June 8, 2013
This is a comment today from the Wikileaks Party 2013 Federal Election Campaign Director Greg Barns on comments made by Foreign Minister Bob Carr about Julian Assange and Australian Government support:
Senator Carr’s remarks about Mr Assange and the Australian Government’s attitude to support for him, made to a Senate Committee yesterday and reported in today’s media, should concern all Australians.
Senator Carr told the Senate committee that in relation to the current trial of Bradley Manning and the Grand Jury deliberations into Mr Assange Australia would not further assist or monitor because it is not in Australia’s interests to do so.
Senator Car has just overturned long established principles of international law underpinned by Australia being a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. He is effectively saying that the test of whether or not Canberra will assist an Australian citizen in legal difficulties abroad is if it is in Australia’s interests to do so. By which of course he means Australia’s political interests.
This statement should concern every Australian. It’s Julian Assange today but tomorrow it could be your son, daughter, brother, sister or partner who is subjected to Senator Carr’s new test.
It is always in Australia’s interests to protect as best it can its citizens who are in legal trouble overseas. Whether it be a person charged with possessing drugs in Bali or Mr Assange, the principle does not change – you do not pick and choose as to which citizens human rights deserve the greater support.
Troublingly Senator Carr’s remarks have not been contradicted by the Coalition. It presumably supports Senator’s cynical devaluing of human rights.
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Cassie Findlay 0405 222 251
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