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We deplore the police entry into the Ecuadorian embassy to drag out Julian Assange and to arrest him. This was only possible because of the despicable act of the current Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno who has reneged on the granting of unconditional political asylum to Assange in 2012 by the previous government of President Rafael Correa. His confinement in the embassy was found by the United Nations to be a case of “arbitrary detention” in violation of international law in 2016. Assange’s removal by British authorities came just as the UN expert on torture announced his intention to visit him also noting that his extradition to the US was a real risk.

Retaliation for Exposing War Crimes

The US and UK governments appear determined to prosecute the WikiLeaks editor for his role in exposing US-led war crimes and diplomatic intrigues across the world. The arrest comes after months of secret negotiations between the British, US and Ecuadorian governments. Ecuador has been provided with a powerful financial incentive through the IMF to expel Assange from its Embassy. President Lenin Moreno has since shamefully denounced Assange as a “hacker,” a “stone in our shoe” and “our inherited problem” rather support him as a political refugee and citizen of Ecuador – which is what he is.

‘Tortuous’ Climate

In recent months the Ecuadorian government has created a ‘tortuous’ climate for Assange within the Embassy. In March, Assange's internet which was vital for his contact with associates and friends outside was cut off. His right legal counsel. These policies merely added to his worsening health and were clearly designed to make his living conditions so intolerable that he would ‘voluntarily’ leave the Embassy.

Smearing Assange

The mainstream media has been shamefully hostile to Assange while simultaneously filling the public consciousness with fake narratives; from allegations of collusion with Russia to assist in the election of Donald Trump, to alleged meetings with Paul Manafort that could never be substantiated. Established and respected news outlets have continuously painted the transparency activist in the worst possible light, too often taking the word of self-interested and hostile state officials at face value. A practice that continues to this very day. Even the allegations of sexual misconduct pursued by Sweden authorities, upon which this entire injustice is predicated, ultimately fell apart - despite intense behind the scenes pressure, from UK authorities on Swedish prosecutors, to keep the case alive.

Perfect track record of exposing wrongdoing

Assange is a publisher facing trial for publishing documents which have consistently revealed waste, fraud, corruption and criminality on the part of governments and corporations the world over. A fact that media outlets with the largest reach appear to consistently forget. There has yet to be one known case of WikiLeaks ever publishing documents which have had to be retracted for being false. Until now, WikiLeaks has a 100% track record of publishing accurate documents.

Criminalising dissent, journalism and transparency activism

This is a classic and fundamental issue of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In their attacks on Assange, Britain and the United States are seeking to establish new precedents for the persecution of journalists, whistleblowers and political dissidents.

Release Julian Assange without delay

We demand that the May government drop its politically motivated bail charges and decline to extradite Julian Assange to the United States. Julian Assange has already been subject to 7 years of tortuous confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy as a result of his well-founded concerns over attempts by British and Swedish authorities to unlawfully facilitate his transfer to the United States.

As the UN working group on Arbitrary Detention declared in December 2018:

“The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador”.

We call on the Australia government to respond positively to his mother's appeal by upholding Assange’s rights as a citizen, including by intervening to secure his return to Australia with a guarantee against extradition to the US

Finally, we call upon all legal, human rights, media and community organisations to mobilise widely to campaign against Assange’s extradition as well as against any further imprisonment. An assault against Assange is an assault against all of us. As such we must to come together to launch a robust campaign in defence of Assange without delay.