Categories
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

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
Post Press Clippings Press Release

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

Categories
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

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
Post Press Release

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

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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“

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Events Post

Protest To Priti Patel May 17th

Priti Patel must make the right choice. She must save Free Speech and Press Freedom. She must Free Assange. Priti Patel, Don’t Extradite Assange!

Julian Assange’s defence is providing it’s final arguments to Priti Patel on May 17th. Anytime after this date up to May 31st she has to make a decision whether or not to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

Assange is charged with Political offences under the so-called Espionage Act merely for receiving and publishing documents that revealed US war crimes. Julian Assange is not charged with hacking into computers. Assange’s charges are only in relation to WikiLeaks publications from 2010-2011. Extraditing Julian Assange would represent a massive threat to Free Speech and Press Freedom globally.

The US-UK extradition treaty clearly states “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense” 

Judge Baraitser previously ruled “it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America”

Please join us on Tuesday, 17th May at 6pm outside the Home Office on 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF in Protest to Priti Patel.

Categories
Post Press Clippings

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
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
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
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
Post Statements

Courage Foundation: Russiagate Smears Against WikiLeaks

Russiagate Smears Against WikiLeaks (Source: Courage Foundation, 2019)

2020 Follow up: Update-on-2016-releases.pdf


Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been the subject of numerous false, unfounded smears of connection to the Russian government, particularly in relation to WikiLeaks’ 2016 publication of DNC emails. In this brief we recount some of the most pervasive claims and correct the record.

1. False Claim: Julian Assange’s source is the Russian government

Julian Assange has a long-standing policy never to reveal his sources. However, in this case, he has stated that his source of the 2016 releases was not a state party. Regardless of the source, WikiLeaks will publish what it receives provided the material is verifiable and newsworthy.

2. False Claim: WikiLeaks knowingly worked with Russian agents to publish the Democratic Party files in 2016

This is not true, and it follows that no evidence has ever been presented in support of this claim. While this claim has appeared in certain media, it has not been made by senior US officials, who have often made key admissions concerning the lack of evidence about the alleged role of WikiLeaks.1 The Mueller indictment of 2018 accuses “organization 1” (widely believed to refer to WikiLeaks) of receiving from Guccifer 2.0 (which Mueller claims was a Russian front) and then publishing the Democratic Party documents.2 WikiLeaks itself has made no such claim. Moreover, WikiLeaks was not the initial publisher of materials obtained from the DNC and was one of numerous US and other media organisations which published material allegedly from Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

  • Leaks allegedly provided by Guccifer 2.0 were published in at least 11 different media outlets, including the Washington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed and The Intercept. 3
  • Leaks allegedly provided by DCLeaks were published in at least 17 different media outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN and Forbes. 4
  • The materials published by WikiLeaks were reprinted and/or covered in at least 23 different media outlets, including the BBC, NBC, ABC, The Guardian, Fox News and USA Today. 5

Yet only WikiLeaks has been singled out for publishing truthful information that is of public interest.

It is important to realise that the DNC case against WikiLeaks does not allege that Wikileaks had any advance knowledge of the hacking of servers or participated in any way in this or made any use of the materials beyond publishing them. 6 Wikileaks has simply published available materials, like many other media outlets.

To give some more examples, Guccifer 2.0 was in contact with various US media outlets which acknowledge it as the source of its material:

  • The Intercept, for example, published an article on 9 October 2016 based on emails provided by Guccifer 2.0. 7
  • The Smoking Gun published material directly provided to it by Guccifer 2.0 in an article published on 15 June 2016. 8
  • Gawker published a document in June 2016 forwarded to it by Guccifer 2.0 – an anti- Trump playbook compiled by the Democratic National Committee. 9

The Telegraph published a report on 17 June 2016 with a link to a disclosure of a 231-page report on Donald Trump; the article stated that Russian intelligence was being blamed for this hack from Guccifer 2.0. 10 Similarly, Politico reported on Guccifer 2.0, linking to an article on 4 October 2016 in which Guccifer 2.0 reveals the results of its hacking into the Clinton Foundation. The Politico article noted, “Some cybersecurity experts believe Guccifer 2.0 is an invented identity that the Russian government is using to release files it obtains through hacking.” 11

One of the most notable conduits for Guccifer 2.0 material was The Hill (see below). Neither The Hill nor any other media organisations have been accused by Mueller or the US government even though the evidence against those organisations is far stronger in terms of contacts with, and publishing material from, Guccifer 2.0.

The Hill’s direct sourcing from Guccifer 2.0

The Hill is a top US political website operating out of Washington DC and is widely read among insiders in US policy-making circles. It was in contact with Guccifer 2.0 in 2016 and covered and cited its document releases, sometimes in exclusive leaks, while simultaneously suggesting that it was likely to be run by Russian intelligence.

On 13 July, Guccifer 2.0 released a cache of DNC documents to The Hill. Its article noted:

“The files provided by Guccifer 2.0 to The Hill includes [sic] a folder with a list of objectionable quotes from Palin and an archive of the former Alaska governor’s Twitter account assembled in 2011 — before Palin decided against running for president.” 12

The article stated that Guccifer 2.0’s “techniques bare the fingerprints of known Russian intelligence hacker groups.” 13

On 23 August 2016, The Hill cited documents “obtained by Guccifer 2.0 and exclusively leaked to The Hill.” These documents highlighted efforts by Democrats to prevent Mike Parrish from winning the party’s primary for a contested House seat in Pennsylvania. The same article stated, “Guccifer 2.0 is widely believed to be a cover identity for Russian intelligence, which many posit is trying to bolster Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.” 14 The Hill tweeted a link to this article 10 times on 24 August 2016. 15

On 31 August 2016, The Hill reported that Guccifer 2.0 had publicly released documents on the WordPress blog from Democratic Senator Nancy Pelosi which, it said, “were a small subset of a larger batch given exclusive to The Hill.” The article stated that US intelligence officials say that “Guccifer 2.0 is a cover identity for previously identified Russian hackers affiliated with the Kremlin.” 16

On 15 September 2016, an article in The Hill cited “documents from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaked to The Hill by the hacker or hackers Guccifer 2.0” 17 The Hill tweeted a link to this article 10 times on 15 and 16 September 2016, stating “Guccifer 2.0 leaks new documents on Dems in key battleground state.” 18 The Hill published

this information after it reported that “Guccifer 2.0, who has claimed credit for the DNC hack, is widely thought to be a front for Russian intelligence agencies.” 19

There are numerous claims about Guccifer 2.0 in the Mueller indictment and US media which have been questioned or debunked by independent analysts. 20

3. False Claim: By publishing the 2016 files on the Democrats, Assange and WikiLeaks consciously manipulated the election to help Trump win

WikiLeaks publishes material given to it, regardless of the source. It cannot publish material not given to it. Had it received material on the Trump campaign, it would have published this.

Since publishing is what WikiLeaks does, to withhold the publication of information until after the election would have been to have favoured one of the candidates above the public’s right to know. 21

New York Times editor Dean Baquet said in an interview with the BBC in December 2016 that he would have published the DNC and Podesta emails had his paper obtained them. 22 Even the Mueller indictment does not make any accusations that Russian efforts succeeded in influencing the election results. 23

4. False Claim: Assange and WikiLeaks colluded with Trump adviser Roger Stone to help Trump win the election

WikiLeaks has had no contacts with Roger Stone (other than to publicly and privately refute the claim) and has issued several tweets highlighting that Stone was falsely claiming “contacts” or a “backchannel” to WikiLeaks. 24

5. False Claim: Assange and WikiLeaks do not criticise Putin or Russia

WikiLeaks has published over 600,000 documented related to Russia25 and nearly 80,000 files mentioning Putin. 26 In 2017, WikiLeaks released “Spy Files Russia”, a collection of documents on surveillance contractors in Russia, concerning domestic Russian spying. 27 Edward Snowden responded to the publication by tweeting: “@WikiLeaks publishes details on Russia’s increasingly oppressive internet surveillance industry.” 28 WikiLeaks would publish even more material on Russia if whistleblowers provided it with such material.

WikiLeaks also published, in 2012, over two million documents from Syria, a close Russian ally, including on President Bashar al-Assad personally. That data set derives from 680 Syria- related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture. It includes 68,000 emails in Russian. 29

6. False Claim: A Russian plan to help Assange escape the embassy

A Guardian story that was published in September 2018 is a fabrication. It headlined: “Russia’s secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from UK”, claiming that “Russian diplomats held secret talks in London last year with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK.” 30

There was no secret plot involving Russia and no desire whatsoever on Julian Assange’s part to go to Moscow. Claims that Julian Assange or his legal team or anyone else acting on his behalf entered into negotiations with Russia, directly or indirectly, are false. As far as they are aware, no one at the Ecuadorian mission in London engaged in such discussions either, at any time.

7. False Claim: Seeking a diplomatic post in Moscow

In October 2018, the Associated Press published a report claiming to show that Julian Assange was being named by Ecuador as a political counsellor in the Ecuadorian embassy in Moscow. 31 The strong implication in the report was that Assange wanted to go to Moscow.

At no stage has Julian Assange ever sought or wanted to go to Moscow. He was appointed to the UK. Ecuador had unilaterally sought out states which might potentially accept Assange as a diplomat – up to 13 countries were approached. The negotiations and arrangements were undertaken unilaterally, without informing Assange. After Ecuador informed Assange’s lawyers of the possibilities, Assange requested that he be appointed to the UK and was appointed to the UK. Assange did not consider Russia as a possible destination. 32

8. False Claim: Assange applied for a Russian visa

In September 2018, another Associated Press article, authored by the same person and widely reproduced in other media, also sought to link Assange to Russia. It published a document claiming to show that Assange applied for a Russian visa in November 2010. 33

Assange did not apply for such a visa at any time or author the document. 34 The source is convicted document fabricator Sigurdur Thordarson who was sentenced to prison for fabricating documents impersonating Assange, multiple frauds and pedophilia. Thordarson distributed these documents to Scandinavian media outlets years ago and they found them to be untrustworthy. Thordarson volunteered to become an FBI informant for the purpose of conducting entrapment operations on Assange and WikiLeaks.

The British government is in possession of Julian Assange’s passport, which Assange provided upon his arrest in December 2010. There is no Russian visa in his passport: if there had been, the UK authorities would have used this to argue against his bail.

There is a further false claim: that Julian Assange actually obtained a Russian visa in 2011, which was reported by, for example, the New York Times. 35 As noted, Julian Assange’s passport was seized in December 2010. Given that Assange never applied for a visa and the fact that the passport was already in UK custody, the claim is clearly bogus. 36

9. False Claim: Assange has ties with the Kremlin

Numerous mainstream media reports refer to Julian Assange’s “ties” 37 or “links” to the “Kremlin.” 38 In fact, Julian Assange has no ties or links to the Russian government. Some media have imputed a connection to Moscow simply because Assange has received at the Ecuadorian embassy a handful of Russian or non-Russian journalists who work in Russian media. 39 These visitors have been among hundreds of people of all political persuasions who visited Assange at the embassy which have often involved giving interviews, and which have included Russian dissidents. 40

10. False Claim: Assange received Trump documents but did not publish them

This is false. At the verification stage, preparations to publish Trump-related documents were halted when it became clear the documents had already been made public. This is independently confirmed by the “New York Times of Italy”, La Repubblica, which worked with WikiLeaks on the documents. 41

What is really going on?

A hostile environment is taking shape to make it easier to secure Assange’s extradition to the US. The false assertions about Assange and Russia have noticeably increased since early 2017. In March 2017, WikiLeaks published the biggest leak in CIA history, Vault 7, 42 after which an intensified multi-layered propaganda and diplomatic effort has been waged against Assange and WikiLeaks.

1 President Obama said: “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit [for] we heard about the DNC emails that were leaked [sic].” James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said: “The WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there, is not strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided. We don’t have as good insight into that.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEu6kHRHYhU&feature=youtu.be&t=26s

2 https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/80-netyksho-et-al- indictment/ba0521c1eef869deecbe/optimized/full.pdf?action=click&module=Intentional&pgtype=Article

3 https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/80-netyksho-et-al- indictment/ba0521c1eef869deecbe/optimized/full.pdf?action=click&module=Intentional&pgtype=Article

4 For a list see WikiLeaks legal filing in the DNC case: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5485083-181207-Guccifer- Publications.html. The full filing is here: https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/WikiLeaksDNC.pdf

5 For a list see WikiLeaks legal filing in the DNC case: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5485082/181207-Publicans-of- Docs-Stolen-by-GRU.pdf. The full filing is here: https://www.courthousenews.com/wp- content/uploads/2018/12/WikiLeaksDNC.pdf

6 See Wikileaks legal filing in the DNC case: https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/WikiLeaksDNC.pdf

7 https://theintercept.com/2016/10/09/exclusive-new-email-leak-reveals-clinton-campaigns-cozy-press-relationship/

8 http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/dnc-hacker-leaks-trump-oppo-report-647293

9 https://gawker.com/this-looks-like-the-dncs-hacked-trump-oppo-file-1782040426

10 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/17/clinton-will-target-trump-as-a-liar-who-cares-only-for-himself-a/

11 https://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/guccifer-hacker-clinton-foundation-files-229113. https://guccifer2.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/clinton-foundation/

12 https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/287558-guccifer-20-drops-new-dnc-docs

13 https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/288146-celeb-phone-numbers-included-in-guccifer-20-hack

14 https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/292391-exclusive-guccifer-20-hacked-memos-expand-on-pennsylvania-house-races

15 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/768217486131068928

16 https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/293958-guccifer-20-leaks-docs-from-pelosis-pc

17 https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/296167-guccifer-docs-target-ohio-house-districts

18 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/776512943194341376

19 See article of 13 September 2016: https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/295746-guccifer-20-dumps-more-dnc-documents

20 See, for example, http://g-2.space/

21 https://WikiLeaks.org/Assange-Statement-on-the-US-Election.html

22 https://www.facebook.com/WikiLeaks/posts/new-york-times-editor-dean-baquet-says-he-would-have-published-dncpodesta- emails/1273817099320066/

https://facebook.com/WikiLeaks/posts/1273817099320066

23 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/us/politics/mueller-indictment-russian-intelligence-hacking.html

24 https://twitter.com/WikiLeaks/status/763091516839567360 https://twitter.com/WikiLeaks/status/786609272729632768

25 https://search.WikiLeaks.org/ https://twitter.com/WikiLeaks/status/756626757403480064

26 https://search.WikiLeaks.org/?q=putin

27https://WikiLeaks.org/spyfiles/russia/

28 https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/910118323534274560

29 https://WikiLeaks.org/Syria-Files.html

30 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/21/julian-assange-russia-ecuador-embassy-london-secret-escape-plan

31 https://www.apnews.com/3728e1631d57454a9502dd51d1bf441b

32 https://www.scribd.com/document/391002472/The-Ecuadorean-govt-document-appointing-Julian-Assange-as-a-diplomat-in-the- country-s-Russian-embassy

33 https://www.apnews.com/af39586daf254cddb3d955453c45865d

34 https://twitter.com/WikiLeaks/status/1041642204274548737 https://grapevine.is/news/2015/09/25/siggi-the-hacker-gets-3-years-in-prison/

35 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/europe/WikiLeaks-julian-assange-russia.html

36 https://twitter.com/raffiwriter/status/1041729613800632320

37 https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/26/ecuador-gave-julian-assange-diplomatic-role-at-its-moscow-embassy-says-mp https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/21/julian-assange-russia-ecuador-embassy-london-secret-escape-plan

38https://www.apnews.com/af39586daf254cddb3d955453c45865d

39 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/18/rt-journalists-visited-julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-london

40 https://www.rt.com/news/456280-julian-assange-rt-show/

41 https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/19/inside-wikileaks-working-with-the-publisher-that-changed-the-world/

42 https://WikiLeaks.org/ciav7p1/

Update on 2016 releases

Since we released this briefing, a number of developments have brought more information into the public record confirming WikiLeaks acted as a journalistic outfit in releasing DNC emails in 2016. We’ve also collated relevant commentary from intelligence officials and fellow journalists.

New York Court dismissed a DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks

On July 21, 2019, SDNY Judge John Koetl dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over WikiLeaks’ publication of DNC documents in 2016.

Court found Wikileaks 2016 publications involved “matters of the highest public concern”

“Discussion of public issues and debate on the qualifications of candidates are integral to the operation of the system of government established by our Constitution. The First Amendment affords the broadest protection to such political expression.” – Buckley v Valeo, 424, US 1, 14 (1976)

In the 81-page ruling, Judge Koetl emphasized the “newsworthiness” of WikiLeaks’ publishing activities, describing them as “plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers” because the publication related to “matters of the highest public concern.” He elaborated:

“The DNC’s published internal communications [through WikiLeaks] allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”

The Judge drew a comparison to the Pentagon Papers case of 1971, where the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the New York Times and Washington Post to publish secret documents on the Vietnam War provided by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. In that case the Nixon administration attempted to prevent the newspapers from publishing and threatened them with criminal prosecution.

“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents […] simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” wrote District Judge John Koeltl.

US press freedom and civil liberties groups sided with WikiLeaks against the DNC

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Colombia University submitted

an Amici Curiae brief in support of dismissing the lawsuit against WikiLeaks. In essence, they argued that “holding Wikileaks liable in this situation would also threaten freedom

of the press. […] Journalists are allowed to request documents that have been stolen and to publish those documents”.

The First Amendment experts’ brief contains a detailed discussion of the case law to date on this issue. The Amici concluded:

“The legal question addressed here is one with significant implications for the free press: does an act of publication that would otherwise be protected by the First Amendment lose that protection simply because a source acquired the published information unlawfully? The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that it does not, in recognition of the First Amendment’s role in ensuring the public has access to the information it needs to hold those who seek and wield power to account. The press routinely relies on this First Amendment protection in performing its democratic function to inform the public on matters of public concern.”

It is not illegal for journalists to solicit stolen material. It is actually common journalistic practice

Judge Koeltl noted that “WikiLeaks did not play any role in the theft of the documents and it is undisputed that the stolen materials involve matters of public concern.” (p. 40)

He added: “Journalists are allowed to request documents that have been stolen and to publish those documents” and that this is in fact “common journalistic practice.” The principle elaborated in the case of Bartnicki is important for investigative journalists who often receive information from whistleblowers.

Judge Koetl also noted that it is “constitutionally insignificant” whether WikiLeaks knew the published documents were acquired without permission, by hacking, or other means before they were obtained by WikiLeaks. “A person is entitled [to] publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.”

Judge Koetl added:”[I]t is also irrelevant that WikiLeaks solicited the stolen documents from Russian agents. A person is entitled [to] publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft. […] Indeed, the DNC acknowledges that this is a common journalistic practice” (p. 43)

Bartnicki v Vopper protected the right to publish

Judge Koetl cited Bartnicki v Vopper, a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court ruled that publishing stolen or otherwise illicitly obtained material does not make a media outlet liable for how that material was obtained. “As Bartnicki makes clear, there is a significant legal distinction between stealing documents and disclosing documents that someone else had stolen previously,” he wrote.

Later in the ruling he writes, “Like the defendant in Bartnicki, WikiLeaks did not play any role in the theft of the documents and it is undisputed that the stolen materials involve matters of public concern.”

Finally, Judge Koetl dismissed the idea that WikiLeaks should be held accountable for the documents’ theft as an “after-the-fact coconspirator” because this argument would criminalize all journalists who publish hacked or otherwise unlawfully obtained material, something investigative journalists at the New York Times and the Washington Post do as a matter of course. “That argument would eviscerate Bartnicki,” Judge Koetl wrote, “such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft.”

The Mueller Report: Findings

No evidence of alleged Assange/WikiLeaks “collusion” with Russia/Russian agents

The Mueller report concluded that the government found no evidence to substantiate the central claim of “collusion” between Assange/WikiLeaks and Russia/Russian agents. It found no evidence that Assange/WikiLeaks had done anything wrong:

“the government could not prove WikiLeaks (or Assange) joined an ongoing hacking conspiracy intending to further or facilitate additional computer intrusions”.

The report added:

“[w]ithout knowledge, the intent cannot exist” and “persons cannot retroactively conspire to commit a previously consummated crime”.

The only evidence Mueller found was that WikiLeaks’ role in the 2016 DNC and Podesta publications had been that of “disseminating” information that it had received from a third party, nothing more. In particular, Mueller:

·

  • Could not find any evidence WikiLeaks participated in any manner in the alleged source’s hacking of the email server.
  • Could not find any evidence of WikiLeaks having any “knowledge” of the alleged source’s “hacking”, nor of their “criminal objective”.
  • Could not find any evidence WikiLeaks “was aware of”, or “intended to join”, “a criminal venture” with the alleged source.
  • Could not even find any evidence WikiLeaks was “willfully blind to” the alleged source’s ongoing “hacking efforts”.
  • Could not find any evidence of an agreement, express or tacit, with the alleged source to further a “criminal objective”.
  • Could not establish an “implicit working relationship” between the alleged source and WikiLeaks.

Prosecuting Assange/WikiLeaks over the 2016 publications would run afoul of the First Amendment

The Mueller report acknowledged there was no evidence (referred to as “fundamental” “factual hurdles”) to bring a case against Assange/WikiLeaks.

Furthermore, the report acknowledged a fundamental legal hurdle: WikiLeaks’ conduct was constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.

The leading case in this area of the law is Bartnicki v Vopper, which established that “the First Amendment protects a party’s publication of illegally intercepted communications on a matter of public concern, even when the parties knew or had reasons to know of the intercepts’ unlawful origin”.

The significance of the Mueller report’s findings on Assange/WikiLeaks’ role in the 2016 elections

After three years of in-depth investigations, the Mueller report concluded that claims that Assange/WikiLeaks “colluded” with Russia or its agents are, and have always

been, literally baseless.

The report also establishes WikiLeaks acted no differently to other mainstream US media that was reporting on the documents from the Clinton campaign.

The DoJ concealed the Mueller report’s findings concerning Assange/WikiLeaks until 2 November 2020

The Mueller report’s conclusions finding no evidence of “collusion” between Assange/WikiLeaks and Russia or its agents were inexplicably blacked out from the text when the report was initially published on 18 April 2019.

On November 2, 2020, the Department of Justice released a reprocessed version

of Mueller’s report (PDF) following litigation under the Freedom of Information Act.

The report’s publication just one day before the 2020 U.S. presidential election meant the findings received little news coverage. This is extraordinarily telling as one of the central tenets of the “Russian interference” narrative was precisely allegations of “collusion” between Assange/WikiLeaks and Russia/Russian agents, which these passages of the Mueller report show to be unfounded.

US Intelligence Chiefs’ earlier statements also acknowledged lack of evidence of “collusion”

US intelligence chiefs acknowledge intelligence gathering has yielded no evidence of “collusion” nor of any “ties” to Russia. The “emerging consensus” among U.S. officials by late August 2016 was that Assange/WikiLeaks “probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services”, reported the New York Times.

Then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, at a Congressional hearing in November 2016, stated, “As far as the Wikileaks connection, evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the [DNC/Podesta] releases or when the data may have been provided.”

Then-Director of the FBI James Comey, at a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017 said Russian officials “didn’t deal directly with WikiLeaks”.

An unclassified US intelligence report of 6 January 2017 asserted it had “high confidence”, but no actual evidence, that Russian agents relayed material to WikiLeaks.

The Mueller report itself uses vague and qualified language when advancing the claim that Wikileaks obtained its DNC publications from Guccifer 2.0. For example, Mueller’s report states: “”Unit 26165 [GRU] officers appear to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later released by WikiLeaks in July 2016″ (Mueller report, p.41, emphasis added). [Further reading]

The FBI itself never obtained access to the hacked DNC server. The investigation was instead carried out by Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC. The FBI did not carry out its own forensic analysis of the server.

Crowdstrike’s CEO Shawn Henry admitted to Congress that, while there was evidence that the servers were hacked, Crowdstrike’s investigation found no concrete evidence that emails were actually exfiltrated from the server. [Also see this thread]

What has Assange said about US reports on hacked DNC/Podesta emails and the WikiLeaks publications?

Assange has stated:

“Has at least one state actor hacked the DNC? Probably. Now this is a separate question to the release of our emails” (Video: Going Underground]

“In the US media there’s been a deliberate conflation between DNC leaks, which is what we’ve been publishing, and DNC hacks of the US Democratic party…” (Video: Going Underground)

““The emails that we have released are different sets of documents to the documents of those [that] people have analyzed… The real story is what these emails contain, and they show collusion at the very top of the Democratic Party” to derail Sanders’ campaign.” (NBC News)

“There’s no forensic traces on our [2016] publications at all tying them to Russia—at all! it’s clearly completely different material, and there’s been a very sneaky attempt to conflate various hacks that have occurred with our publications.” (The New Yorker)

Computer forensics in the era of Marble Framework

Some commentators have pointed out that, in the era of malware designed to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to their true origins, any cyberforensic analysis is inherently unreliable. For example, WikiLeaks published a leak revealing state-sponsored malware called “Marble” that

“permit[s] a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion”.

While the Marble Framework specifically is attributed to the CIA, other countries are suspected of use similar methods of obfuscation.

New York Times editor: Publish newsworthy material regardless of source

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet discussed WikiLeaks’ publication of the Democracy Party files in an interview with the BBC in December 2016. Baquet said that he believes newsworthy material should be published regardless of its source: “I don’t think it matters where [source materials] come from, to be perfectly frank.”

“If I get a leak that really offers tremendous insight into how government or big business works and it’s something important that people should know, I think even if the source makes me uncomfortable, I think I still have to do it…There are things that journalists should not withhold.”

Baquet called WikiLeaks a “clear public service”.

Multiple US media organisations sourced from and communicated with Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks

See WikiLeaks’ filing in the DNC case

Leaks allegedly provided by Guccifer 2.0 were published in at least 11 different media outlets, including the Washington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed and The Intercept.

Leaks allegedly provided by DCLeaks were published in at least 17 different media outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street

Journal, CNN and Forbes.

The materials published by WikiLeaks were reprinted and/or covered in at least 23 different media outlets, including the BBC, NBC, ABC, The Guardian, Fox News and USA Today.

The Telegraph published a report on 17 June 2016 with a link to a disclosure of a 231- page report on Donald Trump; the article stated that Russian intelligence was being blamed for this hack from Guccifer 2.0.

Politico reported on Guccifer 2.0, linking to an article on 4 October 2016 in which Guccifer 2.0 reveals the results of its hacking into the Clinton Foundation.

The Politico article noted, “Some cybersecurity experts believe Guccifer 2.0 is an invented identity that the Russian government is using to release files it obtains through hacking.”

One of the most notable conduits for Guccifer 2.0 material was The Hill (see below). Neither The Hill nor any other media organisations were singled out by Mueller or the

US government, only WikiLeaks, even though in the cases of these publications there is clear evidence of communications with, and sourcing from, Guccifer 2.0

The Hill’s direct sourcing from Guccifer 2.0

The Hill is a top US political website operating out of Washington DC and is widely read among insiders in US policy-making circles. It was in contact with Guccifer 2.0 in 2016 and covered and cited its document releases, sometimes in exclusive leaks, while simultaneously suggesting that it was likely to be run by Russian intelligence.

On 13 July, Guccifer 2.0 released a cache of DNC documents to The Hill. Its

article noted: “The files provided by Guccifer 2.0 to The Hill includes [sic] a folder with a list of objectionable quotes from Palin and an archive of the former Alaska governor’s Twitter account assembled in 2011 —before Palin decided against running for president.” A follow-up article five dayes later stated that Guccifer 2.0’s “techniques bare the fingerprints of known Russian intelligence hacker groups.”

On 23 August 2016, The Hill cited documents “obtained by Guccifer 2.0 and exclusively leaked toThe Hill.” These documents highlighted efforts by Democrats to prevent Mike Parrish from winning the party’s primary for a contested House seat in Pennsylvania. The same article stated,“Guccifer 2.0 is widely believed to be a cover identity for Russian intelligence, which many posit is trying to bolster Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.” The Hill tweeted a link to this article 10 times on 24 August 2016.

On 31 August 2016, The Hill reported that Guccifer 2.0 had publicly released documents on the WordPress blog from Democratic Senator Nancy Pelosi which, it said, “were a small subset of a larger batch given exclusive to The Hill.” The article stated that US intelligence officials say that “Guccifer 2.0 is a cover identity for previously identified

Russian hackers affiliated with the Kremlin.”

On 15 September 2016, an article in The Hill cited “documents from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaked to The Hill by the hacker or hackers Guccifer 2.0.” The Hill tweeted a link to this article 10 times on 15 and 16 September 2016, stating “Guccifer 2.0 leaks new documents on Dems in key battleground state.”

The Hill published this information after it reported that “Guccifer 2.0, who has claimed credit for the DNC hack, is widely thought to be a front for Russian intelligence agencies.”

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
Post Press Clippings Press Release

‘Censored’: Record-breaking artist Pak joins forces with Assange to make NFT history

‘Censored’ is a digital art collection created by NFT artist Pak in collaboration with imprisoned WikiLeaks-founder Julian Assange.

The art collection titled ‘Censored’ will be unveiled shortly in time for the auction on February 7th. ‘Censored’ is shrouded in mystery and is set to make NFT history.

Pak has dropped some hints with tweets about censorship and freedom. 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:

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.


‘Censored’ is a two-part NFT collection:

The first part is a one of a kind (“1/1 edition”) NFT, which Pak describes as “dynamic and generative”. “Dynamic” means that the digital art piece changes over time. “Generative” means that the artwork is generated from the artist’s instructions on the blockchain. The single edition NFT 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 “open edition” [https://www.niftyist.com/post/the-nifty-dictionary-open-edition], which in addition to being “dynamic” will also be participative. The open edition is designed to be more accessible and therefore draw a broader pool of collectors. As a reference point, Pak’s record-breaking collection ‘Merge’ set the record for open editions with 30,000 collectors and grossing US $91.8 million.


The auction for the Single Edition commences on Monday February 7th, 2022 at 09:00 New York, 14:00 London, 17:00 Moscow, 19:30 New Delhi, 22:00 Hong Kong, 01:00 (on 8th) Sydney.


How will it work?

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 NFTs that rely on links to external servers.

The auction location will be announced via the Twitter accounts of the artist (@muratpak), Julian Assange’s brother (@gabrielshipton) and his partner (@stellamoris1).

Proceeds of the NFT will go to benefit Julian Assange’s defense fund as he fights against a US extradition request.

Battle of the DAOs

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

DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, 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.

AssangeDAO launched today to bid on the single edition ‘Censored’ NFT. By 17:15 GMT on February 4th, the contributions to the AssangeDAO had surpassed over US $7 million (over 2,450 ETH). AssangeDAO’s mission statement aims “to inspire a powerful solidarity network and fight for the freedom of Julian Assange” and to “raise funds to help with his legal fees and campaigns to increase public awareness on the systemic failure of our justice systems”. 

AssangeDAO was loosely modeled on FreeRossDAO (https://www.freerossdao.org/), which raised over US $12 million to bid on the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection.

Follow:

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


Curtain Raiser Event:

Join the Twitter Spaces event (https://twitter.com/novocrypto/status/1489631444720836618) with the NFT artist Pak (@muratpak), Julian Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton (@gabrielshipton), and Julian Assange’s partner Stella Moris (@stellamoris1) and others at 22:00 GMT on February 5th, which is:

  • 17:00 New York time on February 5th (Saturday)
  • 22:00 London time on February 5th (Saturday)
  • 06:00 Hong Kong time on February 6th (Sunday)
  • 09:00 Sydney time on February 6th (Sunday)
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
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
Post

Assange Christmas Card

Print and send Christmas cards – let people know about Julian’s case and the fight for a free press.

PDF: https://dontextraditeassange.com/xmas-card.pdf

Assange Christmas Card
Assange Christmas Card
Categories
Post Press Clippings

Messages for Julian Assange’s 50th Birthday

https://twitter.com/RobVincentMusic/status/1411287866479611907?s=20
https://twitter.com/margit_stumpp/status/1411278645851734016
Categories
Parliamentary Actions Post Press Release

EDM 220 – Assange Meeting with Parliamentarians

Please email your MP using our app to ask them to sign Early Day Motion 220.

Motion Text:

‘That this House expresses its concern at the refusal of the UK Government and prison authorities to allow an online video meeting between Julian Assange and a cross-party group of British parliamentarians; notes that the request was first made in December 2020 in a letter signed by 17 British parliamentarians from four parties; believes parliamentarians must be allowed to discuss important issues relating to press freedoms and the UK-US Extradition Treaty with interested parties; and calls on the Government to facilitate this meeting between Julian Assange and a cross-party group of parliamentarians.’

Categories
Post Press Clippings

2-year anniversary of Julian Assange’s incarceration in Belmarsh prison – 11 April

April 11th marks two years since Julian Assange has been held in maximum security Belmarsh prison in London for his work as a publisher.

Mark this week by calling at least one of your local representatives and demanding they speak up about Julian Assange’s case which has profoundly dangerous implications not only for Assange but also for the freedom of expression and the press.

We encourage you to video and upload your call as this will encourage others to do likewise – the campaign will promote the best recordings

If you are in the UK contact your Local MP, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Home Secretary.
This is the recommended UK Script:

Hello –
I am calling to express my extreme concern about the situation of Julian Assange. His prosecution is a huge threat to all publishers and our rights to hold foreign and domestic governments to account. All major newspapers and Human Rights organizations, from the Telegraph and Guardian to Amnesty International oppose this prosecution.
My family and I are very angry about this issue and want it stopped now.

If you are in the United States contact your Local Congressman, State Senator, The White House, Department of Justice.
This is the recommended US Script:

Hello –
I am calling to express my extreme concern about the situation of Julian Assange.
His prosecution is huge threat to all publishers, and to citizens’ rights to hold government accountable. It is a very dangerous violation of the first amendment, which if allowed to continue would fundamentally change the relationship between citizens and the state. All major newspapers and Human Rights organizations, from the  New York Times to Amnesty International oppose this prosecution.
My family and I are very angry about this issue and want it stopped now.

If you are in Australia contact your MP, Senator, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
This is the recommended Australian Script:

Hello –
I am calling to express my extreme concern about the situation of Julian Assange. His prosecution is a huge threat to all publishers and our rights to hold foreign and domestic governments to account. The editors of the New York Times, Washington Post and all major freedom of speech and Human Rights organizations oppose this prosecution.
My family and I are very angry about this issue and want it stopped now. Tell Scott Morrison to make the call and bring our boy home before its too late.

If you are in France contact the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
This is the recommended French Script:

Bonjour –
Je vous contacte pour relayer et exprimer mon extrême inquiétude face à la situation de Julian Assange. Sa persécution est une énorme menace pour tous les éditeurs et pour nos droits de demander des comptes aux gouvernements étrangers et nationaux. Tous les principaux journaux et organisations de défense des droits, Le Monde au Mediapart à Amnesty International, s’opposent à ces poursuites.
Ma famille et moi sommes très en colère contre cette persécution et voulons qu’elle cesse immédiatement.

Extraditing Assange to the US has been opposed by all major newspapers including The Washington Post, New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais and many more. He faces a sentence of 175 years for exposing war crimes, governmental abuses and corruption.

Despite a 4 January 2021 UK Magistrates Court ruling that his extradition would be oppressive and must be stopped, Assange continues to be denied bail and remains in detention. He has been detained in one form or another for over 10 years – either under house arrest, seven years while under political asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, or for the past two years in Belmarsh Maximum security prison.

Read the timeline of events of Julian Assange’s Expulsion & Arrest.

Due to Covid restrictions Assange has been unable to receive any visitors for more than a year, including his fiancee and two young children. Communication with his lawyers has been difficult and Assange’s ability to prepare for the US appeal against him severely hampered.

Categories
Post

Award and prize nominations 2021

Julian Assange, who was again nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year is also eligible for the following awards in 2021:

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Awarded for the first time in 1988 to Nelson Mandela and Anatoli Marchenko, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is the highest tribute paid by the European Union to human rights work. It gives recognition to individuals, groups and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to protecting freedom of thought. Through the prize and its associated network the EU assists laureates, who are supported and empowered in their efforts to defend their causes.

Deadline for nominations – 1 June 2021

For more information click here.

Olof Palme Prize

The prize is annually given to a single recipient or to several for an outstanding achievement in any of the areas of anti-racism, human rights, international understanding, peace and common security.

Deadline for nominations10 September.

For more information click here.

Jaime Brunet International Prize for Human Rights

The prize is to promote and disseminate the protection of human rights and contribute to the eradication of degrading and inhumane treatment, and situations which violate the inherent right to dignity.

Deadline for nominations30 September.

Details for 2021 are not published yet.

Free Press Award – Most Resilient Journalist.

Free Press Unlimited wants to honour journalists who risk everything to bring us the news, media pioneers who pave the way for equality and justice and those who persevere under the most difficult circumstances.

Details for 2021 are not published yet.

Check back for latest updates here.

Don Bolles Medal

The award recognizes investigative journalists who have exhibited extraordinary courage in standing up against intimidation or efforts to suppress the truth about matters of public importance.

For more information click here.

Liberal International Prize for Freedom

Awarded annually to honour an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights and political freedoms. Recipients come from across the world and have fought on issues from women’s empowerment to establishing democracy.

For more information click here.

Categories
Post

Vietnam war leaker Daniel Ellsberg warns against extraditing Julian Assange

Categories
Post

Ask your MP to sign EDM 719

Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 719.


EDM 719 acknowledges statements by the National Union of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and others in relation to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and affirms commitment to press freedom and public-interest journalism.

Categories
Post Statements

Human Rights Advocates

Senator the Hon Marise Payne,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
senator.payne@aph.gov.au
foreign.minister@dfat.gov.au
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

PO Box 5317
Cobargo
NSW 2550

27 May 2020

Dear Minister,

We the undersigned representatives of Australian human rights, digital rights and civil society organisations are calling for your urgent intervention on behalf of Mr Julian Assange.

Mr Assange and his colleagues at WikiLeaks helped extend the power of investigative journalism and truth-telling into the digital age, exposing war crimes and human rights abuses to public view. As a result, he has paid a heavy penalty.

In May 2019, Professor Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture declared that Mr Assange had been “exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.” He stated that Mr Assange shows the symptoms of an individual subjected to torture.

Professor Melzer’s review was undertaken well before the global pandemic, which has severely disrupted the UK’s prison and judicial systems. Since then, the situation has deteriorated gravely, with remand prisoners now subjected to effective solitary confinement.

The Australian government should be willing to intervene to protect the lives of Australians caught up in legal processes in foreign countries, where those proceedings violate international law.

Before the court reconvenes on 1 June, we request of you the following:

1. To make representation on Mr Assange’s behalf that he be released on bail immediately;
2. To relay to us the outcome of this representation.

Mr Assange is a publisher, a father and an Australian citizen. It is time he had the support of his Government.

We await your response,

yours sincerely,

Suelette Dreyfus, Blueprint for Free Speech
Stuart Rees, Sydney Peace Foundation
George Newhouse, National Justice Project
Lizzie O’Shea, Digital Rights Watch
Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty Victoria)
Nicholas Cowdery AO QC,President, New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties
Valerie Joy, Alternatives to Violence Queensland
Christine McKenzie, PEN Melbourne Margaret Pestorius, Australian Nonviolence Projects
Cate Adams, Wage Peace
Dr Sue Wareham OAM, Medical Association for the Prevention of War Tony Kevin, Canberra
Stanley Koulouris, Unions Australia, Sydney.
Dr K.H. Sievers, Australian Voice
Ian Rose, Support Assange & WikiLeaks Coalition (Sydney Aus)
Lorese Vera, Convenor, Canberra Action 4 Assange.
Tristan Sykes Convenor, Free Assange Hobart
Clare Smith, Adelaide support group for Assange
Margaret Grace Richardson, Founder – Julian Assange Supporters Alice Springs
Sean O’Reilly, Brisbane Assange Action Brisbane Queensland
Rod Lemin, Brisbane Assange Action Brisbane Queensland
Paul Oboohov, Socialist Alliance, Canberra Branch
Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS)
Raine Sinclair, Melbourne4WikiLeaks
Tom Cooper, Melbourne4WikiLeaks
Lorine Anita Brice, Melbourne4WikiLeaks
Kate Hecimovic, Melbourne4WikiLeaks
Joe Lorback, Solidarity Sound System
Danielle Wood, People For Assange
Mitchell Duirs, Perth 4 Assange, WA
Walter Mellado, Australians For Assange
Amelia Ryan, Australians For Assange
Dianne Andary, Australians For Assange
Desmond McMillan, Australians For Assange
Phillip Adams, Australians For Assange
Camillo De Luca, Australians For Assange
Rosemary Gower, Riverland Support Group for Julian Assange’s Freedom Jean Lee, Adelaide Friends of Wikileaks

NEW: DEA Crowdfunder
We have launched a #FreeAssange Crowdfunder! Check the progress and donate
Or Donate in 1 Click via PayPal