[LINK] Wikileak founder's passport cancelled
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Mon May 17 09:40:39 AEST 2010
[I don't understand. Does this mean he's a political prisoner in
Australia? How can a country cancel a passport without charges? Do we
know if he now has a new passport? Was this just a beat-up by Fairfax?]
Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblower website
Wikileaks, says he had his passport taken away from him at Melbourne
Airport and was later told by customs officials that it was about to
Last year Wikileaks published a confidential Australian blacklist of
websites to be banned under the government's proposed internet filter.
The Age has been told that Assange's passport is classified
''normal'' on the immigration database, meaning the Wikileaks
director can travel freely on it.
Assange told The Age his passport was taken from him by customs
officials at Melbourne Airport when he entered the country last week
after he was told ''it was looking worn''.
When the passport was returned to him after about 15 minutes, he says
he was told by authorities that it was going to be or was cancelled.
Passports are routinely taken from travellers for short periods by
immigration officials if they are damaged.
Wikileaks has risen to prominence for posting leaked footage of US
forces laughing at the dead bodies of 12 people they had just killed
in Iraq in 2007.
It was in the Australian spotlight last year after publishing a
confidential blacklist of websites that forms the basis of the
government's proposed internet filter.
The list as published by Wikileaks then blocked links to YouTube
clips, sites on euthanasia, fringe religions, and traditional
pornography - as well as the websites of a tour operator and a dentist.
The government says the intention is to block extreme sites depicting
such things as child pornography, bestiality and rape.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has also asked the
Australian Federal Police to investigate the leaking and publishing
of the Australian internet blacklist.
But a spokeswoman for the AFP said yesterday the federal police had
dropped the case earlier this year because it was ''not in our jurisdiction''.
Assange said half an hour after his passport was returned to him, he
was approached by an Australian Federal Police officer who searched
one of his bags and asked him about his criminal record relating to
computer hacking offences in 1991.
Assange's allegations about his passport were first made on SBS
current affairs program Dateline, which aired a story on the Wikileaks founder.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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