Monday, May 28, 2012

Press Release: Brisbane Rallies For Julian Assange

On Wednesday May 30th at approximately 6:15 pm Brisbane time, the UK Supreme Court in London will deliver a long-awaited verdict in the extradition case of Australian WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Protests in support of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been organised around the world (regardless of the verdict) including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Townsville and Canberra. This press release provides details of the Brisbane protests, background on the case, and useful media contacts.

PROTEST DETAILS:

Protestors in Brisbane will gather on Thursday May 31st outside the office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on the corner of Creek St & 295 Ann St. Rallies are planned from midday till 2 pm and from 4pm till 6 pm.

An overnight vigil is being held at the same location in Brisbnae from 4pm Wednesday 30th May. This is being lead by Ciaron O'Reilly, a Brisbane-born international anti-war activist who has accompanied Julian Assange at court appearances in the UK. Further details of this vigil are provided below and in a separate press release.

THE CASE:

The UK Supreme Court verdict rests upon a specific decision on whether a public prosecutor has a right to issue a European Arrest Warrant. For more details on the case specifics, please see http://www.justice4assange.com.

If the appeal against extradition is unsuccessful, Mr Assange will be transported to Sweden within 10 days, where he will be held in solitary confinement and tried in secret. A final remaining avenue appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is unlikely to stop the extradition process. Once in Sweden, Julian Assange will likely be extradited onwards to the USA - Hillary Clinton is flying to Sweden this week and the Swedish government has never turned down a US extradition request (except where they could not locate the person involved).

Even if Mr Assange wins his case against the European Arrest Warrant extradition, however, it is likely that the US government will immediately lodge an extradition request with the UK government, and a new round of legal battles will commence. A US Grand Jury has been secretly gathering information on Assange and WikiLeaks for over 500 days, and Senior US politicians have called for Mr Assange to be assassinated or face the death penalty.

If Julian Assange is allowed to return home from the UK to Australia, extradition to the USA remains a very real threat. Australian Prime Minister Julian Gillard has refused to apologize for prejudicing any legal action by publicly declaring WikiLeaks "illegal", even though an AFP investigation found no crimes had been committed.  On ABC TV's Q and A show recently, Attorney General Nicola Rixon also showed little understanding of the case and no interest in protecting Assange, falsely declaring he "fled from Sweden" (when in fact he was told by the Swedish government that he was allowed to leave before the case was re-opened by a new prosecutor).

The Australian government has recently changed laws to make extradition to the USA easier, and leaked documents show FOI requests are being refused even though the Australian Government has closely monitoring the US Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks for at least 18 months. More on the latest news:

Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/cables-reveal-australia-us-focus-on-assange-20120527-1zd8a.html

Statement from Greens Senator Scott Ludlum: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/new-leaks-show-our-freedom-information-system-broken-greens

As the information above indicates, this UK Supreme Court verdict will not be the end of Julian Assange's legal problems or the widespread persecution of WikiLeaks. Therefore these worldwide protests will go ahead regardless of the outcome of the decision.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:


Please contact any of the following people for interviews, or for more information about the Brisbane protests. (NB contact details provided to press but not posted online - please contact me @Jaraparilla of garylord AT gmail.com)

Cioran O'Reilly


A Catholic Worker and Brisbane-born international anti-war activist, Cioran has accompanied Julian Assange at his London court appearances and will be leading the vigil for him in Brisbane for him on Wednesday night from 4pm. See the seperate Press Release for more details on Ciaron and his vigil, including a photo for media release.

Andrew Bartlett

Formerly an Australian Democrats member of the Australian Senate, Andrew recently campaigned for Brisbane Mayor with the Greens and has been a longtime supporter of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Gary Lord (myself)

I do not officially represent WikiLeaks but I am one of many concerned and active supporters around the world. I have had several stories published at the unofficial WikiLeaks website https:>wlcentral.org and my tweets and stories have regularly been re-tweeted by @wikileaks.
Email: garylord AT gmail.com
Twitter: @Jaraparilla

Adele Goldie

After many protests at places including Pine Gap, Adele has organised previous Brisbane rallies in support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and is active again this week.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION LINKS

Over 90 FACTS about the case from Julian Assange's mum Christine Assange: http://wlcentral.org/node/2486

Common Misconceptions about the Assange case: http://wlcentral.org/node/2554

Justice For Assange website: http://www.justice4assange.com

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