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SA Parliament Supports Julian Assange

Following a federal motion last week, South Australia today has become the first state parliament to call for Julian Assange’s release, after an SA Greens motion passed the SA Upper House this afternoon, garnering support from Labor, SA Best and Independent Frank Pangallo.

Australian citizen, Mr Julian Assange, is currently awaiting a decision on whether he can be extradited to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years of imprisonment for exposing US war crimes. The US has pursued Mr Assange over this material he published since 2010.

The Greens recognise the importance of a free press and believe that this matter has been drawn out long enough. It is time to bring Julian Assange home.

With the passage of the motion, the President of the Legislative Council will now write to the US Ambassador, Caroline Kennedy, conveying the view of the State’s Upper House. 

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

Journalism is not a crime. Exposing war crimes should not see any journalist extradited for the purposes of the US Espionage Act. It is time for this matter to come to a close. We have heard today that Julian Assange is unwell and it is clear his time is running out.

We cannot let Julian Assange be left to die because our leaders think it is politically expedient to allow our so-called allies to exact revenge on a journalist who exposed their war crimes.

If the United States is left unchallenged in their pursuit of charges against Julian Assange, it will have devastating consequences on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press not just here in Australia, but across the globe. Every parliament has a responsibility to do all it can to ensure that that does not happen, and in a historic vote, the South Australian Upper House today stood up for Assange freedom of the press and free speech.

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