Australia: MPs Press US Envoy to Free Assange

    Photo: Al Arabiya English

    The Facts

    • On Tuesday, a cross-party delegation of Australian lawmakers met with US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to discuss dropping the pending extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allowing him to return to Australia.

    • Assange, an Australian citizen, faces extradition from the UK to the US, where he's wanted on criminal charges over the 2010 release of confidential US military records and diplomatic communications.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Assange is an anti-establishment hero who has been victimized and punished for exposing American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. His prosecution has been rife with procedural violations, and it criminalizes routine journalistic activity.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Assange is not the free-speech champion he's often framed as, but rather a criminal whose publication of classified documents put lives at risk. He committed a serious crime and deserves a serious punishment.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Julian Assange will be extradited to the US by September 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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