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Post Press Clippings

Assange Odysseia, 23 January 2023, Strasbourg, France

Théâtre National de Strasbourg and the TJP – Centre Dramatique National de Strasbourg Grand-Est brought together the Assange Odysseia, created by Sahra Datoussaid and Sarah Siré.

Inspired by the narrative form of Homer’s Odyssey, Assange Odysseia tells the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and, with the help of witnesses, experts as well as political and cultural figures, sheds light on facts and events that are little known by the general public.

“It is a challenge to go beyond the strictly political and/or legal framework in order to do artistic work which is, moreover, in phase with current events. The difficulty is to deal with a situation that is taking place in the present time and whose political and judicial outcome is not yet known. Creating a Forum for Theatre seemed to us the most obvious
solution.”

Through this forum the play reconstructs the last twelve years’ journey: from the journalistic and political project of WikiLeaks with Collateral Murder to the judicial persecution of its editor Julian Assange, via the denunciation of the psychological torture of Assange by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, to the observation of amalaise in our democracies.

“At the crossroads of documentary theatre and the Court of Opinion, our Forum attempts to open a public debate through a device where witnesses and experts are invited to share their expertise and testimony with the public, who are invited to actively participate in the process of rigorous investigation”

The performer of the play: Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, Françoise Tulkens, judge at the European Court of Human Rights from 1998 to 2012, Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador from 2007 to 2017, Denis Robert, Laurent Dauré and Stefania Maurizi, investigative journalists, Jennifer Robinson and Baltasar Garzon, lawyers for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, philosopher and sociologist, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, author of The Guantanamo Diaries, lawyers Julien Pieret, Annemie Schaus and Diane Bernard, philosopher of law.

Watch in English
Watch in French
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Events Post

Ithaka – Special Parliamentary Screening

Richard Burgon MP is hosting a special parliamentary screening of Ithaka, an award-winning new documentary on the fight to free Julian Assange.

There will be a follow up discussion with Julian’s wife Stella Assange.

When: 31 January, 7pm

Where: London Wilson Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons

Contact your MP to attend the screening and understand what is at stake in Julian Assange’s case. Ask your local representatives to take concerted action to defend the free press and Julian’s human rights, educate your neighbours, friends and coworkers, and join the world wide campaign in Julian’s defense.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has led a coalition of 16 organisations in urging the new UK Home Secretary to intervene in the US government’s request to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.

You can do the same by emailing the Home Secretary Suella Braverman and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Stop the Extradition of Julian Assange.

The International Federation of Journalists calls on all media unions, press freedom organisations and journalists to urge governments to actively work to secure Assange’s release.

Fill in a model letter created by IFJ and send it to US embassy in your country calling for the immediate release of Julian Assange. Encourage your members to do the same; the more, the better! #FreeAssangeNOW

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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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Parliamentary Actions Post

Brazilian cross-party Parliamentarians approve resolution urging American authorities to drop the charges against Julian Assange

Parliamentarians from the Brazil of Hope Federation (PT, PCdoB and PV) announced this Tuesday (29 November 2022) support for the international movement for the release of Australian journalist 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.

The support took place at a meeting of the Federation’s benches, in the Chamber of Deputies, which was attended by the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hraffsson, and Joseph Farrell, ambassador of WikiLeaks.

In the letter, the parliamentarians reminded the US authorities that Assange “adopted practices that are essentially investigative journalism”, among them, “receiving classified information from a source within the government and publishing information of public interest”. Still according to Brazilian congressmen, this act cannot be included in the Espionage Act, because “it would criminalize routine practices, which are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States”. Deputies also recalled that the Obama administration refused to prosecute Assange for espionage.

Article originally published here.

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Post Press Release

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief meets Brazilian president Lula da Silva

PRESS RELEASE

Brazilian President Elect, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, welcomed Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, and Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador, in a private meeting in the capital Brasilia yesterday (28 November 2022) to discuss the condition of Julian Assange’s detention for his WikiLeaks publications which exposed evidence of government crime, corruption at the highest level and flagrant war crimes.

Lula, a former political prisoner himself, has long been outspoken about the illegality of Julian Assange’s prison and extradition attempt by the United States of America. At the meeting President Lula reiterated his ongoing support for Julian Assange and his wish to see him freed.

Today in Brasilia, the WikiLeaks delegation will be hosted at the Parliament by Humberto Costa, the President of the Human Rights Commission of the Senate, and will speak at a plenary session of the lower chamber with Parliamentarians to agree on a series of actions to be taken at a bi-lateral political level, starting with parliamentarians lodging a letter at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, urging the American authorities to drop the charges against Julian Assange;

The WikiLeaks delegation also met with Marina Silva, Brazilian politician and environmentalist, who expressed her full support for Assange’s release: She was quoted saying “we cannot save the world from a climate disaster without transparency”.

The delegation will travel on Wednesday to Rio de Janeiro where they will hold a public meeting at the Brasilian Press Association in the presence of various press and media association.

The Brazilian segment of the WikiLekas Latin American Tour will end with a reception hosted at the home of the world-renowned singer Caetano Veloso.

END

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Post Press Clippings

Julian Assange receives the Almudena Grandes Award for freedom of expression

The Almudena Grandes Award for freedom of expression was collected by the imprisoned journalist’s wife, Stella Assange, and was delivered by the director of El País, Pepa Bueno. “Julian is a political prisoner. The right to truth is a fundamental right. The United States has turned journalism into a criminal activity,” she stressed about Washington’s obsession with extraditing her husband to stand trial there. She celebrated, in any case, that Julian Assange is “surrounded by friends who do not stop fighting for him until he is free.”

Poet Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute and columnist for infoLibre, spoke on a large screen that dominated the stage. “We live in a world in which it is increasingly essential to defend the independence of journalism. We cannot commit ourselves to being in possession of the truth, but we can commit ourselves not to lie,” concluded and thanked the Almudena Grandes Award for the defense of the right to information, awarded to Julian Assange.

The infoLibre Awards celebrate the pride of journalism without fear in the face of noise and uncertainty.

“You cannot send anyone to a country that has planned their assassination” – Álvaro Sánchez’s interview with Stella Assange. Read it here.

Categories
Events Post

IMPRISONED NOT SILENCED:
an evening of solidarity with writers at risk

2 December 2022 – 7.00 to 8.30 PM

13 Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ

The Frontline Club, PEN International, and English PEN are delighted to invite you to an evening of reflection on how literature, journalism, and other forms of writing are both the target of censorship and a powerful tool for advocating for freedom of expression, and how global communities can maintain solidarity with those facing persecution.

ABOUT THE EVENT

A panel of writers and activists will discuss the cases of editor, publisher and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; Belarusian pro-democracy activist, writer and 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ales Bialiatski; British-Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah; and the case of the 12 Eritrean journalists, writers, poets, and government critics detained without trial and held incommunicado since 2001. They will also explore the importance of solidarity and the ways in which people can offer meaningful practical and moral support to writers at risk.

With the generous participation of writer, editor, and journalist, Deepa Anappara, lawyer and human rights defender Stella Assange, writer and PEN Eritrea director Awet Fissehaye,writer, translator, and activist Hanna Komar and writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif. The evening will be moderated by PEN International board member and writer Salil Tripathi and will close with readings of solidarity letters written by Siri Hustvedt and Ahdaf Soueif to imprisoned Iranian writer Narges Mohammadi, and a performance by Uyghur musician and activist Rahima Mahmut. This will be followed by a drinks reception in the Frontline Club bar.

  • Lawyer, human rights defender and campaigner Stella Assange will talk about the case of her imprisoned husband, editor, publisher and Wikealeaks founder Julian Assange
  • Hanna Komar- Belarusian poet, translator, and member of PEN Belarus (formerly imprisoned) will talk about her own experience of imprisonment, the situation in Belarus and the case of Ales Bialiatski, Belarusian pro-democracy activist, writer, prisoner of
  • Eritrean poet, writer and lyricist Awet Fissehaye will talk about freedom of expression in Eritrea and the case of the 12 Eritrean journalists, writers, poets, and government critics detained without trial and held incommunicado for 21 years.
  • Egyptian writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif (OR Sanaa OR Mona Seif- participation TBC yet) will talk aboutthe case ofBritish-Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah 

8.00- 8.20 pm: readings of solidarity letters to imprisoned Iranian writer Narges Mohammadi

  • Author and journalist, Deepa Anappara to read a letter of solidarity written by acclaimed writer Siri Hustvedt to Narges Mohammadi
  • Egyptian writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif to read her own solidarity letter to Narges Mohammadi

8:20 – 8:30pm: MUSIC TO CLOSE THE EVENT

  • Musician, activist and World Uyghur Congress UK Director Rahima Mahmut to sing a few of her songs

8:30pm onwards: DRINKS AND SOCIAL AT THE FRONTLINE CLUB BAR

Categories
Events Post

Night Carnival for Assange

After a successful #FreeAssange #HumanChain event last October we are going to take the streets of London for a Night Carnival. Bring torches, lanterns, masks, drums, pots and pans!

Date and time

Saturday, February 11, 2023, 4:00 PM GMT

Assemble

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ London, United Kingdom

Emmanuel Centre rally

At the end of the Night Carnival for Assange on Saturday 11 February there will be a rally in the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, Westminster, SW1P 3DW. Speakers will include Stella Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Richard Ratcliffe and Jeremy Corbyn..

Date and time

Saturday, February 11, 2023, 6:00 PM GMT

Location

Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street London SW1P 3DW United Kingdom

The pressure on the UK Government to free Julian Assange is very high. Help us reach our goal as we ramp up campaigning efforts to #FreeAssangeNOW with Night Carnival.

Categories
Post Press Release

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief meets Colombian president Gustavo Petro, who promised to press for the freedom of Julian Assange

PRESS RELEASE

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador, were received today in a one-hour private meeting with the Colombian President, Gustavo Petro and the Foreign Minister Alvaro Duran at the Presidential Palace of Nariño in Bogotá, Colombia

Kristinn Hrafnsson was quoted saying : “ I am extremely content with the outcome of the meeting with President Petro and the Foreign Minister Durán. They’ve shown their commitment and support for Julian Assange’s freedom, and strongly recognised the implications for press freedom worldwide that Assange’s extradition would set. In our meeting they pledged to assist in getting other leaders in the region to follow Colombia’s position and to collectively and individually urge the Biden administration to drop the charges brought by the Trump administration and grant Assange his long overdue freedom.”

WikiLeaks highlighted in the meeting with the President that the extradition treaty between the USA and UK bars extraditions for so-called political acts, under which Assange is charged.

The non-extradition of Julian Assange would simply mean that the USA is abiding by its own laws and longstanding international treaties.

Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post

Letter to allow Julian Assange to attend Sakharov Prize

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.

The letter has been sent after Julian Assange was selected as one of three finalists for the European Parliaments Sakharov Prize 2022 along with the people of Ukraine and Columbia’s Truth Commission.

“As one of the co-founders of the WikiLeaks association, Assange provided world-leading newspapers with documents concerning war crimes, arbitrary detentions, human rights violations and torture. He has been held in prison in the UK and is currently facing extradition to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and computer misuse.”

Sakharov Prize 2022: the finalists, European Parliament News

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.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Lugano’s Plan B:The Attack on Julian Assange is an Attack on Freedom of Speech

Lugano’s Plan ₿ Forum is the premier Bitcoin conference hosted by Tether Operations Limited and the City of Lugano in Switzerland.

The Forum featured blockchain industry leaders along with influential experts in global financial markets and the Bitcoin ecosystem at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano on October 28th and 29th 2022

The list of speakers to discuss how Bitcoin is disrupting the world on both social and economic levels as well as the important topic of individual freedoms was also joined by Stella Assange, lawyer and wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; Gabriel Shipton, film producer and brother of Julian Assange and John Shipton, father of Julian.

They participated in a fireside chat with journalist and podcast host Peter McCormack, a leading voice in the Bitcoin community, and share their experiences advocating for free speech.

The Attack on Julian Assange is an Attack on Freedom of Speech

In addition, participants could look forward to a unique virtual reality experience following the footsteps of Julian Assange and an opportunity to reflect on freedom of speech. Participants could virtually navigate the places where Assange has lived for the past 10 years: from Ecuador’s embassy in the United Kingdom, to the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London where Assange is currently detained.

Thanks to the Assange family, the attendees of the conference could also watch the documentary film that Shipton produced. Titled Ithaka, an intimate portrait of the struggle of Julian’s father, John, to free his son.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Julian Assange receives Weizenbaum Award for Peace and Social Responsibility

22 October 2022 Berlin, Germany

Julian Assange received this year’s Weizenbaum Prize for Peace and Social Responsibility for his work as an “outstanding journalist”, for his “creative use of technology” and for his merits and courage. His wife, Stella Assange, accepted the award on Saturday, October 22 on his behalf.

The prize is named after Joseph Weizenbaum. The influential computer scientist and peace activist, who would have turned 100 next year, publicly refused to work on the development of electronic elements for weapon systems during the Vietnam War.

The award ceremony took place as part of this year’s FIfF (Forum Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility) conference FIfFKon22, which has a technical and a political focus: “Our goal is nothing less than world peace,” says the announcement of the event.

Stella Assange accepting the Weizenbaum Prize for Peace and Social Responsibility


Julian Assange receives the Order of Italian Journalists Card

28 October 2022 Turin, Italy

The journalist’s card was delivered by President Carlo Bartoli of the Order of Italian Journalists accepted by Julian Assange’s father John Shipton. The ceremony took place in Turin as part of the Morrione Prize in Italy.

“Assange has carried out a work in defense of journalism, suffering a very serious attack on the right of the press and it is clear that the stakes are between knowing and not knowing and the dividing line is between democracy and dictatorship.”

“These are the battles that we have a duty to fight, to leave our children and grandchildren a democratic system to which we must never abdicate,” Carlo Bartoli.

Among the speakers of the debate, coordinated by Vincenzo Vita, were Stefania Maurizi journalist and writer, Gian Giacomo Migone professor and former president of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and John Shipton, father of Julian Assange.

“I am particularly happy – said Bartoli – to be able to hand over the card to Julian Assange’s father in the name of the entire National Council of the Order and of the colleagues who are members of it, who, if he wishes, can use it to prove that he has completed “Acts” of journalism.

Some of the more than 80 videos of testimony for the freedom of the founder of WikiLeaks collected by the “My voice for Assange” Committee, coordinated by the Sapienza professor Grazia Tuzi were screened. “Articolo21” will continue the campaign with incessant determination.

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A conversation with Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s wife

Skram, Litteraturhuset in Oslo, 25 November 2022

Musical performance by Lars Klevstand.

In the panel:

– Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (2009-2019), former prime minister of Norway, former minister of foreign affairs.

– Sofie Marhaug, member of the Norwegian Parliament (MP), initiator of the support group for Julian Assange in the Parliament.

– Gisle Selnes, professor of Literature (Bergen, UiB), co-author of the book “The Persecution of Julian Assange” (2022).

The event and the panel will be moderated by Rune Ottosen, professor of journalism, journalist and head of the Assange-committee of Norwegian PEN.

The event is hosted by Agnete G. Haaland, who is vice-president of Norwegian PEN.

Originally published in Norsk PEN.

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Julian Assange One of Three Finalists for the Sakharov Prize 2022

13 October 2022, 12:40 BST

Today Julian Assange has been selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded each year by the European Union Parliament. The Sakharov Prize is an honorary prize awarded to an individual or group who has dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights. The winner will be announced on October 19th. Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange will address the EU parliamentary plenary next week ahead of the final decision.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20221010IPR42638/sakharov-prize-2022-finalists-chosen

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange said: “Julian has been imprisoned for almost four years in Britain’s harshest prison for his important work to end impunity for war crimes and bring about greater accountability by informing the public about the human cost of war. He faces 175 years if he is extradited for his publishing work. Julian’s work embodies the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and he is paying for it with his freedom. This cannot be allowed to continue or he will pay with his life. Upholding the Charter means taking a stand for Julian’s freedom. I am profoundly grateful to all the MEPs who have put Julian’s name forward and especially Sabrina Pignedoli who has spearheaded this initiative.”

The Sakharov Prize was awarded for the first time in 1988. The prize has been awarded to imprisoned political figures in the past, including Nelson Mandela in 1988 and Alexei Navalny in 2021.

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.


Stella Assange will return to Brussels next week to address the EU Parliament plenary before the final decision is taken (details TBC). 

The winner will be announced on October 19, an award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg on December 14.

Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks, has said in relation to the extradition case against Julian Assange:

“President Biden should take the opportunity to drop these politically motivated charges which have put media freedom and freedom of expression in the dock.

“President Obama opened the investigation into Julian Assange. President Trump brought the charges against him. It is now time for President Biden to do the right thing and help end this farcical prosecution which should never have been brought in the first place.”

More Details on the Sakharov Prize
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/sakharovprize/en/the-prize/faqs

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange speaks at the European Parliament on 12 October
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiM-Yz2GIho

Julian Assange and Volodymyr Zelensky are nominated for prestigious EU Freedom of Thought award | Daily Mail
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11304011/Julian-Assange-Volodymyr-Zelensky-nominated-prestigious-EU-Freedom-Thought-award.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

Last Saturday thousands of protesters gathered at the UK parliament and formed a human chain around the perimeter in a show of solidarity to the publisher
https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/assange-supporters-form-human-chain-uk-parliament-2022-10-08/

Earlier this week Julian Assange was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 and is being held in 24 hour solitary confinement in London’s Belmarsh prison where he has been held since 2019
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/julian-assange-wikileaks-covid-prison-b2199310.html

Julian Assange faces a 175 year sentence if extradited to the US for his publishing work. All major free speech and human rights organizations including Amnesty, Reporters Without Borders, National Union of Journalists, Big Brother Watch and many more oppose his extradition which they say is a ‘threat to press freedom around the globe’.

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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Documentary ‘Ithaka’ about Julian Assange opened the fifth Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin

The fifth Human Rights Film Festival Berlin presented 41 films on the current state of human rights in the world from 13 to 23 October 2022. The festival’s opening film was ITHAKA: a powerful portrait of the family of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals the personal consequences of his fight for the truth. 

The film celebrated its German premiere on 13 October in the historic hall of the Berlin Colosseum cinema.

“An impressive family: wife, father and brother of Julian Assange. In the film Ithaca, they take us on their fight against the blatant injustice against Julian Assange. approachable. Vulnerable. A visit to the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin is worthwhile,” said Derya Türk-Nachbaur, Member of the German Bundestag and a member of the German delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

The film has been also shortlisted for the Australian 2022 Walkley Documentary Award. The film has already made its debut in Australia and the UK and has also been screened at the Sydney Film Festival 2021, Capricorn Film Festival 2022, docedge Film Festival 2022 and Sheffield Docfest 2022.

“Ithaka shows how far the richest and most powerful nations in the history of the world go to hide their crimes. Ithaka gets to the heart of how freedom of the press and our right to communicate are slowly being dismantled before our very eyes.” – Gabriel Shipton, brother of Julian Assange and producer of the documentary

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Stella Assange, Wife Of Imprisoned WikiLeaks Founder, Fights For Power Against Authority At Bitcoin Amsterdam

At Bitcoin Amsterdam, Stella Assange advocated for her husband Julian’s freedom, drawing parallels between Bitcoin and WikiLeaks.

Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, the founder of classified document publisher WikiLeaks who has been confined to a London prison since 2019, took the stage at the Bitcoin Amsterdam event today in a keynote presentation titled “Free Assange.” She described the parallels between Bitcoin as a permissionless form of value transaction and WikiLeaks’ mission to disseminate vital information to the public, outlining that Julian’s battle for freedom is one that should resonate with adopters of Bitcoin.

“I was thinking about how to talk about freeing Julian here, and Julian told me, he explained Bitcoin to me back in 2011,” Stella Assange began, adding that Julian had been moved to solitary confinement last weekend after testing positive for COVID-19. “He explained the technology behind it, but he also gave me a big picture understanding of the significance of Bitcoin… I think (that explanation) is also a pathway to understanding the kind of parallel tracks of WikiLeaks and Bitcoin, and the future of Bitcoin and how that’s tied to what’s being done to Julian.”

Stella went on to recount the most infamous publications from WikiLeaks, including the “Spy Files” and files related to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay from 2011. She outlined the role that Julian and the publishing platform played in spurring the Occupy Wall Street movement, and said that Julian called Bitcoin “the real Occupy Wall Street.” In 2013, WikiLeaks helped former NSA contractor Edward Snowden release mass surveillance disclosures, with Snowden himself going on to advocate for Bitcoin as a freedom tool.

She underscored the groundbreaking changes that WikiLeaks brought to the field of journalism in the age of the internet through its ability to protect anonymous sources online and its decisions to publish large amounts of information quickly and freely.

“In that sense, Bitcoin and Bitcoin technology are trying to fight censorship in a very similar way to how WikiLeaks has fought censorship using cryptography,” she explained. “(Julian) was an incredible pioneer and changed the way journalism is done. And he did that because Julian of course was a Cypherpunk, he’s a cryptographer and he understood that the major newsrooms had no idea how to protect their sources when they were operating on the internet.”

Stella also outlined the role that Bitcoin played in supporting WikiLeaks as centralized financial institutions attempted to silence it following its major document releases in 2011.

“Overnight practically, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, they just shut off WikiLeaks from 97% of its revenue which came through (donations via the platforms),” she recalled. “And how was it done? It was done completely extralegally. It was a phone call from a few senators in the U.S. to these companies, and they just shut it off.”

She added that, by enabling freedom of information, Bitcoin is one of the emerging tools that can safeguard against eroding freedom of information in the digital age.

“Bitcoin breaks Orwell’s dictome, ‘He who controls the present, controls the past. And he who controls the past, controls the future,’” she said.

Finally, in an appeal for support in Julian’s ongoing legal fight, Stella argued that the U.S. is relying on vague and outdated language from the Espionage Act of 1917 to pursue a 175-year sentence were he extradited there. She suggested that those who similarly challenge authority with a permissionless monetary system like Bitcoin could one day face similar fates.

“What’s being done to Julian is not a legitimate use of the legal system,” she said. “It is bending the rules, it is corrupting the rules in order to keep him there and, in so doing, it is corrupting the whole system… Anyone that challenges the hegemonic order with innovation is up against that level.”

Originally published in Bitcoinmagazine.com

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Julian Assange’s wife in the European Parliament for the Sakharov Prize nomination

BRUSSELS, 11 October 2022

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.

“My husband’s is a political case, Julian is a political prisoner, awards such as the Sakharov Prize act as political protection and in his case this prize could save his life. Winning this award would certainly change things,” says Mrs Assange.

“We wanted to promote Assange’s candidacy for the Sakharov Prize because Assange is paying dearly for telling the truth, so we believe he is the best candidate,” Sabrina Pignedoli.

“This candidacy is recognition of Julian’s work, who has fought all his life for freedom of expression and to ensure that this was a reality and that human rights violations could be made public so that we could ask governments to account for it before justice.

“Because this is a political case, he is a political prisoner, persecuted for publicizing the crimes of a truly powerful government, and this recognition could save his life.”

The fact that Julian Assange is in prison “is instead a clear message, which tells us that governments can commit crimes with impunity and be imprisoned even in the West, that the struggle for human rights no longer has any value and that indeed those who carry on this fight can be punished,” Stella Assange concluded.

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Events Post

Hacking Justice: Julian Assange film screening and panel discussion

Register for the launch of a new campaign in solidarity with Julian Assange, including a livestreamed screening of “Hacking Justice” + Q&A

Amnesty International UK 25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA United Kingdom

Date and time

Tue, 11 October 2022, 18:00 – 20:30 BST

About the event

A new activist-led campaign on press freedom launches this month focusing on the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

For over a decade, the US government’s unrelenting pursuit of Julian Assange for publishing evidence of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan has represented a full-scale assault on freedom of expression.

Amnesty is calling on the US to drop its extradition and all charges against Assange. The UK government must also release him from Belmarsh Prison immediately.

Join us for a screening the newly revised cut of “Hacking Justice” plus Q&A on Tuesday 11 October, 6-8.30pm. This event will also be livestreamed from the Human Rights Action Centre.

As head of Julian Assange’s legal team, Baltasar Garzón warns that the growing influence of intelligence services puts freedom of information, our right to know what our governments are doing, and democracy at risk.

With privileged access to Assange and Wikileaks for nine years, “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange” witnesses the struggle for the control of information, the role of the mass media and the difficult balance of individual rights and state security.

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Stella Assange at Wired Next Fest 2022, Italy

The first meeting of the Wired Next Fest 2022 in Milan talked about Wikileaks and Julian Assange: a case that goes to the heart of the freedom of the press of the democracy of the future.

Stella Assange, first guest of the Wired Next Fest Milan 2022 said that “Julian’s case represents the destiny of our future”. In a room packed with people at the new Milanese edition of the Wired Next Fest 2022, hosted in the spaces of the Fabbrica del Vapor, the legal consultant and wife of the well-known journalist and activist defined the story of the Wikileaks case as “political” and Assange as a “political prisoner” . In 2010, about 600,000 documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were published on the WikiLeaks site he created, including videos revealing real war crimes committed by the US military.

For this reason Julian Assange is persecuted by the American government and has been hosted by the Ecuadorian embassy in London for years. At the moment he is in the British prison of Belmarsh, a maximum security prison in the English capital nicknamed the “British Guantanamo” following allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees. Regarding the condition of her husband, whom she sees twice a week with her children, Stella Assange tells of a very bad physical and mental state that has lasted since 11 April 2019, the day of her arrival in the British prison.

The key difference between the Assange case and the Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning cases, says Stella Assange, is that the latter “were whistleblowers and not editors of a news site.” In order to be able to try him, former US President Barack Obama had in fact spoken of the need for a precedent. “Julian is not American, he was not working for the United States and had no contractual obligations,” Assange continues, pointing out how the US government actually extended its jurisdiction outside the country, persecuting a journalist and a publisher for the mere fact that he has done his job.

“What happened after Julian’s case is quite the opposite of what he expected: the relationship between citizens and governments has become even more blurred, it joins the surveillance capabilities of the states and the increasing compression of our rights” says Stella Assange also referring to the fact that democracies like the United States contradict their own ideals of transparency.

Original article was published in Wired Italia.

https://www.wired.it/video/watch/stella-assange-wired-next-fest-2022

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Julian Assange receives Keys to Mexico City

The Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, named Julian Assange a Distinguished Guest and delivered the Keys to the City to the family of the founder of WikiLeaks, who is in Mexico at the invitation of the Presidency to the celebrations for the anniversary of the independence.

“Julian Assange represents the truth, he represents freedom of expression and never, anywhere in the world, can that be persecuted,” Sheinbaum said. John Shipton and Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of Julian Assange, attended the ceremony on Wednesday.

“Today, in this national month, we endorse Independence and because we always endorse freedom of expression, Julian Assange will be welcomed, through his family, to Mexico City.”

Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, general coordinator of Social Communication and Spokesman for the Government of the Republic, pointed out that Julian Assange could be considered a “21st century liberator.”

“We hand over the Keys to the City to the family of Julian Assange. For us, Julian represents the truth, freedom of expression. We are a progressive City that has always defended the great freedoms and the right to free access to information.” Claudia Sheinbaum, Head of Government of Mexico City

The Former Minister of National Defence of Ecuador Ricardo Patino was able to deliver to the father and brother of Julian Assange, the national journalism award given to the founder of Wikileaks by the Journalists Club of Mexico in 2018.

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Events Post

Free Assange Human Chain 8 October

Thousands of people have now pledged to surround UK parliament on Oct 8th by forming a Human Chain. Supporters around the world are holding rallies in solidarity including in Washington DC, with a great line up of speakers like Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adepayo, and CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou and more, which is organized by US’s Assange Defense.

Check out Candles4Assange for actions around the world, find your city and join with your friends and family.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on journalists unions, press freedom organisations and journalists to mobilise and express their solidarity.

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) also back global mobilisation on October 8 to free Julian Assange

NUJ members will join others too by forming a human chain around the Houses of Parliament to demonstrate the opposition to the extradition of Julian Assange.

Get your organisation to take part of the Surround Parliament Human Chain.

Model Resolution for organisations, groups, and others to adopt 

The national Surround Parliament demonstration on Saturday 8 October is fast approaching. We need the largest possible turnout so we are asking you if you are a member of a trade union or trades council, or political party, campaign or a community organisation or NGO, or a tenant’s group, or church, mosque, synagogue, or any other place of worship, take this model resolution and get your organisation to adopt it. That way the email lists, websites, social media feeds, and organising capacity of your group can help us mobilise.

This Model Resolution notes:

  1. The imprisonment of Julian Assange in Belmarsh high security prison.
  2. The attempt by the US government to extradite Julian Assange for revealing the truth about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and about Guantanamo bay.
  3. The US government attempt to use the 1917 espionage act in order if convicted to imprison Assange for a 175 year sentence.

This organisation believes:

  1. That a free press is essential to the proper working of a democratic society.
  2. That Julian Assange revealed material that was wholly in the public interest.
  3. The Julian Assange should not be extradited to the US and the charges against him should be dropped. 

This organisation resolves:

  1. To affiliate to the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign.
  2. To support the ‘Surround Parliament’ national demonstration on Saturday 8 October in support of Julian Assange. 
  3. To publicise this event to our members and supporters and to encourage them to attend. 
  4. Where possible to assist with transport to the protest. 
  5. To send the banner of our organisation where such exists


Stella Assange: Courage calls to Courage everywhere. Surround Parliament Oct 8 – form a human chain

Julian is fighting for his life – his life depends on not being extradited to the United States. 

This is a political case, it can be stopped here and it must be stopped here.

So on the 8th of October, come to London to show your solidarity, come help free Julian Assange.

Thank you for your support
‘ – Stella Assange

Please join us in London on Saturday, 8th October in front of Parliament at 1pm to form a Human Chain to demand Julian Assange’s freedom.

Will you be part of the human chain to free Assange? We need your help to be part of this huge protest in support of Julian Assange and a free press. Please do sign up to pledge that you’ll be at Parliament to be part of the chain of support that will go from the front of parliament over Westminster bridge, along the south bank of the Thames and back over Lambeth bridge. Please be a link in the solidarity chain. Sign up here:

Birmingham TUC is organising a coach to London from Birmingham and West Midlands. Get in touch with Stuart regarding availability and tickets.

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Julian Assange receives honorary card of the Order of Journalists and becomes an honorary citizen of Pescara & Lucera, Italy

On Monday 5 September 2022 Julian Assange has been a awarded the honorary card of the Order of Italian Journalists. President Carlo Bartoli with the secretary Paola Spadari Venice officially delivered the card to Stefania Maurizi, a close collaborator, with the Casa degli Autori on the Lido of Venice, where the event was held.

The occasion was promoted by the Audiovisual Archive of the Labor and Democratic Movement and by the Articolo21 association, in collaboration with the National Federation of the Italian Press and the Order of Journalists.

“Defending Assange means defending the right of the press, freedom of information and the safety of whistleblowers,” – said the president of the Order Carlo Bartoli showing the honorary card for Assange at the authors’ house in Venice.

“This is why we decided to enroll Julian Assange in the Order of Italian Journalists. If an English court decides to extradite him to the US, in England – which was the cradle of press freedom, will become the funeral of freedom of information.”

Present were Carlo Bartoli and Paola Spadari, president and secretary of the National Council of the Order of Journalists, together with the Venetian colleagues Gianluca Amadori, member of the executive and Maurizio Paglialunga, coordinator of the CTS, with them also Giuliano Gargano President of the Veneto regional order . The meeting was also attended by Giorgio Gosetti, general delegate of the Authors’ Days; Giuseppe Giulietti, President of the Fnsi; Vincenzo Vita, president of Aamod. Contributions also include those of Monica Andolfatto, secretary of the Veneto Journalists Union; Tina Marinari, campaign coordinator of Amnesty International Italia; Manuela Piovano, vice president of the National Association of Authors and of the actress Ottavia Piccolo.

Originally published in Ordine dei Giornalisti.

The same time Assange was awarded honorary citizenship of Pescara in Italy. For the proposal of the councilors of the 5 Star Movement Erika Alessandrini, Massimo Di Renzo and Paolo Sola, the municipal council of the Adriatic city approved the motion with recognition proposed to the Wikileaks founder.

Pescara joins the chorus of those who, all over the world, reiterate the defense of the right to freedom of the press which Julian Assange represents,” declared the councilor after the vote in the civic assembly. The recognition of honorary citizenship has a symbolic value but, the three councilors underline to “keep attention on the matter” and signify how “even the Pescara community feels it has to give its own contribution in defense of ideals such as the right to information and transparency”.

“The journalist, activist and founder of the WikiLeaks rose to the headlines in the international news in 2010 for revealing US war crimes, abuses and violence of the American armed forces during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The arrest by the British police and the extradition request by the United States where he faces up to 175 years in prison for publication of information in the public interest is a capital punishment. An event that sparked a great international protest and raised numerous appeals for the release of the journalist from public opinion and various human rights organizations.”

“For his reporting activity, Julian Assange has received, over the years, numerous commendations and awards, as well as having been repeatedly proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize for revealing the horrors of Western wars.”

Originally published in Pressenza.

Earlier Assange was also awarded honorary citizenship by the City Council of Lucera, in the province of Foggia. Lucera is the first municipality in Italy to officially confer citizenship to Julian Assange.

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PRESS RELEASE: Julian Assange Files his Perfected Grounds of Appeal

PRESS RELEASE

Today, 26 August 2022, Julian Assange is filing his Perfected Grounds of Appeal before the High Court of Justice Administrative Court. The Respondents are the Government of the United States and the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal contain the arguments on which Julian Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of 4 January 2021, and introduces significant new evidence that has developed since that ruling.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the United States Government include the following points:

  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions (s.81(a) of the Extradition Act);
  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted for protected speech (Article 10)
  • The request itself violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and International law because it is for political offences;
  • The US Government has misrepresented the core facts of the case to the British courts; and
  • The extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) include arguments that Home Secretary Priti Patel erred in her decision to approve the extradition order on grounds of specialty and because the request itself violates Article 4 of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

“Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse. The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal,” said Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange.

Background:

4 January 2021: Westminster Magistrates Court discharges (throws out) the US extradition request against Julian Assange. District judge Vanessa Baraitser rules that extradition is barred under the 2003 Extradition Act because it is “opressive” (s.91). The United States Government appeals.

27-28 October 2021: US appeal hearing before the High Court Appeal. Julian Assange suffers a transient ischemic attack (TIA) on the first day.

10 December 2021: The decision to discharge the extradition request is overturned by the High Court due to the United States Government issuing so-called ‘diplomatic assurances’ to the UK Government. The High Court rejects the United States Government’s arguments that the district judge erred in her findings.

14 March 2022: The Supreme Court refuses Julian Assange permission to appeal the High Court’s decision. The case is sent back to the Magistrates’ Court with instruction to issue the extradition order.

20 April 2022: The Magistrate issues the extradition order, which is sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval.

17 June 2022: Home Secretary Priti Patel approves the extradition order to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, met with Assange’s wife

25 August 2022

ENGLISH

Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, met with Julian Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, and Mr. Assange’s Spanish lawyers, Baltasar Garzón and Aitor Martínez, at the Palais Wilson in Geneva.

At the meeting, the High Commissioner was informed about the human rights violations against Julian Assange, the risk to his life if he is extradited to the United States, and the implications for freedom of the press and the right of citizens to the truth.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour. Mr. Assange’s lawyers, Baltasar Garzón and Aitor Martínez, explained Mr. Assange’s current situation in the context of the United Kingdom’s extradition proceedings. The High Commissioner was informed that there are currently two pending appeals before the British High Court. The first, against the decision of the Home Office to agree to hand over Julian Assange to the United States; and the second, the cross appeal brought by the WikiLeaks founder against the arguments that district judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected in the lower court’s ruling.

Mr. Assange’s lawyers explained in detail to High Commissioner Michel Bachelet the grounds that are before the High Court of the United Kingdom. Some of these grounds represent a very serious attack, not only on the rights of Mr. Assange, but also on freedom of the press globally. They discussed how, by criminally prosecuting a journalist for publishing truthful information related to serious international crimes committed by the United States Army, the United States’ case against Mr. Assange is also an aggression on the freedom of the press globally and on the right of access to information.

Similarly, the absence of dual criminality was discussed, since the Espionage Law of 1917 is being invoked to prosecute a journalist for exercising his profession, a rule that would not apply in Europe under the criminal standards of the continent.

In addition, his lawyers discussed how this case violates the principle of proportionality, as Julian Assange faces a potential prison sentence of 175 years, a de facto life sentence, simply for publishing information related to international crimes, which are crimes that the international community is under an obligation to prosecute. The lawyers also exposed the abusive extraterritoriality deployed by the United States in persecuting a foreign journalist who published abroad and who has no ties to the US jurisdiction.

Along with other arguments, the criminal cases opened by Spain to investigate the security company UC GLOBAL (which provided security services to the Embassy of Ecuador in London in apparent collaboration with US intelligence services to systematically spy on Mr. Assange, his lawyers and other visitors in Ecuador’s diplomatic mission for years), recently caused the Spanish Audiencia Nacional (aquivalent to the High Court) to issue a summons to take statements from Mike Pompeo, former director of the CIA, and William Evanina, former chief of US counterintelligence.

Finally, the High Commissioner was informed of a recent investigation revealing that Mike Pompeo’s Central Intelligence Agency instructed its agents to develop plans to kidnap Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy and even to draw up ‘sketches and options’ for his assassination.

His lawyers argued that minimal international human rights standards ought to have prevented the authorization to extradite of him to the country that has planned his assassination.

Furthermore, Mr. Assange’s lawyers discussed all the limitations suffered by Mr. Assange to his right to mount a defense, as well as the ways in which his political asylum was breached in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

For her part, Stella Assange, the wife of Julian Assange, focused on the frail state of Mr. Assange’s health. She invoked various medical reports that confirmed the risk of Mr Assange dying in prison including that extradition could drive him to take his own life, a risk corroborated by specialists’ reports before the British courts.

In addition, she highlighted the fact that the Special Rapporteur against Torture, Nils Melzer, visited her husband in Belmarsh prison with specialized doctors and concluded, in a very harsh report sent to the Human Rights Council, that Julian Assange was being subjected to a situation of torture. Regarding the medical situation, she recalled that her husband recently suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), and she expressed a profound and serious concern for his life.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michel Bachelet, together with members of her team, received the information provided at the meeting and had a very productive exchange with the lawyers for Mr. Assange and his wife.

—-
ENDS


ESPAÑOL

Hoy, la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Michelle Bachelet, se reunió con la esposa de Julian Assange, Stella Assange, y los abogados españoles del Sr. Assange, Baltasar Garzón y Aitor Martínez, en el Palais Wilson de Ginebra.
 
En la reunión se le informó sobre las violaciones a los derechos humanos contra Julian Assange, el riesgo para su vida si es extraditado a Estados Unidos y las implicaciones para la libertad de prensa y el derecho de los ciudadanos a la verdad.

La reunión duró algo más de una hora. En la misma, los abogados del Sr. Assange, Baltasar Garzón y Aitor Martínez, expusieron la situación actual del Sr. Assange en el marco de la extradición que se está dilucidando en Reino Unido. En este sentido se comunicó a la Alta Comisionada que actualmente existen dos apelaciones pendientes que serán solventadas por la High Court británica. La primera, contra la decisión del Home Office de acordar la entrega de Julian Assange a Estados Unidos; y la segunda, la “cross appeal” de la defensa del fundador de WikiLeaks contra aquellos aspectos denegados en la primera decisión por parte de la jueza de distrito, Vanessa Baraitser.

En relación a esta segunda apelación, el equipo jurídico expuso con todo detalle a la Alta Comisionada, Michel Bachelet, los elementos que van a ser valorados por la High Court en Reino Unido. Algunos de esos elementos suponen un gravísimo atentado, no sólo a los derechos del Sr. Assange, sino a la libertad de prensa en el mundo. Para ello se expuso la agresión que la causa abierta en Estados Unidos significa para la libertad de prensa en el mundo y el derecho de acceso a la información, toda vez que se persigue penalmente a un periodista por publicar información veraz relativa a graves crímenes internacionales cometidos por el ejército de Estados Unidos. De igual forma, se expuso la falta de doble incriminación, ya que se está invocando la Ley de Espionaje, de 1917, para perseguir a un periodista por ejercer su profesión, una norma que no tendría aplicación en Europa bajo los estándares penales del continente. Además, se recordó la violación que esta causa supone al principio de proporcionalidad, al enfrentar Julian Assange potenciales penas de 175 años de cárcel, una cadena perpetua de facto, simplemente por publicar información relativa a crímenes internacionales, sobre los cuales existe una obligación de persecución por parte de la comunidad internacional. También se expuso la extraterritorialidad abusiva desplegada por Estados Unidos, persiguiendo a un periodista extranjero que publicó en el extranjero y que no tiene vínculos con su jurisdicción. Junto a otros argumentos, igualmente se expuso lo relativo a las causas penales abiertas en España para investigar a la empresa de seguridad UC GLOBAL, la cual proveía servicios de seguridad a la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres y habría colaborado con los servicios de inteligencia norteamericanos para espiar en forma masiva al Sr. Assange, sus abogados y demás visitantes en la misión diplomática por años, lo que ha motivado que recientemente la Audiencia Nacional española haya pedido tomar declaración a Mike Pompeo, ex director de la CIA, y a William Evanina, ex jefe de contrainteligencia. Por último, se puso al tanto a la Alta Comisionada que recientemente se reveló en Estados Unidos por parte de agentes de la CIA que se llegó a planear el secuestro de Julian Assange, incluso proyectándose su asesinato en la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres, contexto que impide bajo los mínimos estándares internacionales de derechos humanos que se puede autorizar la entrega a la jurisdicción que proyectó su asesinato.

Así mismo se compartió todas las limitaciones que se han venido sufriendo en el ejercicio del derecho de defensa por parte del señor Assange, y el incumplimiento de las condiciones del asilo en la embajada de Ecuador en Londres.

Por su parte, Stella Assange, la esposa de Julian Assange, se centró en el delicado estado de salud que atraviesa el Sr. Assange. Recordó los diversos informes médicos que confirmaron el riesgo de morir en prisión o de que cometiera suicidio en caso de ser entregado, tal y como se informó por parte de diversos especialistas a la justicia británica. Además, resaltó el hecho de que el Relator Especial contra la Tortura, Nils Melzer, visitó a su esposo en la prisión de Belmarsh con médicos especializados y concluyó, en un durísimo informe remitido al Consejo de Derechos Humanos, que Julian Assange estaba siendo sometido a una situación de tortura. En relación a la situación médica, recordó que su esposo recientemente sufrió un derrame cerebral, mostrando una profunda y seria preocupación por su vida.

La Alta Comisionada para los Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas, Michel Bachelet, junto a miembros de su equipo, recibió la información aportada en el referido encuentro y mantuvo un intercambio muy productivo con la defensa del Sr. Assange y su esposa.

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Attorneys and Journalists Illegally Searched During Visits with Julian Assange Sue CIA and Michael Pompeo

Press Conference

Legal Filing

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Parliamentary Actions Post

Against the extradition of Julian Assange to the US

By Sevim Dagdelen, 08 July 2022

Members of parliament from the DIE LINKE, SPD, Greens and FDP parliamentary groups speak out against the extradition of the journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the USA:

Journalists must not be persecuted or punished for their work anywhere. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision on June 17, 2022 to authorize the extradition of journalist, Julian Assange, to the US is regrettable and wrong. Julian Assange must be released immediately in the interest of freedom of the press, as well as for humanitarian reasons due to his poor health.

Julian Assange has not been able to live freely for more than 11 years. He has been in solitary confinement in the UK since April 2019 awaiting the UK government’s decision to extradite him to the US. He is threatened with 175 years in prison for exposing war crimes, committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A free press is an elementary part of democracy. We are deeply concerned about the chilling effect that Assange’s extradition and sentencing could have on press freedom and investigative journalism worldwide. With regard to freedom of the press, there must be no restrictions. Assange’s extradition would send a fatal signal to journalists around the world.

We join many British MPs in calling on the UK government to defend press freedom and to reconsider its decision to extradite Assange to the US. Resolution 2317 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also calls for the immediate release of Assange. We also call on US President Joe Biden to refrain from the extradition request.

We support the German government in its talks with the United Kingdom and the United States in resolutely emphasizing this concern and in campaigning for Julian Assange and the end of his political persecution.

Original text translated from linksfraktion.de

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London Bus Tour for Julian Assange’s 51st birthday

As Julian Assange turns 51 his legal defence team has lodged an appeal to prevent his extradition to the US.

Last month, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition, with her office saying British courts had concluded his extradition would not be incompatible with his human rights, and that he would be treated appropriately.

Supporters of Assange held protests ahead of his 51st birthday, including one in an open-top double-decker London tour bus that passed by British government buildings in Westminster on Friday.

Assange’s wife, Stella, was among dozens of people who demonstrated outside Britain’s interior ministry to demand his release.

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The Assange case: International solidarity and implications for press freedom globally

International and national organisations from Brazil organized a parallel online event to the 50th Ordinary Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The main speakers of the event were Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, Vijay Prashad, journalist (International Peoples’ Assembly), Zuliana Lainez, vice-president of the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), and Rebecca Vincent, director of campaigns of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The event was livestreamed in English and Portuguese.

“Without strong international mobilization, journalist Julian Assange will not be free. By publishing on WikiLeaks thousands of documents, photos, and videos that showed the involvement of the United States and its allies in the death of innocent people and in spying on an international scale, Assange fulfilled his duty as a journalist. That is why the struggle for his freedom affects all of us. It is a fundamental struggle in what it says about revealing the truth about war crimes and for press freedom,” declares Giovani del Prete, of the Operational Secretariat of the International Peoples’ Assembly.

“It is essential that the international human rights system closely monitors and take a position on the situation of Julian Assange, in particular on his situation of imprisonment and psychological health, but also on the issue of freedom of the press and freedom of expression under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This event adds to the many international actions on the case, with a strong appeal for the human rights system to enforce the guarantee of dignity and rights of Julian Assange,” comments Eneias da Rosa, Executive Secretary of the Articulation for the Monitoring of Human Rights in Brazil.

Representatives and invited guests of the following organizations will also participate:
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Progressive International (PI)
Platform for Human Rights (AMDH)
Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD)
National Movement for Human Rights (MNDH)
Maranhense Society for Human Rights (SMDH)

Organizers:
Platform for Human Rights (AMDH)
International Peoples’ Assembly
Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD)
National Movement for Human Rights (MNDH)
Maranhense Society for Human Rights (SMDH)

Supports:
Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
ARTICLE 19 Brazil and South America
Lawyers for Assange

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Journalists associations, media, Editors-in-chief, mobilize in support of Julian Assange

At the invitation of the Geneva Press Club/Club suisse de la presse, Swiss and international organizations of journalists and editors call with one voice for the release of Julian Assange in the name of press freedom on June 22 at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva at 11:00 am CEST. A broad-based coalition of journalists and media outlets has been formed after the British government authorized the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the United States on June 17, where he faces 175 years in prison. This Geneva-based coalition, which has been joined by journalistic organizations from many other countries, is calling directly on the British and American authorities. It also asks the Swiss authorities, in the name of freedom of the press and human rights, to intervene to ensure Julian Assange a refuge in Switzerland or elsewhere.

For all citizens

For journalists only

“We are demanding that Julian Assange be freed, returned to his family, and finally permitted to live a normal life,” said Dominique Pradalie, head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

“Democracy is being taken hostage. This attempt at criminalising journalism is a serious threat,” warned Pierre Ruetschi, the head of the Swiss Press Club who hosted the event.

“If Julian Assange can be threatened with prosecution as a spy, what might that mean for other journalists?” Tim Dawson, from the National Union of Journalists added.

With the participation of 

  • Edgar Bloch, Co-President, impressum, Swiss journalists
  • Daniel Hammer, General Secretary, Swiss Media
  • Denis Masmejan, Secretary General, Reporters Without Borders Switzerland
  • Dominique Pradalié, President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ) France
  • Marc Meschenmoser, Co-president of Investigativ.ch
  • Jean-Philippe Ceppi, Producer of Temps présent (RTS) and member investigativ.ch
  • Nicole Lamon, Deputy editor-in-chief, Matin Dimanche
  • Frédéric Julliard, Editor-in-chief, Tribune de Genève
  • Philippe Bach, Editor-in-Chief, Le Courrier
  • Serge Michel, Editor-in-Chief, heidi.news
  • Tim Dawson, National Union of Journalists, Great Britain (zoom)
  • Karen Percy, Media President of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), Australia
  • Mika Beuster, National deputy director, Deutscher Journalisten Verband (Germany)
  • Jean Musy, President, Association of foreign press in Switzerland (APES)
  • Agustin Yanel, Secretary general, Federation of the unions of spanish journalists, Spain
  • Pierre Ruetschi, Executive Director, Geneva Press Club and President of the Dumur Award

Ten other Swiss editors-in-chief support the Appeal and other international Journalists organization are joining.

Originally published at the Geneva Press Club.

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Statements on today’s decision of Patel’s approval to extradite Julian Assange

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Post Press Release

BREAKING: Extradition Statement: Patel approves extradition

This is a dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy. Anyone in this country who cares about freedom of expression should be deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination.
Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job.

It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead, she will forever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.

Foreign laws now determine the limits of press freedom in this country and the journalism that won the industry’s most prestigious prizes has been deemed an extraditable offence and worthy of a life sentence.

The path to Julian’s freedom is long and tortuous. Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the High Court. We will fight louder and shout harder on the streets, we will organise and we will make Julian’s story known to all.

Make no mistake, this has always been a political case. Julian published evidence that the country trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; tortured and rendered; bribed foreign officials; and corrupted judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. Their revenge is to try to disappear him into the darkest recesses of their prison system for the rest of his life to deter others from holding governments to account.

We will not let that happen. Julian’s freedom is coupled to all our freedoms. We will fight to return Julian to his family and to regain freedom of expression for us all.

ENDS

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Check out Stella Assange’s latest interviews

BBC HARDtalk: Will Julian Assange be extradited to the US?

Stephen Sackur spoke to lawyer Stella Moris, wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and mother of two of his children. Watch full interview for UK only on BBC iPlayer. You can listen to the interview on BBC UK Sounds.

The full video is also available to watch here.

Double Down News: The CIA Plot to Kill My Husband Julian Assange

Julian Assange’s wife, Stella Assange spoke on Double Down News on the CIA plot to kill her husband in revenge for exposing war crimes and fight to save his life. She asks for your help to free Julian and to take any action to bring him home.

Progressive International: Special appeal from Stella Assange

“How can the UK even contemplate extraditing a journalist to the country that plotted to kill him for his groundbreaking journalism?”

The Project: Stella Assange On Julian Assange’s Last-Ditch Legal Bid To The UK

After a decade-long legal battle, the fate of Julian Assange now rests in the hands of Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel after his legal team handed in its final submission.

“The case is purely political and we hope there will be a poitical resolution…the UK could at any time stop this extradition.”

GB News: WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson

‘To extradite him [Julian Assange] as a result of his political persecution is unacceptable.’ WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson says extraditing Julian Assange would be a ‘stain’ on the UK’s reputation.

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Letter from Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace laureate to UK Secretary of State Priti Patel

The Rt. Hon Priti Patel
Secretary of State for the Home Department
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

19 May 2022

Dear Home Secretary,

I am writing to you with deep concerns for the safety of Mr Julian Paul Assange who is facing extradition to the United States. I am writing to ask you to reject the US government’s extradition request of Mr Assange, a decision now under the responsibility of the Secretary of State.

On 4 January 2021, the British court barred Mr Assange extradition on the grounds of section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003. The court ruled that Mr Assange’s “suicidal impulses would come from his psychiatric diagnoses rather than his own voluntary act”, rendering “oppressive” in terms of the law to extradite him”. The Court recognised that there is a great likelihood that if extradite, that Mr Assange will end his own life.

The United Nations Official report also concluded on 1 November 2019 that “[u]nless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.” The extradition to the United States will aggravate those conditions. Over 60 doctors from around the world raised concerns about the precarious state of Mr. Assange’s physical and mental health which included fears for his life. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute states that, in view of Mr Assange being a victim of psychological torture, his extradition to the USA would be also illegal under international human rights law.

The Council of Europe considers that Mr Assange’s treatment to be among “the most severe threats to media freedom”.

Amnesty International, press freedom and human rights organisations, legal, medical and other professional associations have called for Mr Assange’s immediate release. They condemned the illegality of this extradition proceedings under procedural (breach of the right of a fair trial) and material grounds.

The EU Parliament, Parliamentarians, head of states and former head of States world-wide, legal practitioners and legal academics express concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting.

I join the growing collective concerns, which have been expressed about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting for press freedom and the assertion of the universal jurisdiction of the United States of America. The United Kingdom, a sovereign country with longstanding tradition in the upholding the rule of law, should refuse the abusive and illegal extradition request by the United States of America.

Former Secretary of State for the Home Department, Theresa May, has correctly halted Gary McKinnon’s extradition in recognition of the same psychiatric condition as Mr Assange.

There could be potentially fatal consequences if the United Kingdom chooses to pursue this extradition. Therefore, I urge you, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to uphold the rule of law and reject the extradition order.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Nobel Prize for Peace

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Assange awarded German Günter Wallraff Prize 2022 in journalism

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange receives the “Günter Wallraff Prize” at an event hosted by Deutschlandfunk in Cologne. The prize was awarded to his wife Stella Assange during the 6th Cologne Forum for Journalism Criticism. It honors critical journalism and civil courage on behalf of Günter Wallraff, Germany’s best-known investigative journalist.

Deutschlandfunk editor-in-chief Birgit Wentzien made a clear statement: “Putting grievances public is a core task of journalism. That is exactly what Julian Assange did. He has published documents leaked to him by his sources. Should Julian Assange be convicted for this, it would set a global precedent and act as a deterrent to reporters around the world. ‘Julian Assange affects us all’”.

Wallraff praised Assange for his tenacity as a journalist, who through his tenacity opened up a new world and was the type of a new person

“Julian’s trial is political and publicity is critical to how it will end. The prosecution is designed to silence Julian, remove him from public consciousness – and with him all the deaths of the tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan that he has exposed,” Stella said.

Further information, the detailed program and the live stream can be found at www.deutschlandfunk.de/journalismuskritik

The Forum for Criticism of Journalism is an event organized by the Deutschlandfunk newsroom and the News Enlightenment Initiative (INA), co-organized this year by the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.

Read Stella Assange’s recent interview about the award in German: „Die Rolle Deutschlands ist für den Fall Julian Assange entscheidend“

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Reporters Without Borders petition and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights letter to Priti Patel

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) delivered a petition last week, calling on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to reject the extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States.

They urged Patel not to sign the extradition order and instead act to protect journalism and press freedom by releasing Assange without further delay.

“We are grateful to supporters from around the world for signing this petition and adding their voices to the global call on the UK government not to extradite Julian Assange. The message is clear: a move to extradite Assange would be a move against journalism and press freedom. We call on Priti Patel to reject the extradition order and secure Assange’s immediate release, and will continue our global campaign until he is free,” said RSF Director of Operations and Campaigns Rebecca Vincent.

Commissioner calls on UK government not to extradite Julian Assange

In a letter, published May 10th, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, called on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel not to extradite Julian Assange.

“As I have previously stated, it is my position that, taking into account both these wider implications and the concerns raised by independent experts about Mr Assange’s treatment upon extradition, the government of the United Kingdom should not allow his extradition to the United States. I therefore call upon you to decide against the extradition of Mr Assange.” the letter says.

Letter from Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace laureate to UK Secretary of State Priti Patel

Nobel Peace laureate pens letter to UK Home Secretary calling for release of Julian Assange amid ‘violations of Mr. Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting for press freedom’

“The United Kingdom, a sovereign country with longstanding tradition in the upholding the rule of law, should refuse the abusive and illegal extradition request by the United States of America” the letter says.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate warned that “there could be potentially fatal consequences if the UK decides to go ahead with this extradition” of the WikiLeaks founder.

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Julian Assange documentary screening in London’s Curzon Soho Cinema

The documentary film “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange”, made by Clara López Rubio and Juan Pancorbo, was shown first time in London’s cinema last Wednesday. It has been broadcast previously on several European television outlets and shown at Film Festivals around the world.

The screening was followed up by a live Q&A with Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange, UK Member of Parliament Apsana Begum and the film director Clara López Rubio.

You can watch the full screening on Consortium News YouTube channel.

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Protest in front of Home Office to Free Assange

As Julian Assange’s defence submitted its final arguments to Home Secretary Priti Patel on May 17th, within two weeks she will make a decision whether or not to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

A protest was held in front of the Home Office in London where Assange’s partner Stella Assange addressed the crowd:

“Give the message loud and clear to Priti Patel and the Home Office and the entire British Government, that they should do the right thing, they should block this extradition. It is a political case and it has a political solution. And that is to end this now. “

UK MP Richard Burgon was in front of the Home Office to show support.

“The idea that people could tolerate an award-winning journalist being extradited to the United States to spend more than his whole life in a sentence behind bars is an absolute travesty. We all need to speak up for freedom of speech. This would be a political extradition and political extraditions should not be taking place.”

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hransson also made a statement to Priti Patel:

“Julian is a political prisoner and now Priti Patel has the life of Julian Assange in her hand. She can end this. Priti Patel might take this case to Boris Johnson, a former journalist himself. This is a reputation issue.”

Watch Kristinn Hrafnsson’s interview with Consortium News here.

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Parliamentary Actions Post

Parliamentary Representatives of Norwegian Storting ask the British not to extradite Assange

Norwegian parliamentary representatives have written a letter to the British Home Secretary Priti Patel asking her not to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

“The decision you are now about to make on behalf of the British government, is extremely important not only for your own country, but also for Europe and the rest of the world” the letter states.

Rødt’s Sofie Marhaug, who has taken the initiative for the letter said:

“I wish it was the government that took such an initiative, but I hope this letter from several representatives can help to pressure the British Home Secretary to drop extradition.”

The letter to Patel is also signed by Tobias Drevland Lund in Rødt, the four SV representatives Ingrid Fiskaa, Kathy Lie, Andreas Sjalg Unneland and Freddy André Øvstegård, Rasmus Hansson in MDG and Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen in Sp.

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Parliamentary Actions Post

Members of the European Parliament call for the immediate release of Julian Assange

12 May 2022, Brussels

At the initiative of PCP MEPs in the European Parliament (EP), 45 MEPs from various EP political groups call for the immediate release of Julian Assange.

The attached text appeals to the UK Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Ms. Priti Patel, to refuse the extradition of Julian Assange to the US and to the US Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland to drop the charges against Julian Assange with a view to his immediate release.

APPEAL

To the UK Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Priti Patel
To United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland

The British court’s decision to authorize Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States of America is a matter of greater concern.

It is important to remember that Julian Assange’s extradition request to the US had previously been refused on the grounds that there were risks to his life.

It is also recalled that in the opinion of a United Nations Special Rapporteur, Julian Assange is arbitrarily imprisoned and “has been deliberately exposed, over a number of years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the effects of which cumulative effects can only be described as psychological torture’.

The same rapporteur expresses concern that in the United States of America, Julian Assange faces the real risk of serious violations of his rights, including freedom of expression, a fair trial, the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading.

Julian Assange’s case is linked to the disclosure of information considered confidential, in particular about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, which exposed violations of international law, some of which amounted to war crimes.

The attempt to extradite, criminalize and arrest Julian Assange represents an unacceptable pressure, aimed at conditioning the publication of information of public interest. An attempt that cannot be dissociated from the processes of concentration of ownership and control of the media by transnational corporations, together with the increase in the precariousness of journalists’ labor relations, which constitutes a serious threat to pluralism, freedom of the press , expression and information.

Therefore, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament appeal:

  • To the British authorities, and in particular to Secretary of State Priti Patel, to refuse the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States of America;
  • The Administration of the United States of America to close the charges against Julian Assange;
  • To the immediate release of Julian Assage;

João PIMENTA LOPES
Sandra PEREIRA
Kateřina KONEČNÁ
Luke Ming FLANAGAN
Sira REGO
Mick WALLACE
Özlem DEMIREL
Stelios KOULOGLOU
Marisa MATIAS
Rosa D’AMATO
José GUSMÃO
Tatjana ŽDANOKA
Giorgos GEORGIOU
Saskia BRICMONT
Milan BRGLEZ
Maria ARENA
Patrick BREYER
Ivan Vilibor SINČIĆ
Manu PINEDA
Dino GIARRUSSO
Pernando BARRENA ARZA
Eleonora EVI
Carles PUIGDEMONT I CASAMAJÓ
Antoni COMÍN I OLIVERES
Clara PONSATÍ OBIOLS
Martin BUSCHMANN
Martin SONNEBORN
Niyazi KIZILYÜREK
Isabel SANTOS
Gwendoline DELBOS-CORFIELD
Anne-Sophie PELLETIER
Emmanuel MAUREL
Dietmar KÖSTER
Mikuláš PEKSA
Karen MELCHIOR
Ignazio CORRAO
Eugenia RODRÍGUEZ PALOP
Idoia VILLANUEVA RUIZ
Konstantinos ARVANITIS
Pierre LARROUTUROU
Eva KAILI
Marc BOTENGA
Miguel URBÁN CRESPO
Helmut SCHOLZ
Anja HAZEKAMP
Eleonora FORENZA (Ex Deputada do PE)

Originally published on pcp.pt.

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Journalists launch a manifesto in Brazil against the extradition of Julian Assange on World Press Freedom Day

Assange’s imprisonment and threat to extradite him are
assaults on press freedom around the world

On 3 May 2022, World Press Freedom Day, journalists around
the world make it their duty to pay tribute to Julian Assange.

Through his struggle, determination and example, Assange has
been instrumental to advancing knowledge and protecting the
right to information around the world.

Incarcerated in a maximum security prison in England and
threatened with extradition to the United States, where he
could face life imprisonment and the death penalty, his “crime”
is well known. He revealed secrets of the war machines of the
great powers, in particular the US empire and close allies.

He exposed lies, unmasked false heroes, and uncovered shady
dealings between governments. He verified allegations of
execution and torture of prisoners and journalists.

In an example of professional rigour, his revelations were
always accompanied by extensive documentation, photos and
videos whose veracity was never questioned.

This is the tragedy of freedom of the press on this May 3, 2022.
Assange is being persecuted – and may lose his life – because he
dared to tell the truth. He did not misrepresent the facts, he did
not omit, he did not lie or deceive. Nor did he lack the courage
to denounce what he discovered. He merely fulfilled his duty to
state the harsh reality of this 21st century of ours.

Because of the responsibilities he took on, because of the risks
he faced, Assange’s stay in prison represents a step towards the
creation of a state of exception on a global scale. A state,
compatible with a new international disorder that is already on
the horizon, threatening the freedom of men and women and
the self-determination of peoples.

In the name of his right to freedom – and for the preservation
of conquests that concern all of humanity – there is only one
right measure to take: Free Julian Assange now.

Brazilian Association of Journalism Education – ABEJ
Brazilian Press Association – ABI
Brazilian Association of Digital Media – ABMD
Brazilian Association of Journalism Researchers – SBPJOR
Association of Journalism Professionals – APJor
Centro Acadêmico Benedito Paixão – Journalism – PUC-SP
Centro Acadêmico Vladimir Herzog – Journalism – Cásper Líbero
National Federation of Journalists – FENAJ
Vladimir Herzog Institute – IVH
Brazilian Network of Environmental Journalism – RBJA
Network of Journalists for Diversity in Communication – Black
Journalists (Rede de Jornalistas pela Diversidade na
Comunicação – Jornalistas Pretos)
Union of Professional Journalists of Minas Gerais – SJMG
Union of Professional Journalist of Noth Paraná – Sindijor –
Paraná
Union of Professional Day Laborers in the State of São Paulo –
SJSP
Union of Professional Journalists of Rio de Janeiro – SJPERJ
Union of Professional Journalists of Bahia – SinjorBA

Media:
Jornalistas Livres
Inteligência Brasil Imprensa – IBI
Jornal 360
Media Quatro

Brazil – May 3, 2022

Categories
Events

Hacking Justice – Cinema Film Screening and Q&A

The documentary “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange” has been broadcast on several European television outlets and shown at Film Festivals around the world.

Directors: Clara López Rubio, Juan Pancorbo

When: 18 May, Doors 6pm GMT

Where: Curzon Soho Cinema, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5DY

Q&A with: Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange, UK Member of Parliament Apsana Begum and the film director Clara López Rubio.

The future of Julian Assange — and of investigative journalism — is now being decided by the British Home Secretary. If the WikiLeaks founder is extradited to the United States, he will face a sentence of up to 175 years for publishing US war crimes including torture, murder and human rights abuses.

For his lawyer, Baltasar Garzón, the pioneer of Universal Justice, much more is at stake than the freedom of an independent journalist and publisher. As head of Assange’s legal team, Garzón warns that the growing influence of intelligence services puts freedom of information, our right to know what our governments are doing, and democracy at risk.

Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post

Letter from 25 French deputies to President Macron – Find a solution with the USA to free Assange and defend the freedom to inform

Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post

Council of Europe – Extradition proceedings of Julian Assange pose global threat to press freedom

Annual Report 2022 by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists.

The case of Julian Assange has been particularly scrutinised. The Wikileaks founder has been in detention since April 2019 in the UK. Press freedom groups consider the US extradition proceedings, based on the US 1917 Espionage Act, as a global threat to national security reporting and whistleblowing, especially relating to actions taken by the military in situations of conflict that might amount to war crimes.

Journalists and lawyers, fear that it could set a dangerous precedent in the US where national security journalism has been largely protected by the Supreme Court’s 1971 landmark decision The New York Times. v. United States, which made possible the publication of the then classified Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War. However, the extra-territorial application of the US Espionage Act could also threaten any journalist anywhere for publishing classified US information. As the International Bar Association’s US correspondent Michael Goldhaber contends, it could “leave future publishers of intelligence leaks at the mercy of prosecutorial discretion”. A guilty verdict would also embolden governments around the world and give them a handy excuse to criminalise the release of national security or information about human rights abuses which have a clear public interest.

Read the full report here.

Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post

Cross Party group of 37 German parliamentarians call to stop extradition of Julian Assange on World Press Freedom day

Members of the German Bundestag

To:

Mr Richard Burgon MP
Mr David Davis MP
Ms Diane Abbot MP
Ms Caroline Lucas MP
Mr Tommy Sheppard Mp
Mr John McDonnell MP
Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP
Mr Kenny MacAskill MP
Ms Apsana Begum MP
Mr Ian Byrne MP
Mr Neale Hanvey MP
Ms Bell Addy-Ribeiro MP

Ms Claudia Webbe MP
Ms Kate Osborne MP
Mr Ian Lavery MP
Ms Zarah Sultana MP
Ms Joanna Cherry MP
Mr Martyn Day MP
Mr Stuart C McDonald MP
Mr Hywel Williams MP
Mr Grahame Morris MP
Mr Ben Lake MP
Mr Tony Lloyd MP
Ms Rachael Maskell MP

Berlin, May 3, 2022

Subject: Concern for Julian Assange, founder of the platform Wikileaks

Dear honourable Members of Parliament,
Esteemed colleagues in the United Kingdom,

As a cross-party group of parliamentarians of the German Bundestag, we have the honour to reach out to you, and to ask for your attention in a case that is currently of great concern to us, knowing that we share a mutual concern for the protection as well as the implementation of internationally recognized human rights. We have closely followed the fate of Julian Assange in the past; however, the current developments in his case arouse our concern all the more.


Mr Assange, founder of the platform Wikileaks, has not been granted to live in freedom for more than eleven years. Since April 2019 he has been imprisoned at HMP Belmarsh where he is waiting for the United Kingdom’s decision on his extradition requested by the United States of America. Because of his investigative journalistic work, including exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, he faces charges of up to 175 years in prison in the United States.

A free press, to which both the United Kingdom and Germany have committed, is a basic prerequisite for healthy democracies and a functioning rule of law. In line with several renowned human rights organisations, we are very concerned about the deterring effect that an extradition to and the persecution of Mr Assange in the United States might have on freedom of the press, investigative journalism, and freedom of expression worldwide. As elected representatives in the German Bundestag we consider an extradition as a fatal symbol for journalists and media publishers all over the world. Thus, we respectfully request you to use the means at your disposal to ensure that these potentially serious implications are taken into account in the final decision-making that now lies with the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt Hon Priti Patel.

Additionally, we fear for Mr Assange’s health as he currently remains and likely will remain in detention and prolonged isolation. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Professor Nils Melzer, has long warned that Julian Assange is showing symptoms of “psychological torture” and must therefore be released immediately. Mr Assange’s poor state of health was indeed the main argument of the British judiciary in its judgement of January 4, 2021, which prohibited extradition to an unforeseeably long U.S. custody. Yet, Mr Assange remains in solitary confinement in HMP Belmarsh, because the U.S. government insists on the extradition to which the London High Court eventually agreed on December 10, 2021 neglecting the ongoing concerns for his health. The renewed appeal by Mr Assange’s lawyers was not accepted.

We therefore kindly request you to ensure that the consequences an extradition might entail for Mr Assange’s life and health continue to be carefully taken into account. Human rights and hence the obligations according to the European Convention on Human Right to which the United Kingdom has committed must lie at the core of the final decision.

Esteemed Members of Parliament, in acknowledgement of the Resolution 2317 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and in the mutual recognition of our partnership and the bond of our shared values, we sincerely hope you will help building bridges in Julian Assange’s case. In your House and especially in your communication with the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt Hon Priti Patel, we kindly ask you to underline the consequences – for Mr Assange’s health as well as for freedom of the press worldwide – an extradition of Mr Assange would have.

We are looking forward to engaging in a conversation with you on this matter.

Please accept the assurance of our most distinguished consideration.

Respectfully yours,

Max Lucks MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Derya Türk-Nachbaur MP, SPD Parliamentary Group
Peter Heidt MP, FDP Parliamentary Group
Frank Schwabe MP, SPD Parliamentary Group
Sevim Dağdelen MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Jürgen Trittin MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Julian Pahlke MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Manuel Höferlin MP, FDP Parliamentary Group
Fabian Funke MP, SPD Parliamentary Group
Dr Gregor Gysi MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Deborah Düring MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Boris Mijatovic MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Erhard Grundl MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Janine Wissler MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Amira Mohamed Ali MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Tabea Rößner MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Axel Schäfer MP, SPD Parliamentary Group
Canan Bayram MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Dr André Hahn MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Dr Sahra Wagenknecht MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Matthias W. Birkwald MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Merle Spellerberg MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Helge Lindh MP, SPD Parliamentary Group
Christian Görke MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Misbah Khan MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Andrej Hunko MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Susanne Menge MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Anke Domscheit-Berg MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Dr Jan-Niclas Gesenhues MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Ates Gürpinar MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Johannes Wagner MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Thomas Lutze MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Kai Gehring MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Sören Pellmann MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Tobias Bacherle MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens
Dr Petra Sitte MP, Parliamentary Group The Left
Nyke Slawik MP, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens

Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post

Italian politicians urge UK government against Assange extradition

We, the undersigned men and women from the world of politics, journalism and academia, turn to you in view of the crucial decision that you are called to take with respect to the extradition request of the publisher and journalist Julian Assange, urging you not to accept this request. We believe that the decision will mark a fundamental page of the right to know, as well as the life of the accused and the condition of the rule of law.

 For three years, Julian Assange has been in pre-trial detention in a maximum security prison without any court having pronounced any definitive sentence against him. To them we must add another nine: it was Dec. 7, 2010, when he spontaneously introduced himself to Scotland Yard following a European mandate, issued by the Swedish judiciary, resolved with its dismissal. Since then, Assange has continued to face uninterrupted forms of detention.

 The founder of Wikileaks contributed to the understanding of the reasons why a democracy cannot and must not be at the origin of serious violations of human rights to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of civilians already oppressed by the bullying of despots and the absence of fundamental rights .

 The main international institutions and organisations dedicated to the defence and promotion of human rights have spoken out in favour of the release of Julian Assange. These are the same democratic institutions, founded following the devastation of the Second World War, to which we look with confidence and which have for some time been presenting a request to which we join and renew them: the end of the detention of Julian Assange.

 On Dec. 4, 2015, the UN Group of Experts on Arbitrary Detention stated that “the adequate remedy would be to guarantee Mr. Assange and to grant him the executive right to compensation, in accordance with Article 9 (5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

 On Dec. 21, 2018, the same Group specified that “States that base themselves and promote the rule of law do not like to deal with their own violations of the law. This is understandable. But when they honestly acknowledge these violations, they honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn greater respect, and set a laudable example around the world.”

 On April 5, 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, said he was alarmed by the possible extradition as the accused would risk suffering serious violations of his human rights, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, loss of freedom. of expression and deprivation of the right to a fair trial. On May 9 of the same year, Melzer visited Assange and found symptoms of “prolonged exposure to psychological torture.”

 On April 11, 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, said that the UK arbitrarily arrested the controversial publisher “probably endangering his life.” This statement is shared by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst.

 On Feb. 20, 2020, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, said: “Julian Assange’s potential extradition has human rights implications that go far beyond his individual case. The indictment raises important questions about the protection of those who publish confidential information in the public interest, including those exposing human rights violations. (…) any extradition in which the person involved is at real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment is contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

 Finally, on Dec. 10, 2021, Reporter Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire said, “we firmly believe that Julian Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism and we defend this case because of its dangerous implications for the future of journalism and press freedom in the world.”

What we fear is, on the one hand, the extension of Assange’s detention, the consequences of which could prove fatal for the accused and, on the other, a warning to the press to refrain from collecting and disclosing information even if disseminated in the public interest. We are convinced that it is possible to allow public opinion to know the reasons behind crucial political-military decisions without this conflicting with the security needs of citizens.

 For these reasons, we appeal to you, Minister, not to give the green light to the extradition of Julian Assange.

Signatories

Gianni Marilotti, senator

Andrea Marcucci, senator

Riccardo Nencini, senator

Roberto Rampi, senator

Elvira Evangelista, senator

Luciano D’Alfonso, senator

Tatiana Rojc, senator

Sandro Ruotolo, senator

Maurizio Buccarella, senator

Luisa Angrisani, senator

Danila De Lucia, senator

Francesco Verducci, senator

Mino Taricco, senator

Monica Cirinnà, senator

Andrea Ferrazzi, senator

Nicola Morra, senator

Paola Boldrini, senator

Primo Di Nicola, senator

Silvana Giannuzzi, senator

Giuseppe Pisani, senator

Gisella Naturale, senator

Francesco Giacobbe, senator

Luigi Di Marzio, senator

Elena Botto, senator

Fabrizio Ortis, senator

Margherita Corrado, senator

Fabrizio Trentacoste, senator

Simona Nocerino, senator

Marco Croatti, senator

Nicola Morra, senator

Mattia Crucioli, senator

Emma Pavanelli, senator

Maria Laura Mantovani, senator  (33 senators)

Sabrina Pignedoli, MEP

Clare Daly, MEP

Mick Wallace, Member of the European Parliament

Francesca Donato, MEP

Martin Buschmann, MEP

Dino Giarrusso, MEP

Pierre Larrouturou, MEP

Ivan Vilibor SINČIĆ, MEP

Gunnar Günter BECK, MEP

Chiara Maria Gemma, European deputy

Carles Puigdemont, MEP

Antoni Comín, MEP

Clara Ponsatí, MEP

Rosa D’Amato, member of the European Parliament

Joachim Kuhs, MEP

Marcel de Graaff, MEP

Stelios Kouloglou, MEP

José Gusmão, MEP

Daniela Rondinelli, MEP

Ignazio Corrao, MEP

Diana RIBA I GINER, MEP

Marisa Matias, European deputy

Gunnar Beck, MEP

Laura Ferrara, member of the European Parliament

Özlem Alev Demirel, MEP

Eleonora Evi, European deputy

Vincenzo Vita, former parliamentarian and former undersecretary for telecommunications

Alberto Maritati, former senator and former undersecretary of justice

Gian Giacomo Migone, former senator and former president of the Foreign Comm. Senate

Luciana Castellina, former deputy

Aldo Tortorella, former deputy

Alfonso Gianni, former deputy

Gianni Tamino former member of parliament and former member of the European Parliament

Beppe Giulietti, president of Fnsi

Tommaso Di Francesco, co-director of Il Manifesto

Giovanni Terzi, journalist

Elisa Marincola, Article 21 spokesperson

Stefano Corradino, director of Articolo21

Valerio Cataldi, journalist

Paolo Barretta, Charter of Rome

Stefania Maurizi, journalist

Salvatore Cannavò, journalist

Pier Virgilio Dastoli, professor of EU law

Marino Bisso, journalist, NoBavaglio Network

Daniele Lorenzi, president of Arci

Danilo De Biasio, director of the Human Rights Festival

Lorenzo Frigerio, Free Information coordinator

Paola Slaviero, writer

Nicoletta Bernardi, computer science at the University of Perugia

Francesco Maggiurana. pianist

Gemma Guerrini, former city councillor and researcher, Aipd member

Originally published at italianinsider.it.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Press freedom groups send letter calling on UK Home Secretary to free Assange

April 22, 2022 — PEN International joins Reporters Without Borders and 17 organisations – including English PEN, German PEN, PEN Melbourne, PEN Norway, PEN Sydney, Scottish PEN, Slovene PEN and Swedish PEN – in calling on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to reject Julian Assange’s extradition to the US and to release him from prison.

The Rt. Hon Priti Patel

Secretary of State for the Home Department

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

22 April 2022

Dear Home Secretary, We, the undersigned press freedom, free expression and journalists’ organisations are writing to express our serious concern regarding the possibility of extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States and to ask you to reject the US government’s extradition request. We also request a meeting with you to discuss these points further.

In March, the Supreme Court refused to consider Mr Assange’s appeal against the High Court decision, which overturned the District Court ruling barring extradition on mental health grounds. We are deeply disappointed with this decision given the high public interest in this case, which deserved review by the highest court in the land.

However, it is now in your hands to decide whether to approve or reject Mr Assange’s extradition to the US. The undersigned organisations urge you to act in the interest of press freedom and journalism by refusing extradition and immediately releasing Mr Assange from prison, where he has remained on remand for three years despite the great risks posed to his mental and physical health.

In the US, Mr Assange would face trial on 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which combined could see him imprisoned for up to 175 years. He is highly likely to be detained there in conditions of isolation or solitary confinement despite the US government’s assurances, which would severely exacerbate his risk of suicide.

Further, Mr Assange would be unable to adequately defend himself in the US courts, as the Espionage Act lacks a public interest defence. His prosecution would set a dangerous precedent that could be applied to any media outlet that published stories based on leaked information, or indeed any journalist, publisher or source anywhere in the world.

We ask you, Home Secretary, to honour the UK government’s commitment to protecting and promoting media freedom and reject the US extradition request. We ask you to release Mr Assange from Belmarsh prison and allow him to return to his young family after many years of isolation. Finally, we ask you to publicly commit to ensuring that no publisher, journalist or source ever again faces detention in the UK for publishing information in the public interest.

We request to schedule a meeting at your earliest convenience, and would be grateful for a prompt response. Please reply via Azzurra Moores at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) at amoores@rsf.org.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Vincent, Director of Operations and Campaigns, Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19

Mark Johnson, Legal and Policy Officer, Big Brother Watch

Dr Suelette Dreyfus, Executive Director, Blueprint for Free Speech

Daniel Gorman, Director, English PEN

Laurens Hueting, Senior Advocacy Officer, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Ralf Nestmeyer, Vice-President and Writers-in-Prison Officer, German PEN

Index on Censorship

Anthony Bellanger, General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Séamus Dooley, Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Journalists

Romana Cacchioli, Executive Director, PEN International

Christine McKenzie, President, PEN International Melbourne Centre

Kjersti Løken Stavrum, President, PEN Norway

Zoë Rodriguez, joint President, PEN Sydney, and Chair of the PEN International Women Writers Committee

Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation

Ricky Monahan Brown, President, Scottish PEN

Tanja Tuma, President, Slovene PEN

Jesper Bengtsson, President, Swedish PEN

For further details contact Aurélia Dondo at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 e-mail: Aurelia.dondo@pen-international.org


This was first posted by PEN International

See also: UK: RSF launches new #FreeAssange petition as Home Secretary considers extradition order


Categories
Post Press Clippings

One step closer to extradition: rights groups call on Home Secretary to free Assange

April 22, 2022 — On Wednesday, a UK magistrates judge ordered the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, where he will face an unpredented prosecution threatening 175 years in prison for publishing truthful information in the public interest.

The decision now moves to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, to sign off on the extradition order. The defense have until May 18 to file an application to appeal the extradition order on the substantive issues —like a politicized prosecution and the threats to press freedom— back at the UK’s High Court. 

Rights groups around the world condemned the latest legal development and are calling on Patel to halt the extradition.

PEN International and 18 other press freedom groups signed a new letter to the Home Secretary, calling for Assange’s freedom

“We, the undersigned press freedom, free expression and journalists’ organisations are writing to express our serious concern regarding the possibility of extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States and to ask you to reject the US government’s extradition request. We also request a meeting with you to discuss these points further.”

National Union of Journalists: Assange’s fate in Priti Patel’s hands

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also spoke to protestors outside the court. He told them:

“There is still a chance for this Government to do the right thing, bring this case to a close, and free Julian Assange. I call on them to do that at once”.

 Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“This Government seems confused about press freedom. It promises legislation to make SLAPPs more difficult, but is allowing this extradition to continue, when it is clear that the US is trying to prosecute Julian Assange for actions that are commonplace for journalists the world over”.

Reporters without Borders launches new #FreeAssange petition as Home Secretary considers extradition orderReporters without Borders launches new #FreeAssange petition as Home Secretary considers extradition order

“Following a district court order referring the extradition of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange back to the Home Office, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched a new petition calling on Home Secretary Priti Patel to reject Assange’s extradition to the United States. RSF urges supporters to join the call on the Home Secretary to #FreeAssange by signing and sharing the petition before 18 May!


The next four weeks will prove crucial in the fight to block extradition and secure the release of Julian Assange. Through this petition, we are seeking to unite those who care about journalism and press freedom to hold the UK government to account. The Home Secretary must act now to protect journalism and adhere to the UK’s commitment to media freedom by rejecting the extradition order and releasing Assange,” said RSF’s Director of Operations and Campaigns Rebecca Vincent, who monitored proceedings on RSF’s behalf.”

Sign the petition here.

Amnesty International’s secretary general Agnés Callamard speaks to the New York Times

“The extradition of Julian Assange would also be devastating for press freedom and for the public, who have a right to know what their governments are doing in their name.”

Stella Assange’s speech outside of court

More reactions from human rights & press freedom groups

Categories
Post Press Release

Letter from Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace laureate

URGENT

A court in Great Britain ordered the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. This decision leads to a death sentence for defending freedom of the press.

We call on all media, journalists who fight for freedom to speak out and demand the freedom of Julian Assange who with civic courage, publishes US documents that violate human and peoples’ rights.

Allowing Julian to be extradited is a threat to freedom of the press and a grave warning to those who question the repressive policies and serious violations of human and peoples’ rights committed by the United States.

Julian Assange is a victim of US policy of oppression for defending freedom of the press.

We reject the decision of the British justice system and demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Nora Cortiña

Madre Linea Fundadora

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Julian Assange awarded the Audálio Dantas trophy for Indignation, Courage and Hope, in São Paulo, Brazil

The Audálio Dantas trophy Indignation, Courage and Hope was awarded to the Australian journalist, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and given to Carmen Diniz, coordinator of the Brazil Chapter of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity to Peoples by historian José Luis Del Royo.

The ceremony took place at Vladimir Herzog Memorial Square and was attended by hundreds of people, including journalists, students, activists and important personalities in the country’s recent history.

The ceremony was organized by the Oboré Projetos Especiais, associations of journalists and other entities that support freedom of expression and human rights.

The representative undertook to send the trophy to Assange and his family, as well as information on all the activities carried out there and their importance. She also stressed that “The worst thing that can happen to someone in prison is to think they are alone.”

The trophy awarded is a sculpture of Saint George, patron saint of journalists, in a stylized image in which instead of wielding a spear, he carries a microphone and a tape recorder in the fight against the dragon of evil. It should be noted that Saint George is also the patron saint of England, the country where Julian Assange is incarcerated in the maximum security prison of Belmarsh in London. “I hope all this symbolism contributes to Assange finally being released from the unjust prison in which he finds himself.”

Originally published here.

Audálio Dantas trophy of Indignation, Courage and Hope
Categories
Post Press Clippings

Three years since Julian Assange’s arrest from the Ecuador Embassy – Reactions & Statements

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Federal President Karen Percy

“The charges against Assange are an affront to journalists everywhere and a threat to press freedom. “The US Government must see reason and drop these charges, and the Australian Government should be doing all it can to represent the interests of an Australian citizen.”

Australian Independent Federal MP Andrew Wilkie

Sevim Dağdelen, MP, Foreign policy & Arms Exports & Disarmament, Member of the German Bundestag

DIE LINKE is calling on the German government to work with the British government to end the political persecution of Julian Assange.

PEN International and PEN Melbourne

‘Dear Members of Parliament, Senators and concerned citizens,

At 11 am on the 11th April, 2022, a delegation from PEN International will visit the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street, Melbourne to present an Open Letter calling for the immediate release of Julian Assange and a halt to the extradition.

International Federation of Journalists

Amnistía Internacional España

Amnesty Australia

Monday 11 April marks three years since Julian Assange’s arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He remains behind bars at Belmarsh, a high security prison in the UK.

Together we can take the next step – pick up the phone and call your MP.

Stefan Simanowitz, Amnesty International Media manager

Amnistia Internacional Catalunya

Open Letter to US President Joe Biden from Progressive Leaders including Dilma Rousseff, Yanis Varoufakis, Roger Waters, Horvat Srecko and others calling to drop the charges against Julian Assange. With International Peoples’ Assembly.

Reporters Without Borders

Rebecca Vincent, Director of Operations and Campaigns Reporters Without Borders

Canan Bayram, lawyer and Member of the German Bundestag

Srecko Horvat, Croatian Philosopher

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek economist and politician

Democracy in Europe Movement 2025

Clare Daly, Member of the European parliament

Nicola Morra, Senator of Italy

Human Rigths Institute in Slovakia

Peoples Dispatch

Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

João Pedro Stedile, Brazilian economist

Defending Rights & Dissent

Code Pink

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Progressive Leaders call on US President Joe Biden to drop the charges against Julian Assange

On the third anniversary of Julian Assange’s imprisonment at Belmarsh Prison in London, progressive leaders, intellectuals, and former heads of state from across the world including including Dilma Rousseff, Yanis Varoufakis, Roger Waters, and others, call on US officials to drop the charges against him.

Today also marks the three year anniversary of when Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by the Metropolitan Police, arrested, and put in Belmarsh Prison. He is being held there while the UK courts deliberate on the request to extradite him to the United States where he will stand trial for the 18 charges, many of which are under the Espionage Act, and where he faces a maximum sentence of 175 years.

If extradited and charged, it would be the first time a publisher would be convicted under the Espionage Act and it would mark a dangerous precedent for the right to Free Speech and Press Freedom not only in the US but across the globe.

Assange who while in prison has already suffered suicide attempts, psychological torture, COVID-19 outbreaks, and a severe deterioration of his physical and mental health has stated that his extradition to the US would be akin to a death sentence.

Many, including the signatories of the letter, have denounced the persecution faced by Assange as retaliation for his brave work with Wikileaks to, as a journalist, uncover the truth about the crimes committed by governments across the world.

Stand with Assange, stand for press freedom.

Read the letter here:

Categories
Events

3 Brussels Events – Europe Free Assange

The Case of Julian Assange – University Lecture

On Friday 22nd April at 7:30pm CET Christophe Marchand and Dr Deepa Driver and Roger Waters will speak at a lecture about the case of Julian Assange, organized by the EU Free Assange campaign. This university lecture discussion aims to introduce the “EU Free Assange Concert/Rally” taking place on 23rd April 2022 in Brussels. A call to action so the people of Europe can voice their support for freeing Julian Assange, as well as a reminder that it is our leaders who are increasingly put on trial by this historical case.

Location

50 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Date & Time

Fri, April 22, 2022, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM CEST

Register to attend here.

Support the EU Free Assange Rally in Brussels, check out the fundraiser here.

EU Free Assange Concert/Rally

Free Assange Wave is organizing a gathering and concert outside the EU Parliament to call on EU institutions to take a clear stand to call on Freeing Julian Assange.

This Rally in Brussels on 23 April 2022 will bring together politicians and artists in support of Julian Assange and activists and friends of press freedom. If you would like to participate in the event as a journalist or NGO please contact us.

The world famous ´Chicks on Speed´ music Ensemble will be giving an Open-Air Concert, bringing with them their many fans to join the Free Assange movement, which is growing every day! This together with a fantastic film crew of the band including Prof. Florian Schneider (Film director for Arte & Kein Mensch ist Illegal), Joen Vedel & Mohammad Bayesteh (Camera men) who will live stream the Concert & Speeches through numerous channels across the globe.

Prominent speakers such as Nils Melzer (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture), Anthony Bellanger (International Federation of Journalists), Ögmund Jönasson (former Icelandic Minister of Justice and Human Rights) & Dr Deepa Driver (ICMA Centre) will make the voice of Europeans´ outrage clearly heard on stage between songs especially composed for Julian, as we face the Extradition of the Award-Winning Journalist for Peace, to the State that threatened to murder him.

Location

Place de la Monnaie, 1000 Bruselles, Belgium

Date & Time

Saturday, April 23, 2022, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM CEST

Find the details for the Open Air Concert here. Register here.

Hacking Justice – Documentary Film Screening

The documentary “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange” has been broadcast on several European television outlets and shown at Film Festivals around the world.

The screening will follow with live discussion and Q&A with film’s director Clara Lopez, Deepa Driver and Davide Dormino.

Date & Time: Sat, April 23, 2022, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CEST

Location: Cinéma Vendôme, 18 Chaussée de Wavre, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

Register here.

Categories
Events

Hacking Justice: Julian Assange – Film Screening and Q&A

The documentary “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange” has been broadcast on several European television outlets and shown at Film Festivals around the world.

Directors: Clara López Rubio, Juan Pancorbo

When: Monday, April 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM BST

Where: Khalili Lecture Theatre(KLT), SOAS University, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG

Hosted by SOAS ICOP – an innovative front-line project addressing the democratic deficit between UK universities and UK politics.

The screening will follow with live discussion of invited guests, musician and artist Brian Eno, journalist Peter Oborne and the director of the film Clara López Rubio.

The future of Julian Assange — and of investigative journalism — is now being decided in the British Courts. If the WikiLeaks founder is extradited to the United States, he will face a sentence of up to 175 years for publishing US war crimes including torture, murder and other human rights abuses.

For his lawyer, Baltasar Garzón, the pioneer of Universal Justice, much more is at stake than the freedom of an independent journalist and publisher. As head of Assange’s legal team, Garzón warns that the growing influence of intelligence services puts freedom of information, our right to know what our governments are doing, and democracy at risk.

With privileged access to Assange and Wikileaks for nine years, “Hacking Justice: Julian Assange” follows the controversial characters united against the world’s most powerful state in a standoff which is not over yet.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Stella Moris statement on UK Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Assange Appeal

Reacting to the UK Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Julian Assange’s appeal, his fiancee Stella Moris said:

“Just this morning on our way to school, our four-year-old son asked me when daddy will come home. Julian’s life is being treated as if it were expendable. He has been robbed of over a decade of liberty, and three years from his home and his young children who are being forced to grow up without their father. A system that allows this is a system that has lost its way.

Whether Julian is extradited or not, which is the same as saying whether he lives or dies, is being decided through a process of legal avoidance. Avoiding to hear arguments that challenge the UK courts’ deference to unenforceable and caveated claims regarding his treatment made by the United States, the country that plotted to murder him. The country whose atrocities he brought into the public domain. Julian is the key witness, the principle indicter, and the cause of enormous embarrassment to successive US governments.

Julian was just doing his job, which was to publish the truth about wrongdoing. His loyalty is the same as that which all journalists should have: to the public. Not to the spy agencies of a foreign power. He published evidence that the country that is trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; that it committed gross violations that killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children; that it tortured and rendered; that it bombed children, had death squads, and murdered Reuters journalists in cold blood; that it bribed foreign officials and bullied less powerful countries into harming their own citizens, and that it also corrupted allied nations’ judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. For this, that country wants him in prison for 175 years.

Now the extradition will formally move to a political stage. Julian’s fate now lies in the hands of Home Secretary Priti Patel. This is a political case and she can end it. It is in her hands to prove that the UK is better than all of this. Patel can end Britain’s exposure to international ridicule because of Julian’s incarceration. It takes political courage but that is what it needed to preserve an open society that protects publishers from foreign persecution.

The cruelty against Julian is corrupting. It corrupts our most cherished values and institutions. They will be extinguished and lost forever unless this travesty is brought to an end.

The fight for freedom will go on, until he’s freed.”

Read the Supreme Court Application here:
https://dontextraditeassange.com/permissiontoappeal.pdf

Read the Supreme Courts decision here:
https://dontextraditeassange.com/supremecourtrefusal.jpeg

Read the statement by Assange’s lawyers here: 
https://dontextraditeassange.com/BirnbergPeirceStatement.pdf

Categories
Press Release

UK Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in Assange extradition

UK Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in Assange extradition. The case now moves to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to authorize the extradition.

Julian Assange’s solicitors Birnberg Peirce statement on Supreme Court Decision:

Assange application for permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court

UK Supreme Court order refusing #Assange permission to appeal

Categories
Events

EU Free Assange Rally Brussels

This online panel aims to introduce the “EU Free Assange Concert/Rally” taking place on 23rd April 2022 in Brussels. A call to action so the people of Europe can voice their support for freeing Julian Assange, as well as a reminder that it is our leaders who are increasingly put on trial by this historical case.

In collaboration with DEA Campaign, the EU Free Assange campaign are hosting a promotional event where speakers invited can give a taster of the main event & encourage people to attend #FreeAssange Brussels rally.

Moderated by:
John Rees – national officer of the Stop the War Coalition, National Co-ordinator for Don’t Extradite Assange campaign;

Featuring:
Ernest Sagaga – Human Rights and Safety at International Federation of Journalists;
Jeremy Corbyn – member of Parliament of the United Kingdom;
Dr. Deepa Driver – member of the National Executive Committee of UCU (University and College Union)
Stelios Kouloglou – journalist, Member of the European Parliament – GUE/NGL
Ögmundur Jónasson – Member of Parliament in Iceland, former Interior Minister

On 22nd April 7.30pm (CET) a lecture will be given at the Free University ULB Brussels by Dr Deepa Driver & Christophe Marchand on: Europe, Justice & Press Freedom: The Case of Julian Assange.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

Julian Assange awarded Dr Karl Renner Solidarity prize by Austrian Journalists’ Club ÖJC

The Austrian Journalists’ Club ÖJC presented the 2021 Journalist Awards, as part of Austrian Media Day, Dr Karl Renner Solidarity prize to Julian Assange. His partner and fiancée Stella Moris accepted the award in Vienna on Monday evening saying “There is a dark cloud hanging over Europe, over Belmarsh prison in London, over the whole world. As long as Julian Assange is imprisoned, there will no longer be freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson also took part of the ceremony in Vienna. He described that in the Julian Assange case the truth has been imprisoned and those in power will stop at nothing to cover up their wrongdoings.

Categories
Events

Julian Assange: Justice and Journalism

20 February 2022

NUJ Manchester & Salford branch’s expert panel of speakers, to hear about the latest developments in Julian Assange’s case and find out what you can do to support him.

Chaired by:
Professor Chris Frost, of the NUJ’s Ethics Committee

with:
Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner
Tim Dawson, executive Member, the National Union of Journalists of Britain and Ireland
Mohamed Elmaazi, journalist, editor
Ian Hodson, elected president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)

Stop the extradition! Support Julian Assange!

Categories
Events

FPA Briefing on The Trial of Julian Assange with Nils Melzer – UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

18 February, ONLINE

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor of International Law at Glasgow University and Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy started his investigation into how the US and UK governments were working to ensure a conviction.
His findings are explosive, revealing that Julian Assange has faced grave and systematic persecution, due process violations, judicial bias, collusion and manipulated evidence.


Melzer’s expert and compelling investigation puts the UK state into the dock, showing how, through secrecy, impunity and – crucially – public indifference, unchecked power reveals a deeply undemocratic system.
Furthermore, the Assange case sets a dangerous precedent: once telling the truth becomes a crime, censorship and tyranny inevitably follow.

Watch FPA’s press briefing with Nils Melzer from Friday 18th February, where he explains what he has discovered and why this is important now.

Categories
Post Press Release

Assange-Pak NFT auction reaches more than $50 million

9 February 2022

The much-anticipated auction of NFT collection ‘Censored’, a collaboration between political prisoner Julian Assange and renowned artist Pak reached more than $50 million today before the first part of the auction closed.

The collection consists of two parts: an auction of a single artwork ‘Clock’ (1 of 1) and a separate pay-what-you-like Open Edition. The proceeds from the auctioned single artwork Clock will raise funds for Julian Assange’s legal battle. The auction site is https://censored.art.

The Open Edition artwork generates a customized NFT based on the message entered by each collector. https://censored.art/message. Proceeds from the Open Edition will go to organizations chosen by Julian Assange and Pak that fight censorship, champion press freedom, or defend fundamental rights.
The Collaboration: ‘Censored’ [https://censored.art] is a digital art collection exploring the concept of freedom, and is a collaboration between Julian Assange and record-breaking NFT artist Pak. It was unveiled over two weeks ago. ‘Censored’ is a two-part collection. The first part of the collaboration is a one of a kind generative interactive blockchain artwork titled Clock.

The Clock changed daily as it displays the number of days that Julian Assange has been imprisoned. Pak has described the artwork as “dynamic and generative”. “Dynamic” means that the digital art piece changes over time. “Generative” means that the artwork is generated directly from the artist’s instructions on the blockchain. ‘Clock’ is expected to attract major collectors and NFT-world cooperative funds known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

The second part of the collection is an interactive Open Edition [https://censored.art/message], which will also run for 48 hours. All proceeds from the Open Edition will go to organizations chosen by Julian Assange and Pak to fight censorship, champion press freedom, or defend fundamental rights.

The Open Edition artworks are generated by anyone who wants to participate and can be acquired “at any price you desire, even free” https://twitter.com/muratpak/status/1489875628304351238. Pak’s record-breaking collection ‘Merge’ set the record for open editions with 30,000 collectors and grossing US $91.8 million.

Both Clock and the Open Edition artworks are interlinked and transform in response to Julian Assange’s imprisonment or liberation.

Notes

AssangeDAO was loosely modeled on FreeRossDAO (https://www.freerossdao.org/), which raised over US $12 million to bid on the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection. More details about AssangeDAO can be found at the following links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AssangeDAO
Amount Contributed So Far: https://juicebox.money/#/p/assangedao
More statistics about AssangeDAO: https://dune.xyz/jonasssss/assangedao
Background Info: https://assangedao.org
Chat: http://discord.gg/assangedao

What are DAOs?

DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, are organizations whose “articles of incorporation” run on the blockchain. They have proven to be extraordinarily effective fundraising vehicles, especially in short time frames. A DAO is a collective of people who organize online to pool their resources, skills, and time to achieve the stated goals of the DAO. The structure and objectives are determined by its members. The management of a DAO is then automated on the blockchain, allowing people from around the world to come together for a common purpose without having to trust each other.

The Creators

Renowned digital artist Pak is one of the highest grossing artists alive, known for pushing conceptual and stylistic boundaries. Pak became a household name in the traditional art world after Sotheby’s auctioned his collection ‘The “Fungible’ in April 2021, selling for US $16.8 million. In December 2021, Pak again made headlines as his collection ‘The Merge’ set a new record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist at US $91.8 million, surpassing Jeff Koons’s “Rabbit”.

Australian award-winning author and publisher Julian Assange is the world’s most famous living political prisoner and freedom of speech campaigner. The US government is seeking his extradition to put him on trial for publishing documents evidencing war crimes against civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as torture in Guantanamo Bay. Julian Assange faces a 175-year prison sentence if the US government gets its way. Press freedom organizations warn that the legal precedent will cripple free speech protections worldwide. WikiLeaks specializes in publishing censored documents of diplomatic, political, ethical, or historical significance. WikiLeaks is credited for sparking democratic revolutions, exposing corruption, war crimes, big pharma, the banks, and environmental disasters, and of bringing evidence of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial killings onto the public record. Julian Assange, who has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, has been imprisoned in London’s notorious Belmarsh prison for over one thousand days.

For more information follow:

twitter.com/assangedao
twitter.com/muratpak
twitter.com/wikileaks
twitter.com/gabrielshipton
twitter.com/stellamoris1

Categories
Post Press Release

Assange-Pak NFT raises US $39 million ahead of auction today

7 February 2022

The much-anticipated auction of NFT collection ‘Censored’, a collaboration between political prisoner Julian Assange and renowned artist Pak will launch today, the same day set by the UK Supreme Court for Julian Assange to file his appeal against US extradition.

  • The collection consists of two parts: an auction of a single artwork ‘Clock’ (1 of 1) and a separate pay-what-you-like Open Edition.
  • The proceeds from the auctioned single artwork Clock will raise funds for Julian Assange’s legal battle.
  • The auction site is https://censored.art
  • Both the auction for Clock and the sale of the Open Edition start today at 14:00 London, 09:00 New York, 17:00 Moscow, 19:30 New Delhi, 22:00 Hong Kong, 01:00 (8th February) Sydney.
  • The auction for Clock and the sale of the Open Edition will run for 48 hours.
  • The Open Edition artwork generates a customized NFT based on the message entered by each collector. https://censored.art/message
  • Proceeds from the Open Edition will go to organizations chosen by Julian Assange and Pak that fight censorship, champion press freedom, or defend fundamental rights.
  • One of the bidders on Clock, AssangeDAO, has raised US $39 million (12,760 ETH) to deploy at the auction.

The Collaboration: ‘Censored’

‘Censored’ [https://censored.art] is a digital art collection exploring the concept of freedom, and is a collaboration between Julian Assange and record-breaking NFT artist Pak. It was unveiled over the weekend.

‘Censored’ is a two-part collection.

The first part of the collaboration is a one of a kind generative interactive blockchain artwork titled Clock. AssangeDAO, one of the bidders, has raised $39 million to deploy at the auction.

Pak tweeted: “Clock (1/1) [Auction] A muted timer. It currently counts Julian Assange’s days in prison.”

Clock changes daily as it displays the number of days that Julian Assange has been imprisoned. All proceeds from Clock will go to support Julian Assange’s defense.

Pak has described the artwork as “dynamic and generative”. “Dynamic” means that the digital art piece changes over time. “Generative” means that the artwork is generated directly from the artist’s instructions on the blockchain. ‘Clock’ is expected to attract major collectors and NFT-world cooperative funds known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

The second part of the collection is an interactive Open Edition [https://censored.art/message], which will also run for 48 hours. All proceeds from the Open Edition will go to organizations chosen by Julian Assange and Pak to fight censorship, champion press freedom, or defend fundamental rights.

The Open Edition artworks are generated by anyone who wants to participate and can be acquired “at any price you desire, even free” https://twitter.com/muratpak/status/1489875628304351238. Pak’s record-breaking collection ‘Merge’ set the record for open editions with 30,000 collectors and grossing US $91.8 million.

Both Clock and the Open Edition artworks are interlinked and transform in response to Julian Assange’s imprisonment or liberation.

The collaboration between Julian Assange and Pak was kept under wraps for months. On January 5th, Pak’s Twitter account @muratpak tweeted “nine hundred ninety nine”, signifying the number of days that Julian Assange had spent in prison. The following day, @muratpak tweeted “define freedom”, followed by “freedom as a medium” and linked to a WikiLeaks tweet: https://twitter.com/muratpak/status/1479233014957846534

Battle of the DAOs

The auction for the single edition is expected to bring about a major bidding war between DAOs.

One of the DAOs planning to bid on the NFT has already broken records. AssangeDAO (@AssangeDAO) launched at 22:32 GMT on 3 February. By Sunday night, it had surpassed the previous most successful NFT-buying DAO, ConstitutionDAO, which was formed to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution. To date, AssangeDAO has raised US $39 million (12,760 ETH) from over 7000 contributors. Contributions range from many small transactions of under US $10 to US $2 million at current Ethereum exchange rates. The median contribution is approximately US $600 (0.2 ETH). The DAO is still open for contributions and each contributor gets a share of the NFTs purchased by the DAO.

AssangeDAO’s mission statement is to “raise funds to help with his legal fees and campaigns to increase public awareness on the systemic failure of our justice systems” and “to inspire a powerful solidarity network and fight for the freedom of Julian Assange”.

US whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: “The Assange NFT is doing real numbers. Very much looks like a protest vote against the White House’s abuse of the Espionage Act.” https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/1490367060827938819

AssangeDAO was loosely modeled on FreeRossDAO (https://www.freerossdao.org/), which raised over US $12 million to bid on the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection. More details about AssangeDAO can be found at the following links:

What are DAOs?

DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, are organizations whose “articles of incorporation” run on the blockchain. They have proven to be extraordinarily effective fundraising vehicles, especially in short time frames. A DAO is a collective of people who organize online to pool their resources, skills, and time to achieve the stated goals of the DAO. The structure and objectives are determined by its members. The management of a DAO is then automated on the blockchain, allowing people from around the world to come together for a common purpose without having to trust each other.

The Creators

Renowned digital artist Pak is one of the highest grossing artists alive, known for pushing conceptual and stylistic boundaries. Pak became a household name in the traditional art world after Sotheby’s auctioned his collection ‘The “Fungible’ in April 2021, selling for US $16.8 million. In December 2021, Pak again made headlines as his collection ‘The Merge’ set a new record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist at US $91.8 million, surpassing Jeff Koons’s “Rabbit”.

Australian award-winning author and publisher Julian Assange is the world’s most famous living political prisoner and freedom of speech campaigner. The US government is seeking his extradition to put him on trial for publishing documents evidencing war crimes against civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as torture in Guantanamo Bay. Julian Assange faces a 175-year prison sentence if the US government gets its way. Press freedom organizations warn that the legal precedent will cripple free speech protections worldwide. WikiLeaks specializes in publishing censored documents of diplomatic, political, ethical, or historical significance. WikiLeaks is credited for sparking democratic revolutions, exposing corruption, war crimes, big pharma, the banks, and environmental disasters, and of bringing evidence of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial killings onto the public record. Julian Assange, who has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, has been imprisoned in London’s notorious Belmarsh prison for over one thousand days.

How will it work?

Both the auction of Clock and the sale of the Open Edition will take place on https://censored.art.

NFTs are typically auctioned over a period of 24 to 48 hours. NFTs are traded using blockchain technology and are usually sold on the Ethereum network. The currency is ETH.

The code for the NFTs will be contained within the Ethereum blockchain itself. This means that the computer code that generates the artwork exists on the blockchain and can therefore not be manipulated, corrupted, removed, or censored. This ensures data permanence and avoids the problems associated with some so-called ‘JPEG’ NFTs that rely on links to external servers.

Follow:

twitter.com/assangedao
twitter.com/muratpak
twitter.com/wikileaks
twitter.com/gabrielshipton
twitter.com/stellamoris1

Categories
Events

Assange case & Supreme Court Appeal Decision

On January 24 the UK’s High Court announced that it has certified a point of law for Julian Assange to be able to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The decision comes after Assange raised three points of law of general public importance that have an impact on the procedural and human rights safeguards of a wide range of other types of cases. However it’s still up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it will review the case.

This Friday we will hear responses from Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner, Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief.
Moderating will be Suzie Gilbert, filmmaker.

When: 6:30pm GMT, Jan 28, 2022

For our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube livestream tune in here: linktr.ee/DEAcampaign

Categories
Hearing Coverage Post Press Clippings

Assange extradition argument certified for UK Supreme Court appeal

24 January 2022

In an extremely brief court hearing in London this morning, the UK’s High Court announced that it has certified a point of law for Julian Assange to be able to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court. The High Court ruled not to allow the appeal itself but to certify the question of what stage in the extradition hearing process ‘assurances’ can or should be introduced. Assange is now allowed to apply to appeal on that specific point to the UK Supreme Court.

In January 2021, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that it would be oppressive to extradite Assange on the grounds that it would drive him to suicide. The U.S. government appealed that decision, in part on the grounds that it should have been allowed to offer the district court “assurances” regarding Assange’s prospective treatment in the United States during the extradition hearing rather than afterward on appeal. The High Court overturned the lower court’s ruling, partially on the point that the judge should have informed the U.S. that it was “minded” to rule in Assange’s favor and allowed the U.S. government to offer assurances.

Assange will now appeal this point to the Supreme Court, which must first decide whether to allow an appeal hearing before setting a date. 

Journalists attempting to cover today’s legal proceedings remotely were provided with a video link just minutes before court was in session. However, they were never actually able to see what transpired in court, viewing only a blank screen instead. Those of us reporting on today’s developments had to rely on public tweets from those physically in attendance in London. 

Categories
Hearing Coverage Post Press Clippings

Explanatory Background Note: High Court Decision in USA v Julian Assange Extradition Proceedings

24 January 2022

Categories
Hearing Coverage Post Press Clippings

Julian Assange’s Supreme Court Certification Application

Categories
Post Press Clippings

The UK High Court will deliver its decision on Monday morning on the Assange case

The UK High Court will deliver its decision on Monday morning at 10.45am about whether to permit Julian Assange to appeal the US extradition decision to UK Supreme Court on points of law of general public importance. Julian Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris will be there to give a statement.

The judgment will either:

1) Certify that the point(s) of law raised by Julian Assange are of general public importance–thus giving him permission to lodge an application with the UK Supreme Court; or

2) Deny such certification, in which case the extradition order will pass to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to authorise or deny Assange’s extradition.

The judges making the decision about whether to permit the appeal to proceed to the UK Supreme Court are the same ones who heard the High Court appeal, LCJ Ian Burnett and LJ Tim Holroyde, and who reversed the magistrate’s decision refusing Julian’s extradition to the US.

The judgment will be read out at 10.45am, London time at Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand WC2A 2LL (Opposite Australia House).

Background:

On 10 December 2021, the High Court reversed the district judge’s earlier decision refusing the US request for Assange’s extradition on the basis that to extradite him would be ‘oppressive’ (s.91) because it would have a real risk of causing his death.

After ruling in favour of the US, Assange asked the same High Court judges to certify a number of points of law of general public importance in order to appeal to the Supreme Court. Only if the High Court judges certify at least one can his appeal be sent to the Supreme Court.

Questions arise of the fairness of allowing the US to wait until it had lost at the evidentiary hearing (the primary extradition hearing at the magistrate’s court, which Assange won), to introduce ‘diplomatic assurances’ when the US appealed its loss.

In Julian’s case this has extreme ramifications because the so-called ‘assurances’ contain clauses allowing the US to unilaterally reverse the ‘assurances’, so it would lead to the precise opposite outcome of exposing Assange to extreme conditions.

In Julian Assange’s case, anything he has said or done, publicly or privately, since 6 February 2021 could be used by the US government to “justify” treatment that UK courts have determined would pose a serious risk of killing him.

Expressions or actions that would trigger such an assessment to “justify” the extreme treatment are literally anything. For example, if Julian Assange said to me “I still believe in freedom of the speech” or “I dislike the way the CIA plotted to murder me”.

The CIA is the primary agency responsible for making the decision about whether it, in its subjective assessment, concludes that Julian should be placed in solitary confinement or SAMs or Guantanamo like isolation conditions, or in the harshest prison in the United States, ADX.

It is extraordinary that the CIA, the very agency that is known to have conducted an elaborate illegal conspiracy to assassinate the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, is the one who will be deciding over imposing conditions that UK courts say put him at serious risk of dying.

This is a good discussion about some of the fundamental questions of fairness that arise from the late introduction of US assurances at the appeal stage after the US lost, and the High Court ruling, which Julian is seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court.

If the High Court refuses to certify any points, the case goes back to the Magistrates’ court and thereafter to Home Secretary Priti Patel who has the power to refuse extradition. Assange then can appeal all remaining points of the original extradition ruling to the High Court.

The points that Julian would appeal to the High Court are numerous, involving issues of the highest public importance with serious implications for the future of public interest reporting and the ability to defeat politically motivated, abusive prosecutions.

Categories
Press Release

Stella Moris statement on Julian Assange’s Supreme Court appeal

December 23, 2021 — This morning at 11:05 Julian Assange filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court the High Court’s ruling that he can be extradited to the US on three grounds.

The High Court’s ruling in USA v Assange raises three points of law of general public importance that have an impact on the procedural and human rights safeguards of a wide range of other types of cases.

On December 10th, the High Court upheld the Magistrates’ Court’s assessment, based on the evidence before her, that there was a real risk that, should Julian Assange be extradited to the United States, he would be subjected to near total isolation, including under the regimes of SAMs (Special Administrative Measures) and/or ADX, (administrative maximum prison) and that such isolation would cause his mental condition to deteriorate to such a degree that there was a high risk of suicide. These findings led the lower court to block the extradition under s. 91 of the Extradition Act, which bans “oppressive” extraditions.

However, the High Court overturned the lower court’s decision to block the extradition, based solely on the fact that after the US lost the extradition case on January 4th 2021, the US State Department sent a letter to the UK Foreign Office containing conditional assurances in relation to Julian Assange’s placement under SAMs and ADX. The assurances letter explicitly states in points one and four that “the United States retains the power” to “impose SAMs” on Mr. Assange and to “designate Mr. Assange to ADX” should he say or do anything since January 4, 2021 that would cause the US government to determine, in its subjective assessment, that Julian Assange should be placed under SAMs conditions and/or in ADX Florence. These conditional assurances alone were considered sufficient by the High Court to overturn the lower court’s decision.

Under English law, in order for the application to have a chance to be considered by the Supreme Court, first the same High Court judges who ordered Julian Assange’s extradition must certify that at least one of the Supreme Court appeal grounds is a point of law of general public importance (s.114 of the 2003 Extradition Act).

Julian Assange’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court is therefore currently under consideration by the High Court judges. It is not known how long it will take for the decision to come down, but it is not expected before the third week of January.

For background, see Julian Assange’s filing opposing the US extradition in the High Court.

Stella Moris

Categories
Hearing Coverage Post Press Release

High Court decision “Grave miscarriage of justice,” says Julian Assange’s fiancée

A UK court has overturned an earlier decision blocking the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States where he is accused of publishing true information revealing crimes committed by the US government in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and details of CIA torture and rendition. Julian Assange was not given permission to attend the appeal hearing in person.

The prosecution against Julian Assange is an existential threat to press freedom worldwide. Leading civil liberties groups, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, ACLU, and Human Rights Watch have called the charges against Julian Assange a “threat to press freedom around the globe.” Journalist unions, including the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, have said that “media freedom is suffering lasting damage by the continued prosecution of Julian Assange.” He faces a 175-year prison sentence.

Responding to the decision of the High Court to overturn the lower court’s earlier ruling to block the extradition of Mr. Assange, Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s fiancee, said: “We will appeal this decision at the earliest possible moment.”

Moris described the High Court’s ruling as “dangerous and misguided” and a “grave miscarriage of justice.” “How can if be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?” she said.

On September 26, CIA plans to assassinate Julian Assange were uncovered in a bombshell report. The detailed investigation revealed that discussions of assassinating Julian Assange in London had occurred “at the highest levels” of the CIA and Trump White House, and that kill “sketches” and “options” had been drawn up on orders of Mike Pompeo, then CIA director. The investigation revealed that plans to kidnap and rendition Assange were far advanced and the CIA’s operations prompted a political decision to produce charges against him.

Editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson said, “Julian’s life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient. This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower.”

Amnesty International says the so-called ‘assurances’ upon which the US government relies “leave Mr. Assange at risk of ill-treatment,” are “inherently unreliable,” and “should be rejected,” adding that they are “discredited by their admission that they reserved the right to reverse those guarantees.” Amnesty concluded the charges against Assange are “politically motivated” and must be dropped.

Julian Assange and Stella Moris are engaged to be married and have two children, who are British and live in London.

Stella Moris will be giving a statement outside court following the decision; updates via @wikileaks

Categories
Hearing Coverage

High Court Grants U.S. Appeal