Australian PM explains stance on Assange extradition — Analysis
Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister refused to call for the US to drop all charges against WikiLeaks founders.
Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, stated Monday that he stands by his pre-election belief that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be free. He refused to call on the US to release the publisher in jail, an Australian citizen, and he did not make any public appeal to them.
“There are some people who think that if you put things in capital letters on Twitter and put an exclamation mark that somehow makes it more important. It doesn’t,”According to the Australian leader.
“I intend to lead a government that engages diplomatically and appropriately with our partners,”He concluded.
Albanese stated that he had made clear his opinion on Assange’s case last year when he was opposition leader and hasn’t changed it since. At the time he said that while he personally didn’t have sympathy for many of the man’s actions, he could not “see what is served by keeping him incarcerated”In Britain.
Assange was expelled to the United States by the British on Friday. This prompted a surge in calls for Australian officials to speak out. For 18 of the charges against Assange, the transparency activist faces up to 175 year imprisonment. Most are under US Espionage Act. His legal team indicated that they will contest the UK court’s decision.
Among the people in Australia calling for the government to act was Bob Carr, the former premier of New South Wales who also served as Australia’s foreign minister the last time Albanese’s Labor party was in power.
Scott Morrison lost last month’s federal election to Albanese. He was critical of his cabinet. “even the faintest whinny of protest”Assange was taken into custody by the Trump administration, Trump ramped-up its campaign.
“It was as if we were not a sovereign government but some category of US territory like Puerto Rico and an Australian passport holder didn’t rate protection from the vengeful anger of one corner of the American security apparatus,”Carr contributed an opinion article to The Sydney Morning Herald. “A France or Germany – a New Zealand – would not have been as craven.”
In order to prevent Assange being tried, he said that the US needed Australia as a security ally for the Pacific. The US is undergoing a decline as a democracy and this could be a reason for Assange’s prosecution. “claim to be a nation of laws”By removing the threat of extradition “dissident publisher”.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said Assange “suffered enough” in a decade, during which his freedom of movement was restricted – first when he took shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and later in the UK’s Belmarsh maximum security prison. Albanese was urged to do the right thing. “pick up the phone and demand that this madness end”.
“When you boil it all down, we’ve got a Walkley Award-winning Australian journalist and Australian citizen who in 2010 revealed hard evidence of US war crimes,”He spoke to Sky News.
Assange was charged over his conversations with WikiLeaks informant Chelsea Manning. Manning leaked classified material about US military action. Most famous was the footage of US military strikes on civilians in Iraq. It was released in 2010.
Manning was taken into custody the following year. She was then court-martialed. In 2017, the President Barack Obama reduced Manning’s sentence to 35 years imprisonment.