We welcome Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens Senator for Victoria.
We welcome Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the CFMEU.
We welcome Sami Shah, PEN Melbourne Ambassador at Large
We welcome Christos Tsiolkas, an award winning novelist, playwright, essayist and screen writer.
- 2009: Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, for The Slap
- 2020: Victorian Premier’s Prize for Fiction, for Damascus (2019)
- 2021: Melbourne Prize for Literature
Several of his books have been adapted for film and television.
- The play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? (1999) was made into the film Blessed (2009),
- The 2006 novel Dead Europe was made into the film Dead Europe (2012),
- The Slap has been turned into both an Australian and U.S. television miniseries.
- Barracuda was adapted for television in 2016.
The Birthday Rally
Assange Vigil 5pm on Tuesday, May 3 at the British Consulate, 90 Collins Street
Join us in a half hour vigil for Julian Assange outside the British Consulate, 90 Collins Street, Melbourne on World Press Freedom Day, Tuesday 3rd May at 5.00pm.
Overwhelming support for Australia’s Julian Assange this Press Freedom Day
Assange supporters in full force this election, with a more than a quarter-of-a-million Australian signatories on a petition delivered to parliament today.
May 2 2022 I Contact: Louise – 0449 774 655 I firstname.lastname@example.org
This World Press Freedom Day, May 3, supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are out in full force to show candidates in the Australian Federal Election where they stand.
Assange remains imprisoned by the British Government for exposing US war crimes, facing 175 years in a US prison if he is extradited from the UK.
Supporters have funded full page advertisements in all of the mainstream Australian press outlets, demanding that Assange is brought home. “Julian is imprisoned in the UK’s harshest
prison” the advertisements state, emphasising that all of the largest press freedom groups have urged that the Australian is released.
A petition signed by over a quarter of-a-million Australians will be personally delivered to the Chair of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group by Mr. Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, and Greg Barns SC. The petition is the largest ever to be tabled in both houses of the Australian Parliament and hit 700,000 signatories just one week prior to a UK court issuing Mr
Assange with a formal extradition order to the United States. The petition will be delivered to Independent Member for Clark, Mr. Andrew Wilkie, the Chair of the Assange Parliamentary group
which has 25 members including nine Greens, eight Labor, four independents or crossbench and four from the Coalition: Barnaby Joyce, Bridget Arthur, Jason Falinski and Nationals MP George
Wilkie is quick to point out that Assange is a Walkley Award winning Australian journalist. “His continued imprisonment is an alarming affront to any reasonable notion of justice and
media freedom. The Australian Government’s kowtowing to Washington is equally appalling,” Mr Wilkie said. Polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of Australians support Assange being brought home. Liberal backbenchers Jason Falinski and Bridget Archer have called for diplomatic action to secure Assange’s return to Australia after Barnaby Joyce said it was
unfair the US wanted to extradite him to face prosecution over actions allegedly not committed inside the US.
“It’s a popular concern and parliamentarians recognise that,” said Assange’s father, John Shipton, at a recent screening of Ben Lawrence’s feature documentary ithaka, a documentary released across Australia on April 21 about Assange’s plight. Shipton has worked for years behind the scenes with parliamentarians fighting for his son’s freedom, and he knows that his plight has bi-partisan support. During the Federal Election campaign though, he has noticed that both the LNP and the ALP have taken a united position in which they will not make any specific representation for Assange to the UK Home Secretary.
“Prime Minister, pick up the phone. Bring Julian Assange home. Or the cosy agreement between the Australian Labour Party and the Liberal National Party will surely be brought to
a conclusion by Independent MPs,” says Shipton.
Independent Member for Indi, Ms Helen Haines, has also spoken out in support of Mr Assange saying, “Voters expect us to hold accountable those who commit wrong-doing, not to punish those who expose it, such as Julian Assange,” she said.
Mr Assange’s brother and Producer of ithaka, Gabriel Shipton, said all that stands between Julian coming home or being sent to the USA to face 175 years in prison is UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“The Australian government must listen to the quarter-of-a-million Australians who want Julian brought home and pick up the phone. Bring Julian home,” Mr Shipton said.
The petition, which has now been signed by more than a quarter-of-a-million Australians, was started by 57 year-old Brisbane man Mr Phillip Adams. He said the petition is also the largest ever to be submitted to the International Criminal Court, “this means that Australian officials may be called to face allegations in association with Crimes Against Humanity any time now or in years to come.”
The petition, which continues to grow, will be hand delivered by Mr Gabriel Shipton to Mr Andrew Wilkie the Parliament House Gardens (Murray quadrant), Hobart, on Tuesday 3 May at 11.30am. Media are welcome to attend.
All Australians are also encouraged to join the movement to #PickUpThePhone this World Press Freedom Day and contact their candidates to find out where they stand on press freedom and Julian Assange.
Available for interview:
● Mr. John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father
● Mr. Gabriel Shipton, Julian Assange’s brother
● Greg Barns, campaign legal adviser
Find out more:
Feature Documentary ithaka is in cinemas across Australia and will be aired on the ABC soon.
May 2 2022 I Contact: Louise – 0449 774 655 I email@example.com
NEW – Early Day Motion 1177 Stop Extradition of Julian Assange: Send Emails>All, British,Australians
Apr 26, 2022 —
British, Australians and Rest of world can act thru these links. UK MP has the chance to speak out against the extradition of Julian Assange by signing this House of Commons motion. Send them a message using our form asking them to sign now.
That this House
notes that Julian Assange faces extradition to the USA and a prison sentence of up to 175 years in a super-maximum-security prison for his journalistic work, carried out in the UK;
notes that this includes the exposing of war atrocities and human rights abuses in US-led wars on Afghanistan and Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay;
further notes that Amnesty International has warned that extradition of Julian Assange would have a chilling effect on the right to freedom of expression;
while Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation of Journalists, National Union of Journalists and press freedom groups Article 19, Index and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom oppose extradition and have warned against the criminalising of journalistic activities;
believes that this case once again highlights how the UK’s extradition treaty with the US is fundamentally asymmetric and unbalanced in favour of the United States;
notes that the Home Secretary will soon have to decide whether to extradite Julian Assange to the USA; and calls on the Home Secretary to reject extradition.
Not in the UK (Citizens of the World) (Note Australians see below this section) ? See other actions here.
Send an email to your BRITISH MP
—-For Australians see below. Helps You send emails to politicians.
For Australian Election. Email your candidate for your electoral seat. Both House of Representatives and the Senate are all loaded for your seat. Just enter your Post Code and it all populates for you.
The Westminister Magistrates’ court order to extradite Julian Assange to the US was extremely disappointing. We need strong leaders in the government who will stand against corruption and fight for justice. Australia is going into elections in a couple of weeks and we have an opportunity to bring this issue back on the agenda.
For those of you based in Australia, please click here to email candidates from your electorate and ask them to support the release of Assange
If Australia makes a firm stance and demands the release of Julian Assange, it would create real obstacles for the US and UK to do as they like.
So far, we’ve not seen any real intervention from our government. We need our representatives to fight for the issues we care about. It’s time to tell our political candidates and remind the major parties that Australians want justice for Julian Assange.
Please click here to email your candidates
Thank you for your support
The 11th of April, 2022 completes 3 years of imprisonment and torture for Julian Assange.
Join the call of PEN International and leading journalists, lawyers, academics, and press freedom groups to
FREE Julian Assange NOW.
Dear Members of Parliament, Senators and concerned citizens,
At 11 am on the 11th April, 2022, a delegation from PEN International will visit the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street, Melbourne to present an Open Letter calling for the immediate release of Julian Assange and a halt to the extradition.
- We invite you to add your name to the Open Letter as a cosignatory by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ADD MY NAME in the Subject. Please include any organisation you represent, or your profession.
- We invite you to show your support for this delegation by attending with the party of supporters outside the consulate. If you plan on attending, please email us at email@example.com so we can have appropriate management measures in place.
An Open Letter Regarding Mr Julian Assange
4 April 2022
Mr Steph Lysaght
British Consul General
British Consulate General in Melbourne, Australia
17th Floor, 90 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Dear Mr Lysaght,
PEN Australia’s Melbourne, Sydney and Perth centres are among the 150 PEN International centres around the world dedicated to freedom of expression and the release of unjustly imprisoned writers.
PEN Australia Centres, in conjunction with PEN International, call for the British Government, as an independent democracy, to immediately release Julian Assange and to halt the US case for extradition.
On 14 March 2022 the United Kingdom Supreme Court denied Julian Assange’s request to appeal an earlier decision that permitted his extradition to the United States – which in turn had overturned an earlier ruling by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court that found extradition would endanger Mr Assange’s life. His case now goes before UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to authorise the extradition.
The overturning of the Magistrates’ Court decision followed an appeal by lawyers representing the US government when they promised that Assange’s wellbeing would not be compromised, and that once convicted he could serve his sentence in Australia. James Lewis, the lead U.S. prosecutor, told the High Court that, ‘The United States have never broken a diplomatic assurance, ever’.
Court documents and diplomatic assurances obtained by Richard Medhurst show this to be untrue. See the detailed evidence including signed documents here. Medhurst cites the case of David Mendoza Herrarte, which is summarised briefly here:
In 2009, David Mendoza Herrarte was extradited from Spain to the United States, on condition he be allowed to serve his sentence in Spain.
Classified documents reveal the diplomatic assurances given by the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and how the U.S.
violated the conditions of his extradition.
Mendoza spent over 6 years in the United States trying to return to Spain. Court documents show how the United States denied his transfer application multiple times.
While in prison, Mendoza sued the United States, and Spain, for failing to uphold the conditions of his extradition and violating his human rights. His case was recently taken up by the United Nations.
Mr Assange is already suffering deteriorating health after years of maltreatment in conditions described as torture by the UN special rapporteur Nils Melzer. The likelihood of him surviving in ADX Florence, a federal super-maximum prison, while also being placed under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), in extreme isolation, was found by the court judgment earlier last year as grounds for the extradition to be stopped.
It has also been established that the US spied on meetings between Assange and his defence. Is this permitted under British law?
The prosecution of Assange has been described as a political case from the outset. Extradition for political offences has been prohibited by democracies that respect human rights. Britain prides itself for standing for democracy and freedom of expression. We call on Britain to take a stand for the wellbeing and democratic freedom of expression of Wikileaks founder, Australian citizen Julian Assange.
Julian Assange has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, by German politician Martin Sonneborn (MEP). This attests to the international concern for Julian Assange’s case. This nomination reflects not only the esteem in which Assange is held but also the fact that Assange’s extradition to the USA is seen as a blow to media freedom, with far reaching implications for investigative journalism worldwide.
Wikileaks, with Julian Assange as editor, was in 2019 awarded a Walkley Award for its outstanding award to journalism.
The Walkley Foundation website states:
‘Many mainstream journalists worked with Assange’s material to publish their own reports including media outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Australia, The Guardian in the United Kingdom, The New York Times in the US, El Pais in Spain, Le Monde in France and Der Spiegel in Germany. There has been no attempt by the US Government to prosecute any of those journalists involved.
The Government is relying on one allegation against Assange—that he helped Chelsea Manning crack a password to access a US government computer—to seek his extradition from Britain to America where, if successful, he seems likely to face other, more serious charges that would constitute a direct assault on fundamental press freedoms.
Julian Assange’s personality and his more recent actions do not weaken the principle driving the Walkley
Foundation’s concerns in this matter: that when he released the original Wikileaks material in 2010 Assange was assisting a whistleblower to reveal information in the public interest.
Given the potential adverse impact of this extradition attempt on a free, healthily functioning media, the Walkley Foundation Board urges the British and Australian governments to oppose Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States.’
In Australia, a petition, tabled in Parliament, is still growing strongly with over 692,600 signatures and is now the fourth largest petition to be tabled in parliament.
The Hon Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, is an outspoken advocate for bringing Julian Assange home.
Senators and Members of Parliament from all parties, together with human rights organisations, notable Australians, and the general public have made this same call: release Julian Assange immediately and halt the extradition.
I look forward to your urgent action for Mr Assange.
Christine McKenzie, president
Senator Nick McKim
Rebekha Sharkie, MP
Senator Janet Rice
Sami Shah, PEN Melbourne
Constantine Pakavakis, PEN Melbourne
Dr Josephine Scicluna, PEN Melbourne
Jackie Mansourian, PEN Melbourne
Adele Duffy, PEN Melbourne
Dr Paul Morgan, PEN Melbourne
Krishna Sen, PEN Perth
Zoe Rodriguez, PEN Sydney
Claudia Taranto, PEN Sydney
Mansour Razaghi, PEN Sydney
Dennis Altman AM FASSA
Professor David McCooey
Associate Professor Marion May Campbell
Hilary McPhee AO
Dr Judith Buckrich
Lolo Houbein AM
Dr Diana Cousens
Susan Connelly, Alliance Against Political Prosecutions
Hannah Thomas, Alliance Against Political Prosecutions
Malcolm Ramage, QC
Dr Anne Noonan
Dr Sue Wareham OAM, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)
Jan Barnett rsj
Kevin Bracken, Chairperson ILPS Australia
Dr Richie Gun AO
Dr Margaret Beavis
Dr Janet Hunt
PEN Sydney delivered this letter to the office of Marise Payne
Bring Julian Assange Home-An open letter to Foreign Minister Marise Payne
On the 5th April, John Shipton (Julian Assange’s Dad) issued this statement via Change.org:
“Dear Friends, I have just returned from London where I witnessed Stella and Julian somehow transcend the nightmarish conditions of HMP Belmarsh to celebrate their love for one another and our love for them.
Time is running out for Julian, his physical condition is shocking. Years of psychological torture and arbitrary detention demand their bitter toll. He has been denied his final appeal and is now awaiting a US extradition order expected to be handed down on 20 April.”
On this third anniversary of the incarceration of Julian Assange we will deliver this open letter to Foreign Minister Sen. Marise Payne.
Dear Minister Payne,
PEN Australia’s Melbourne, Sydney and Perth centres are among the 150 PEN International centres around the world dedicated to freedom of expression and the release of unjustly imprisoned writers.
PEN Australia, in conjunction with PEN International, are calling for justice for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, on this third anniversary of his detention in Belmarsh Prison. We are appealing to you as a representative of the Australian people to assert the rights of an Australian citizen by taking up his case with your counterparts in the United Kingdom government. It is the responsibility of Australian government representatives to advocate for Australian citizens.
The decision to extradite him to the United States for trial currently sits with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. This was after the UK Supreme Court in March refused to consider Mr Assange’s appeal against the High Court decision, which overturned the District Court ruling barring his extradition to the US on mental health grounds. We urge you to use the considerable diplomatic influence you undoubtedly have to strongly request of Secretary Patel that the request for his extradition to the US be rejected immediately and that he be brought home to Australia.
In the US, Mr Assange would face trial on 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which combined could see him imprisoned for up to 175 years. He is highly likely to be detained there in conditions of isolation or solitary confinement, despite the US government’s assurances, which would severely exacerbate his risk of suicide.
Further, Mr Assange would be unable to adequately defend himself in the US courts, as the Espionage Act lacks a public interest defence. His prosecution would set a dangerous precedent that could be applied to any media outlet that published stories based on leaked information, or indeed any journalist, publisher or source anywhere in the world.
Julian Assange has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, by German politician Martin Sonneborn (MEP). This nomination reflects not only the esteem in which Assange is held but also the fact that his extradition to the US is seen as a blow to media freedom, with far reaching implications for investigative journalism worldwide.
Aside from these significant concerns, the health and welfare, perhaps the life of an Australian citizen is at stake. The harmful and detrimental conditions under which Julian Assange is currently detained in Belmarsh prison have been described as torture by the UN special rapporteur Nils Melzer.
Currently in Australia 28 of the 226 Senators and Members of Parliament support actions to bring Julian Assange home, including the Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon Barnaby Joyce. A petition, tabled in Parliament, is still growing strongly with over 700,000 signatures. It is now one of the largest petitions to ever be tabled.
We look forward to your urgent action for Mr Assange.
Zoe Rodriguez – PEN Sydney Joint President
Carol Dettmann OAM – Publisher
Linda Jaivin – Writer
Anwen Crawford – Writer
Evelyn Juers – Writer
Christos Tsiolkas – Writer
Lisa Walker – Writer
Miro Bilbrough – Writer/Filmmaker
Stephen Edgar – Poet
Judith Beveridge – Poet
Mireille Juchau – Writer and academic
Nicholas Jose – Writer
Debra Adelaide – Writer
Sandy Symons – PEN Sydney Joint President
Daniel Rowland – Academic
Mark Isaacs – Writer
Dragana Zivancevic – Translator
Nina Burridge – Academic
Claudia Taranto – journalist
Mansour Razaghi – journalist
Nicole Steinke – podcast producer
Chris McKenzie – President PEN Melbourne
Con Pakavakis – PEN Melbourne
Krishna Sen – PEN Perth
In Canberra, Kathryn Kelly of the Alliance Against Political Prosecutions delivered the PEN letter to the British High Commission.
Feb 18, 2021 —
“New: The Court has now granted Julian’s team an extension until March 29th to reply to the US appeal grounds/cross-appeal. The High Court will decide whether it will allow the US permission to appeal after March 29th. More below. Please share+support.”: Source Stella Moris
Also Senator Peter Whish-Wilson in the Senate this week. He is the Senator that tabled the petition of Phillip Adams in the Australian Parliament. https://youtu.be/8xJLmPXEo1U
Julian Assange’s High Court fight against extradition Crowd Justice campaign
Julian Assange’s partner Stella Moris has sent out an important update about the extradition case on Crowd Justice fundraising appeal. The update came after the US prosecution submitted their arguments to court last Friday, to appeal a UK magistrates court ruling from January 4, that it was unsafe to extradite Julian because to do so would likely result in his death.
“The next step in the legal case is that Julian’s legal team will respond to the US grounds for appeal. Julian’s lawyers are hard at work. Julian’s team has asked the High Court to give them more time to consider whether to lodge a cross appeal in order to challenge parts of the ruling where the magistrate did not side with Julian and the press freedom arguments. A cross appeal would provide an opportunity to clear Julian’s name properly.”
Julian Assange remains on remand in the high security Belmarsh Prison where he has been for over 500 days. The most pressing problem for Julian is that conditions in detention continue to obstruct his ability to prepare his legal case, a case on which his life depends.
Please keep sharing this fundraising appeal with friends, family, colleagues and anyone else who might be able to donate.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
For further reading:
Yanis Varoufakis to testify against private company hired to spy on Assange
By DiEM25 Communications | 27/10/2020
The fight for justice for Julian Assange takes place in the Greek courts today, where Yanis Varoufakis will testify against the private company that was hired to spy on Assange while he resided in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
On Tuesday 27 October at 13h local time, DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis will testify to the Special Investigations Unit for International Judicial Assistance as a witness for the prosecution, through a teleconference hosted in Greek courts. He will support a Spanish case against the private company UC Global, which was spying on Julian Assange during his stay in the Embassy of Ecuador in London.
The company in question had a contract with US authorities and is being investigated for potential violations of rights of Yanis Varoufakis and other visitors of Julian Assange.
More specifically, the investigation is focusing on the illegal video and sound recording of private conversations between Varoufakis and Assange that were secretly obtained by the security agency. It also pertains to the illegal collection of copies of Varoufakis’ passport, as well as the contents of his mobile — all of which was transmitted from UC Global to its “customer” across the Atlantic, i.e. the US government.
It is of critical importance that this case against those who have hunted Julian Assange for years is conducted by a European Justice authority. All the while, Julian is slowly dying in inhumane isolation in the British equivalent of Guantanamo: the high security HM Prison Belmarsh. And for what crime? For informing citizens in the West of the crimes conducted by their governments, in their name.
The co-founder of DiEM25 and Secretary of MeRA25, Yanis Varoufakis, will give his testimony to the Spanish authorities voluntarily via teleconference, thus contributing to the years of struggle conducted by DiEM25, MeRA25 and the Progressive International to support, and eventually free, Assange. It is to this struggle that we call you all to join your voices and help us free Julian Assange.
To see the videos of Varoufakis: https://diem25.org/yanis-varoufakis-testify-against-private-company-hired-spy-assange/
From Phillip Adams, Brisbane re The Petition:
Australian Foreign Minister spoke to Dominic Raab & Pompeo about Assange.
“Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne says she has spoken with Dominic Raab (UK) and Secretary Mike Pompeo (USA) about Julian Assange’s extradition”.Thankyou to Brett Mason SBS News for Tweeting the detail. https://twitter.com/BrettMasonNews/status/1321246876109164544?s=20
Note; In response to the Foreign Minister: This petition never demanded consular contact. In relation to this politically motivated show trial for torture and eternal silencing of Julian Assange, consular contact has been a designated administrative dead end to jerk us along. This petition demands direct involvement by the Foreign Minister and or the Prime Minister of Australia to free Julian Assange by direct ministerial demands with their counterparts in the UK and USA. Now we know that is happening, we can now confirm we are getting somewhere.
This petition will continue to address this travesty and alleged Crime Against Humanity in the International Criminal Court. As stated in Notice 1 to the International Criminal Court Aug. 8, 2020: This petition requests Public Officers of Australia, UK, Sweden and Ecuador be investigated for their co-ordinated delivery of psychological torture to Julian Assange.
For the record previous Australian Consular Contact and followups will be included in the investigation request in Petition Notice 3 to the International Criminal Court. Now with the passage of time we can see that the process of countless waste of time consular contacts appear to have been nothing more than just another smoke screened cog to ensure Julian Assange the journalist is delivered to the entity that committed the war crimes he exposed. Where is the public outrage by the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister about the plan to poison an Australia Citizen Mr Assange in an Embassy, where is the outrage over the plan to kidnap him. Where is the outrage towards the establishment of a legal precedent that will destroy Australian, British and Western sovereignty.
- We will Free Julian Assange,
- There will be no extradition
- We will see public officers of Australia, Ecuador, Sweden and the UK being the subject of an investigation by the International Criminal Court into their involvement in the psychological torturing of Julian Assange which is a crime against humanity.
- We are a massive platform now and we will not be denied.
Assange: Independent international legal observers write Open Letter to British PM
An Open Letter was written to the UK Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland QC, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Dominic Raab and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel
Twitter feed is not available at the moment.
People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.