Assange Verdict Sees Punishment-By-Process Continue

by Emma Shortis
(AAP Image/James Ross)


The UK High Court decision to grant Julian Assange’s request to appeal against his extradition to the United States provides a welcome, but temporary stay and hope for the campaign to free him, while continuing his punishment-by-process at the hands of Australia’s closest ally.

“Reporting on a crime should not be a crime. Assange’s case is a political one – he continues to be punished for embarrassing the United States by drawing attention to possible war crimes by its military forces. Australia, in contrast, has acknowledged war crimes perpetrated by its soldiers,” said Dr Emma Shortis, Senior Researcher at the Australia Institute.

“Assange, an Australian citizen, is being pursued by Australia’s most trusted and important ally for publishing the truth. The US-Australia relationship is supposedly based on ‘shared values’ – that is evidently not the case.

“The fact that the US is continuing with this case despite direct appeals from the Australian Government should be understood as an appalling show of disrespect for a critical security ally.

“This is especially true as it is happening in the shadow of the AUKUS pact – a deal in which Australia will hand over $368 billion and likely a significant portion of our sovereignty.

“Assange’s case reflects the alliance as it stands today – anti-democratic, secretive, and militarised.

“The Australian Government has repeatedly made it clear that Assange should be allowed to return to Australia. It is crucial that this diplomacy continues loudly and unapologetically.”

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