Hands Off Syria, Sydney, stands in solidarity with Julian Assange

Hands Off Syria, Sydney, stands in solidarity with Julian Assange, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, and supports the call of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) for the “Swedish and British authorities to end Julian Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.”

Hands Off Syria, Sydney, endorses the call by Julian’s UK Solidarity Campaign for the UK Government to:
1. Ensure Julian Assange is guaranteed full and timely access to all necessary medical and dental care;
2. Request and defend his right to receive information and impart information freely without interference by any public authority;
3. Defend Mr Assange at home and abroad and object to threats levelled against Mr Assange by high profile US citizens and others;
4. Strongly oppose and refuse, any application to have Mr Assange extradited to the United States where it is unlikely he would receive a fair trial;
5. Facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner;
6. Compensate him for his arbitrary detention – the Swedish Government should also compensate him for his arbitrary detention.

WikiLeaks has been the source of information which has exposed US and allies war crimes in Iraq; regime-change operations in Syria and Libya and mass surveillance around the globe.

In The Wikileaks Files Julian reveals that the planning for the destabilisation of Syria goes back to 2006, referencing a diplomatic cable by William Roebuck, US Ambassador to Syria then, where the discussion includes the creation of a situation where “the Syrian Government would be enticed to ‘overreact’ to false or manufactured threats posed by ‘radical jihadists'” (Brandon Turbeville, September 2015).

The US and CIA being left red-face have decided to set up a Grand Jury to prosecute Julian and WikiLeaks under the Espionage Act 1917 and condemn him to life imprisonment, torture, and possible death penalty.

Over six years ago, Julian sought refuge and asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy following harassment and threats to his freedom by the British government and abandonment by his birth country, Australia.

Julian’s health has been deteriorating as he has been confined to the limited compounds of the Ecuadorian Embassy, without access to natural light, daily exercise and medical attention.

Following pressures from Washington and Downing St, since March this year Julian has been totally isolated, deprived of visitors, telephone calls, internet access and other means of electronic communication leading to further deterioration of his physical and mental health.

Canberra instead of supporting one of his citizens and demanding his safety and repatriation has decided to kowtow to Washington. This attitude must change if the Turnbull government does not want Julian’s death redden their hands.

As an Australian citizen, Hands Off Syria, Sydney, also supports the demands for the Australian Government to work for Julian’s freedom and any wishes for repatriation with guaranteed protection from any US request for his extradition.

July 2018

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