Yarra City Council offers support to Julian Assange

Yarra City Council joins Darebin Council in offering support to Julian Assange

Refer to full Council Meeting Minutes

12.2 Notice of Motion No. 2 of 2020 – Australian Citizen Julian Assange

Reference: D20/6065
Authoriser: Group Manager Chief Executive’s Office

Public Submissions
The following people addressed Council on the matter:
Camillo De Luca;
Walter Mellado; and
Travis Davies.

Moved: Councillor Jolly 
Seconded: Councillor O’Brien
1. That Council

  • (a) note that Julian Assange is in very poor health and currently facing extradition from the UK to the US in an unprecedented Espionage Act prosecution for engaging in journalistic activity and that if convicted, he faces 175 years imprisonment and therefore needs urgent Consular support to help him prepare his defence;
  • (b)  notes that Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe, Massimo Moratti has said that the UK must not extradite Julian Assange to the USA and further stated:
    • (i)  “The British authorities must acknowledge the real risks of serious human rightsviolations Julian Assange would face if sent to the USA and reject the extraditionrequest. The UK must comply with the commitment it’s already made that hewould not be sent anywhere he could face torture or other ill-treatment.”; and
    • (ii)  “The UK must abide by its obligations under international human rights law thatforbids the transfer of individuals to another country where they would face serious human rights violations. Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of these obligations.”
  • (c)  notes that UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer said that:
    • (i)  “My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr Assange would beexposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture andother cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…”; and
    • (ii)  “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution he has never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law”.
  • (d)  notes that in an interview on RN Breakfast by the leading torture expert, Nils Melzer warned that Mr Assange could die in prison before getting his day in court and confirmed that the British Government’s handling of the extradition case is in blatant contravention of international Human rights Law;
  • (e) writes to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs urging the Australian government to immediately step in to urge the British authorities address his poor health condition and to uphold the Human Rights of an Australian citizen just as they would if Mr Assange was being held in Iran, Egypt, Cambodia or Indonesia and not turn a blind eye to the violation of any Australian’s human rights, occurring in the West. The letter should also reference the points made above.