Australian editor Julian Assange has been behind bars in the United Kingdom since his April 2019 arrest after being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had been given refuge for years. Now, as Assange fights extradition to the United States where he faces charges that could land him in jail for more than 100 years, his family is speaking out against the parameters of his incarceration.
Assange’s father, John Shipton who is currently touring the United States to raise awareness of his son’s situation, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday that Assange really didn’t do anything wrong or commit any “specific crime at all.”
“He just offended some people in certain sections of Washington,” he said. “And consequently has faced 12 years now of persecution and harassment.”
Shipton pointed out that even though Assange is not an American citizen, he’s been charged under the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act, threatening 175 years in jail over “nothing at all.”
Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, shared that the last time he was able to visit Assange at London’s Belmarsh Prison was in October of 2019. Since then, the prison has been completely locked down due to COVID.
“It’s a maximum-security prison so it’s got all of the most dangerous prisoners from around the UK, the most violent prisoners,” he said. “He won his extradition case on Jan. 4 and the U.S. government appealed and then a couple days later, he was refused bail.”
“Since January, he’s been sitting in prison an innocent man, not able to see his family or lawyers. And we just don’t know when the appeal will happen or when this will end.”
Gabriel revealed that there have been no elected officials backing his family on freeing Assange since President Biden’s inauguration.
“It’s been silent from people in Congress and in the Senate which is part of the reason why we’re doing this,” he said. “To encourage Americans to stand up for their First Amendment rights and speak to their congresspeople.”