Julian Assange's father calls on government not to break its own rules

John Shipton outside Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Matthew Dingle

John Shipton, the father of jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told a rally of 100 supporters on November 27 that the Australian government must follow its own rules. Shipton has campaigned tirelessly to halt Washington's attempt to extradite his son from Britain to the United States, and to free him from Belmarsh Prison.

“One thing to remember about these crimes against humanity, committed against children, mothers and fathers … [they] are in breach of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which these nations signed up to,” Shipton said.

“These countries breach their own laws in committing these crimes, and in pursuit of Julian right now. We ask these governments to obey their own laws.

“In our defence of Julian, we seek to bring justice to those who have suffered under these human rights violations everywhere. We call on the Australian government to fully support the human rights of Julian as well.”

Other speakers included filmmaker James Ricketson, a former political prisoner in Cambodia; David McBride, former Australian army lawyer and whistleblower facing charges over revelations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan; and human rights lawyer Mark Davis.

The rally marked one year since the weekly Friday afternoon gatherings began at Sydney Town Hall.