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'Time is running out': PM urged to stand up for Assange

Julian Assange supporters are urging Anthony Albanese to grasp a crucial opportunity to secure his release in a "litmus test" for democracy.

A public artwork of Assange and whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning was unveiled in Sydney on Friday.

Speaking at the event, former journalist Dean Yates pleaded with the prime minister to lobby on behalf of the detained Australian during an upcoming meeting with Joe Biden and Britain's Rishi Sunak.

"Time is running out," he told AAP, arguing the upcoming US election cycle would shatter any chance of a favourable resolution.

"There is a growing sense amongst Australians that enough's enough - Albanese said that himself.

"It's time for him to use his personal relationship with President Biden and bring Julian home."

Mr Yates was running Reuters' Baghdad bureau when two of his reporters, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, were killed in a US air strike.

The circumstances of their deaths were suppressed by the US military until Assange published a video of the attack on his WikiLeaks website, leading to his arrest.

Mr Yates said publication of the Iraq War Logs, as they came to be known, ensured the pair's deaths were not forgotten, even though those responsible were never held accountable.

"What Julian did was expose the lies and the war crimes that were committed in Iraq and the hypocrisy is that he is the one being prosecuted and persecuted," he said.

Assange's father, John Shipton, said his son's incarceration was "excoriating and scarring" for him and his family.

"After 14 years, you no longer use the term hope," he said.

But he is buoyed by growing public support for Assange, with voices from all sides of politics converging to plead for his release.

"The incoming tide is now turning into a tsunami of support," he said, channelling Bob Dylan.

"You don't need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind's blowing."

Mr Shipton said Australia, the US and the UK must end Assange's prosecution as a moral imperative in order to maintain soft power on the world stage.

"The circumstances of Julian's persecution are an abrogation of human rights, conventions of asylum and a dereliction of due process," he said.

"That circumstance must change."

Mr Yates said it would be a massive setback for public interest journalism and government accountability if Assange was extradited to the US.

"The publication of the Iraq and Afghan War logs frightened the hell out of governments and that has resulted in a tightening around the world on whistleblowers and journalists around the publication of material that is in the public interest," he said.

"People need to look at this case of Julian Assange as a litmus test."