Australian Government’s failure drives Assange to Ecuador asylum bid
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's dramatic bid for political asylum in Ecuador is a clear declaration of no confidence in the Australian Government's willingness to protect him from US prosecution, the Australian Greens said today.
A statement from the Ecuadorian foreign ministry notes Mr Assange has argued: "a regrettable factual statement of abandonment received by the authorities of my country, Australia".
The statement notes that the matters subject to grand jury investigation in the United States carry long jail terms and potentially the death penalty.
"Against this, we have the Australian Government's feeble assurances that it has done all it can. Apart from recklessly and incorrectly declaring the work of WikiLeaks illegal, the Government's contribution has amounted to malign indifference," Australian Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said.
"I hope to raise the issue later today in Senate question time.
"It is highly significant that the Ecuadorian authorities said they have contacted the British, Swedish and US governments on this matter but not Canberra.
"For the time being, this matter is in the hands of Ecuadorian authorities. I urge them to consider carefully the targeted campaign of political harassment, character assassination and financial sanctions that has been levelled at the WikiLeaks publishing organisation.
"While we wait, the Australian Government might want to reconsider on which side of history it is choosing to stand."