Friday, 17 August 2012

The Julian Assange Case and Australia's Shameful Pusillanimity

I'm glad to say I haven't just been fuming in impotent rage. I just sent a letter of protest to Bob Carr, Australian foreign minister, and I hope more concerned Australians will do the same:

Mr. Carr,

I'm appalled that the Australian government is doing nothing to help an Australian citizen, Julian Assange, who has not been charged with any crime, yet is being hounded like an animal by foreign powers - the UK and Sweden. Any informed person can guess that the extradition case is probably a smokescreen to get him to the US, which is the country most affected by the Wikileaks disclosures.

As an Australian citizen, I want to see the Australian government active in protecting Mr. Assange against foreign powers. This government has defended convicted drug-runners in foreign countries. It is shameful that it refuses to help a man who many Australians believe has furthered press freedom with his bold disclosures of wrongdoing (such as the footage of the helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq).

I am not the only one in my circle of friends and family to feel this way. The government must understand the depth of feeling among the Australian voting public, and act according to popular will. Australia must not appear powerless to protect its own. It shames all of us. It is a bigger shame that Ecuador has done what Australia has failed to do for its own citizen!

Ganesh Prasad

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