Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman is among 11 Federal MPs who have called on US President Joe Biden to drop espionage charges against Australian journalist Julian Assange.
In a video message recorded in Federal Parliament last month, the MPs from across the political spectrum appealed for the charges to be dropped, and for the British Government to allow Mr Assange to return home.
“For me, this is much less about one individual; it’s more about principles, journalistic freedoms and human rights,” Ms Templeman said.
“People expect politicians to hold accountable those who commit wrongdoing, not punish those who expose it.
“They expect journalists and publishers to be protected, not to be imprisoned for their work.
“I was a journalist reporting in the Canberra press gallery in the 1980s. My job then was to report the facts without fear or favour, and I am glad I was able to do my job in a robust democracy.
“I don’t want to see that media freedom eroded.
“As the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) stated in an open letter to the Prime Minister, “A healthy democracy cannot function without its media being free to bring to light uncomfortable truths, to scrutinise the powerful and inform our communities. Investigative journalism cannot survive without the courage of whistleblowers, motivated by concern for their fellow citizens, who seek to bring to light instances of wrongdoing, illegal activities, fraud, corruption and threats to public health and safety”.
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