48 Australian Parliamentarians Petition US Attorney General to End Extradition Proceedings 

On the 11th April 2023 the following appeal was dispatched to the US Department of Justice with the signatures of 48 members of Australia’s 47th Parliament

The Honourable Merrick B. Garland 
Attorney General of the United States of America 
US Department of Justice 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW  
WASHINGTON DC 20530-0001 

Dear Attorney General 

We write to you as Australian parliamentarians from the Government, Opposition and crossbench to call on you to end the extradition proceedings against Australian citizen, Mr Julian Assange. Mr Assange is the Australian journalist and publisher, currently detained in His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh in London awaiting a decision on extradition to the United States of America. 

As you would be aware, the previous US Administration brought charges against Mr Assange for seventeen counts relating to allegedly obtaining and disclosing information under the Espionage Act of 1917, and one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1968. The charges pertain to Mr Assange’s actions, as a journalist and publisher for WikiLeaks, in publishing information with evidence of war crimes, corruption and human rights abuses. 

If the extradition request is approved, Australians will witness the deportation of one of our citizens from one AUKUS partner to another – our closest strategic ally – with Mr Assange facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison. This would set a dangerous precedent for all global citizens, journalists, publishers, media organizations and the freedom of the press. It would also be needlessly damaging for the US as a world leader on freedom of expression and the rule of law. 

International experts oppose the continued persecution of Mr Assange, including the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, as well as human rights organisations, various heads of state and parliamentarians from around the world. 

Attorney General, Australian public opinion on this matter is clear. Indeed polling shows that 88 per cent of Australians either support, or are unopposed, to calls for Mr Assange to be brought back to Australia. Mr Assange has been effectively incarcerated for well over a decade in one form or another, yet the person who leaked classified information had their sentence commuted and has been able to participate in American society since 2017. A clear majority of Australians consider that this matter has gone on for far too long and must be brought to a close. We implore you to drop the extradition proceedings and allow Mr Assange to return home. 

Yours sincerely 

Australian Parliamentarians 
Signatories overleaf 

  • Senator Penny Allman-Payne  ( Senator for Queensland )
  • Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP  ( Member for Higgins)
  • Bridget Archer MP  ( Member for Bass )  
  • Senator Ralph Babet  ( Senator for Victoria ) 
  • Adam Bandt MP  ( Member for Melbourne )
  • Stephen Bates MP  ( Member for Brisbane )
  • Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan  ( Senator for Queensland )
  • Max Chandler-Mather MP  ( Member for Griffith )
  • Kate Chaney MP  ( Member for Curtin) 
  • Senator Dorinda Cox  (Senator for Western Australia )
  • Zoe Daniel MP  (Member for Goldstein) 
  • The Hon Warren Entsch MP   (Member for Leichhardt )
  • Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi  (Senator for New South Wales) 
  • Dr Mike Freelander MP  (Member for Macarthur )
  • Dr Helen Haines MP  (Member for Indi )
  • Senator Sarah Hanson-Young ( Senator for South Australia )
  • Julian Hill MP  ( Member for Bruce )
  • The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP  ( Member for New England )
  • Peter Khalil MP  ( Member for Wills )
  • Tania Lawrence MP  ( Member for Hasluck )  
  • Zaneta Mascarenhas MP  ( Member for Swan )
  • Senator Nick McKim  ( Senator for Tasmania )  
  • Brian Mitchell MP  ( Member for Lyons )  
  • Llew O’Brien MP  ( Member for Wide Bay )
  • Alicia Payne MP  ( Member for Canberra )  
  • Graham Perrett MP  ( Member for Moreton )
  • Senator Barbara Pocock  ( Senator for South Australia )
  • Senator David Pocock  ( Senator for Australian Capital Territory )
  • Senator Gerard Rennick  ( Senator for Queensland )
  • Senator Janet Rice  ( Senator for Victoria )
  • Senator Malcolm Roberts ( Senator for Queensland )
  • Dr Monique Ryan MP  ( Member for Kooyong )
  • Dr Sophie Scamps MP  ( Member for Mackellar )
  • Rebekha Sharkie MP  ( Member for Mayo )
  • Senator David Shoebridge  ( Senator for New South Wales  )
  • Allegra Spender MP  ( Member for Wentworth )
  • Senator Jordon Steele-John  ( Senator for Western Australia )
  • Zali Steggall OAM MP  ( Member for Warringah )
  • Susan Templeman MP ( Member for Macquarie )
  • Senator Lidia Thorpe ( Senator for Victoria )
  • Kylea Tink MP ( Member for North Sydney )
  • Maria Vamvakinou MP  ( Member for Calwell )
  • Senator Larissa Waters  ( Senator for Queensland) 
  • Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP  ( Member for Ryan )
  • Senator Peter Whish-Wilson  ( Senator for Tasmania ) 
  • Andrew Wilkie MP  ( Member for Clark )
  • Josh Wilson MP  ( Member for Fremantle )  
  • Tony Zappia MP  (Member for Makin)