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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Assange appeal

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Yet another year has passed and Wednesday, 3 July is Julian Assange’s 53rd birthday.

It will be the sixth birthday he has spent in Belmarsh Prison, where high-profile terrorists and murderers are held.

He has been imprisoned for all these years without charges of any crime in the UK.

Assange has made available to the public information passed onto him by others.

In a world that constantly talks about democracy, the public interest and the need for an informed public to sustain that democracy, Assange has suffered deprivation of his liberty for 15 years for revealing what is being done in the public’s name by governments.

In February 2024 the UK High Court rejected US assurances that Julian would not face the death penalty and that he would receive the same First Amendment rights that US citizens are entitled to under the US Constitution.

Julian was then granted the right to appeal against his extradition from the UK to the US.

After almost four months of what can only be imagined as prolonged agony in prison, he has now been given 9 and 10 July as the court dates for his appeal.

Julian Assange’s case is essentially a political case.

There is now, for the first time, an opportunity for the many issues and principles surrounding the years of persecution of Assange to be put before a court.

An ABC TV poll last week showed that 71 per cent of Australians think Julian Assange should be allowed to return home to Australia.

After many years of campaigning and advocating, it is ultimately public pressure that has brought us to a point of some hope and possibility that Julian Assange will finally be free.

We now think that in these remaining weeks before the hearing, apart from the principles Julian Assange has sacrificed so much for, it is now a matter of saving his life.

We trust that a final decision in the name of justice will bring good news for Julian to mark this birthday like no other.

Roy Drew, Mullumbimby

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