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January 23, 2022

Julian Assange

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The silence is deafening. Where are the Australian journalists who should be afraid of the latest development in the extradition case by the USA against Julian Assange? 

The lower court denied the US Julian’s extradition on the grounds of the state of his mental health, fearing he would commit suicide if taken to the US and sentenced to up to 175 years in jail in high security jails. On appeal by the prosecution to the UK High Court, the US gave assurances to the two judges that Julian would not be subject to harsh punishment in the US – which were accepted at face value by the judges. 

The problem is the US is notorious for breaking verbal promises on extradition cases – and indeed on political issues. Remember the assurances US Secretary of State Baker and President Bush gave to Soviet leader Gorbachev re NATO expansion; and what really happened? 

If the US are able to get this extradition it means anyone, anywhere, who reports on or publishes articles deemed to have violated US laws, even though the person is not a US citizen nor having been on US soil, the US can jail them in the US. This is a dangerous precedent! 

Full marks to Barnaby Joyce for speaking out. Scott Morrison needs to get involved as does ALP parliamentary leadership. Just imagine if China or Saudi Arabia wanted to extradite an Australian journo? The reaction would be huge! Why is America different?

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads

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