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Post Press Clippings

Sakharov award ceremony at the European Parliament

Julian Assange’s wife Stella was speaking at the European Parliament Press Seminar on the Sakharov Prize on Tuesday 14 December for which the publisher was nominated as a finalist.

Julian Assange was selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded each year by the European Union Parliament. More than 40 MEPs nominated Julian Assange for this year’s Sakharov Prize long list. Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange addressed a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, October 11th, in which she made the case for Julian Assange winning the award.

MEP Sabrina Pignedoli and the 5 Star Movement officially presented the candidacy in the first phase of the selection for the Sakharov Prize, the highest recognition awarded by the Eurochamber to those who stand out in the battle for respect for human rights.

The President of the International Federation of Journalists and other MEPs have called on the President of the EU Parliament to work to ensure that Julian Assange can attend the Sakharov Prize ceremony as a nominee.

However Belmarsh prison authorities have refused permission for Assange to participate via video link in meetings and press conferences during the plenary of the European Parliament. Julian Assange’s wife, Stella, attended the European Union’s Sakharov Prize ceremony on his behalf, following an invitation by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Members of the European Parliament and press freedom groups co-signed an open letter to the US President Joe Biden asking him to pardon Julian Assange.

“For over a decade, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been at the forefront of investigative journalism, publishing information that has revealed significant abuses of power and corruption at the highest levels of powerful institutions. In doing so, he has been part of the institution of a free press essential to any democracy.”

Press Conference With Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s Wife on 13 December the European Parliament in Strasbourg

The 5 Star delegation’s press conference “The Julian Assange case: Publishing is not a crime” took place on Tuesday December 13 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Daphne Caruana Galizia room.

Joint press conference by:

Moderated by Davide D’Antoni, 5 Star press officer

Tiziana Beghin, head of the 5 Star delegation in the EP
Sabrina Pignedoli, 5 Star MEP, promotor of Assange’s candidature at the Sakharov Prize.
Virginie Lemarié, Julian Assange’s lawyer
Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s wife

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Post Press Release

WikiLeaks delegation meets Bolivian President Luis Arce to discuss ongoing prosecution of Julian Assange/ President calls for release of Assange

Bolivia President, Luis [Lucho] Arce, received WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador, in the capital La Paz on Saturday at the Casa Grande del Pueblo (17 December 2022) to discuss the case of WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange who has been detained for his publications which exposed evidence of government crime, corruption and brazen human rights violations and faces 175 years in prison for exposing these acts in the public interest.

In a private meeting with the president and the Minister of the Presidency, Maria Nela Prada, President Arce spoke frankly of the threat to press freedom and the necessity to uphold human rights and the right to know. The president was firm in his support of Julian Assange and the desire to see him a free man.

This follows previous meetings over the last month with President-elect Lula of Brazil, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández and President Gustavo Petro of Colombia all of whom declared their support for the WikiLeaks publisher and called on authorities to cease their prosecution for the simple act of journalism.

Last week, almost two dozen Human Rights and Free Press groups urged the end of Julian Assange’s prosecution, noting that ‘The U.S. prosecution of Assange undermines the country’s ability to defend journalists against repression by authoritarian and other rights-abusing regimes abroad’

https://cpj.org/2022/12/cpj-partners-send-letter-calling-for-us-to-drop-charges-against-julian-assange/

Last month, the editors and publishers of The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel – the five media partners who first partnered with Assange – called for his immediate release 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/nov/28/media-groups-urge-us-drop-julian-assange-charges

Last week Julian Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, attended the European Parliaments Sakharov Prize ceremony, which the publisher was nominated as a finalist. Speaking before the event at a Press Seminar for the prestigious prize Stella Assange urged an end to the persecution of her husband saying ‘Julian is suffering profoundly…our children need their father and this injustice must end’

All major Human Rights, Media, Free Speech & Civil Liberties organizations oppose the extradition attempts against the WikiLeaks publisher who faces a 175 year sentence if extradited to the US for his publishing work

Amnesty International: “Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of its obligations under international human rights law”

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Parliamentary Actions Post

45 MEPs and journalist federations sign open letter to US President Biden

Strasbourg 15/12/2022 – Members of the European Parliament address US President Joe Biden in an open letter co-signed by 41 EU lawmakers, NGOs, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and many more, asking him to pardon Julian Assange.

MEP Mikuláš Peksa, Stella Assange, MEP Markéta Gregorová & MEP Marcel Kolaja

For over a decade, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been at the forefront of investigative journalism, publishing information that has revealed significant abuses of power and corruption at the highest levels of powerful institutions. The charges against him raise serious concerns about the extent to which a democratic government can criminalize the publication of truthful information.

Among the signatories are the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the worldwide association of writers PEN International and many of their national sub-organizations, and several human rights NGOs, such as Big Brother Watch or Statewatch.

This week, Julian Assange’s wife Stella represents her husband, a nominee for the Sakharov Prize 2022 for Freedom of Thought, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Together with her and all undersigned, the European Pirates respectfully call on US President Joe Biden to pardon Julian Assange.

The article was originally published here.

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Post Press Clippings

The Brazilian Senate Human Rights Commission receives Wikileaks and holds hearing on Freedom of Press, Opinion and Right to Information

The Commission on Human Rights and Participative Legislation (CDH) of the Federal Senate of Brazil has held an interactive public hearing to shed light at the numerous cases of attacks and threats to the work of journalists in Brazil and around the world, including the Julian Assange case. The hearing was held at the initiative of Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE), who presided over the Panel. It was convened as a part of Wikileaks Latin American tour. Wikileaks representatives Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell previously met with Presidents of Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, as well as with numerous legislators, policy makers and representatives of media freedom organizations.

“It is ironic that the accusers are precisely the ones who were unmasked,” said Carol Proner, a professor of international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Assange’s case itself brings to light the “crimes committed” by US security forces, said the lawyer during the hearing.

The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson highlighted that the possible extradition of Assange “will send a signal that any journalist who ventures to expose the secrets of the powerful will be punished”.

The Commission has deliberated that it will produce a note to be sent to the US, UK and Australian Embassies and form a delegation to go to Washington. It also mentioned that the Brazilian President-elect Lula da Silva has endorsed WikiLeaks and stated that defending the freedom of Julian Assange will be part of government policy.

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Post Press Release

Belmarsh prison refuses permission for Julian Assange to participate in European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize award

PRESS RELEASE

Belmarsh prison authorities have refused permission for Julian Assange to participate via video link in meetings and press conferences taking place this week during the plenary of the European Parliament.

The events have been arranged by EU politicians from across the political spectrum to discuss his imprisonment and prosecution, following his selection as a finalist in this year’s Sakharov Prize, the European Union’s premier human rights/freedom of thought award, which goes to an individual or group who has dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights.

Julian Assange’s wife, Stella, will be attending the European Union’s Sakharov Prize ceremony on his behalf, following an invitation by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Julian Assange remains in custody at the UK’s maximum security Belmarsh prison in South London where he has been held since his arrest on April 11th, 2019. He is charged in the United States in relation to WikiLeaks’ publication of information about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and torture and rendition programs in 2010. He faces a 175-year sentence.

Belmarsh prison’s governor declined written requests from EU parliamentarians and political groups requesting Mr. Assange’s presence over video link. The governor wrote that, “having sought policy advice on the matter”, the requests for Mr. Assange’s participation had been rejected because the European Parliament and its Parliamentarians do “not fall under the list of official visitors”.

More than 40 MEPs nominated Julian Assange for this year’s Sakharov Prize, which was awarded for the first time in 1988 to Nelson Mandela and Anatoli Marchenko. Last year’s prize was awarded to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Stella Assange said: “Julian’s nomination is testament to the support he has from human rights groups around the world as well as the recognition of his life’s work for peace and justice”.

Stella Assange will take part in the European Parliament plenary session’s meetings and press engagements in connection with the Sakharov Prize of 2022. She will take part in a press seminar on Tuesday 13th December Strasbourg 9.30am CET, and a further press conference at 17:00 CET, and is expected to deliver a message on behalf of Julian Assange.

At 9.30 CET on Tuesday 13th December Mrs Assange will appear on a panel alongside Vice-President of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautalaa; and Francisco de Roux, who represents The Truth Commission in Colombia, also a finalist of this year’s Sakharov prize, The moderator is Raffaella De Marte, Head of the Media Services Unit in the European Parliament’s Directorate for Communication.

Web-Stream: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/webstreaming/press-seminar-on-sakharov-prize-for-freedom-of-thought_20221213-0930-SPECIAL-SEMINAR

There are currently 127 journalists from European media registered to attend – others are able to follow and ask questions remotely via the web-stream beginning at 9.30am CET

Last week, almost two dozen Human Rights and Free Press groups urged the end of Julian Assange’s prosecution, noting that ‘The U.S. prosecution of Assange undermines the country’s ability to defend journalists against repression by authoritarian and other rights-abusing regimes abroad’

Last month, the editors and publishers of Le Monde, El País, Der Spiegel, The New York Times and The Guardian called for his immediate release https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/nov/28/media-groups-urge-us-drop-julian-assange-charges

All major Human Rights, Media, Free Speech & Civil Liberties organizations oppose the extradition attempts against the WikiLeaks publisher who faces a 175year sentence if extradited to the US for his publishing work.

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Events Post Press Release

SAVE THE DATE: Press Conference With Stella Assange at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

PRESS RELEASE

The 5 Star delegation is pleased to invite you to the press conference “The Julian Assange case: Publishing is not a crime” that will take place on Tuesday December 13, from 17h00 to 17h30 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Daphne Caruana Galizia room – Weiss N-1/201.

Julian Assange is a finalist for the Sakharov Prize 2022, the European Union’s highest award in the field of human rights and freedom of thought. The WikiLeaks publisher partnered with world-leading newspapers to publish documents that evidenced war crimes, arbitrary detention, torture and judicial interference leaked by US private Chelsea Manning. Julian Assange remains imprisoned in the UK’s notorious Belmarsh high security prison while he fights United States extradition and a sentence of 175 years in prison. It was recently reported that he has lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights.

Joint press conference by:

Tiziana Beghin, head of the 5 Star delegation in the EP
Sabrina Pignedoli, 5 Star MEP, promotor of Assange’s candidature at the Sakharov Prize
Antoine Vey, Julian Assange’s lawyer
Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s wife
The conference will be held in EN – IT with FR and ES live interpretation. 

Journalists not present in Strasbourg can connect and ask questions thanks to this link: https://ep.interactio.eu/66e2-hy1p-1w4u

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Post Press Clippings

Wikileaks representatives meet with the President of Argentina

After the meetings with President of Colombia Gustavo Petro and President-elect of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, and Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador were received by President of Argentina Alberto Fernández.

They discussed Julian Assange’s plight and the ongoing extradition battle. After the meeting Hrafnsson stated that “the President told us that he would support our mission”, adding that “it is extremely positive to receive such a clear signal of support from the country’s highest authority”.

Hrafnsson stressed that “it is not just about a man or a life, it is about a much greater interest: it is the freedom of the press in the world that is at stake” and concluded by saying: “That is the position of the main human rights organizations in the world that have taken an interest in the case and for this reason the leaders have joined so strongly”.

Hrafnsson and Farrell also met with the Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. “In these meetings we have seen absolute support,” Hrafnsson said, adding that “this is revenge against an individual, an award-winning journalist, for exposing the dark secrets of the empire.”

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Post Press Release

Elon Musk twitter poll: Should Assange and Snowden be pardoned?

PRESS RELEASE

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has launched a poll on twitter asking whether Assange and Snowden should be pardoned. Thus far, over 80 percent of users have voted in favour, The poll closes in approximately 9 hours from this e-mail.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1599224347121500160

The poll comes after the editors and publishers of 5 media organisations who partnered with WikiLeaks – The Guardian, Le Monde, El País, Der Spiegel and New York Times – called US to drop Julian Assange charges.

“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press. Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy. Twelve years after the publication of Cablegate, it is time for the US government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets” the letter says.

On Wednesday Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also issued a major statement from the Australian Parliament: “Enough is enough. It is time for this matter to be brought to a conclusion.”

Parliamentarians from the Brazil approved a resolution urging American authorities to drop the charges against Julian Assange.

In a letter sent to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, the parliamentarians are against the extradition of Assange to be tried in North American territory and warn that this fact would create a negative precedent for freedom of expression and the free exercise of the press throughout the world.

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