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Latest Wizner News
Sep 9, 2023
Delegation of Australian lawmakers to visit US to push for Julian Assange’s release: ‘powerful message’ William 18 seconds ago 0 6 minutes read Delegation of Australian lawmakers to visit US to push for Julian Assange’s release: ‘powerful message’ A cross-party delegation of Australian lawmakers will travel to Washington later this month to urge authorities to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accused of publishing classified US military documents leaked by a whistleblower . The group will include former deputy prime minister and National Party leader Barnaby Joyce, Labor MP Tony Zapia, independent MP Monique Ryan, Liberal MP Alex Antic and Green Party MPs Peter Whish-Wilson and David Shoebridge. . The Australian delegation will meet with members of the House and Senate, the State Department and the Department of Justice to argue against Assange’s extradition to the United States to face charges of receipt, possession and communicating classified information to the public under the Espionage Act. He also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, told Fox News Digital that “the cross-party Australian delegation brings a powerful message from one of the United States’ closest allies that the vengeful pursuit continues. Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange is starting to wreak havoc on the ground.” the friendship that the two nations have enjoyed throughout history.” AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SAYS GOVERNMENT IS FIRM AGAINST US PROSECUTION OF JULIAN ASSANGE Barnaby Joyce (second from left) and other members of a delegation tasked with securing the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speak to the media at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, September 5, 2023. (AP) Greg Barns, a human rights lawyer and Assange campaign adviser, said in a statement announcing the delegation that polls show nearly 90 percent of Australians believe the charges should be dropped. Shipton said in his statement that even Australians who do not support Assange’s actions believe he has suffered enough and should be released. The prosecution of Assange is linked to WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of cables detailing war crimes committed by the US government at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the detention camp, Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents also expose instances where the CIA engaged in torture and rendition. WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of these classified US military documents leaked by US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. WikiLeaks also released its “Collateral Murder” video 13 years ago showing the US military gunning down civilians in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists. ASSANGE’S FATHER FEARS YOUR SON’S EXTRADITION TO US AS WIKILEAKS LEADER’S HEALTH IMPROVES “The most relentless pursuit, the most unscrupulous lies and the most malicious persecution in 13 years reveal to us a malignant disregard for the magnificent civic treasures of human achievement,” Assange’s father, John Shipton, told Fox News Digital. “Julian’s fight for freedom embodies for all a firm determination to assert and continue to assert our indelible and inalienable rights.” The Australian journalist has been detained at Belmarsh high security prison in London since he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11, 2019 for breaching his bail conditions. He sought asylum at the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations he raped two women after Sweden failed to guarantee he would be protected from extradition American. Investigations into the sexual assault allegations were ultimately dropped. In addition to meeting with U.S. officials and lawmakers, the Australian delegation will also speak this month with civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. AUSTRALIAN LAWS MEETS US ENVOY TO END PROSECUTION OF JULIAN ASSANGE The Australian delegation will meet in the United States with the Departments of State and Justice, as well as members of the House and Senate, to call on the US government to abandon its efforts to extradite Assange. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file) “We have serious concerns that if Assange is extradited and convicted for publishing truthful information, it will pose a serious threat to investigative journalism in the United States and around the world,” said Ben Wizner, director of the Speech Project, Privacy , and Technology from the ACLU. Fox News Digital. The Obama administration decided not to indict Assange after WikiLeaks published the cables in 2010 because it should also have indicted journalists from major media outlets who also published the documents. The DOJ under the Trump administration later charged Assange under the Espionage Act and the Biden administration continued to pursue prosecutions. Former President Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, for violating the Espionage Act and other crimes, to seven years. “The Department of Justice and the State Department need to hear from their allies that continued efforts to imprison Assange are making things difficult and uncomfortable for their friends and allies,” Wizner said. “So I think (the delegation) is very important, and I also think it points the way toward what could be a reasonable solution here that should satisfy all parties.” The Justice Department and State Department declined to comment on requests from Fox News Digital. JULIAN ASSANGE SUPPORTERS DEMAND DROP OF CHARGES DURING VIGIL OUTSIDE MERRICK GARLAND’S HOME Protesters gathered outside Attorney General Merrick Garland’s home in August to demand he drop charges against Julian Assange. (Fox News Digital/Landon Mion) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has repeatedly said in recent months that the United States should end Assange’s incarceration. “The Australian government has made it clear that the Assange case has dragged on for too long and should be closed,” an Australian government spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister have expressed this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, and we will continue to do so. The Australian Government cannot intervene in the legal or judicial proceedings of another country, just as it is incapable of intervening in the legal proceedings of another country. That of Australia.” The spokesperson added: “We continue to express our expectations that Mr. Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to appropriate medical care and to his legal team.” Assange would be tried in Alexandria, Virginia, if extradited to the United States, where he could face up to 175 years in a maximum-security U.S. prison. “I think the structure of the Espionage Act means that there cannot be what I consider a fair trial,” Wizner said. “And I say that because the fact that the 2010 revelations informed the public, led to journalism awards, changed politics for the better. All of that would be irrelevant and inadmissible in a lawsuit under the law on espionage. The only thing the government needs. What his theory shows is that WikiLeaks released the documents that the government says constitute national defense information… If this case is allowed to move forward , he will arrive here not for a trial, but for sentencing. Some presidential candidates — Democrats Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, as well as Republican Vivek Ramaswamy — have expressed support for Assange, saying they would drop charges against him if elected to the House White in next year’s presidential election. “Mr. Kennedy has committed to dropping all charges against Julian Assange and, if convicted by the time Mr. Kennedy takes office, to pardoning him,” a campaign spokesperson said. from Kennedy to Fox News Digital. “He believes it is unlikely that Mr. Assange will receive a fair trial, given that the entire case against him was a political vendetta from the start. The prosecution of Mr. Assange is an attack on journalism as well as against freedom of expression.” Last year, American and European media editors and editors who worked with Assange published excerpts from the more than 250,000 documents he obtained in the Cablegate leak – The Guardian, The New York Times, The World, Der Spiegel and El País – wrote an open letter calling on the United States to end the prosecution of Assange. Assange could be sentenced to 175 years in a US maximum security prison if he is extradited to the United States. (Fox News Digital/Landon Mion) On Capitol Hill, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, sent a letter to the DOJ earlier this year demanding that it drop charges against Assange. Fox News Digital contacted Tlaib’s office for comment on the Australian delegation, but a spokesperson only pointed to an April statement announcing the letter to the Justice Department. Under the Trump administration, the CIA allegedly intended to kill Assange over the agency’s release of sensitive hacking tools known as “Vault 7,” which the agency said represented ” largest data loss in CIA history,” Yahoo reported in 2021. The CIA held discussions “at the highest levels” of the administration about plans to assassinate Assange in London and reportedly followed orders from then-Director Mike Pompeo to develop assassination “sketches” and “options,” according to the report. The agency had also advanced plans to kidnap and return Assange and made a political decision to charge him, Yahoo reported. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP WikiLeaks also published internal communications in 2016 between the Democratic National Committee and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign that revealed the DNC’s attempts to support Clinton in that year’s Democratic primary. “The media’s job is to challenge the government’s monopoly on secrets,” Wizner said. “And if Assange is found guilty, it will open the door to threats of imprisonment for news organizations and their journalists if they do not comply with government orders not to publish information, even in the public interest …You don’t need to think that Julian Assange should win journalism. I am very, very concerned about the impact of this case on press freedom.” foxnews Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor. William 18 seconds ago
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