- by Richard Titelius
- The Guardian
- Issue #2034
John Shifton and Richard Titelius at a restaurant following the rally on 19 November 2022, in Perth.
On Saturday 19th November 2022, John Shipton spoke at a rally in Perth calling for the release of his son Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks is incarcerated in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom awaiting the appeal of proceedings to avoid extradition to the United States on charges of receiving classified national security documents.
Shipton was critical of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for failing to raise his son’s plight at the November 2022, G-20 summit in Bali while being critical of journalists being incarcerated in Myanmar and China. This was despite Anthony Albanese and many of the members of Federal parliament being elected on a platform to release Julian Assange.
In the evening I was invited with a group of eight activists to a dinner at a Perth restaurant to meet and discuss with John Shipton about ways which can be progressed among the people of Perth to bring Julian Assange home.
As has been shown with the recent release of Australian academic Sean Turnell from prison in Myanmar, if the efforts by diplomatic staff from the Australian government were authentic and persistent, then results can be achieved. In the case of Julian Assange, it seems the Australian government fears putting pressure on the US government who are seeking to persecute him for his journalistic crimes.
Much of the trove of information Wikileaks put into the public domain has shown impropriety by various levels of the US military in theatres of war where the US has been present. Instead of persecuting Julian Assange and also that of another Australian whistle blower, Major David McBride, US and Australian governments should thank them for showing them where they went wrong and putting pressure on governments not to use these types of tactics ever again.
The Communist Party of Australia calls on the Australian government to negotiate the immediate release of Julian Assange from the charges he is facing in the US so that he can return to Australia from the maximum security prison in Belmarsh Prison in the UK where his physical and mental health continue to deteriorate.