Julian Assange's first interview from Ecuadorian Embassy

WL Central

Julian Assange interview on ABC Radio National Breakfast, 21 June 2012. This is his first interview conducted since he applied for political asylum in Ecuador. At the time of this interview, Mr Assange had been at the Ecuadorian Embassy for three days. Full Audio is avialable at the ABC Radio website.

Fran Kelly: And let's head straight to Britain where Julian Assange is about to spend his third night holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, as he awaits a decision on his bid for political asylum. The 40 year old Australian walked into the Embassy on Tuesday in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault allegations. Even if he's granted asylum in Ecuador, British police say they will arrest him as soon as he steps foot outside the embassy, accusing him of being in breach of his bail conditions. Julian Assange joins us now live from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Julian, welcome back to RN Breakfast.

Julian Assange: G'day, Fran. Good to be with you.

Fran Kelly: Julian Assange, why did you walk into the Ecuadorian Embassy?

Open letter to the Australian people from Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange

WL Central

Jennifer Robinson, Christine Assange and Mary Kostakidis (Vimeo)

The following is an open letter to the Australian people from Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange.

There have been numerous public statements made about WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange that are factually inaccurate.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said about WikiLeaks, "It's illegal." Attorney General Nicola Roxon said my son "fled Sweden." The media repeatedly states, "Assange is charged or facing charges" in relation to Swedish sex allegations.

Some of these inaccurate statements are due to misinformation, but others are designed to smear Julian, to erode his public support, and to discredit WikiLeaks in order to prevent the further publishing of uncomfortable truths.

Many Australians, including leading lawyers, academics, and journalists believe WikiLeaks is a legitimate, ethical, and courageous media organisation, and that Julian is an innocent man, a political prisoner, persecuted for exposing the complicity of the U.S. Government and its large corporations in war crimes, fraud, corruption, the exploitation of the third world, bullying, and diplomatic manipulation, that is lying to the public and other shady dealings.

Many of us were appalled watching the Australian Government stand by in silence as furious US politicians and commentators called for the brutal murder of my son.

Open Letter To The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Re Julian Assange

Peter Kemp
WL Central

Dear Prime Minister
The world notes again your comments on Julian Assange reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, February 2nd 2011.

It is pleasing that you would welcome him back to Australia but your statement that the government cannot do anything to assist him in that regard is not strictly correct and springs from a factual error in you saying “They are charges and they've got to be worked through proper process.” Prime Minister, in brief these are the relevant facts and applicable law:

1) Mr Assange has not ever been charged by Sweden or anybody else.
2) The Swedish authorities have initiated an extradition process which is contrary to the European Arrest Warrant (“EAW”) system in that they want him back in Sweden for the purposes of investigation, not explicitly to charge him.
3) The EAW is a fast track extradition process between EU member states brought into effect to allow decisions to be made between EU judicial systems, not between politicians.

The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a requested person, for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.

Note Prime Minister, that UK explanatory document above extracted from EAW law says criminal prosecution, not criminal investigation, and you may recall that in Australian law, and in many other parts of the world, police can only hold a suspect for a limited time (eg NSW four hours plus time-outs) for the purposes of investigation only.

Statement by WL Central

WL Central
WL Central

On November 13th 2010, Burma’s most famous political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from house arrest. She had been confined to her house for almost 15 years. The event provoked an outpouring of feeling across the world. People rejoiced because she had been set free, and her great spirit of endurance was celebrated. And under this all, a great sigh, at the loss of hours and days and years of a life. She had done nothing wrong. Hers was the plight of a political prisoner.

On Tuesday 7th of December, Julian Paul Assange, after willingly meeting with the British police, was placed under arrest, and remanded in custody for a week, pending an extradition hearing.

On December 14th, then, almost exactly a month to the day from the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from Burmese house arrest, a court of the United Kingdom will decide whether it is going to play its own role in an expeditious slide by Western democracies, increasingly visible in the last two weeks, into the habits of authoritarian rule.

The allegations from Sweden provide the veneer of legality for a political imprisonment. In truth, Julian Assange is not being accused of “rape,” no more than Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth of Athens.” The two women who are alleged victims did not allege rape - their story has been co-opted by the Swedish prosecutor to pursue Assange. At every single stage of this Swedish case there has been absurd and frightening departures from the norms of criminal procedure. A cursory examination of the history of the case reveals abundant and suspicious oversights.

Isolated, these irregularities might be attributed to incompetence. In aggregate, that explanation becomes less credible. They point resolutely towards the abuse of the Swedish criminal justice system for a political end: the suppression of Julian Assange at all costs.

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