My request for action to my MP for Julian Assange
I wrote an email on the 24th December 2011 to my federal member, Ms Sharon Bird of Cunningham, who is a member of the Australian Labor Party. Unfortunately I did not save a copy of the email I sent… In summary of my email, I outlined my concerns of the Bradley Manning case and the naming of Julian Assange in witness statements and I requested that the Government intervene and stop the likely extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.
Ms Bird, MP first responded to my letter on the 3rd of January. I suspect the letter was plucked straight from the party room computer system, and maybe a few alternations to match my letter. However, Ms Bird, MP did not mention the United States or Bradley Manning in the response.
I wrote a second letter on the 12th of January with clear facts, and a clear request for action. I received a very quick response that Ms Bird MP has made a representation on my behalf to both the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, and the Attorney-General, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP.
I wait for further contact, and I will update on receipt.
To Sharon Bird, MP – 24 December 2011
..oops.. I did not save a copy ..
From Sharon Bird, MP – 3 January 2012
Dear Mr ████████
Thank you for your email dated 24 December regarding the detention of Mr Julian Assange. The Australian Governement is committed to providing high quality consular support to all Australians overseas. As part of its consular role, the Government endevours to protect the legal rights of all Australians abroad. This includes Mr Assange.
Like any other Australian, Mr Assange has a right to privacy and the disclosure of specific details of the consular assistance provided to Mr Assange is not permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act. I can, however, assure you that Australian consular officials are working closely with Mr Assange and his lawyers to provide him with appropriate consular support in his current circumstances.
Extradition proceedings against Mr Assange must proceed in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom and Sweden. It is important to remember that when Australians are involved in legal or judicial processes overseas, there is a limit to what the Australian Government can do for them; the Government cannot, for instance, intervene in the judicial processes of other countries.
The Australian Governemtn has, however, clearly expressed its expectation to UK and Swedish authorities that Mr Assange’s case will proceed in accordance with proper due process.
SHARON BIRD MP
To Sharon Bird, MP – 12 January 2012
In response to your letter dated: 3 January 2012
Dear Ms Bird, MP
Thank you for your response to my email dated 24 December regarding the detention of Mr Julian Assange. I have further raised my concerns on the possibility of Mr Assange’s likely extradition to the United States of America.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains frustrated by the lack of assistance from the Australian federal government over his prolonged overseas legal plight, three weeks ahead of his appeal against extradition to Sweden in the UK Supreme Court.
While Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s office had been in contact with Mr Assange’s lawyers in the past month, there has been no real action.
Mr Assange has not received adequate assistance from the federal government over his potential extradition from Britain to Sweden.
The federal government should be offering more than just consular assistance. There should also be diplomatic activity and political statements.
Assange has said on multiple occasions his expulsion to Sweden could lead to his handing over to authorities in the United States, where WikiLeaks is being investigated for publishing thousands of secret state cables.
The federal government needs to protect Assange from the possibility of rendition to the United States. Whilst the government may claim it is premature to speculate on the actions of the United States and what further representations Australia may take, during the pretrial hearing for alleged whistle blower Bradley Manning in December of 2011, Mr Assange was named on numerous occasions.
I disagree that the government is concerned about due process for Mr Assange’s case as the Prime Minister Hon. Ms Julia Gillard has falsely publicly accused Mr Assange of illegal activities in December of 2010.
I need to hear the prime minister and the attorney-general quite clearly advocating to the US that they would not support onward extradition of an Australian journalist to face trumped up charges in the United States.
From Sharon Bird, MP – 16 January 2012
Dear Mr ████████
Thank you for your letter dated 12 January regarding the case of Mr Julian Assange, which I receieved in this morning’s mail.
I have made a representation on your behalf to both the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, and the Attorney-General, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP. Once additional information is at hand from each Minister, I shall make contact with you again.
SHARON BIRD MP
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