Thursday, January 5, 2012

Liberal MP Agrees Gillard "Misstepped" with "Unfair" Assange Comments

UPDATE 1: I have set up a new blog with a list of ALL Oz MPs and Senators and their responses regarding WikiLeaks and Assange. Check out OzWikiWatch!
UPDATE 2. I have replied to my local MPs response and asked for an interview. See text below.
I finally got a response from my local MP after asking him to speak up for Julian Assange:
Dear Mr Lord

Thank you for your recent email WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I apologise for the delay in replying.

As you say, Prime Minister misstepped when originally commenting on Mr Assange’s case. While unfair, I am not sure whether those comments have in fact prejudiced the extradition application under appeal in the United Kingdom.

Given your strong views about Mr Assange, I encourage you to contact the newly-appointed Attorney-General, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, to make your case for government intervention.

As a Member of the Labor Government, the Attorney-General is best placed to advocate on his behalf:

The Hon Nicola Roxon MP

PO Box 6022
Parliament House

Thank you again for taking the time to let me know your views.

Yours sincerely


Steven Ciobo MP
Federal Member for Moncrieff
67 Thomas Drive
Chevron Island Qld 4217
PO Box 4922
Gold Coast MC Qld 9726
T (07) 5504 6000 F (07) 5504 6944

It's not a lot, but it's something (my bolded text). If we have MPs on record like this then it makes it hard for them to change positions at a later date. Please contact your own local MP and ask them to support WikiLeaks.

Meanwhile, I will urge my local MP to do a bit more... ;-)

UPDATE 2: My latest reply to Mr Ciobo:
Mr Ciobo,

Thank you for replying to my email. I assume you aware that Julian Assange faces his final UK appeal in the Supreme Court this week. If he is extradited to Sweden, he will be held in solitary confinement until his case is heard by a jury of three including two politicians. Such conditions make a mockery of justice.

Whatever the outcome of the Swedish case - and even if the UK court overturns his extradition order - the US government is determined to extradite him to face a secretive Grand Jury in Virginia, which has been seeking to build a case against Assange for over a year. This is despite the fact that - as even the AFP have noted - Assange has broken no laws. In fact, WikiLeaks was specifically set up to work withing existing legal frameworks.

In these circumstances, silence by Australian politicians such as yourself is not acceptable. It is not enough to merely note that Assange has a right to a fair trial, and to forward any further contact to the Attorney General or other departments. Australian MPs and Senators need to speak up publicly and demand assurances that Julian Assange will be allowed to return home to and left to live and work in peace. Your voice is needed NOW!

To this end, I have set up a public register of Australian MPs and Senators here:

You are being rated on your expressed public support for WikiLeaks and Assange. With polls showing that WikiLeaks has the backing of 80% of Australians, you can be assured that this will be a major issue at the next election.

I would like to make an appointment to discuss this issue with you in more details. Please let me know a convenient time. In the meanwhile, it would be helpful if you familiarise yourself further with the details of the case here:

Thanking you,

Gary Lord
(a.k.a @Jaraparilla on Twitter)

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