Australia Has Approved a Motion Calling for Britain To Give Julian Assange Back

( – Ever since Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, he’s been the subject of controversy. After releasing US military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, and US cable leaks, he became the target of the US government, which is seeking to jail him on charges of espionage. If convicted, he faces 175 years in prison, but he has to be on US soil first. That’s exactly what he has been trying to prevent for more than a decade. Now, his home country is demanding that the UK return him to Australia.

On Wednesday, February 14, federal members of the Australian Parliament and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese approved a motion to return Assange home. It argues that Assange should be freed from a British jail, where he’s been in custody for nearly five years without a conviction. Before that, he was holed up in Ecuador’s Embassy in London for seven years.

MP Andrew Wilkie is the one who drafted the motion and says its intent is to “send a very powerful political signal to” US and British governments that the latter “should not entertain the idea of Mr. Assange being extradited to the US.”

MP David Shoebridge, a Greens Senator, said time is of the essence, as they were recently told that Assange could be immediately extradited should he lose his appeal, which is scheduled to take place on February 20 and 21. British courts approved his extradition in 2022, after originally denying it in 2021, citing concerns for Assange’s mental health. When US officials assured them they would provide proper care, that declination was overturned. Assange has been appealing ever since.

Albanese made it clear that the entire country stands behind Assange and shares a common view: “Enough is enough,” and “this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely.”

If the appeal is denied, Assange can still take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights to halt the extradition.

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