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Assange Exclusive

CORRECTION: In a recent email about this campaign GetUp wrongly stated that Mr Assange had been charged with sexual assault in Sweden. This was a mistake. Mr Assange has not been charged with any crime in Sweden. He is simply wanted for questioning by prosecutors. GetUp also notes that Mr Assange has offered to meet with Swedish prosecutors in London to address the allegations, an action which is permitted under Swedish law. To date the Swedish prosecutors have refused this offer. GetUp apologises for any confusion our error may have caused.

We just returned from London where we shot an exclusive interview with Julian Assange - his first face-to-face Australian interview since he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. Many GetUp members have been emailing with questions they wanted Mr. Assange to answer, so we put your questions to him directly.

Now Julian Assange is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assault in Sweden, which he says he wants to address, but can't. Instead, he's holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK. If he steps out the door he fears he'll simply be arrested, sent to Sweden and ultimately handed over to the US, where he faces life in prison and even the death penalty.

Sentenced to life in prison or even death for publishing information a government didn't want seen. Is this really our idea of democracy and freedom? Sign the petition to Bob Carr calling on the Australian Government to stand up for the rights of all Australian citizens, and not allow Julian Assange to be extradited to the United States.

Want to know more? Check out the frequently asked questions below. If you've still got questions, email us at info@getup.org.au

No. Mr Assange disclosed his intention to pursue legal action against the Prime Minister in our interview with him, but GetUp does not endorse or support this.
Yes. Sweden has an extradition treaty with the US. Sweden is also a party to the European Convention of Human Rights, which would prevent extradition for offences that carry the death penalty. However, it would be possible for the US to apply for extradition based on lesser charges. Once Mr Assange is in the US more serious charges could be brought against him. There are also recent instances of Sweden rendering (handing over without legal extradition) persons to the United States.
As we saw with David Hicks, the Australian Government has the ability to exert a great deal of influence over its allies on these matters. While the US may not make that guarantee, the political symbolism of Australia's most senior diplomat asking for these assurances puts pressure on the US to be accountable for their actions.
No. The GetUp campaign solely deals with onward extradition from Sweden to the US to face charges related to Mr Assange's work as a journalist with WikiLeaks. The Swedish criminal process is the appropriate forum for the allegations against Mr Assange to be judged.
No. GetUp condemns all forms of sexual violence. The outstanding sexual assault allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden need to be answered. We do not make any assumptions about the outcome of the criminal process in Sweden. We believe that resolving the question of extradition to the US would allow justice to be served in Sweden in relation to the outstanding allegations against Mr Assange. The current stand off is not in the interests of Mr Assange's accusers, or Mr Assange.

This has always been our position and we apologise to members who were offended because this was unclear.

These issues can be distressing. Support is available by contacting the National Sexual Assault, Domestic & Family Violence Counseling Service on 1800 737 732 or http://www.1800respect.org.au

BOB CARR: STAND UP FOR ALL AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS

Foreign Minister Carr -

We call on you to stand up for press freedom, and to seek a guarantee that the United States will not seek the extradition of Julian Assange, nor prosecute him for his work as a journalist and publisher.