Freedom of the press should be uncompromising in its pursuit of the truth but right now an Australian journalist is in prison awaiting extradition to the United States on espionage charges.
Julian Assange was arrested in 2019 for his role in releasing documents in the public interest about Australia and the United States' involvement in wars across the middle east.
Since then he has been held in inhumane and cruel conditions and is at risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Tortue.
The Australian government has been painfully silent on Assange’s treatment. Instead, opting to do nothing under the cover of “quiet diplomacy”.
Both major parties are always ready to praise the “special relationship” Australia has with the United States but when it comes to using that relationship to free an Australian citizen who did nothing more than expose the lies governments were telling about the catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they are nowhere to be seen.
It’s time for the Australian government to publicly call for all charges against Julian Assange to be dropped immediately.