LETTER FROM SYDNEY
The features drawn after a long intercontinental flight, Stella Assange, lawyer and wife of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, takes a deep breath before delivering her very first speech on Australian soil, Monday May 22, in front of the National Press Club from Canberra. “The truth is that I have mixed feelings about being here, as I always imagined my first visit (to Australia) would be with Julian and the kids, begins the mother of the whistleblower’s two youngest sons, moved but determined. I did not want to lose the opportunity to address you because we are now in a final phase. Julian urgently needs his freedom and Australia is playing a crucial role in securing his release.”she continues, straight in her purple suit.
For more than ten years, Canberra has granted minimal support to its national, offering him neither more nor less than the consular assistance to which any Australian struggling with a foreign legal system is entitled, regularly sheltering behind the principle of respect of the independence of the judicial process to do no more.
This approach gradually evolved, from the spring of 2022, after the arrival in power of the Labor Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who, believing that the incarceration of the cyberactivist had lasted too long, undertook to plead his case with the administration. American. “My motivation (…) is not to judge. People will have different opinions about the actions of Julian Assange but that does not preclude concluding that enough is enough”explained in particular the center-left leader, on May 22.
A major turning point
Since the beginning of May, Julian Assange has also and above all benefited, and for the first time, from the almost unanimous support of his country’s political class. The right-wing opposition finally decided to add its voice to all those who were already calling for his release. ” I think it’s been going on too long.” supported, on May 5, Peter Dutton, the leader of the Liberal Party. He also promised to participate in government-led efforts, through diplomatic channels, to find a solution.
This position marks a major turning point for the conservative camp, whose successive leaders had never expressed much sympathy for their fellow citizen, struggling with Washington since the publication, in 2010, by WikiLeaks, of classified documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan revealing violations of human rights. Canberra has had a particularly close strategic relationship with the United States since World War II. Cooperation between the two countries has been further strengthened in recent years, faced with the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific.
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