Hundreds of supporters of detained WiKiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including his family members, staged a rally in the Australian city of Sydney to demand his extradition.

Iran PressAsia: Today’s action in Sydney was supposed to coincide with a visit from President Biden for a Quad alliance meeting with leaders from India, Japan and Australia, but Biden canceled his trip amid ongoing negotiations over the debt ceiling.

Stella Assange called on Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to do more to secure the release of her husband, an Australian national, as his health rapidly deteriorates inside London’s Belmarsh prison, where he awaits possible extradition to the U.S. to face espionage and hacking charges.

"He needs to be free because the world needs press freedom," Stella Assange further emphasized while addressing the crowd of protesters.

Albanese has said he is doing everything he can, while a group of Australian lawmakers recently met with U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to push for Assange’s release.

Julian's brother, Gabriel Shipton, also spoke at the rally and was undisturbed by Biden's absence, insisting: "They're hearing the message loud and clear. They know there's millions of Australians who want this brought to a close."

Assange's father, John Shipton, also took part in the protest rally and emphasized: “It’s time to show some sincerity of action and also to understand clearly that they need the support of the populous to enact policy, and the populous has given us whole-hearted and full support for the freedom of Julian Assange."

"So it’s time for them to pick up the phone and ring Biden and say, Well, better send this dad home.” 

Meanwhile, Assange's lawyers have begun their appeal at Britain's Supreme Court against its order to extradite him to the United States.

The December 10 decision by London's High Court overturned an earlier ruling by the British magistrate that it was "cruel" to extradite the 50-year-old Australian man to the US justice system because of his mental health and the risk of committing suicide.

The US seeks to bring Assange to trial for WikiLeaks' 2010 release of classified military documents related to the country's war crimes and other atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The US government has charged Assange with 18 counts related to the release of 500,000 classified files about the conflicts. He could face up to 175 years in prison in the United States, although the exact sentence is difficult to estimate.


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