” with Mike Pompeo, the former CIA chief and current US Secretary of State, and offered some talking points…….

Carr said nothing about Pompeo’s threatening denunciations of WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” his visit to Sydney last August when he demanded greater Australian involvement in Washington’s aggressive confrontations with Beijing and Iran, or his role as former CIA chief.

As for Payne, she rejected any defence of Assange, declaring in the Senate a day earlier that the WikiLeaks publisher would receive a fair trial and disparaging UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer’s reports on the decade-long persecution of Assange.

Carr’s opposition to the US-led vendetta against Assange, which he first voiced in May, appears to constitute a remarkable political turn around. Eight years ago, as foreign minister in the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard—from early 2012 to September 2013—Carr, like other federal Labor MPs and the party as a whole, was virulently hostile to Assange…….

The demonisation of Assange by Australia’s political establishment and the corporate media, which is part and parcel of its commitment to the US alliance, has not convinced tens of thousands of ordinary Australians. Important layers of workers, young people, students and middle-class people have taken up Assange’s defence as part of a growing international movement. …… https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/06/carr-m06.html

March 7, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics | Leave a comment

Immoral and illegal spying on Julian Assange and his lawyers – MP Andrew Wilkie calls on Australian government to act.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

#WETOOARE PROTESTERS   FREE JULIAN ASSANGE 

https://weetoo.home.blog/We are a group of mothers, fathers, teachers and students from all over the world, and we are extremely worried about the health condition, as well as the violations of the most basic human rights, of journalist and editor Julian Assange.

The award-winning journalist, in fact, has been held for months in isolation in the maximum security of Belmarsh Prison waiting for extradition to the United States where, confirmed by United Nations experts, it will be difficult for him to have a fair trial and where he risks up to 175 years in prison or even the death penalty.

The motive for the indictment was made mainly by his having published military documents confirming corruption and atrocious war crimes; in particular his website Wikileaks documents show how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have massacred millions of people were created by governments for economic interests and for the exploitation of resources. In these territories the number of terrorists has  increased exponentially. Not only that, Assange unveiled the conditions of Guantanamo prisoners, abuses of every type, and tens of thousands of civilian homicides in Iraq and Afghanistan by the American army, including the assassination of two Reuters journalists all documented in the chilling video, Collateral Murder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&t=59s

In Julian Assange’s long and frightening persecution, we witnessed seven years of systematic violation of his human rights. The right of citizens to question public interests was also completely ignored. Now, we refuse to participate in a further extension of psychological and physical torture perpetrated against the journalist, as reported by Nils Melzer, the special reporter of the United Nations, who found Assange in a condition of extremely troublesome health. Continue reading

February 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen to UK to help free Julian Assange

MPs take Assange freedom campaign to UK 

https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/mps-take-assange-freedom-campaign-to-uk/news-story/633a9baa272bd155623423565e86e6b4 12 Feb 20, 
Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen will travel to the United Kingdom to lobby for Julian Assange’s freedom
Paul Osborne, Two Australian politicians will travel to the UK this weekend at their own expense to visit Julian Assange in jail and seek his release.

Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen, who chair a parliamentary group in support of the WikiLeaks founder, will pay a visit to Belmarsh Prison near London and lobby the British government.

Assange is set to face trial on February 24 to determine whether he should be extradited to the US, where he has been charged with 17 counts of spying and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

February 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Why can’t the Australian government do the right thing by the persecuted Julian Assange?

Bravo Alison Broinowski and Independent Australia . I am utterly fed up with the Australian government, and the mainstream media’s abject failure to even consider the plight of Australian citizens speaking truth – especially re Julian Assange. I did admire Ita Buttrose’s spirited defence of the freedom of the press – UP TO A POINT. But she, and the rest of the media pack were completely hypocritical in pretending that the persecution of Julian Assange had nothing to do with them.

February 11, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment