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Monday, 4 July 2011
Page: 7251

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«Assange» , Mr Julian

Dear Mr Murphy

I refer to your letter of 16 March 2011. regarding a petition about Mr Julian «Assange» , submitted for the consideration of the Standing Committee on Petitions. I note the Committee's referral under Standing Order 209(b) of items 3 and 4 of the petition. My response follows.

Item 3 called upon me to summon the Ambassador for the United States of America to Australia and demarche him condemning the comments of American politician Ms Sarah Palin on Mr «Assange» . Item 4 called upon me to summon the Canadian High Commissioner to Australia and demarche him condemning the comments of Mr Tom Flanagan, former Senior Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister, on Mr «Assange .

The Australian Government deplores and condemns all calls to violence against any AusĀ­tralian citizen wherever and by whomever they are made. However, neither of the individuals in the petition cited are holders of public office in their respective countries so it would not be appĀ­ropriate to demarche their governments through their diplomatic representatives on statements they are reported to have made. Both the United States of America and Canada have laws protecting the rights of individuals against threats to their person. under which any concerns about these reported statements could be pursued.

I trust this information will be of assistance to the Committee in its consideration of the petition.

from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Rudd