Julian Assange given Aboriginal passport in 'show of solidarity'


John Shipton, the biological father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, holds an Aboriginal Nations passport for use when travelling within Australia which he accepted in Sydney on behalf of his son on September 15, 2012. Shipton said he spoke frequently with his 41-year-old son who won asylum from Ecuador to escape extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations.


Greg Wood

Julian Assange was given an Aboriginal passport by an Australian activist group in a ceremony on Saturday as a "show of solidarity." 

The Wikileaks founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in regards to sexual assault allegations against him.

Assange's biological father John Shipton accepted the passport on his son's behalf at an event in Sydney's Darlington neighborhood, the Sydney Morning Herald reported

Ray Jackson, the president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA), said that the government hasn't given Assange enough help, World News Australia reported

“Julian was treated badly by this government, who are quite happy to sit back and take orders from the US,” Jackson said.

Shipton also said that his son, who is Australian, had been "abandoned" by his government. 

"Australian governments of every color are happy to abandon their citizens when they're in difficult situations overseas," Shipton said to a crowd of about 200 people, according to the Herald Sun

Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the Labor caucus in August that the country had intervened for Assange's over 60 times as he engaged in a legal battle with Sweden, the Australian reported.

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The ISJA is fighting for the recognition of Australian Aboriginals sovereignty, a cause Shipton said his son supports. 

"Julian has always expressed the desire that the Aboriginal people of Australia be recognized as sovereign," said Assange's father. "It is a point of view that is becoming more accepted."

The passport has been sent to Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been in hiding in a "small room with a treadmill and heat lamp" since June, over fears that his extradition to Sweden could clear the way for him to be summoned to the US to face charges over Wikileaked documents, according to Agence France Presse

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Assange reportedly told his father—with whom he had little contact from age three until his twenties—that he believes he could spend up to a year in the Embassy. 

"It must have taken a great deal of suffering to have learned so quickly how to move amongst those people," Shipton said of his son, World News Australia reported, "and not display fear when the whole American empire wishes to crush you."

The passport, which can be used for travel within Australia, has been sent to Assange in London. 

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