With the announcement that UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has green-lit Julian Assange's extradition to the U.S., there is widespread concern for his health and rights.
DESPITE THE oppressive humidity in a Brisbane hall packed to twice its capacity, the attention of the crowd did not falter. All eyes were on John Shipton as he spoke quietly and eloquently, detailing his son's torture and labelling his incarceration in the UK "judicial kidnapping". John's son is Julian Assange, currently rotting in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, awaiting potential extradition to the U.S. and facing 175 years in prison.
The conditions under which Assange is being held are worse than those of mass murderers and child sex offenders. Essentially in solitary confinement, he is not permitted internet usage. His visiting rights are limited to two half-hour visits per week. He cannot contact family or friends and his ability to prepare his own defence has been severely thwarted.
This, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, is:
The event, co-hosted by Independent Australia and the Council of Civil Liberties (QCCL) was intended to mobilise support for the journalist and WikiLeaks founder. Managing editor David Donovan and executive editor Michelle Pini interviewed Mr Shipton, along with anti-war activist Ciaron O'Reilly.
John Shipton spoke of his son's commitment to truth-telling and said of his son:
Ciaron O'Reilly described Assange's popularity thus:
Mr Shipton said the allegations against his son amounted to a distraction tactic to divert the limelight from the war crimes WikiLeaks exposed, and that this was the reason Assange is not receiving diplomatic assistance:
Watch 'Justice for Julian' event:
Sign the petition to free Julian Assange HERE.
Journalists can add their name to the International Journalist Statement in Defence of Julian Assange HERE.