Assange’s mum wants Kevin Rudd to keep his word

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SYDNEY - Ahead of a rally in Brisbane supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, his mother said Wednesday that she wants Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to keep his promise about her son’s protection.

Christine Assange said she would also put pressure on the government to support her son.

She announced that she will be holding a media conference outside the office of Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Friday afternoon, asking him to act on promises he had previously made regarding her son.

“I’m going to be asking him through the media to protect my son’s legal rights and his life and to make good on the promises he’s made to date regarding that,” The Herald Sun quoted Christine Assange as telling AAP.

Julian Assange is waiting to know whether he will be extradited from Britain to Sweden to face sex charges. His supporters contend that the charges are trumped up to silence him after the release of classified documents on his WikiLeaks website.

Christine Assange told AAP that Rudd had promised to protect her son’s legal rights and had “done nothing”.

“He’s made statements that Julian had done no wrong as far as he could see, legally, in the fact that hadn’t breached any US or Australian legislation, had not broken any laws,” she said.

Christine Assange said she had not had much contact with her son in the last few days and she understood that.

“He’s in battle mode and I’m in battle mode, I’m trying to get as much sleep as I can, we’re both in battle mode, trying to stay on the job to get justice for him.”

According to rally organisers, Wednesday’s action aims to pose a challenge to the Julia Gillard government, which they say, has failed to properly support the Australian whistleblower.

“The protest … will be important, both as a political challenge to the Gillard government which has failed to extend support to Assange and a morale boost to both Assange and Bradley Manning, the young US soldier jailed for releasing the US Embassy cables,” said Brisbane Wikileaks defence member Rebecca Barrigos.

Assange also said she was very grateful for the Brisbane rally.

“Queenslanders have got a lot of spunk and a lot of get-up-and-go and guts and they don’t appear to be too frightened to speak their mind when they see an injustice being done and I think that’s wonderful.

“Obviously, you can see it in the floods. They stand by people when people are having a hard time, they stand shoulder to shoulder to support those people and they’ve done that for my son … and it’s something that Queenslanders ought to be proud of.”

Hundreds were expected to attend the rally from 5.30 p.m. (AEST) in Brisbane’s King George Square.

An extradition hearing for Assange will resume in London Friday.

Filed under: Politics

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