Julian Assange’s father calls on Government to help lobby for Wikileaks founder’s release

Samuel Davis reports

The father of imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says the fight to free his son will fail unless the Australian Government applies greater diplomatic pressure on Britain ahead of his US extradition hearing next year

But Assange’s father, John Shipton, has revealed he has been working with Member for Dawson George Christensen to bring Assange home for more than a year, even drafting a letter “concerning Julian’s circumstances” to Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne last November.

The support of Mr Christensen, who this year formed a cross-party Parliamentary Working Group questioning whether Assange should face espionage charges in the US, is “absolutely vital”, Mr Shipton said.

“Julian’s diplomatic matter will only be solved with Australia’s involvement,” the 75-year-old said.

“Carrying the force of the Australian public to the court cases will cause the English judiciary to be very careful of their excesses.”

“In the case of Julian, he hasn’t been treated fairly. There’s no due process and no music to face.”

Mr Christensen said he and independent MP Andrew Wilkie would travel to London to meet Assange at Belmarsh Prison in February.

“We’re paying our own way to go and see him,” the Mackay-based MP said.

While celebrities and high-profile activists have championed his son’s cause, Mr Shipton urged Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill to throw her support behind Assange, who grew up in north Queensland.

“The fate of Julian Assange rests in our hands and the hands of local councils, the State Government, parliamentary groups and political parties,” he said.

“The Geneva Council passed a resolution that Julian ought to be offered asylum in Switzerland.”

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