Roger Waters joined a rally organized by DC Action for Assange and Assange Defense at the Department of Justice today, and he spoke out against the prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Waters had just performed in Washington DC the previous night — Waters has partnered with Assange Defense to feature a Free Assange information table at every stop on his current ‘This is Not a Drill’ tour of the United States.
Before Waters, Defending Rights & Dissent’s Chip Gibbons and Sue Udry, Randy Credico, and Max Blumenthal condemned the persecution of Assange and called on the Attorney General to drop the charges.
Stella Assange, wife of Julian Assange, Vijay Prashad, journalist (International Peoples’ Assembly) and Zuliana Lainez, vice-president of the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), held a panel discussion which ran parallel to the 50th Ordinary Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The objective of the event is to oppose the extradition of Julian Assange and to express the grave concerns regarding the violations of Assange’s human, civil and political rights.
Julian Assange has been held without legal grounds in Belmarsh maximum security prison in the UK since 2019. He is accused by the United States of violating the Espionage Act for the publication between 2010 and 2011 of classified documents revealing war crimes and torture camps in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julian Assange could face a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.
At the invitation of the Swiss Press Club in Geneva, Swiss and international organizations of journalists and publishers as well as editors call with one voice for the release of Julian Assange in the name of freedom of the press, the June 22 at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva at 11 a.m. CEST. A very large mobilization of journalists and media was formed when the British government authorized this June 17 the extradition of the founder of WikiLeaks to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison. This Geneva coalition, which is joined by journalistic organizations from many other countries, is directly challenging the British and American authorities. It also asks the Swiss authorities, in the name of freedom of the press and human rights,
The coalition supports Julian Assange who will use all possible remedies to oppose his extradition and regain his freedom. His only crime is to have published classified documents revealing in particular war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bearers of the Appeal will recall in particular on this occasion that an extradition of Julian Assange would have serious repercussions for investigative journalism since any use of so-called “classified” or secret documents could be prosecuted and result in a prison sentence for the investigators. . This threat will reinforce the pressure for self-censorship and encourage the renunciation of disclosing information of public interest coming from “protected” official sources.
Since May 18, the decision to extradite Julian Assange at the request of the United States has been in the sole hands of the British Minister of Justice, Priti Patel. She decided this Friday, June 17 to sign the extradition order considering that there was no reason to prohibit this order. This in flagrant violation of human rights and total disregard for press freedom.
As a reminder, Julian Assange, after having lived as a recluse at the Ecuadorian Embassy for seven years, has now been locked up for more than three years in Belmarsh Penitentiary, the high security prison in London, where he suffers, according to Nils Melzer , UN special rapporteur on torture, a treatment that amounts to torture. His health has seriously deteriorated and if extradited, he faces a 175-year prison sentence.
Beyond the human aspects and the violation of human rights dear to Geneva, the case of Julian Assange constitutes a major challenge for the future of press freedom as it is increasingly attacked in all latitudes. , including in Switzerland. It should be noted that the latter country, even if the situation there is described as “rather good”, has lost four places in the 2022 ranking of Reporters Without Borders, thus falling to 14th place. Recent provisions affecting the freedom of the press explain this result in particular.
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, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and National Syndicate of Journalists (France)
Marc Meschenmoser , co-president Investigativ.ch
Jean-Philippe Ceppi , producer, TempsPresent (RTS) and investigativ.ch member
Nicole Lamon , Associate Editor, 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, President of Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), Australia (Zoom)
Mika Beuster, Co-Head, Deutscher Journalisten Verband, (Association of German Journalists), Germany (Zoom)
Jean Musy , President of the Association of the Foreign Press in Switzerland (APES)
Agustin Yanel , General Secretary, Federation of Spanish Journalists’ Unions, Spain
Pierre Ruetschi , Executive Director, Swiss Press Club and President of the Dumur Prize.
Ten other Swiss editors support the Appeal. Other international organizations join the Call.
On Sunday, May 29, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland gave the commencement speech at the Harvard University graduation ceremony for the class of 2020-21. Harvard students teamed up with Boston Area Assange Defense and other local activists to protest Garland’s speech over the continued prosecution of Julian Assange.
Mike Miccioli, class of ’22, explained why he and other Harvard students decided to use the commencement speech to draw attention to Assange’s plight:
“The prosecution of Julian Assange violates the First Amendment right to a free press. If Assange’s work with Manning is criminalized, this would open the door for any investigative journalist to be prosecuted for their standard work. If he is charged under the Espionage Act, a similar legal case could be built against any journalist who reports unflatteringly on US national security. Although he published evidence of war crimes, torture, surveillance, corruption, and more, no one in the US government has ever been held legally accountable for such exposures. Merrick Garland’s commencement speech is an important opportunity to bring awareness to this political persecution. In addition to drawing attention from the attendees, we hope to make Garland ask himself whether he wants this to be his legacy – the first prosecution of a publisher under the Espionage Act. Since Garland is Harvard class of ’74 and Harvard Law class of ’77, the university should be feeling a sense of shame for this reckless case, not inviting him to opine at the largest event on campus.”
After the event, Miccioli spoke with Assange Defense about the action:
Boston Area Assange Defense campaigner Susan McLucas said,
“After almost 2 years of helping organize rallies for Julian Assange, I was delighted to hear that Merrick Garland would be in our neighborhood at Harvard’s graduation. It was disturbing, though not surprising, to hear him encourage the graduates to take up public service (unspoken message: Just don’t try to end wars by exposing US war crimes!)”
“Merrick Garland, you need to make the biggest gift to the future of our younger generation possible by ending this assault on our most basic freedom that establishes the infrastructure for our democracy. End the prosecution of Julian Assange.”
Boston Area Assange Defense campaigner Paula Iasella recounted the effort to organize Sunday’s demonstration:
“Mike, a Harvard student, came out of nowhere last summer to one of our Boston actions, took the microphone and wowed me with his understanding of the Espionage Act and the Assange case. Mike wrote to us in April, suggesting an action at Harvard’s graduation, protesting AG Merrick Garland who was the keynote speaker.
Weeks of planning between the Harvard students and Boston Area Assange Defense made for a successful event protesting Merrick Garland’s unconstitutional prosecution of a journalist.
It demonstrated the importance of Boston’s online networking in tandem with consistent boots-on-the-ground – showing up, in person, to spread the Free Assange message while giving others space to speak up publicly for Julian.”
What is a war of aggression? What is a war crime? What are crimes against humanity? How is the public to know when they occur and by whom they are perpetrated? What and who censors the press and for what reasons? Why didn’t we listen when Julian Assange exposed US war crimes? With the war in Ukraine raging and the ashes in Iraq still smoldering, these questions need to be clearly defined before they can be answered completely and truthfully.
Sponsored by LA Progressive, CodePink, the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU Pasadena/Foothill Chapter, American Constitution Society-San Diego chapter, and Assange Defense.
Twin Cities Assange Defense hosted a panel discussion on April 9, 2022, to raise awareness and win the freedom of Julian Assange. Panelists included:
Susan Banaszewski – An activist with the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, Susan spoke about the many instances of secret government wrongdoing that would have remained hidden from the public if not for the courageous work of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Todd Pierce – A retired Army Major, Todd was a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer who represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay Prison. He spoke to the expanding realms of information and cognitive warfare increasingly deployed against the American people, and how that relates to the public’s perception of Julian Assange.
Kathya Dawe – Kathya is president of Citizens for Global Solutions MN. She is a human rights lawyer who provided legal assistance for maximum security prisoners in Brazil. At the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, she worked for the Trial Chamber in the Ratko Mladic case. She spoke to the principle of non-refoulement, and how it has been denied to Julian Assange.
Jordan S. Kushner – An attorney practicing criminal defense and civil rights law in Minneapolis since 1991, Jordan is also active in the National Lawyers Guild. He spoke to the long-established First Amendment protections that are being denied in the Assange case, not just to Julian Assange the journalist, but to the public at large which has a right to uncensored information.
Following the presentation and audience discussion, attendees mingled and picked up Assange buttons and informational literature. Six Nils Melzer books, The Trial of Julian Assange, were sold. With a bright sun warming a cool spring afternoon, we then took to the streets of Minneapolis with signs of support for Julian and press freedom. The reception we received from passersby was encouraging. We send all of that support to London in hope that Julian will soon be a free man reunited with his family.
“The most consequential trial against journalism is reaching a critical point as UK courts are set to issue the order to extradite the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to face a 175-year sentence for WikiLeaks’ renowned publications exposing war crimes, torture, abuse and illegality in Guantanamo Bay and in the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Every major press freedom group has raised the alarm that the case against him sets a precedent that will be used against other journalists the world over and has started a global race to the bottom on press freedom. Assange lost his freedom in 2010 and has not walked the streets as a free man since. As for the WikiLeaks journalists, they have been under continuous investigation since 2010 and they risk ending up charged for the same publications. This is not just a monstrous injustice, but also an unprecedented attack on the right of the public to know about the darkest corners of our governments, where wars, torture, extrajudicial killings are planned. “
Stella Assange is the wife of Julian Assange and the mother of their two little sons: they just got married in Belmarsh prison
Joseph Farrell is a British journalist who has worked with WikiLeaks since 2010
Stefania Maurizi is an investigative journalist who has worked on all WikiLeaks secret documents since 2009.
Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the late 1960s, which put the US government on trial for its war crimes in Vietnam, the Belmarsh Tribunal exposes the crimes of the so-called War on Terror 20 years after the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo Bay — and calls for Julian Assange’s freedom.
On February 18, 2022, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer discussed his new book, The Trial of Julian Assange, in a press briefing with the Foreign Press Association.
PA Newswire: ‘No legal basis for leaving Assange in high security prison – human rights expert’
Accusations of the psychological torture of Julian Assange have not been addressed, with no legal basis for leaving the WikiLeaks founder locked up in solitary confinement in a high security prison, a human rights expert has claimed.
Nils Melzer, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, said Mr Assange’s health is being “destroyed” as he remains in Belmarsh prison in London as the United States continues to try to extradite him. … The UN official, speaking about his book The Trial Of Julian Assange, said allegations that Mr Assange hacked sensitive information were based on fabricated evidence. … He said he declined to become involved when he was first approached, shortly after Mr Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but acted after receiving medical reports.
Mr Melzer visited the WikiLeaks founder in prison, saying: “I did not expect to find torture. What I found shocked me.”
He claimed “mass violations” of Mr Assange’s human rights, which he added have not been properly addressed.
“When Ecuador finally turned [Assange] over to Britain in 2019, the US immediately demanded his extradition and threatened him with 175 years in prison. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, initially declined to get involved. Only when he visited Assange in prison and researched the facts did he begin to see through the deception and recognize the case for what it really was: the story of a political persecution.
Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture. Melzer’s compelling investigation shows how—through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference—unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.”
If the Biden Administration persists in demanding Julian Assange’s removal from Great Britain to the United States, investigative journalism as we know it will be in mortal danger.
Future administrations will claim a legal basis to extradite any journalist, anywhere in the world – whether they’re American citizens or not – setting a precedent for authoritarian governments around the world.
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, and one of America’s and the world’s leading advocates for press freedom
Marjorie Cohn, Advisory Board Member for both PDA and the Assange Defense Committee, also the former President of the National Lawyers Guild
Jody Armour, USC Law Professor
Nathan Fuller, Director of Assange Defense
Alan Minsky, Moderator, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America
In one of the most widely watched cases for global press freedom, last Friday the UK High Court ruled Julian Assange could be extradited to the US. Press freedom, human rights, and civil liberties organizations have unanimously condemned the US government’s indictment of the WikiLeaks publisher under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful information about US war crimes and other abuses of power.
A lower court judge had ruled that US prison conditions and Assange’s mental health would make the extradition oppressive. The High Court also ignored concerns about Assange’s health, and the fact that the CIA had plotted to kidnap and even assassinate him. Assange is now one step closer to being in the hands of a government that has relentlessly persecuted him for daring to expose its secrets.
This all-star expert panel discussed the impact of Assange’s prosecution on press freedom, the ramifications of the High Court’s decision, and what comes next.
Stefania Maurizi is an investigative journalist for Il Fatto Quotidiano. She has worked with Julian Assange and “WikiLeaks” since 2009, teaming up with large teams of international media to cover and investigate all WikiLeaks’ secret documents: from the secret files on the war in Afghanistan (Afghan War Logs) to the US diplomacy cables (Cablegate), from the files on the Guantanamo detainees (Gitmo Files) on up to the most recent revelations about the European military mission against boats travelling from Libya to Italy smuggling migrants and refugees and the espionage activities against French and the European leaders by the National Security Agency (NSA). She is the author in Italian, of Il potere segreto: Perché vogliono distruggere Julian Assange e WikiLeaks, which is expected to be translated into English next year.
Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, Unauthorized Disclosure and curates The Dissenter newsletter. Kevin attended Assange’s initial hearings (first in person and now with COVID virtually) and reported on them daily. He also extensively covered Chelsea Manning’s court martial.
Jeffrey Sterling is a lawyer and former CIA case officer who sued the CIA for racial discrimination. In 2015, Sterling became another victim in the US government’s war on whistleblowers when he was convicted under the Espionage Act. Only circumstantial evidence was presented during the controversial trial. Jeffery authored the book Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.
Chip Gibbons is the Policy Director of Defending Rights & Dissent where he hosts the Primary Sources Podcast, which focuses on the challenges of national security whistleblowers. He also covered the UK High Court hearings in US v. Julian Assange as a correspondent for Jacobin, where his most recent piece was “Julian Assange’s Extradition to the United States Would Result in Serious Human Rights Violations.” Chip is currently working on a book on the history of the FBI exploring the relationship between domestic political surveillance and the emergence of the US national security state. Titled The Imperial Bureau, it is expected to be published by Verso in 2024.
Just days before Julian Assange returns to court in London as the United States government appeals his extradition decision before the UK’s High Court, supporters are calling for Assange’s freedom at rallies and vigils across the United States and around the world.
What’s Next for Julian Assange?
Will revelations of the CIA plots to kidnap or kill Assange and of the key FBI prosecution witness admitting he lied have an impact on the October 27-28 UK extradition hearings? Julian’s life and the future of a free press rest on this case.
Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton and editor at The GrayzoneMax Blumenthal remotely join attorneys Margaret Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek for discussion with WBAI radio host and moderator Mimi Rosenberg.
Repressing Free Speech: From Hip Hop to Julian Assange
The LA Assange Defense group has put together a fantastic program hosted by author and USC Law Professor Jody Armour, with rappers drawing connections between threats to their own free speech and Assange’s journalism, weaving together new performances, interviews with whistleblowers, and a discussion about freedom of expression.
Colorado supporters called their representatives to ask them to protect the First Amendment and call on Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange.
Milwaukee rally and music performance
George Martin compares Darnella Frazier and Julian Assange
Full video: October 22 rally
Guitarist Chris Borg performed and activist Ann Batiza spoke out in defense of Julian Assange and a free press in Milwaukee, WI.
Stand for Peace: October 23
War on Terror Film Festival
Veteran journalist and Associate Editor of The Electronic Intifada, Nora Barrows-Friedman, hosts a discussion with director of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore, along with co-director of The War You Don’t See, John Pilger, public intellectual Noam Chomsky, and attorney and partner of Julian Assange, Stella Moris.
Stand Ups for Assange NYC
Part 2 of the Stand-Ups for Assange featuring Lee Camp, Randy Credico, and Katie Halper!
Special remarks from Margaret Kimberley and Margaret Kunstler!
America has a shameful history of censoring marginal voices who had the courage to speak truth to power, from Fred Hampton to Angela Davis to Daniel Ellsberg to Colin Kaepernick to Ice Cube. Today, Julian Assange is being prosecuted for telling the truth about US war crimes. We need to stand with all victims of censorship.
On Tuesday, April 27, CODEPINK Congress focused on freeing Julian Assange and all whistleblowers.
The event featured three guests:
Gabriel Shipton, Julian Assange’s half-brother. Gabriel is a Melbourne-based film producer. When he isn’t making movies, he campaigns for the freedom of his half-brother Julian Assange.
Stella Morris is Julian Assange’s partner, mother of two of his children, and an attorney with his legal team.
Chip Gibbons is the policy director and legislative counsel for Defending Rights & Dissent, an organization founded by victims of the House Un-American Activities Committee that works to protect the right to engage in political expression. In this capacity, he has advised both state and federal lawmakers on the First Amendment.
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, is incarcerated in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, where he is fighting US extradition on espionage charges related to his involvement with whistleblower Chelsea Manning and the publication of the Baghdad airstrike of 2007 and Iraq War Logs, among other documents.
Daniel Hale is a heroic former intelligence analyst who pled guilty to informing the public about the drone warfare program. He faces sentencing on July 31st for violations of the Espionage Act. Meanwhile, NO ONE in the US government who authorized the killing of civilians has ever been held accountable.
On April 19 at 10am CDT, British journalist Mohamed Elmaazi and Professor of International and Criminal Law Mohamed A. ‘Arafa discussed the prosecution of Julian Assange, in a panel event hosted by the Chicago chapter of Assange Defense.
Elmaazi has covered Assange’s case extensively, including courtroom coverage of all of Assange’s extradition hearings. Elmaazi will discuss the Espionage Act charges against the WikiLeaks founder.
As the Rapporteur on the Rule of Law for Egypt, a widely published Professor of International and Criminal Law at Alexandria University in Egypt, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law in New York, Professor ‘Arafa outlined and deconstructed the attempted character assassination of Assange, from misconceptions to outright falsehoods, in the media and in the courtroom.
Julian Assange is facing a 175-year sentence for publishing US government documents revealing evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses. The publication of these public interest releases was the result of collaboration between WikiLeaks and multiple news organizations including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and many others. The politically motivated decision to prosecute is unprecedented and would set a chilling precedent for every journalist and publisher in the world.
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.
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.
This international public symposium of parliamentarians and legislators discusses and examines the issues at stake in the Julian Assange case. The event was livestreamed by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels.
All major Human Rights and Free Press Organizations have opposed Assange’s extradition including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and many more. Newspaper Editorial boards including The Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Speigel, Le Monde, as well as major Journalist Unions including the UK’s NUJ and Australia’s MEAA have voiced their strong opposition to the proceeding against Assange and the threat it poses to journalism and the free press.
Session 1. Briefing on the Julian Assange case with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner. Chaired by Richard Burgon MP. Followed by questions and contributions.
Session 2. Country Reports: A chance for attendees to discuss the situation in their countries.
Session 3. How to take the campaign forward. With former Nobel prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, German Member of Parliament Sevim Dagdelen and UK MP Richard Burgon – with questions and contributions from attendees.
Assange supporters Candles4Assange have put together an incredibly helpful list of actions planned for Julian Assange on April 11th around the world, to mark 2 years of his unjust imprisonment. The full Twitter thread is here but we’ve also listed each event by city below.
George Freeman—Executive Director, Media Law Resource Center
Erin Aubry Kaplan—long-time LA journalist
Jim Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild,
Featuring exclusive recorded comments from Daniel Ellsberg
Erin Aubry Kaplan is a contributing writer to the New York Times opinion page and a former weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, the first African American in the paper’s history to hold the position. She is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista,” (2011) and “I Heart Obama” (2016).
George Freeman is Executive Director of the Media Law Resource Center. He is a former Assistant General Counsel of the New York Times Company, where he was at the forefront of numerous high-profile cases for the company and its affiliated businesses. He is the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia Journalism School and also teaches at New York University and CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has led or participated in many media groups and is the founder and Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law annual conference.
Jim Lafferty is the Executive Director Emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles; and the host of The Lawyers Guild Show on KPFK.
Daniel Ellsberg, a former defense analyst, set in motion a chain of events that led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that said government efforts to halt publication of the Pentagon Papers represented a prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment freedom of the press.
Congressional candidate Jen Perelman and podcaster Katie Halper co-hosted #FreeAssangeTelethon, an all-day livestream event featuring renowned activists, journalists, comedians, and many others highlighting the persecution of Julian Assange and encouraging supporters across the U.S. to call their representatives to demand the DOJ drop the charges. Find a sample phone script for your call to your representative below!
1:30 p.m. EDT: START
1:45-2:00 p.m. EDT: Nathan Fuller of the Assange Defense Committee
2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT: John Kiriakou, Medea Benjamin, and Kevin Gosztola
3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT: Lee Camp, Rania Khalek, and Ron Placone
4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT: Justin Jackson, Kate Willett, and Jordan Chariton
5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT: Norman Solomon, Marjorie Cohn, and Shahid Buttar
6:00-7:00 p.m. EDT: Chris Hedges & Margaret Kimberley
An online panel discussion on the persecution of Julian Assange. A British judge has recently blocked his extradition from the UK to the US, where he would face unprecedented charges that aim to criminalize basic journalistic activity. The US is appealing that decision, but the indictment against Assange was drawn up during the Trump administration, and the newly elected Biden DOJ should take a new look at the case and drop the charges.
Our panel will gave an overview of Assange’s case, the threat his prosecution poses to the First Amendment, and the latest on his legal proceedings in the UK.
Alice Walker: Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Mumia Abu-Jamal: political prisoner
Nathan Fuller: Director, Courage Foundation
Joe Lombardo: National Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Jeff Mackler: Director, The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal/Northern California and Steering Committee, AssangeDefense.org
On January 12, the Los Angeles Branch of the Assange Defense Committee hosted a discussion on the prosecution of Julian Assange within the context of the U.S. history of persecuting political dissidents. Sharon Kyle, publisher of LA Progressive, moderated the discussion with University of Southern California law professor Jody Armour and Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor emerita Marjorie Cohn.
Take action for Assange by joining the Assange Defense Committee, writing letters to your representatives, and sharing our petition.
Nils Melzer–United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture
Ray McGovern–former, longtime CIA Russia analyst, presidential daily briefer, and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Ann Batiza–Milwaukee Branch of the Assange Defense Committee
Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; and Ray McGovern, former CIA Russia analyst, presidential daily briefer for George H.W. Bush and current peace activist (who is growing his beard in solidarity with Julian Assange), discussed the unprecedented extradition trial of Walkley-award-winning publisher and seven times (including 2020) nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, Julian Assange. Notably, Mr. Assange said, “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”Amnesty International, theACLU, Rebecca Vincentof Reporters without Borders, Laura Poitras writing in the New York Times, Barton Gellmanwriting in the Guardian,Alan Rusbridgerformer editor ofthe Guardian,Glenn Greenwald now on Substack, editor Marty Baron of the Washington Post and editor-in-chief Dean Baquet of the New York Times have all described the threat to press freedom posed by this extradition trial. It is time that the public also understood what was at stake.
Monday, January 4th 2021 | 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT Online Event: Register here
Live reactions to the UK verdict, moderated by Shadowproof’s Kevin Gosztola
Author, historian, and former MIT professor
Former president, National Lawyers Guild
Pentagon Papers whistleblower
On January 4, 2021, at 10:00am London time, a British magistrates’ judge will rule on whether to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange from the United Kingdom to the United States. Assange, an Australian citizen who has been in arbitrary detention since 2012 and imprisoned since April 2019, has been indicted in the U.S. for publishing government documents in 2010, in a landmark attack on the First Amendment. The U.S. wants to dictate what can and can’t be published around the world — will the U.K. bow to U.S. pressure and help put an award-winning journalist on trial?
Leading academics, lawyers, fellow journalists and human rights defenders across the globe have condemned the U.S. prosecution. On Jan. 4th at 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT, the Assange Defense Committee and Shadowproof will host an online panel event to respond to the judge’s ruling and provide context for the press freedom issues at stake.
OR Books, the Courage Foundation, and DiEM25 are thrilled to launch our new book WE ARE MILLIONS. The team behind the #WeAreMillions project are joined by contributors Chris Hedges, Angela Richter, and Ben Cohen to discuss the book and the global support for Julian Assange as he fights extradition to the United States.
10 years ago on 28 November 2010 WikiLeaks started publishing over 250 000 US diplomatic cables known as Cablegate along with Der Spiegel, El Pais, Le Monde the Guardian.
It has transformed journalism in the digital age. The cables have contributed significantly to public and political conversations all around the world, they became valuable reference resource to researchers, universities, investigative journalists, human rights advocates and lawyers.
The Cables also revealed that governments overclassified information and kept secrets that should have been subject to public scrutiny and debate and have genuinely revolutionized our understanding of political reality.
In recognition, a year later Julian Assange won Walkley Award, Australian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for “the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency, applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.”
Julian Assange has been charged by the Trump administration for publications of these cables, Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs which exposed war crimes and human rights abuses — for which he now faces a 175 year prison sentence.
To mark 10 years of the release Don’t Extradite Assange hosted an online discussion chaired by John Rees, on the panel Alison Broinowski former Australian diplomat, academic, journalist and Craig Murray former British diplomat, human rights campaigner, whistleblower and Hans-Christof von Sponeck former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.
The Iraq war is the defining military conflict of the 21st century.
Almost 10 years ago WikiLeaks published the Iraq War Logs along with The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Washington Post and other news outlets.
The Iraq War logs showed the true numbers of civilian deaths in Iraq, at least 15,000 more people had died than previously thought, as well as the abuse and torture of prisoners by police and military in full knowledge of coalition forces. This also resulted in creating the Iraq Body Count project.
The Guardian at the time stated “The US figures appear to be unreliable in respect of civilian deaths caused by their own military activities.”
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange remains held at a maximum security prison in London in relation to a US extradition request – he faces a sentence of 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest which include the Iraq War Logs.
Don’t Extradite Assange campaign organized an online panel with investigative journalists Iain Overton and Chris Woods to discuss the impact of their release.
Organized by Courage Foundation an online panel of experts to examine what Julian Assange would endure and be up against if the United Kingdom extradites him to the U.S., from pre- and potentially post-trial prison conditions, the lack of a public interest defense under the Espionage Act, and the extremely high rate of convictions in U.S. federal courts.
Barry Pollack, Julian Assange’s attorney in the U.S.
Jeffrey Sterling, CIA whistleblower who was convicted under the Espionage Act
Lauri Love, U.K. activist who successfully defeated an extradition request from the United States
Moderated by Kevin Gosztola, independent U.S. journalist at Shadowproof.com who has covered Chelsea Manning’s military court martial and Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings thus far.
On the 10th year anniversary of the release of the Afghan War logs former soldier Joe Glenton, jailed for refusing to fight in Afghanistan, and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson will discuss the effects of that war and the importance of the freedom of the press, moderated by Labour MP Claudia Webbe.
Afghan War logs reveal torture, evidence of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings that involve abundant and compelling evidence of war crimes committed by US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. This is one of the reasons why Julian Assange has been indicted for by releasing these documents by WikiLeaks. You can watch from 2010 Amnesty International’s reaction to US military files released by WikiLeaks here.
Official launch of a film about the state torture on Assange, written, produced and directed by John Furse. A a film that will confound viewers just as the UN Special Rapporteur was confounded when he discovered the truth behind the headlines. This revelatory film shows how WikiLeaks founder Assange is a victim of prolonged psychological torture, an abuse of human rights and international law recognised and classified by the United Nations (UN).
We discover how a sustained assault on his credibility as a journalist and publisher and a deliberate enterprise to break his psychological and physical health has developed.
Follow up discussion with Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and John Furse, moderated by Rebecca Vincent from Reporters Without Borders.
For the 10th year anniversary of WikiLeaks releasing Collateral Murder video, we commemorated this event with an online panel which you can watch here: Collateral Murder – 10 Years On The video shows how two Apache helicopters murdered 11 Iraqi people including two Rueters journalists. This is one of the publications Julian Assange is being indicted for espionage. He faces 175 years in a US jail if extradited from the UK. We are doing a special follow up broadcast with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson, Iraqi Democrat Sami Ramadani and special guest Dean Yates Former Reuters journalist, who was in charge of the bureau in Baghdad when his Iraqi colleagues Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed in July 12 2007. You can read his story here.
Julian Assange has been subjected to psychological torture. That is the conclusion of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. But it is not the only medical issue in a case where the defendant is held in a prison where two inmates have died of coronavirus.
Three doctors who have been campaigning over the treatment of Julian Assange. Dr Lissa Johnson – Psychologist and New Matilda columnist, Dr Derek Summerfield – Honorary senior lecturer at London’s Institute of Psychiatry and Dr Bob Gill – NHS doctor and producer of The Great NHS Heist discuss these vital concerns.
All three speakers are members of Doctors for Assange who have written both to the Australian and the British governments to voice their serious concerns about the health of Julian Assange and to condemn the violations of his right to be free from torture, right to health, and right to doctor-patient confidentiality.
The UK’s already overcrowded prison system has been thrown into crisis by the outbreak of Covid 19. Prisoners and staff have suffered a high infection and death rate. The government at first promised an early release programme to reduce overcrowding, but then quickly abandoned it. What is happening in our prisons? Why haven’t even remand prisoners who are convicted of no crime, like Julian Assange, been released on bail? These pressing questions were discussed by the following experts: Richard Garside – Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Faith Spear – Criminologist and Former Prison Monitor, Steve Gillan – General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association.
The Treaty under which the United States is seeking to extradite Julian Assange has been widely condemned, even by Boris Johnson, as unbalanced. Some 200 UK citizens have been extradited from Britain to the US. Only 11 Americans have been extradited to the UK. Our panel will ask if the Extradition Treaty is fit for purpose. On the panel – David Davis MP, British Conservative Party politician with Radd Seiger legal advisor for Harry Dunn family, moderated by Baronnes Helena Kennedy QC, Scottish barrister and Labour member of the House of Lords.
A chance to learn first-hand from some of whistleblowers who have shaped what we know about modern politics, the importance of free speech, a free press, and the case of Julian Assange. With, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Katharine Gun who revealed Iraq War secrets from GCHQ and former CIA officer John Kiriakou who confirmed that waterboarding was used to interrogate al-Qaeda prisoners.
Discussion between journalists about Julian’s current situation in prison and how his persecution affects journalism and the democracy. On the panel: John Pilger – award winning journalist, Stefania Maurizi– investigative journalist, Charles Glass – author, journalist, broadcaster
The cockpit video of an Apache helicopter shooting journalists and Iraqi civilians became one of the greatest journalistic coups of this century when it was released 10 years ago. Ann Wright – retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, Kristinn Hrafnsson – editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and columnist and essayist Nozomi Hayase discussed the global political impact of that revelation, with a new video presentation that interviews the families of the Iraqis who lost their relatives in the attack.
The charges Julian Assange faces are a major threat to press freedom. After being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Assange is now in a high security prison in London where he faces extradition to the United States and imprisonment for the rest of his life.
At this forum hosted by UCLA Law School, distinguished lawyers and activists will will explore the vitally important journalistic role Julian Assange has played in exposing the lawlessness of the US government and the threat posed by his prosecution to everyone who believes in freedom of the press.
Alveena Shah, UCLA Law School, Moderator
Barry Pollack, Julian Assange’s US attorney
Marjorie Cohn, National Lawyers Guild
Carey Shenkman, First Amendment lawyer
Jim Lafferty, National Lawyers Guild-LA
Stephen Rohde, Constitutional scholar, ACLU SoCal
Sharon Kyle JD, LA Progressive
Featuring filmed interviews with Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky, and Daniel Ellsberg.
First major protest march to Parliament Squaren in support of Assange was lead by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Greek MP Yanis Varoufakis.They were joined in their call not to extradite Julian Assange by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, John Shipton (Julian Assange’s father), musician Brian Eno, rapper and activist Lowkey, Kristinn Hrafnsson from WikiLeaks, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Tariq Ali writer and activist, and Tim Dawson from the National Union of Journalists. The march was from Australia House to Parliament Square.
Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell spoke at a public rally in central London joined by former Shadow Secretary of state Richard Burgon as well as Tim Dawson an executive of the National Union of Journalists, Nils Melzer the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Kristinn Hrafnsson editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Jen Robinson from Julian Assange’s legal team, and activist and writer Tariq Ali.
World famous artist MIA, Croatian philosopher, author and political activist Srećko Horvat, and British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, joined Julian Assange’s father John Shipton with this protest to halt the extradition case against Julian Assange.
World famous musician Roger Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd performed the band’s classic ‘Wish You Were Here’ after speaking about the importance of empathizing with Julian and defending him. John Pilger, filmmaker and journalist, opened the event with an impassioned speech before calling on Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton and Roger Waters to the stage.