Australian visitors to Assange have expressed concern to their government arising from recent reporting of surveillance or worse at the hands of the CIA and UK authorities, asking what their government knew about the efforts of their allies.
c/o Felicity Ruby
PO Box 5317
Cobargo, NSW 2550
Hon Scott Morrison MP
PO Box 6022
Canberra ACT 2600
Senator the Hon Marise Payne,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister Morrison and Foreign Minister Payne
RE: Surveillance of Australian citizens visiting Julian Assange in London
We the undersigned are journalists, lawyers, academics, and activists who visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
In those various capacities we visited Assange to interview him, to receive instruction from a client, or to enquire as to the welfare of a colleague and friend.
Recent investigative reporting by Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor and Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News cites numerous former intelligence and government officials stating that extensive spying was justified and undertaken on associates of Assange.
This included our “patterns of life,” and “what these individuals were saying and who they were saying it to, where they were traveling or going to be at a given date and time, and what platforms these individuals were communicating on.”
In addition, “agency executives requested and received “sketches” of plans for killing Assange and other Europe-based WikiLeaks members who had access to Vault 7 materials…”
We wish to know what surveillance or monitoring we have been subjected to by the intelligence agencies of our allies, the United Kingdom and United States.
Were any of us placed on speculative kill lists?
We also believe we have a right to know whether the Australian government was informed or consented to our communications and movements being tracked.
We would appreciate a written response to the address above.
Greg Barns SC
Julian Burnside AO, QC
Professor John Keane
Dr Niraj Lal
30 September 2021