PM raises Assange release with US


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has raised America’s ongoing legal pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with US officials, again declaring “enough is enough”.

The 51-year-old Australian has been in London’s Belmarsh prison since 2019 as he continues to fight extradition to the US where he’s wanted on espionage charges.

Mr Albanese has previously opted for quiet diplomacy in his efforts to secure Mr Assange’s release, but told parliament he had raised the matter personally with US government officials.

He said he had no personal sympathy for Mr Assange’s actions but the issue had gone on for too long.

“My position is clear, and has been made clear to the US administration, it is time this matter be brought to a close,” he told parliament on Wednesday.

“This is an Australian citizen … what is the point of continuing this legal action, which could be caught up now for many years into the future.”

Mr Albanese said the government would continue to advocate for Mr Assange’s release.

Independent MP Monique Ryan quizzed the prime minister about the matter, asking if the government would intervene to bring Mr Assange home.

“Journalists obtaining and publishing sensitive information is in the public interest and essential to democracy,” she said.

“Julian Assange is still detained in Belmarsh prison, charged by a foreign government with acts of journalism … his freedom will only come from political intervention.”


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