Oz govt urged to protect Assange`s human rights

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser and former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson have joined the supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, asking the Federal Govt to protect his human rights.

Updated: Dec 19, 2011, 09:47 AM IST

Melbourne: Former Australian prime minister
Malcolm Fraser and former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson have joined the supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, asking the Federal Government to
protect his human rights.

The two are among 72 signatories to an open letter
demanding Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and new Attorney-General Nicola Roxon seeking assurances from the Swedish and US governments that they will treat Assange according to international standards of due process, according to ABC report today.

The move has been coordinated by cricket journalist
Bernard Keane who said the signatories fear that if Assange is
placed in custody in Sweden, where he is accused of sexual
assault, the US will extradite and prosecute him over what
Keane dubbed as "legitimate journalism".

"Concerns about the treatment of Julian Assange go beyond
whatever people may think about WikiLeaks," Keane said.

"We`ve seen before the circumstances in which an
Australian Government fails to do the right thing by an
Australian citizen who for whatever reason the Americans have
decided they have a problem with," he said.

"We just don`t want to go back to the sorts of
circumstances we saw with David Hicks where there was a
widespread concern that justice was just not being seen to be
done," he said.

PTI