December 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Australia MPs demand Assange’s release in Washington |  Abroad

Australia MPs demand Assange’s release in Washington | Abroad

A cross-party group of Australian parliamentarians has called for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Washington. Australians spoke to US Justice Department officials. They called for a halt to efforts to extradite Assange, who is jailed in the United Kingdom, to the United States.

The U.S. wants to try Assange for leaking dozens of classified military documents and espionage, for which he could face up to 175 years in prison. Among other things, he may be responsible for the deaths of informants for the US armed forces. According to WikiLeaks, Assange is a journalist and publicist who has done nothing wrong. He has exposed US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq to the best of his knowledge.

Labor MP Tony Sapbia said Australians believe Assange, an Australian citizen, has been sufficiently punished and the charges against him should be dropped. “In our conversations with the Department of Justice and others in Washington, we’ve made that position clear and strong,” Zappia told reporters.

Anthony Albanese

Zappia said he expects Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to raise the issue when he visits the US in October. Albanese said in May that he was frustrated that no diplomatic solution had been reached to end Assange’s detention. He also indicated that he was concerned about Assange’s mental health.

However, there are no signs that President Joe Biden’s administration is ready to change its stance on Assange. His predecessors Barack Obama and Donald Trump have also continued to press for Assange’s extradition to the United States.

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