Rally in Defence of WikiLeaks, Brisbane

February 9, 2011

ALHR President Stephen Keim SC was invited to speak at a rally held in defence of WikiLeaks on Wednesday 9 February in King George Square, Brisbane.

In his address, Mr Keim congratulated participants for their show of support for Wikileaks and their defence of the principles of free speech and a free press.

Mr Keim outlined the risks and injustices of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against Mr Assange, for sexual offences allegedly committed in Sweden, and the arguments advanced by Assange’s lawyers in challenging the validity of the EAQ. Reflecting more broadly on the furore surrounding the release of the diplomatic cables, he observed that “the cables show that the world’s politicians are even more dishonest than even the most cynical among us might have expected” and that the attacks on WikiLeaks “increasingly look like ‘shoot the messenger’ responses”.

In concluding his speech, Mr Keim described the Assange/Wikileaks saga as a story that “has a long way to go” with a number of important chapters in which ordinary citizens have an important role to play. “Much blood was shed in winning [our] freedoms”, and they “cannot be taken for granted”, he said. “We should be prepared to come out on a balmy night, more than once, to make our voices heard in their support and defence.”

You can download Mr Keim’s speaking notes below