Assange Supporters Purchase Ads in New York Times To Say What Gillard Won’t

While the Gillard Government remains ambivalent toward Wikileaks and its Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, Australian advocacy group GetUp! have announced plans to run full page advertisements in The New York Times and The Washington Post next week to print “what our Government should have said”. The ads, an open letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, demand fair treatment and increased protection for Assange, currently under police custody in Britain and facing sex charges in Sweden.

GetUp!, which claims over 400,000 members online, urge Australian citizens to sign the statement as a symbol of solidarity as well as forward the message to family and friends. You can read the letter below…

Dear President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder:

We, as Australians, condemn calls for violence, including assassination, against Australian citizen and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, or for him to be labeled a terrorist, enemy combatant or be treated outside the ordinary course of justice in any way.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “information is the currency of democracy.” Publishing leaked information in collaboration with major news outlets, as Wikileaks and Mr. Assange have done, is not a terrorist act.

Australia and the United States are the strongest of allies. Our soldiers serve side by side and we’ve experienced, and condemned, the consequences of terrorism together. To label Wikileaks a terrorist organisation is an insult to those Australians and Americans who have lost their lives to acts of terrorism and to terrorist forces.

If Wikileaks or their staff have broken international or national laws, let that case be heard in a just and fair court of law. At the moment, no such charges have been brought.

We are writing as Australians to say what our Government should have said: that all Australian citizens deserve to be free from persecution, threats of violence and detention without charge, especially from our friend and ally, the United States.

We call upon you to stand up for our shared democratic principles of the presumption of innocence and freedom of information.

Title Image by Peter Macdiarmid via Getty