An Open Letter to Supporters by John Shipton

Over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of April 2022, John Shipton sent a personal mail to 5000 Australian Resident supporters. It reads

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from London where I witnessed Stella and Julian somehow transcend the nightmarish conditions of HMP Belmarsh to celebrate their love for one another and our love for them.

Time is running out for Julian, his physical condition is shocking.

Years of psychological torture and arbitrary detention demand their bitter toll. He has been denied his final appeal and is now awaiting a US extradition order expected to be handed down on 20th April.

If Julian had been subjected to a fraction of such treatment in an Iranian, Syrian, Chinese or Russian prison, our own government would be publicly condemning such regimes as barbaric, immoral and corrupt.

Instead, our government remains complicit in silence to the wretched egregious persecution of Australian citizen, Julian Assange.

Our Australian media, too, remains questionably silent.

‘Ithaka’ is a documentary about my fight for my son’s basic rights. It is through this intimate portrait of us as his family members, that we can give you a sense of who Julian is.

It was not easy to be followed by a film crew in this difficult time, but I am doing what any parent would do for their child: everything you possibly can to get them out of the shit.

Most importantly, the film is a chance to provoke a broader discussion about what is at stake in Julian’s case. It is not just about my son. It is about the precedent his persecution sets.

To what ends will the most powerful nations go to in order to hide their crimes? What does that mean for the state of our press, and the integrity of our democracy? Julian is facing a 175 year sentence for releasing US state secrets. After all the whole world has acknowledged our right to know about the malfeasence he has exposed.

This documentary provides a chance to reignite the conversation about Julian on our terms.

Together, we stand against the abuse of power in all its forms.

‘Ithaka’ launches in cinemas around Australia on 21st April.

You can help:

  • Book tickets to see the movie now – and tell your friends and family!
  • Host a screening – perhaps hold a panel discussion, get a group together, bring some media along. Drive the agenda to make change.
  • Sign up to the mailing list for the latest updates on the campaign.

It is obvious that we urgently need more in place to protect press freedom, and to ensure that no one else has to endure what my son is going through.

Thank you for taking the time to take action together, and make the most of the opportunit y this film presents.

Yours in hope,

John Shipton's Signature