Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has had his passport confiscated by the Australian authorities.
According to The Age, Assange had his passport taken away on his arrival at Melbourne airport last week. While it was returned 15 minutes later, Assange said he was told it would be cancelled.
While Assange has made himself particularly unpopular with the US military by publishing video of attacks on civilians in Iraq, he’s been something of a thorn in the side for the Australian government too.
Last year, Wikileaks published a list of websites which were to be banned under the government’s proposed internet filter. While the aim of the filter is to block extreme pornography and the like, the blacklist included a number of more prosaic sites such as those of a travel company and a dentist.
Assange said that shortly after his passport was returned he was questioned about a hacking offence committed when he was a teenager.
Assange told the television program Dateline that Australia is one of several countries where he feels unsafe.
“There are places… Dubai, who is trying to have us arrested, Switzerland under the bank secrecy laws, Cayman Islands,” he said. “Australia had the federal police in relation to its censorship list so there are some jurisdictions that from time to time it wouldn’t be sensible to go there.”