Assange's mum urges Turnbull to 'act like a Prime Minister' and help her son

Assange's mum urges Turnbull to 'act like a Prime Minister' and help her son
May 20 02:12 2017 Print This Article

Updated May 20, 2017 12:18:27

The mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is calling on the Prime Minister to help her son and “take Sweden to task” now prosecutors have stopped investigating him over rape allegations.

Assange, 45, was accused of sexual assault in Sweden in 2010 and was granted political asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, where he has been living ever since.

Last night Swedish prosecutors announced they were dropping the investigation because all avenues to pursue it have been exhausted, ending a seven-year legal stand-off.

While Christine Assange is “very pleased” the investigation against her son has been dropped, she said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should step in to protect Assange’s human rights.

“I’m officially calling on Malcolm Turnbull to step in, act like a Prime Minister, and protect a citizen,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“I’d like him to re-issue Julian’s passport, so that he can travel — immediately.

“I’d like him to take to task Sweden for what they’ve done breaching his human rights and lying to the media, and I would like him to pressure the UK Government to allow him safe passage to Ecuador.”

Ms Assange said her son has had “no sunshine, no fresh air and no exercise” for five years.

Still ‘dangerous’ for Assange to leave embassy

The Wikileaks founder has vehemently denied the claims of sexual assault, but has remained hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy over fears that if he was held in custody, he would be extradited to the United States for his role in WikiLeaks.

While Sweden’s investigation into Assange has been dropped, British police intend to arrest him when he leaves the embassy over a missed court appearance.

Ms Assange said her son would like to return to Australia, but will only be safe in Ecuador and faces danger if he leaves the London embassy.

“The UK has now issued a warrant for Julian’s arrest … the moment he walks out of that embassy they will arrest him, and put him in jail, and then the grand jury indictment will be served,” she said.

“What we need to remember is that Julian is a multi-award winning Australian journalist, who has broken no laws.

“The US is capable of grabbing him so it it is dangerous for him to leave the embassy.”

It is not known if US officials are seeking Assange’s arrest because of a possible sealed indictment.

Assange has defended his right to stay put, and said he was ready to talk to Britain “about what is the best way forward” and with the US Department of Justice.

“The road is far from over,” he said to a crowd of supporters and media after the Swedish prosecutor’s announcement.

He also posted an old photo of himself smiling on Twitter and followed it up with a personal message.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said it would be up to police to decide if Assange should be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Assange to the US, Ms May said the Government “[looks] at extradition requests when we receive them on a case by case basis”.

“Any decision that is taken about UK action in relation to [Assange] were he to leave the Ecuadorian embassy would be an operational matter for the police,” she said.

The WikiLeaks website has published thousands of highly-sensitive US Government documents.

Topics: crime, law-crime-and-justice, police, information-and-communication, united-kingdom, sweden

First posted May 20, 2017 12:12:22

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Scott Menard
Scott Menard

He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .

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