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Assange two year embassy anniversary statement [excerpts from letter to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa]

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President Rafael Correa García Moreno N10-43 Quito Ecuador 5932 382-7000

19 June 2014

Dear President Correa,

On this day two years ago, an Australian citizen walked into your Embassy in London and asked for asylum, a right protected under international law and a grave responsibility that your country, unlike mine, takes seriously.

I write on behalf of many Australian citizens to express strong admiration and deep gratitude for the principled stance of the government of Ecuador regarding Mr. Julian Assange and the publishing organization WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks disclosures have turned a spotlight on powerful individuals and institutions, revealing how, and for whom, they really works at the expense of citizens and international norms and laws. Their pioneering, enduring and contagious courage continues to hold power to account and inform citizens of what is done in their name. As such, powerful governments and corporations would like to eliminate WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange to shut down the truth being told.

Your government made a fair and balanced assessment of the political persecution Mr. Assange faces, and verified accurately that, “Mr. Assange does not count with the adequate protection and help that he should receive from the State of which he is a citizen"

Not only did the Australian Attorney General threaten to cancel Mr. Assange’s passport on 29 November 2010, the Australian Prime Minister stated on 2 and 7 December 2010 that the work of WikiLeaks was illegal, a claim found to be false by an Australian Federal Police investigation. The Australian Senate supported resolutions proposed by me in June and October 2012 for these statements to be retracted but they have not been withdrawn.

Indeed, the current Attorney General of Australia continues to make disparaging and prejudicial remarks about Mr. Assange, further jeopardizing any prospect for fair

treatment and demonstrating the ongoing relevance of the Ecuadorian government’s observation that he continues to face danger and also receives no help or protection from the State of which he is a citizen.

On behalf of many Australians, I thank the Government of Ecuador for standing up for principles up against powerful forces that would prefer obedient capitulation to economic and political bullying. Your actions certainly inspire other countries.

Thank you also for actively engaging on a political and diplomatic level toward solutions to the situation and for withstanding the routine of your Embassy in London being impacted daily by the police, media and public attention. I have visited several times and hope to do so again in the near future.

President Correa, I deeply regret that my country is incapable of an independent foreign policy, but grateful that an Australian citizen can find protection a nation that is sovereign.


Senator Scott Ludlam