Government isolated on prejudicial statements on Assange

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A Greens motion in the Senate passed today with Coalition support, calling on the government to withdraw prejudicial statements made on Mr. Julian Assange.

“Grossly irresponsible statements have been made by lawyers in our Cabinet.  In December 2010 the Prime Minister stated that Wikileaks publishing diplomatic cables was illegal.  A quick investigation by the Federal Police proved otherwise.  The Prime Minister has never apologised or withdrawn that statement,” Senator Ludlam said.

“I acknowledge and appreciate the Coalition’s support for this commonsense motion. The vast majority of Australians want their Government to do more for Julian Assange; for the first time, the Senate has added its voice. 

“The Attorney General stated that Mr. Assange fled Sweden, when he had done nothing of the sort.  And today in a shocking revelation we learn that under the former Attorney General, consideration was actually given to tear up his passport.  This demonstrates just how little responsibility to protect this government feels it owes this Australian citizen.

“These senior members of the government should withdraw these statements.  Many Australians believe this would be the right thing to do. As of today, so does the Senate.”

The resolution also objected to inconsistent or elective application of consular services and called for the government’s efforts on behalf of Mr. Assange to be consistent with the highest level of support provided to other Australians.  The text is available at this link: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/motion-re-consular-services-mr-julian-assange