JERAA urges the US to drop charges and return Assange to Australia

By JERAA

 

The Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) joins with those supporting Julian Assange, an Australian citizen whose unjust prosecution continues to undermine press freedoms and human rights.

In light of recent developments and mounting concerns over Assange’s deteriorating health, JERAA urges the United States to drop all charges against Assange and facilitate his immediate return to Australia.

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been the subject of relentless persecution by the US government for his efforts to expose war crimes and government misconduct. Assange received a Walkley Award in 2011 for outstanding contribution to journalism through Wikileaks, which included the release of the “collateral murder” video and the publication of classified US diplomatic cables, shedding light on atrocities committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is concerning that Assange faces up to 175 years in jail if found guilty of espionage charges—a sentence that would effectively silence whistle-blowers and journalists worldwide.

JERAA believes that Assange’s indictment sets a dangerous precedent and poses a grave threat to the fundamental principles of press freedom and freedom of expression.

JERAA commends Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for his support in calling for Assange’s release and echoes his sentiment that “enough is enough.”

PM Albanese’s recent vote in parliament for a motion demanding Assange’s return to Australia underscores the legitimacy of our demand. The motion, which received overwhelming support, leaves no room for ambiguity – it is time to bring Assange home.

As the UK High Court prepares to rule on Assange’s appeal against extradition in a two-day hearing (20-21 February), and with PM Albanese’s continued efforts to advocate for Assange’s release, JERAA urges the US to heed the calls for justice and drop all charges against Assange.

It is imperative that Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen be respected, and that he be afforded the opportunity to return home.

JERAA President Associate Professor Alexandra Wake said while some of our members may not agree with all Assange has done in his life, it is clear that his work is central to our understanding of press freedoms and human rights.

“JERAA upholds the principles of a free and independent press. It is time to end the trial of global media freedom,” she said.

JERAA urges the US to drop charges and return Assange to Australia
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