‘Unjust’: Christensen preparing for Assange prison visit
DAWSON MP George Christensen believes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is toiling in a London prison "unjustly".
Mr Christensen made the comment to media in Mackay on Wednesday as he detailed preparations for his trip to visit Mr Assange, who is locked up in the high-security HM Prison Belmarsh.
Mr Assange is fighting the United States' efforts to extradite him to face espionage charges.
Mr Christensen and independent MP Andrew Wilkie, co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home Group, plan to visit him in February.
Reports of Mr Assange's poor health, treatment at court and conditions he has faced in prison have prompted the trip.
Mr Christensen said he wanted to speak to Mr Assange in person to discuss these "concerning" issues.
"It is technically a social visit to go see a fellow Aussie who is in jail, I think, unjustly," he said.
"Because all he was a journalist or a publisher who received information and for receiving that information, he is being hauled through the courts in the UK and potentially then in the US to face a life sentence.
"This is death by time. That's what the sentence would be if found guilty and I think that's not on."
Mr Christensen said he had received legal advice that the self-funded trip would be possible under a normal tourist entrance to the UK.
Mr Assange's legal team is in the process of granting authorisations for Mr Christensen and Mr Wilkie to speak to him in prison.
Mr Assange is facing charges in the US over WikiLeaks having received and published thousands of classified cables on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last month, Swedish prosecutors dropped a rape investigation against him.