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Day of the Imprisoned Writer: The Case of Julian Assange


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Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, wife Stella Assange and lawyer Jennifer Robinson come together with journalist Rachael Brown to explore the personal, public and political implications of Julian’s imprisonment in the UK.


In June this year UK Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an order to extradite Julian Assange to the US. There, the co-founder of WikiLeaks would face 18 criminal charges, including espionage, with a combined prison sentence of 175 years.

Julian Assange’s father John Shipton has strenuously and creatively pursued freedom for Julian, refocusing his case in the public eye. Stella Assange met Julian Assange in London in 2011 when she joined his international legal team. They have two children together, and married in March 2022 in Belmarsh high-security prison in south-east London. Barrister and renowned international human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson has represented Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for almost a decade and is intimately familiar with the case.

Held on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer and presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne, Shipton, Stella Assange and Robinson explore the ongoing case of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and its wider implications for freedom of speech, with award-winning journalist Rachael Brown, who covered Julian Assange’s extradition hearing as an ABC Europe correspondent.

Jennifer Robinson and Stella Assange will appear at this event via video.


A PEN Melbourne event, presented with the Wheeler Centre.


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Stella Assange

Stella Assange grew up in Southern Africa before moving to Sweden, Spain, and then the UK for her tertiary education where she studied politics and law (SOAS University of London and Oxford). She met Julian Assange in London in 2011 when she joined his international legal team. They have two childre... Read more

Rachael Brown

Rachael Brown is an investigative journalist with the ABC. She’s held several postings, including Europe Correspondent from 2010-2013. She’s the creator, investigator and host of the ABC’s pioneer true-crime podcast, Trace. Rachael’s review of the 1980 cold case of Maria Ja... Read more

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London. Jen has acted in key human rights and media freedom cases in both domestic and international courts. Her work often involves UN engagement and advising governments, individuals, and organisations on international law and human ri... Read more

John Shipton

John is the father of Julian Assange. He is an anti-war activist and retired builder. His fight to free his son from prison is the subject of the multi-award winning film Ithaka: a father, a family, a fight for justice.


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.