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DFAT statement on Julian Assange

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Statement on Julian Assange

Media Release

31 May 2019


We reject any suggestion by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that the Australian Government is complicit in psychological torture or has shown a lack of consular support for Mr Assange. The Special Rapporteur has not been in contact with the Australian Government to raise these concerns directly.

The Australian Government is a staunch defender of human rights and a strong advocate for humane treatment in the course of judicial processes. We are confident that Mr Assange is being treated appropriately in Belmarsh Prison. Mr Assange has advised us that he is being treated the same as other prisoners in Belmarsh.

The Australian Government continues to provide active and high level consular assistance to Mr Julian Assange. Consular officers from the Australian High Commission in London have already visited Mr Assange twice at Belmarsh Prison, on 12 April and 17 May 2019. The Australian High Commission in London has previously raised any health concerns Mr Assange has identified with Belmarsh Prison authorities and these have been addressed. Following media reports of ill health, yesterday, 30 May 2019, the Australian Government has made further inquiries with Belmarsh Prison authorities as to Mr Assange’s current health situation. Due to the privacy considerations that we extend to all consular clients, we will not disclose further details relating to Mr Assange’s physical or mental health.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to liaise very closely with Mr Assange’s family in Australia.

As with any consular client, we will continue to visit Mr Assange in prison, monitor and advocate for his health, welfare and equitable treatment, and closely follow his legal proceedings.