On Sunday March 3rd and 10th, hundreds attended rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, demanding that the Australian government secure freedom for Julian Assange.
Acclaimed journalist and film-maker John Pilger spoke at the Sydney rally along with founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Professor Stuart Rees AM, and editor-in-chief of US news website Consortium News, Joe Lauria.
The rallies called for the Australian government to intervene to protect its citizen, Julian Assange, who has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012. Assange is suffering arbitrary detention according to two UN rulings. Should he leave the embassy he is expected to be extradited to the United States and prosecuted for his publishing activities, most likely over 2010 disclosures of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), Julian Assange faces “well founded” risks of “political persecution and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” and “physical harm” in the United States. The WGAD further ruled that Assange is entitled to compensation and the restoration of his freedom.
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