Julian Assange home page

JULIAN ASSANGE: QUICK FACTS

UPDATE: THE Ecuadorian government last night announced it would grant the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum.

Ecuador foreign minister Ricardo Patino said the country had decided to grant political asylum to Mr Assange following a request sent to president Rafael Correa.

“We believe that his fears are legitimate and there are threats that he could face political persecution,” Mr Patino told reporters in Quito.

“The Ecuador government, loyal to its tradition to protect those who seek refuge with us at our diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr Assange.

“This is a sovereign decision protected by international law. It makes ...

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53 Comments

  • Reply June 22, 2012

    denese

    Hi monica. Much admired you during in your abc days.

    Good to see hoopla expanding to current affairs

  • Reply June 22, 2012

    Ann-Maree from Taree

    Thanks Monica for a succinct article..it is refreshing to read something on this subject from a respected journalist at a reputable website…….

  • Reply June 22, 2012

    The Huntress

    It’s good to see that Assange’s case is still making news and opinion websites. We must not forget him and his cause and as individual Australians we should continue to support him where our government has failed. Gillard is at risk of making Assange her Hicks. I would ask why more is not being done by our government, but it’s all fairly self explanatory, I suppose.

    Support transparency and the truth. Support democracy. Support Assange.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Gail Wilkie

    Brilliant, well written, easy to understand and logical piece. Thanks Monica Attard for a wonderful article. Let there be more current affairs on The Hoopla.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    kim at allconsuming

    Just what I needed. You know how you pay attention when these things first come to light and then forget bits and pieces as it goes along? Yes, that.

    But now I want to know just why the UK hasn’t extradited him to the US if that is his over-arching concern (it would be mine I must say). And why is he so reticent to go to Sweden if they have the same extradition laws as Ecuador when it comes to issues of State?

    And meanwhile, what of these sexual assault claims in Sweden…

    Fascinating. All of it.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Jenny Mal

    Appreciate your insights Monica and agree entirely. Looking forward to reading more from you – love your work!

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Carolyn

    I can only concur with what’s already been written. Have long been an admirer of Monica’s work.
    Great to see her writing here.
    Assange and his lawyers must know something we don’t in regards to the U.S and their plans (and I would put nothing past them).
    It agree with The Huntress, our govt should stand up and fight for it’s citizens but once again it is not.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Elaine

    thanks for such a clear history of Assange. I didn’t know about his early years. Please could you do one on the European financial crisis, GFC etc!!

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Lisa

    Think there is a bit of truth in all the ‘sides’ but that assange is an attention seeker worthy of Hollywood.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Tracey

    Would be keen to hear what the options are for the Australian government – there’s lots of accusations that it’s not doing anything, or not doing enough but would be great to read as succinct an article about what it could/should do.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Kerri

    Thanks Monica for a no holds barred concise piece on Assange….love your work…..Hoopla needs more of this!..

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Cate Perry

    I’m extremely disappointed in the one-sided, negative tone of this article. I expected more from The Hoopla.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    shelley

    I’m not sure what @Cate Perry means, a one-sided negative tone….. This article lists the facts which are informative and clear considering the discombobulation of the whole scenario. I would like to know why Assange does not want to go to Sweden. Does he have anything to hide? Thanks Hoopla and Monica Attard, any clarification on this item is worthwhile. x

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Jenny E.

    Have been watching with interest about Julian Assange.
    It is more a test for our times re: internet security and sharing of information – who has the right to share what? He is paying a heavy price for his rebel approach. Will have to wait and see what unfolds.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Susan

    Thank you Monica for this clear and concise review. I hope to see regular Hoopla articles from you.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Julie

    If I was in Assange’s shoes I would have done the same thing. He reminds me a lot of some of the kids with ‘mild’ aspergers I’m currently working with – brilliant, particularly with computers and very clear about the baser instincts of humans – especially rampant republicans. Please send this to the President of Ecuador. He is in clear and present danger for all thinking Australian’s to see.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    kid

    I’m not sure what people expect the Australian Government to do. He is facing criminal charges and nothing else at the moment. I don’t expect the Government to bail him out. Consular support doesn’t extend to helping people worm their way out of facing trial.

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    RobynMarie

    Thank God for the Hoopla is all I can say. Informative unbiassed information is what we need, not the drivel you see in the papers. Bravo Monica, glad to have you

  • Reply June 23, 2012

    Glenn

    Not quite the same but in the same vein as David Hicks Julian Assange is driven to rage against the machine . This article clearly shows a needy all be it clever repeat offender that has danced with the devil one to many times .

    It never sieses to amaze me that descent people that quite clearly live their lives following laws of the land throw so much support behind one bloke that loves the sound of his own voice .

    If he was a clever suburban con man we would all be up in arms , yet someone who obviously makes plenty of cash out of pure fear mongering we support . Common guys if this guy was in your home or work place you wouldn`t trust him as far as you could throw him .

    I`m sorry to say my empathy and Sympathy remains with people with real problems around the world and I support the government stance on no special or extra ordinary consular support for this repeat offender.

    Fantastic article all the same .

    • Reply August 17, 2012

      June

      I agree completely and I cannot understand why people choose to believe Mr Assange above everyone else. He should return to Sweden and face the charges against him instead of causing so much chaos in other countries. Mr Assange’s trouble is of his own making and the Australian government should not be expected to get him out of it. I don’t know if he is innocent or guilty and neither do all the people making comments yet lots automatically assume he’s innocent. Why?

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Kate S.

    For some reason I feel reserved about Julian Assange, possibly because a while ago I read an article by some of his WikiLeaks colleagues about his style. He seems to seek personal notoriety. What has happened to the WikiLeaks organisation itself? Is he still involved?

    I don’t trust the US either. There have been too many lies and too much propaganda glossing over illegal and inhumane actions and unwritten policies. For example, I believe the US entry into Iraq was dishonest and wrong as were the supporting actions of the UK and Australia.

    In all this, I feel the most sympathy for Bradley Manning, the young gay US soldier who allegedly leaked the material to WikiLeaks in the first place. He has been cruelly treated.

    The reality is that we will probably never know the whole truth. I’ve always wondered why Sweden took so long to act on the sexual assault allegations which seem to be of a minor order (not wearing a condom?). This delay fed into the conspiracy theories.

    Australian Government PR around this has been abysmal. Given the context, I think they should have been more proactive in assuring the safety of Assange and allowing him to return to Australia. Their approach has also fed the conspiracy theories.

    Although Julian Assange may not come over as a likeable public figure he does seem to be caught up some kind of international scapegoating exercise when there are far bigger questions that need to be answered.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Kate S.

    I should have said in relation to the Swedish claims against Assange that I understood the charges relate to not wearing a condom in an otherwise consensual act.

    I read this in the press at the beginning of this saga. I think it may have come from Assange’s lawyers by way of explanation at the beginning of the saga.

    I don’t wish to trivialize sexual assault.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Daisy

    Many thanks Monica, such in depth and concise information is great to see. Hope to hear more from you here.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Kate S.

    This is the article I read about the sexual assault charges. It was in the UK Guardian.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

    The whole thing seems to have been really badly handled by everyone. I should simply have referred to the article rather than elaborate on it, however.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Sally

    Monica, was very sad to hear of your departure at The Global Mail. So glad to see you here at The Hoopla. Hope this will be a regular thing for you.

    Great article. Thanks for the clearly laid out facts around this story.

    I hope one day soon Julian and his family can live their lives in freedom without having to look over their shoulders or look at everyone with suspicion.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Kate

    Useful article, except the last lines. After explaining all the facts, it then reverts to the kind of standard Government bashing through unexplained opinion that appears to be de rigeur for Australian journalists. A good look?? Of course it ‘looks’ bad, because all we ever hear are dark statements about the Government’s lack of support, without any explanation of what they could do but don’t.

  • Reply June 25, 2012

    Mary Longford

    I can’t believe as Australians we do not have more noisy outrage about his treatment. Great article!

  • Reply June 27, 2012

    amd

    He published the truth, whether we like him or not is irrelevant. the timing of the sexual allegations was damn strange, to say the least. Time for governments and individuals alike to accept that in this brave new world, if you are deceitful, there is a very good chance you are going to get caught out. The government does not have the right to keep secrets from the people, they are our public servants – the fact that they have been getting away with such things does not make it acceptable, or their right. It is NOT in our best interests that governments lie, obfuscate and take part in cover ups. So, instead of trying ever more desperate measures to stop him and others like him, just clean up your collective acts and you won’t have to be so afraid when the truth comes out.

    • Reply June 28, 2012

      Anne

      Totally agree amd!

  • Reply June 30, 2012

    Suzanne S

    I also agree with amd. This whole shemozzle has come out of the ‘embarassment’ to the governments of the U.S., U.K. , Australia, et al. Hackers like Julian Assange, show the weaknesses in security, and the deceit of cover-ups.
    As for his possible extradition to the U.S. and charges of treason – how can a non-citizen be charged with treason?
    My confidence in the powers-that-be to protect Julian Assange, is nil. They would happily see him buried in an underground vault, if it saved them from one more moment of embarassment.
    Thank you, Monica, for putting the case so succinctly. Background is always useful to determine what motivates an individual.

  • Reply June 30, 2012

    JaneThomas

    After reading such a background, I like him even better now. From a life that has seen such diverse social landscapes, he is truly a man whose efforts should be supported. If his fears are realised it is possible that whistle blowers and hard-nosed investigators will be hard to find and then the transparncy of governments will fail. In my view, the powerless have a lot to lose if Mr Assange fails.

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  • Reply July 12, 2012

    Miranda Muer

    my belief is: if the USA should ever get their hands on Julian Assange they won’t be worrying about the Bradley Manning connection, instead they will be charging him under the 1917 Espionage Act for hacking into NASA, Nortel and the Pentagon all those years ago.

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  • Reply August 16, 2012

    John Gardner

    bullet point no. 9 should surely read : “Its computers have military level ENCRYPTION, so in the event they are seized, information stored is meaningless”

  • Reply August 16, 2012

    Monica

    John, yes it should.

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  • Reply August 18, 2012

    Maureens Sladdin

    Thank you for the reference article Monica. Have placed credence on your articles from back in abc days.

  • [...] Julian Assange: Quick Facts  [...]

  • Reply August 20, 2012

    sam

    “Why not from the UK is still anyone’s guess” – um, no.

    I’ve read numerous times that the reason is, the English won’t extradite for death penalty offences and the Swedes will.

    So if he was extradited from the UK the penalties would not be as harsh as possible by US standards.

    It’s been widely reported – whether you believe it or not.

  • Reply October 8, 2012

    ASSANGE'S CURIOUS DNA

    [...] Quick Facts: Julian Assange [...]

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Lucille

    “Wikileaks is a site that encourages whistle-blowers to leak information for publication. It has published some 1 million documents, which have embarrassed governments, diplomats and businesses. Its computers have military level, so in the event they are seized, information stored is meaningless.”

    I still don’t understand why newspapers and journals which publish wikileaks leaks aren’t subject to the same charges of espionage by the U.S.A. From Manning to Wikileaks to The Age etc.

  • Reply October 19, 2012

    john

    If I were him I would go to Sweden, and face the music!
    What is he hiding for if he is innocent?

  • Reply October 29, 2012

    Michelle

    Juliian Assange has no charges to face in Sweden. The Swedish authorities want to extradite him so they can question him. Yeah right !

    Law enforcement in Europe regularly travel to the UK to question suspects/witnesses and visa versa. Assange and his lawyers have stated on numerous occassions that they are happy to answer any questions.Most recently the President of Equador has invited them to the embassy to ask their questions. So why are they insisting on extradition of a man who has yet to be charged with anything? Hidden agendas perhaps?

    As to the what the Australian Government should do, I would suggest that they ask the same questions that I have of the Swedish Government. Seeking extradition in these circumstances is not standard procedure. It would also be nice to think that they would stick up for an Australian citizen and offer him a safe haven at home until and if he is ever charged with anything. Instead Gillard grandstands on the world stage and cowtows to the US.

  • [...] Julian Assange: Quick Facts by Monica Attard [...]

  • Reply March 1, 2013

    Georgy

    The Australian Government should have to protect their citizens and not to compare them with the terrorists.

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