A British High Court decision upholding Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden brings him closer to US rendition and torture, his mother says.
Christine Assange on Wednesday called on all Australians to put pressure on the federal government to get a guarantee that her son will not be extradited to the US.
“Now Julian’s even closer to a US extradition or rendition,” Ms Assange told AAP from the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s now up to the (Australian) people to use their democracy or lose it.
“If they don’t stand up for Julian, he will go to the US and he will be tortured. And he is the person who stood up for the world to expose the truth.”
Britain’s High Court in London on Wednesday upheld a ruling that Assange should be sent to face questioning by Swedish authorities over claims of sexual assault against two women.
His lawyers have asked for 14 days to consider whether to try to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court – the last court of appeal in the UK.
Assange has in the past expressed fears the US authorities will request his extradition from Sweden to face charges relating to WikiLeaks obtaining and publishing hundreds of thousands of classified US government documents.
An extradition to Sweden would mean Assange could be held indefinitely without charge and without access to visitors, including lawyers, Ms Assange said.
Any trial would also be closed without press coverage, she said.
“People think that because Sweden is a Western country that they have a legal system the same as ours, that’s completely untrue,” Ms Assange said.
“From the time he hits Sweden, he is going to be lost to any kind of observation from anybody to understand if his human rights are being breached.”
Ms Assange called on the federal government to get a written guarantee from the US that Julian will not be extradited there.
“Australians need to stand up and if this government won’t stand up for democracy and free speech, they need to throw them out,” she said.
“We’ve got to ask ourselves just who this government is representing, because it’s not representing Julian.
“(Prime Minister) Julia Gillard should be standing up to the US and saying: not this time. You’re not going to take one of our countrymen and torture them just because they told the truth.”
Ms Assange said Julian had done nothing wrong.
“He’s been crucified for doing what he was brought up to do,” she said.
“I brought my son up to tell the truth, to believe in justice. He was brought up to believe he lived in a democracy and to right any wrongs that he saw.
“Now I believe that’s not true.”