Sunday, December 18, 2011

Distinguished Intellectuals, Professors, Officers and Politicians in Letter to Australian Foreign Minister: Highly Concerned Over Sweden's Prospective Rendition of Assange to US

Read also on this topic "Protect Julian Assange from US rendition"

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP 

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House ACT 2600

Dear Minister 

We write to express our concern about the plight of Julian Assange.
To date, no charges have been laid against Mr Assange by Swedish authorities. Nonetheless, we understand that should he be sent to Sweden, he will be held on remand, incommunicado. We note your comments last year about the need for Mr Assange to receive appropriate consular support. We trust that this consular support is being provided and will continue.

We are concerned that should Mr Assange be placed in Swedish custody, he will be subject to the process of "temporary surrender", enabling his removal to the United States without the appropriate legal processes that accompany normal extradition cases. We urge you to convey to the Swedish government Australia's expectation that Mr Assange will be provided with the same rights of appeal and review that any standard extradition request would entail.

Any prosecution of Mr Assange in the United States will be on the basis of his activities as a journalist and editor (Mr Assange's status as such has been recently confirmed by the High Court in England). Such a prosecution will be a serious assault on freedom of speech and the need for an unfettered, independent media.

Further, the chances of Mr Assange receiving a fair trial in the United States appear remote. A number of prominent political figures have called for him to be assassinated, and the Vice-President has called him a "high-tech terrorist". Given the atmosphere of hostility in relation to Mr Assange, we hold serious concerns about his safety once in US custody. We note that Mr Assange is an Australian citizen, whose journalistic activities were undertaken entirely outside of US territory.

Mr Assange is entitled to the best endeavours of his government to ensure he is treated fairly. He is entitled to expect that his government will not remain silent while his liberty and safety are placed at risk by a government embarrassed by his journalism. Australians also expect that their government will speak out against efforts to silence the media and intimidate those who wish to hold governments to account.

We ask that you convey clearly to the United States government Australia's concerns about any effort to manufacture charges against Mr Assange, or to use an unrelated criminal investigation as the basis for what may effectively be rendition. 

We also urge the government to publicly affirm that Mr Assange is welcome to return to Australia once proceedings against him in Sweden are concluded, and that the government will fully protect his rights as an Australian citizen once here. We have copied this letter to your colleague, the Attorney-General.

Yours sincerely

The undersigned

Phillip Adams AO 
Adam Bandt MP 
Wendy Bacon [Professor]
Greg Barns
Susan Benn 
Senator Bob Brown 
Dr Scott Burchill 
Julian Burnside QC 
Dr Leslie Cannold 
Mike Carlton 
Professor Noam Chomsky 
David Collins
Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Lance Collins, Australian Intelligence Corps 
Eva Cox [writer, feminist, sociologist]
Sophie Cunningham 
Roy David 
Andrew Denton 
Senator Richard Di Natale 
Peter Fitzsimons
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH 
Anna Funder 
Professor Raimond Gaita 
David Gilmour and Polly Samson 
Kara Greiner
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young 
Liz Humphrys 
Professor Sarah Joseph 
Bernard Keane
Professor John Keane 
Stephen Keim SC 
Steve Killelea 
Andrew Knight
Mary Kostakidis 
Professor Theo van Leeuwen 
Ken Loach 
Antony Loewenstein 
Senator Scott Ludlam
David Lyle 
Associate Professor Jake Lynch 
Dr Ken Macnab 
Professor Robert Manne 
Alex Miller 
Senator Christine Milne 
Alex Mitchell 
Reg Mombassa 
Gordon Morris J
ane Morris J
ulian Morrow 
The Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC 
Nicolé Nolan 
Rebecca O’Brien 
Elizabeth O’Shea 
Michael Pearce SC 
John Pilger 
Justin Randle 
Senator Lee Rhiannon 
Guy Rundle 
Angus Sampson 
Senator Rachel Siewert 
Marius Smith 
Jeff Sparrow 
Professor Stuart Rees AM 
Rob Stary 
Stephen Thompson 
Dr Tad Tietze 
Mike Unger 
Dale Vince 
Brian Walters SC 
Rachel Ward 
Senator Larissa Waters 
Tracy Worcester, Marchioness of Worcester 
Senator Penny Wright 
Spencer Zifcak

Wikileaks, J Assange, Assangeyttrandehefrihettryckfrihet, transperans, wikileaks, intressant,
Media links, DN, Sydsvenskan, SvD, Aftonbladet, Expressen,

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