More than 35,000 Australians have signed onto a petition urging President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to uphold basic justice and free speech for Julian Assange. The international campaign, led by the Australian based pressure group GetUp, will feature full-page ads running in the New York Times and Washington Times.
GetUp and AlterNet invite you to sign on to the petition.
“A chorus of American politicians and commentators have been branding WikiLeaks a terrorist organization and calling for its chief, Australian citizen Julian Assange, to be thrown in Guantanamo Bay or face the death penalty; some are even calling for Assange’s assassination,” said GetUp Acting National Director, Sam Mclean.
GetUp will seek to use the weight of international support to publish a statement of principles in American newspapers including the New York Times, and the Washington Times – the paper that recently called for Mr. Assange’s assassination.
We 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 organization 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 to say that all Australian citizens deserve to be free from persecution, threats of violence and detention without charge, especially from their 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.
AlterNet started this petition with a single signature, and now has 108 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.