Australian PM: “Let Assange come home”

Published 17 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Julian Assange has been in a British prison since 2019.

86 Australian MPs voted Thursday in favor of a motion calling for the release of Julian Assange. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is optimistic about a positive outcome and hopes for Assange’s early return to his home country.

Next week, the British court will hear Assange’s appeal, which is his last attempt to avoid extradition to the United States. If it fails, the 52-year-old could be extradited to the US as early as next week.

On Thursday, Australian MP Andrew Wilkie tabled a motion calling on the US and UK to allow Assange to return home. 86 lawmakers voted in favor of the motion, while 42 voted against. Wilkie has repeatedly supported the WikiLeaks founder, including signing an open letter to the US calling for his release.

Albanese, who signed the motion, said he hoped the case could be “resolved amicably” and that it could not go on “indefinitely”.

Risking torture

– It’s not for Australia to interfere in other countries’ legal processes, but it’s appropriate for us to express our very strong view that those countries need to take into account the need for this to stop, Albanese told AP News:

– No matter where people stand, this can’t just go on and on and on indefinitely.

Assange has been in a British prison since 2019, and last summer he lost his latest appeal against a judge’s decision to extradite him to the United States. Earlier in February, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Jill Edwards, called for a halt to the possible extradition of the WikiLeaks founder, saying he could be “subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment or punishment”.

Assange’s lawyer has also warned that the 52-year-old’s life could be in danger due to his poor mental health.