'Free Assange' Group Says Hopes New Zealand Parliament To Approve Asylum For Whistleblower

'Free Assange' Group Says Hopes New Zealand Parliament to Approve Asylum for Whistleblower

"Free Assange NZ" activist group supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hopes that the parliament of New Zealand will approve granting political asylum to the whistleblower in a move to resist "warmongering" policies of the United States and the United Kingdom, group spokesperson Greg Rzesniowiecki told Sputnik on Tuesday.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2018) "Free Assange NZ" activist group supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hopes that the parliament of New Zealand will approve granting political asylum to the whistleblower in a move to resist "warmongering" policies of the United States and the United Kingdom, group spokesperson Greg Rzesniowiecki told Sputnik on Tuesday.

The parliament is expected to consider a petition filed by Rzesniowiecki in July, asking the House of Representatives to urge the government to provide Assange with permanent political asylum in New Zealand. The petition, which has gathered more than 2,000 signatures on the parliament's website, is sponsored by lawmaker Greg O'Connor. Parliamentary petitions require a sponsoring member of parliament, and Greg O'Connor agreed to sponsor the petition earlier Tuesday.

"The idea of the parliament rejecting the merits of the petition is not one we count on given that the New Zealand parliament is inhabited by 120 intelligent human beings who appreciate that to alter the dynamic from war mongering to well-being requires true security delivered through an effective informed democracy and an end to corrupt behavior," Rzesniowiecki said.

According to Rzesniowiecki, the next step of "Free Assange NZ" is to prepare "a strong case" to the parliament's select committee, which will examine the petition, as well as to continue efforts to raise public awareness on the matter.

"We assess that a large proportion of the NZ public share our skepticism of the benefits of slavishly following the UK/US Empire and its genocidal warmongering in the post 9/11 wars [in Iraq and Afghanistan]," Rzesniowiecki stressed.

He noted that Assange and Wikileaks were all about making sure that "corrupt and criminal behavior [in the world] is diminished and preferably ended."

"If we are heading to a globalized world and New Zealand is interested in promoting its values, then it must act to ensure transparent global governance. Denying Wikileaks and Assange a place in the world sends a signal that the New Zealand parliament and government are 'fake news' proponents no different from any other," Rzesniowiecki underlined.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in June 2012 after being accused of sexual offenses by the Swedish authorities. While the charges have since been dropped, he still fears extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking Iraq War logs.

In June, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said that Assange's asylum at the embassy could not last forever.

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