Professor Stuart Rees is a highly respected retired academic, author and defender of human rights and civil liberties. He founded the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney in 1998. In 2011, the Foundation bestowed its highest honour, its Gold Medal for Peace and Justice, to WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.
On November 29, 2018, Professor Rees was awarded the inaugural Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize in recognition of his “persistent and courageous advocacy for the human rights of all Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, the refugee camps and the Palestinian diaspora generally.”
Professor Rees publicly endorsed the rally held by the SEP on June 17, 2018 at Sydney Town Hall Square in defence of Assange . He has issued the following statement, urging support for the demonstrations called for March 3 in Sydney and March 10 in Melbourne to demand the Australian government intervene to secure Assange’s freedom.
Rallies to call for the release and freedom of Julian Assange are timely and long overdue.
Julian is an Australian citizen who has committed no offence and not been charged with one. He should no longer be in fear of his life because a revengeful White House, an arrogant British government and a cowardly Australian one wish to make an example of someone who has championed freedom of speech and of the press.
Julian Assange follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of journalists and whistleblowers who have made significant contributions to civil societies, who have made other citizens aware of the, usually invisible, abuses of power by governments who have scant regard for the consistent application of universal human rights.
I applaud the organisers and speakers of the rallies on March 3 in Sydney and March 10 in Melbourne to advocate the freedom of Julian Assange.”
Stuart Rees, OAM, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney, winner of the Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize
February 14, 2019