‘Treat him like any Australian citizen or journalist’: Pamela Anderson pleads for Julian Assange with PM Scott Morrison
Actress Pamela Anderson has called on to Australia’s prime minister to pick up the phone and appeal to US President Donald Trump to free Julian Assange, warning it his extradition would set a precedent harmful to all journalists.
The Australian national, founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, is looking at up to 175 years in prison under the Espionage Act if he is sent over to the US. He is currently in a UK jail as doctors and supporters are sounding alarm over his health - damaged by prison conditions, solitary confinement, and years of being locked inside the Ecuadorean embassy, where he had asylum.
Anderson characterized as “psychological torture” the way Assange was extracted from the embassy and put in maximum security prison, in a personal plea to PM Scott Morrison to “save an Australian hero” from the horrifying prospect of extradition to the US.
The Sydney Morning Herald obtained a transcript of Andersons’ speech that she was to deliver in the Australian Parliament House, but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts.
“Every Australian needs to be aware that if Julian Assange is extradited to the USA for publishing then every other journalist and publisher of facts on the internet is vulnerable to execution or 175 years' imprisonment for simply publishing facts that were delivered to him by whistleblowers,” Anderson said of the man who revealed to the world the civilian casualties of America’s wars in the Middle East.
The Hollywood star pointed out that Morrison’s predecessor did help another citizen - film director James Ricketson – who was in Cambodian prison on espionage charges. The current PM should do no less, and ought to pick up the phone to tell Trump and UK PM Boris Johnson “to do their part to save the people’s democratic right in the Western world.”
"He doesn’t want 'special treatment', he just wants to be treated like any other Australian citizen and journalist, he has not committed any crime for which a precedent in law stands," wrote Anderson.
The 'Baywatch' actress is not the only one who has raised the alarm over concern for Assange’s life. On Sunday, over 60 medical professionals from across the world voiced their concern over the physical and mental health of the publisher in an open letter to British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The physicians pointed to the report of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in which he claims that unless “the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”