CQ group calls to have Assange brought home

You may have seen them doing their Friday rounds, a small contingent of Central Queenslanders with a simple message – Free Julian Assange.

Last week amid the Wikileaks publisher’s extradition trial in London, Free Assange Central Queensland members took a walk around town, demanding action from CQ representatives.

Queensland-born Assange is a past student of CQUniversity and the FACQ claims local interest in his plight is growing.

Free Assange Central Queensland members at Customs House during last Friday's demonstration.
Free Assange Central Queensland members at Customs House during last Friday's demonstration.

Group members said there was a “swell of support” with a number of cars tooting their horns, waving and making other supportive gestures as the group posted up with its banners across the CBD.

One of the groups focuses on Friday was to promote a Change.org petition they hope will be tabled in both Houses of our Australian Parliament since Federation.

As of yesterday morning, the petition had more than 330,000 signatures.

FACQ visited the offices of Senator Matt Canavan, the Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke, and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.

On behalf of FACQ, Mary-Anne Jones asked the Capricornia MP to join her colleagues’ efforts to bring Assange home, as were the wishes of at least some of her constituents.

“Rather than supporting another country wanting to extradite an Australian citizen for publishing material that offended their Administration, Free Julian Assange CQ is calling upon Mrs Landry to join her parliamentary colleagues and lobby to bring Julian home,” she said.

When asked for her thoughts on the issue, especially in the wake of fellow parliamentarians Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen’s trip to London to advocate for Assange’s return, Ms Landry said she was happy to let international justice take its course.

“I just think that you have to go through processes of government (and) law, so at this stage I’m probably really non-committal about it,” she said.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Dawson MP George Christensen during a mine visit in 2019.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Dawson MP George Christensen during a mine visit in 2019.

She acknowledged her fellow National Party member and neighbouring MP Mr Christensen was passionate about the issue but maintained she had not discussed Assage with him.

Mr Christensen and Mr Wilkie travelled to the UK at their own expense to plead Julian’s case with PM, Boris Johnson.

The pair also visited Julian in the UK and have recently formed the Bring Assange Home Parliamentary Group.

George Christensen, Australian Liberal National Party MP, and Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP, hold a press conference outside of Belmarsh prison after visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday, 18 February. They are calling on the UK to block Assange's extradition to the US ahead of his hearing next week. Hollie Adams/News Corp Australia
George Christensen, Australian Liberal National Party MP, and Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP, hold a press conference outside of Belmarsh prison after visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday, 18 February. They are calling on the UK to block Assange's extradition to the US ahead of his hearing next week. Hollie Adams/News Corp Australia

During his visit Mr Christensen told UK press if courts were to grant a US extradition for Assange, a dangerous precedent would be set.

“I’m a conservative, I’m a big fan of Trump, big fan of Bojo (Boris Johnson), but I’m a bigger fan of a free press – they’re the fundamentals of democracy – and they’re clearly under attack when it comes to the Julian Assange case,” he said.

“There’s a lot of Australians who think Julian Assange is a rat bag. But he’s our rat bag – and he should be brought home.”

Although on different sides of the political divide Mr Wilkie agreed that the situation faced by Assange was “not good enough.”

“It’s time the government recognised a terrible injustice to an Australian rotting in a jail in London,” he said.



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