We like and respect the UN, sometimes: Government

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The United Nations issued a finding that an Australian citizen has been unlawfully detained without charge for five and a half years, yet our government refuses to accept the finding and take steps to free Julian Assange, the Australian Greens said.

"Questions in senate estimates this week confirmed that the Australian government has not made any representations on behalf of Mr Assange, not at any time over the past 6 years. Not once. They pronounced him guilty of journalism our most powerful ally doesn't like, and threw him under the bus," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam today.

"The trend started by the previous government, and perfected by this one, of cherry-picking treaties and findings from the UN to wield when politically convenient, and ignore the ones that aren’t, has to stop. 

"The capacity of the UN to arbitrate in situations of international tension and crisis is greatly reduced when a nation like Australia treats its findings with such contempt. We have in the past and will again in the future condemn other nations for exactly this behaviour. 

"How the Australian government proposes to succeed in its bid to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council all while setting the worst possible example for other states is something Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop need to answer before they spend millions more chasing that seat.