Perth rally calls to ‘bring Julian Assange home’

Rally to 'bring Julian Assange home', Perth, May 31. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Despite bleak weather, about 50 people took part in a May 31 protest to call on the Australian government to “bring Julian Assange home”. The protest took part the day after the British supreme court ruled that Assange, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, had to be extradited to Sweden.

Rally chairperson Chris Jenkins said the protest was important because “Sweden has not ruled out handing Julian Assange over to the US” where he faces danger due to a sealed indictment with unspecified allegations.

Given the vitriolic attacks on him by US politicians, Assange is right to fear for his wellbeing, and even his life, if he were taken in to US custody. This is confirmed also by the treatment “amounting to torture” that has been meted out to alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks spoke at the Sydney rally. He said his experience showed that the Australian government could not be relied on to support the interests of an Australian citizen locked up by the US.

Alex Bainbridge told the speak-out that WikiLeaks exposed government war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pointed out that not only Bush and Howard, but also Gillard and Obama are war criminals for their prosecution of illegal and unjust wars. He also said that Australian foreign minister Bob Carr was lining up to be the next war criminal as he joined in an international campaign against the authoritarian Assad government in Syria.

Kamala Emanuel told the Perth rally that governments of the world feared WikiLeaks because they are “afraid of what will happen when we know what they've been up to.

”And the sorts of things they are up to includes rape and war crimes and they are ones who are responsible.”

Emanuel said she was not there to denigrate Sweden's progressive rape laws but that “that is not what this issue [of Assange and WikiLeaks] is about”.


Comments

Here is a Change.org petition calling for action on Julian Assange if you are interested: http://www.change.org/petitions/australian-government-seek-assurance-that-julian-assange-will-not-be-extradited-to-the-usa