Assange Family Cannot Bring WikiLeaks Founder Book to Australian Parliament | Julian Assange

Parliament security staff in Canberra seized copies of a book on Julian Assange from members of his family as they entered the building to meet MPs on Thursday, calling it “protest material”.

Assange’s family and supporters traveled to parliament on Thursday to urge the Albanian government to intervene in plans to extradite the WikiLeaks founder from the UK to the US.

They were carrying copies of a book on the Assange case by Nils Melzer, the former UN special rapporteur on torture, which they intended to give to MPs and the media.

But Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said parliament security refused to let the family take the book into the building because they considered it “protest material”.

“I was saying ‘this is ridiculous. These are books,'” Gabriel Shipton said. said “yes, go ahead, call him, but you can’t take the books”.

The family was able to distribute books to MPs and the media from a box already stored in Wilkie’s office, and a staff member from Wilkie’s office was able to later retrieve the seized books.

But Louise Bennet, an activist with the Bring Assange Home campaign, said the security actions were “ridiculous”.

“They were incredibly adamant that it was protest material and not allowed into the building,” Bennett said.

“It just blows my mind. This is the kind of thing that we see in Trump’s America, that we criticize in China. What is our parliament afraid of that we cannot bring a book? »

The Department of Parliamentary Services said it could not comment on “specific operational security matters”.

Gabriel Shipton attended parliament with Assange’s father, John Shipton, and other activists.

During their visit, they expressed concern about the lack of progress since the May elections. The family urged Anthony Albanese to make the issue “non-negotiable” with the United States.

Gabriel Shipton said on Friday he was disappointed with the rhetoric of the new government, which he said had undergone “significant change” since taking office.

He said Labor had been much more direct in its criticism of Assange’s treatment ahead of the election.

“They were elected on this platform, [it was] one of their promises basically, and it’s one of the first ones they went back on,” he said.

Albanese said he intended to pursue the matter diplomatically and that “not all foreign affairs are best done with the megaphone.”

theguardian Gt

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