Monday, 9 November 2020
Assange, Mr Julian
I, and also on behalf of Senators Rice and Hanson-Young, seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 832.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that Julian Assange:
(i) is an Australian citizen,
(ii) is a father, son and partner, and
(iii) won the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism;
(b) acknowledges that during the recent extradition trial, the court heard evidence about:
(i) the enormous harm revealed by Wikileaks of war crimes, crimes against humanity and corruption,
(iii) the alleged seizure of legally privileged material from the Ecuadorian Embassy by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
(iv) alleged plans to poison and kidnap Julian Assange, and
(v) the devastating health consequences that Julian Assange is currently facing; and
(c) further acknowledges that:
(i) hundreds of protests and vigils happened all over the world in support of Julian Assange during the extradition trial,
(ii) over 160 world leaders – current and former presidents, prime ministers and officials – have called for the release of Julian Assange,
(iii) a dozen councils have passed resolutions across Australia calling on the Australian Government to act, and
(iv) Judge Vanessa Baraitser agreed to delay the decision of the extradition trial until after the US election and is due to deliver the verdict on 4 January 2021.
Mr Assange's case is an extradition application made by the United States to the UK. Australia is not a party and has no standing. Nevertheless, Mr Assange is entitled to consular assistance. In June 2019, Mr Assange withdrew consent for DFAT to consult on his health and welfare in prison. The high commission has written to Mr Assange 16 times since June 2019 offering consular assistance. Neither he nor his legal team have responded. The government raised with the UK and the US governments our expectation for his proper treatment. We unreservedly trust the integrity of the UK and US legal systems.