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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021


Latest News

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Other News

Plans to increase building heights in Byron CBD may be shelved

Byron Council’s controversial plan to increase building height limits on a block in the centre of Byron Bay looks set to be abandoned at this week’s planning meeting.

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Interview with Mell and Zara from the Byron Comedy Fest

After a year under a COVID-19 hiatus, The Byron Comedy Fest is back! Next Thursday sees this fledgling event open the doors to its second weekend presenting all that is fabulous and funny. Set on the Byron beachfront at the Byron Surf Club and styled as a classy bespoke beachside speakeasy, this event is the creative lovechild of besties Zara Noruzi and Mell Coppin.

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze...

‘Seven and a bit’ stone

Stone & Wood are thrilled to announce the return of Festival of the Stone to their Byron-based Brewery, Saturday...

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay

Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA


Journalist Julian Assange is being held in one of your prisons, the notorious Belmarsh. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, “Mr Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.” His legal rights have been trampled even to the point of eavesdropping on sacrosanct communications between himself and his legal team, whilst crucial documentation for his defence has been withheld. Clearly, he is a political prisoner with no hope of a fair and just legal hearing.

Your Majesty, you used your Royal Prerogative of Mercy on behalf of convicted murderer, Steven Gallant who, thanks to your intervention, is to be considered for release on parole ten months early. On the other hand, Julian Assange, innocent of any wrongdoing, posted millions of top secret documents about high level gross violations of human rights, like the infamous US gunship massacre of innocent civilians in Baghdad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLic1Y3re-A. He is being persecuted while the US apache helicopter murderers remain at large. How much more deserving of your intervention is Julian whose only “crime” has been to tell the truth about nefarious acts which powerful forces would prefer kept hidden? In my Change.org petition 4,420 people called on you to order Mr Assange’s release (http://chng.it/KwmkTyL4). We all hope you

will use your good office to uphold the law and [to] order the release of this good man.

This letter was read out publically at a rally of support for Julian Assange in Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia.

I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant.’

Gareth W R Smith

Byron Bay

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  1. Well done, Gareth. I’ve signed & commented until I’m blue in the face. Let us
    hope this works. Our government as usual has ‘no comment’ & the opposition


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