Julian Assange became an honorary Aboriginal Australian over the weekend.
Assaange was given a new passport yesterday, and one assumes citizenship, from the Aboriginal Nations at a ceremony in Assange’s native Australia. Assange himself could not attend as he’s still at the Ecuadorian embassy in London avoiding extradition to Sweden, but his father attended in his place.
It was a largely symbolic move, as the Aboriginal Nations is not recognized as a sovereign state, but the Aboriginal Passport does have an interesting and legitimate history, and has been recognized for international travel. According to Wiki Aboriginal passports were first granted in the early 1900s when the new government of Australia wouldn’t give its passports to indigenous people. The passports were still being produced through the 1990s for travel and are now advocated by the Aboriginal Provisional Government which is still seeking Aboriginal Nations’ sovereignty.
Attending a ceremony to grant Assange the passport, his father John Shipton said, “Julian has always expressed the desire that the Aboriginal people of Australia be recognised as sovereign.”
The Aboriginals are now repaying the favor. Of the show of solidarity, Indigenous Social Justice Association president Ray Jackson said, “Julian was treated badly by this [Australian] government, who are quite happy to sit back and take orders from the US.” Assange’s father added, “Australian governments of every colour are happy to abandon their citizens when they’re in difficult situations overseas.”
Though Assange might have trouble actually traveling out of London with his Aboriginal passport, he may not need to: New DNA evidence has emerged according a Reuters report that shows Assange’s DNA is nowhere to be found on the used condom key to the sexual assault charges against him in Sweden. If the DNA evidence is enough to clear Assange of the charges, Sweden may have to abandon its extradition witch hunt after all.
Theoretically at that point Assange should be a free man again. Although if you think the U.S. is going to let that happen without a fight, you’re crazy.