Amnesty calls on US, Britain to drop the charges against Assange

Former foreign minister Bob Carr speaks in support of Julian Assange. Photo: Amnesty International Sydney

Amnesty International presented a petition with almost 400,000 signatures to the United States Consulate on September 8. The petition is calling on the US government to drop the charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and end its attempt to get him extradited from Britain.

Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr spoke at a media conference in Martin Place. He backed Amnesty Australia’s call for help to pressure US authorities to “drop the charges that relate to Assange’s publishing activities as part of his work with WikiLeaks and help protect the right to freedom of expression”.

Journalist and former ABC presenter Quentin Dempster called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne to “intervene to demand that the US desists with Assange’s extradition on now trumped-up charges”.

Amnesty held a “virtual rally” for Assange at which spokesperson Sam Klintworth said the organisation was also calling on British authorities to “cancel the extradition hearing” against Assange. These proceedings are “an attack on the right to freedom of expression, and will have a chilling effect on journalism worldwide”, she said.

[Amnesty is urging all supporters of Assange to send Twitter messages demanding #DropTheChargesUSA. The AI Twitter address is https://twitter.com/amnestyOz.]

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