Australian Politicians Demand Release of Julian Assange

    Australian Politicians Demand Release of Julian Assange
    Photo: Martin Ollman/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has voted for a motion in the parliament's lower house calling for the return of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, ahead of his appeal in London’s High Court next week.

    • Albanese was among 86 lawmakers who voted in favor of the motion urging the US and UK to bring the "matter to a close so that Mr Assange can return home to his family in Australia," while 42 lawmakers voted in opposition.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Assange is accused of very serious criminal actions that carry hefty prison sentences. The records he is accused of leaking were classified, and by leaking them he threatened US security and endangered the lives of Americans abroad. While there is no doubt that the prosecution could be progressing more quickly, this doesn't entitle Assange to a get-out-of-jail-free card. He needs to face the consequences of his actions, even if that means being extradited to the US.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Prosecuting Assange for the publication of documents that were in the public interest threatens the work of investigative journalists all over the world. Not only would it have chilling repercussions, it would set a dangerous precedent threatening the public's right to know. Furthermore, the political nature of these charges means Assange will likely be held in repressive conditions that will put his life in danger if extradited. This prosecution must be stopped.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Julian Assange will be extradited to the US before January 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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