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First aired on Community Newsroom on 26 April 2019 at 11:00 am
Segment starts at 11:42:58
Julian Assange’s father speaks out - by Dr John Jiggens
John Shipton, father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
“Julian is now in Belmarsh maximum security prison, his next court appearance is on the 2nd of May,” says John Shipton, father of Wikileaks founder and Walkley Award winning journalist Julian Assange.
Mr Shipton says he fears his son could be taken to Guantanamo Bay and tortured now that he has been evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and promptly arrested.
“For a prisoner like Julian, it would be tragic,” says Mr Shipton.
UK media “crowing merciless” at Assange family anguish, says father
But support for Mr Assange is notably absent from both mainstream political and media circles.
“Generally speaking, the chattering class in the UK and journalists are not supportive at all,’ says Mr Shipton.
“Aside from Media Lens, John Pilger and a couple of others,” he says, “they have been crowing merciless at Julian’s distressing appearance and our anguish and Julian’s prospect of being extradited to the United States”.
“Julian is a necessity”
Listening to Mr Shipton speak, it’s hard to know whether he is referring to stories published via his son’s Wikileaks publication or if his world views were the inspiration for Julian Assange’s work.
“We have three grand narratives,” says Mr Shipton, listing contemporary wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
“The Secretary of State at the time, Hilary Clinton, watching on TV, watching Muamma Gaddafi being sodomised to death with a bayonet up the anus, giggling,” he says.
“Journalists are an absolute necessity, Wikileaks is a necessity, Julian is a necessity.”
A father’s plea: “bring him home”
“I would just like to see the Australian government act positively to ensure that Julian is not forcefully dragooned to an American oubliette … to bring him home to his family, to his friends.”