Christensen arrives in UK to visit ‘tortured’ Assange
North Queensland MP George Christensen has arrived in London, preparing to visit Wikileaks founder and former Townsville resident Julian Assange who is reportedly the subject of 'psychological torture'.
Mr Christensen and Clark MP Andrew Wilkie have self-funded their four-day visit to London to visit the WikiLeaks founder.
Mr Assange is currently inside the high-security HM Prison Belmarsh, with Mr Christensen telling parliament he should be allowed to return home.
"I just arrived in London after two flights taking about 24 hours in total to see Julian Assange, an Aussie journalist imprisoned for simply publishing the truth," Mr Christensen wrote on his Facebook page late Saturday night.
"(Sunday), I'm meeting with United Nations Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer who has said Assange is showing signs of being subject to psychological torture."
A spokeswoman from Mr Christensen's office said he was expected to meet Mr Melzer about 10.30pm AEST last night (12.30pm London time).
Mr Christensen shared a link to a Newsweek story that quoted Mr Melzer, a United Nations 'torture expert', as saying he was "genuinely outraged" over claims Mr Assange was being psychologically tortured.
"175 years for whatever they are accusing Mr Assange of, it's certainly not violence, certainly it's not genocide, certainly it's not massacring civilians or torturing anybody, and people for genocide in the Hague they receive 35 or 45 years. I'm genuinely outraged," Mr Melzer told the publication.
Mr Christensen told parliament last week he wanted to see first-hand how Mr Assange was faring due to concerning reports about his health and the severity of his treatment in prison.
"My concern is we have a foreign country - the US - seeking to extradite an Australian citizen from another foreign country for breaching laws of a foreign country that they are not subject to, as they were not in that country (the US) to breach those laws," Mr Christensen said.
"And what was the alleged breach? The receipt of information in the public interest that he then published. That shouldn't be a crime.
"It is my view, and the view of the Bring Julian Assange Home parliamentary group, that extradition proceedings should cease, and Mr Assange be brought back to Australia."
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.