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The Forgotten Australian in Lockdown

By Maria Millers

While millions of Australians have been straining at the leash at the restrictions imposed by lockdowns across much of Australia there has been little thought (or for that matter media coverage) for one forgotten Australian still incarcerated in the notoriously harsh conditions of high security Bellmarsh prison, held for 22 hours a day in a 7 by 11-foot cell.

Julian Assange turns 50 today (3rd July) and his future – despite the January ruling against his extradition to the US – is still very uncertain.

The US under Joe Biden is no less inclined than previous administrations to punish Assange for the release of confidential information which exposed the wrongdoings of our closest ally.

Even though the US case against Assange has been discredited when Icelandic hacker, Ingi Thordarson who previously had claimed he had been recruited by Wikileaks to hack classified material from both public and private Icelandic entities for Wikileaks has now admitted that he had fabricated the evidence that was central to the US case against Assange.

It is distressing to see the indifference of Australians generally and our Government in particular towards Assange. PM Morrison had earlier bluntly dismissed intervening by making it clear that Assange could expect no special treatment. What Assange should expect is the support that is his right as an Australian Citizen.

Maybe the silence from fellow Australians around Assange’s fate is also because deep down we feel uncomfortable about facing the fact that we accept unquestionably the lies told to us by our leaders.

There is also the undeniable fact that Assange does not fit our image of an Australian hero with his paleness, blond hair and pale complexion all suggestive of someone whose youthful pastimes were not football, cricket or surfing but spent secluded before a screen acquiring the skills to carry out the journalism he is now suffering for.

While we all dream of unrestricted travel, parties, dinners in our favourite restaurants and all the other luxuries we have come to accept as our inalienable rights to enjoy, I hope we can spare some thoughts to a brave Australian who has been held in harsh lockdown for more than two years.

See also: Australian MPs call on US President Biden to drop charges against Assange, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 30, 2021.

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7 comments

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  1. KMB

    This man published crimes committed by the US and many other world Governments in the name of or on it’s people, information we have a right to know, that is journalism.

    I realise that the main stream pundits think journalism is lining up to write down what Politicians, corporations and the wealthy tell them to report and nothing else or they will be thrown out of the palace but surely these dullards understand what a precedent is, that if Assange is found guilty in the kangaroo court for the fake charges that NO JOURNALIST OF ANY KIND WILL BE ABLE TO CRITICISE OR QUESTION POWER. Once that precedent is set in the USA the world will follow as always

    I also realise the smear campaign to ensure no one likes this man personally has been very successful after all we are expert at taking the bait, no no please don’t bother with any facts or evidence just tell us he is a yukky man and we will hate him

    This publisher and journalist will be seen by history as a great man as will the whistleblowers the US, UK and Australia like to lock up.

    Best to allow the people trying to warn us be silenced and destroyed, after all it’s only every day in every way the decisions of these powerful elite effect our lives.

    Stay silent Australia, do as your told, watch commercial television and never ever read anything that isn’t owned by a billionaire

  2. Magic

    Succinctly tabled. The terrain around whistleblowers (“dobbers”), social justice (“a fair go”), loyalty and allyship (“mates”) — even to bullies — is a murky mix within which Australians are deeply unsure (“na na na, not listening!”). It helps to remember that white Australia is very young as far as countries go, so developmentally, adolescence take time to mature, develop their values, conscience, and identity. In the meantime, skilled writers such as yourself help illuminate the issues, as we grow into, hopefully, a wiser, kinder country.

  3. wam

    why do australians hate assange so much??
    10 years ago:
    “Australian emeritus professor of politics Robert Manne, reassuring readers that ‘if Rupert Murdoch, who turns 80 this month, is the most influential Australian of the post war era, Julian Assange, who will soon turn 40, is undoubtedly the most consequential Australian of the present time’

  4. Terence Mills

    WAM

    Rupert Murdoch was born on 11 March 1931 (age 90 years).

    With Assange there is clearly something political going on. The order by the court was quite clear :

    ORDERS 410. I order the discharge of Julian Paul Assange, pursuant to section 91(3) of the Extradition Act 2003.

    That was in January and yet Assange remains in Belmarsh Prison while the USA authorities put together their appeal.

    So, the court finding that continued imprisonment could lead to Assange descending further into a depressive and suicidal state has been ignored. Indeed it has been wilfully frustrated because they declined to grant him bail pending the appeal

    https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/USA-v-Assange-judgment-040121.pdf

  5. paul walter

    We have to go back to the early sixteenth century and star chamber to for a comparison as to out right bastardry.

    They would rather wreck the one thing they have contributed to civilisation, the justice system, habeas corpus, than let go of their childish, vicious grudge against this bloke.

  6. B Sullivan

    In the Free World it is found good, from time to time, to imprison one journalist to encourage the others.

  7. Dolores Bellemo

    I throughly agree with Maria Millers it’s time the media and our Government put an end to this men’s torture.

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