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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.

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