10th & 11th March 2021
ACTU Executive supports global calls for the United States Government to drop its appeal to the British High Court over the rejection of its request to extradite Australian citizen and MEAA member Julian Assange on charges of espionage for the publication of information revealing US war crimes.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which received the 2010 Walkley for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, should be immediately release from Belmarsh Prison. His continuing detention in a high-security cell is unjustified, particularly in light of his well-documented health problems.
We further support the campaign for all extradition proceedings to be dropped, allowing his safe return to Australia.
We noted the support for Assange from journalist unions around the world, including the MEAA, and also the International Federation of Journalists. The charges against Assange relate entirely to his work which brought to light serious war crimes committed by the US military in Iraq. Continuing to prosecute him for this work constitutes an attack on journalists, journalism and the public right to know.
We urge the Australian Government to do all in its power to lobby US authorities to end their prosecution.