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