| 21 June 2024, Friday |

Aussie lawmakers to visit US to secure release of Julian Assange

Later this month, a bipartisan group of Australian legislators will travel to the United States with the aim of persuading Washington to drop its request for the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The delegation includes Barnaby Joyce, Tony Zappia, and independent lawmaker Monique Ryan.

Ryan told the broadcaster ABC they feel “really, really strongly about the importance of securing Mr. Assange’s freedom.”

If the trip materializes, it would come ahead of a planned visit by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese next month to the White House.

Canberra has earlier said it wants Assange’s case to be brought to a “conclusion.”

However, the US rejected Canberra’s call to end the WikiLeaks founder’s imprisonment – “a rare flash of disagreement” between the two allies.

Assange, an Australian citizen, is being held in the UK, where authorities authorized his extradition to the US last year.

He is wanted for his alleged role in espionage and the dissemination of classified US military information.

The US Justice Department labeled Assange’s actions as part of the “largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”

In November last year, major global media outlets joined forces to call on the US to drop charges against the WikiLeaks founder and to halt his prosecution in order to protect journalism.

He has been on remand for about four years at Belmarsh Prison after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he initially sought diplomatic asylum from Swedish authorities.

  • Anadolu Agency