Categories
Press Release

A resolution campaign is being launched across the labour movement in solidarity with Assange

03. 06. 2020

A new call for solidarity with Julian Assange has been issued as his extradition hearing is set to resume in September. Following motions in support of Assange at Birmingham TUC and from the National Union of Journalists a resolution campaign is being launched across the labour movement. The comprehensive resolution adopted by the NUJ is to be circulated for other trade unions, Labour Party bodies, and campaign organisations to adapt for thier own use.  

‘Please put this resolution to your next meeting’, said John Rees from the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign, ‘this is the defining free speech case of the 21st century. Freedom of information, free from government censorship, is the lifeblood of an effective labour movement. The NUJ have made a stand. Follow their example’.

The NUJ resolution is reproduced in full below and can be found here.

Please adapt it as required for your own organisation and let us know when it passes at: office@dontextraditeassange.com

Here are four other useful campaigning tools. 
Our petition: https://www.change.org/p/release-julian-assange-from-belmarsh-prison-before-covid-19-spreads
Write to your MP: https://assangedefense.org/mp 
Donate: https://assangedefense.org/donate
For the full breadth of support for Julian Assange: https://assangedefense.org/statements




National Union of Journalists’ resolution notes:

1. That WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is held in Belmarsh prison awaiting United States extradition proceedings, a process that can take many years.

2. If Assange is successfully prosecuted in the US he faces 175 years in prison.

3. That the extraterritorial application of the Espionage Act in the indictment of Assange criminalises journalistic activities, in this case activities carried out on UK soil by a non-US national, in collaboration with numerous UK media (including The Guardian, Channel 4 and The Telegraph).

4. That previous statements by the General Secretary of the NUJ, by the Australian Journalists Union MEAA, and by the International Federation of Journalists’ organisations have supported Assange. 

5. That there is a political dimension to extraditions and that the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and US makes the extradition of Assange more likely to go ahead.

Believes:

1. That Assange’s indictment comes at a time of heightened threats to the press in Western countries in the form of raids on newspapers and broadcasters, government claims that the press are ‘the enemy of the people’, and actual prosecutions involving life-long sentences for publishing accurately.

2. That Assange’s extradition to the United States would establish a dangerous precedent with regard to the prosecution of journalists in this country under the UK Official Secrets Act given the requirement for the UK courts to accept US arguments as to dual criminality for the extradition to go ahead. 

3. That press freedoms in this country will be weakened if the courts accept that NUJ members’ publishing activities in this country can give rise to criminal liability in foreign states and to their consequent lawful extradition.

4. That the publication of the Afghan and Iraq war logs and other material by WikiLeaks that are the subject of the US indictment revealed important information that has benefitted the public.

5. Disclosing information to the public should never be equated with espionage 

Resolves

1. To campaign to stop the extradition of Julian Assange to the US.

2. To write to the Home Secretary, the Shadow Home Secretary, and the Shadow Justice Secretary making the union’s case on this issue.

Categories
Press Release

12 years since Cablegate – Media groups urge US to drop Julian Assange charges

Marking the 12th anniversary since the publication of Cablegate, first outlets to publish WikiLeaks material, including the Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and The New York Times, come together to oppose the US prosecution of Julian Assange.

Media organizations that first helped Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange publish leaked diplomatic cables, pen an open letter telling the US government it must drop his prosecution because it is undermining press freedom.

The letter reads:

“Cablegate”, a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US state department, disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale.

For Julian Assange, publisher of WikLeaks, the publication of “Cablegate” and several other related leaks had the most severe consequences. On April 12th 2019, Assange was arrested in London on a US arrest warrant, and has now been held for three and a half years in a high-security British prison usually used for terrorists and members of organised crime groups. He faces extradition to the US and a sentence of up to 175 years in an American maximum-security prison.

This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s first amendment and the freedom of the press.

Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalised, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.

Twelve years after the publication of “Cablegate”, it is time for the US government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets.

Publishing is not a crime.

Categories
Press Release

Wikileaks delegation touring Latin America to raise support for Julian Assange

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador are touring Latin America, meeting with seven heads of state to discuss Julian Assange’s extradition battle and raise support for his release.

On November 21st Hrafnsson and Farrell met with the President of Colombia Gustavo Petro and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Álvaro Leyva Duran in Bogota. President Petro promised to help “put pressure on the Biden government” to drop the charges against Julian Assange, expressed his commitment to fight for his freedom, and encouraged political leaders around the world to do the same.

“They’ve shown a clear commitment to support the fight for Julian Assange’s freedom, and strongly recognized the implications for press freedom worldwide that his extradition would set”, Hrafnsson said in a statement after the meeting.

After their meeting with President Petro, Hrafnsson and Farrell attended an event with Colombian NGO’s where they discussed Julian Assange, human rights and how to defend freedom of the press.

On November 22nd, WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson took part in the event “Assange, Wikileaks and journalism: freedom of expression imprisoned” at the National University of Colombia together with representatives of academia and freedom of expression organisations.

Categories
Press Release

Assange doc Ithaka makes North American premiere 

Ithaka, the new documentary recounting the efforts of John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, to campaign for his son’s freedom around the world, has made its North American premiere at the DOCNYC film festival in New York City on Sunday. 

The film was produced by Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton and directed by Ben Lawrence, who participated in a Q&A session following the film screening. 

Ithaka is currently available for limited streaming online until November 27. Filmgoers reacted to the screening outside of SVA Theatre following the premiere:

Vote for Ithaka for the Audience Award!

Here’s how:

Can a lawsuit against the CIA affect the U.S. attempt to extradite Julian Assange?

November 13 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm CST

Featuring Deborah Hrbek, partner at HRBEKKunstler & Marjorie Cohn, former president of National Lawyers Guild

Deborah Hrbek will discuss the July lawsuit against the CIA, Mike Pompeo, and UC Global filed in August by Hrbek, her law partner Margaret Ratner Kunstler, and two American journalists, whose constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the US government were violated when they visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Hrbek will discuss the implications of that lawsuit on the Assange extradition matter, while Marjorie Cohn will unpack the extradition request and indictment. Both will discuss why press freedom and government accountability is at stake if the Department of Justice continues to prosecute Julian Assange and seek his extradition.

Roundtable: Julian Assange and Freedom of the Press

November 11 @ 7:30 am 9:30 am PST

Why is President Biden actively pursuing the prosecution of Julian Assange brought by President Trump and rejected by President Obama, which poses a grave danger to the freedom of the press? Learn the latest about the international movement to end the prosecution of Assange and what you can do about it.

Join the conversation with our speakers:

Vincent De Stefano

Vincent De Stefano is founding member of Assange Defense in Southern California. He also sits on the National steering committee and is their National Organizing Coordinator. He currently serves as President of the Pasadena/Foothill chapter of the ACLU and sits on the ACLU Affiliate board and the Executive Committee. He has been involved with Amnesty International for more than four decades and was the recipient of Amnesty’s 2019 Urgent Action Hero award.

Jim Lafferty

Jim Lafferty is the Executive Director Emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles, co-host of The Lawyers Guild Show on KPFK, and co-host of the national public affairs show, Law & Disorder. He is a board member of the ACLU of Southern California, a fellow of The Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California, and a founding member of the national Julian Assange Defense Committee and its Los Angeles affiliate.

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is a retired criminal defense attorney, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and member of the advisory board of Assange Defense and the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Marjorie is a legal and political analyst who writes a regular column for Truthout, does frequent media commentary, and has published several books. She is co-host of the nationally broadcast radio show “Law and Disorder.”

Carey Shenkman

Carey Shenkman is a lawyer, author, and litigator focusing on freedom of speech. He testified in the Assange extradition proceedings, and is co-author of the book A Century of Repression: the Espionage Act and Freedom of the Press.

Stephen Rohde

Stephen Rohde is a lecturer, writer, political activist, and retired constitutional lawyer. In addition to his role as a founder and Chair of ICUJP, he is a past Chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, past Chair and board member of Death Penalty Focus, and Chair Emeritus of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Steve authored the books American Words of Freedom and Freedom of Assembly and is co-author of Foundations of Freedom, published by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Schedule:

  • 7:30 – 7:35  Log in and socialize
  • 7:35 – 7:45  Welcome and introductions
  • 7:45 – 7:50  Reflection (5 min. maximum)
  • 7:50 – 9:15  Program and Q&A
  • 9:15 – 9:20  Announcements
  • 9:20 – 9:30  Closing circle and prayer

Start your morning with us!

  • Reflection: Dick Bunce
  • Facilitator: Phil Way
  • Zoom host: Carolfrances Likins

** Meetings begin promptly at 7:30 am Pacific. **

Categories
Past Events Press Release

VIDEO: Oct. 8 DOJ rally to Free Assange

Video credit: Joe Friendly // October 8, 2022, at the Department of Justice

Speeches by Jill Stein, Chip Gibbons, Rev. Annie Chambers, Ben Cohen, Chris Hedges, and dozens more followed a march around the DOJ.

Protests around the country to free Assange

Categories
Press Release

Critically acclaimed Assange film ‘Ithaka’ gets North American premiere at DOC NYC

★★★Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★ Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
★★★★★ Margaret Pomeranz

Ithaka, director Ben Lawrence’s feature documentary about the determined public advocacy by Julian’s father, John Shipton, in the face of legal battles and media glare, will have its North American premiere at DOC NYC on November 13.

The film’s US premiere at this prestigious documentary festival comes as Assange continues to be incarcerated in Britain’s notorious Belmarsh Prison as he fights extradition from Britain to the US.

Assange married his partner Stella Moris in Belmarsh earlier this year in a ceremony attended by their two children, Assange’s father John Shipton and his brother Gabriel Shipton, who is producer of Ithaka.

Ithaka film still: John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father

Gabriel Shipton and Ben Lawrence will attend the New York City screening.

Ithaka is Writer/Director Ben Lawrence’s return to documentary after the success of his earlier film Ghosthunter.

Ithaka was previously selected to screen at the Sydney Film Festival, SheffieldDoc/Fest and Doc Edge NZ, has been shortlisted for a Walkley Award, nominated for an AWG Award and nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Documentary.

Producer Gabriel Shipton said: “At a time when the space for documentaries that challenge the political status quo is harder and harder to find, we applaud DOC NYC for programming Ithaka. The story of my brother’s fight for freedom against the might of the US Government and our family’s continued efforts to secure his release is a wake-up call for people of the world to defend their democratic rights and to insist on the freedom of the press.

“It’s also a timely call to documentary filmmakers to agitate for their art form, before it is lost.”

The film begins on April 11th 2019, when images of Julian Assange being arrested from the Ecuadorian embassy in London are beamed across the world.  Since that moment Julian has been silenced and into the void have stepped lawyers, advocates, and supporters. Standing unique among them is Julian’s wife, Stella Moris and 76-year-old father, John Shipton – a self-taught builder from Sydney.  Using Julian’s extradition hearing as a framework, this intimate story of a family’s crisis traces moments from the trial and its aftermath, underscoring how Julian’s story is emblematic of a decade of uncertainty and volatility.

With this period of upheaval as a backdrop, the film frames John and Stella’s campaign and Julian’s motivations as an echo to the disquiet taking place across this increasingly partisan world – and explores this global cry for justice through the story of a family at the centre of the fight.

Music is by Brian Eno.

Ithaka film still
Categories
Press Release

Assange shortlisted for prestigious European parliament Freedom of Thought award

This was originally published by the European Parliament

MEPs have shortlisted WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, the Ukrainian people and their representatives and the Colombian Truth Commission for the 2022 Sakharov Prize.

On Thursday 13 October, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs and Development committees held a joint vote to choose the finalists for the European Parliament’s 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. They selected:

  • Julian Assange, Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher;
  • The brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders, and civil society;
  • Colombia’s Truth Commission.

Read more about all the nominees here.

Next steps

The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political groups’ leaders) will select the winning laureate on Wednesday 19 October. They will receive the prize itself at a ceremony in the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on 14 December.

Background

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov and the prize money is 50,000 euros.

Last year, Parliament awarded the prize to Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

Categories
Commentary Press Release

Alice Walker pens Kansas City Star op-ed: Biden must end Trump’s war on the press. Drop the Julian Assange case

October 10, 2022 — Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple and Assange Defense co-chair Alice Walker has written a new opinion piece on the importance of freeing Julian Assange, published in the Kansas City Star on Sunday, October 9.

Walker takes aim at the contrast between the Biden Administration’s rhetoric of major changes from the Trump Administration and the continuation of Assange’s prosecution.

What did Assange do to provoke the Trump administration’s ire? In 2010 and 2011, he embarrassed the U.S. government by exposing truths about civilian casualties, war crimes and abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The Obama-Biden administration was in power then, and set its sights on Assange. But officials had the wisdom and restraint to conclude that prosecuting Assange would create a dangerous precedent called “The New York Times problem.” Simply put, there is no way to prosecute Assange without criminalizing the same newsgathering and publishing practices used at The Times, The Kansas City Star and every other news outlet.

Surely, reasonable leaders such as Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland would not allow the prosecution — condemned by journalism and human rights groups around the world — to go forward. Right?

The Biden team inherited this debacle. Instead of abandoning Trump’s war on journalism, they have continued it. They have chosen the politics of “nothing will fundamentally change,” instead of correcting the injustices of a rogue administration.”

Read the full piece here.

Minneapolis: Oct. 8th Assange rally

October 8 @ 4:00 pm 6:00 pm CDT

SF Bay Area: Oct. 8th Assange rally

October 8 @ 12:00 pm

Bay Area Action to Free Assange

Here in the Bay Area please join us as we participate in this worldwide solidarity event of the Surround Parliament human chain. We will meet at noon on October 8th at Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco. Bring #YellowRibbons4Assange, signs, your family & friends, or just yourself. We will form a human chain of yellow ribbons, come rain or shine. If you can’t make it to San Francisco, create a chain or stand alone in your city and let us and/or @Candles4Assange know about it.

Categories
New Events Press Release

Oct. 8th Assange rallies across the U.S.

On October 8, 2022, supporters of Julian Assange in London, where Assange is imprisoned, are forming a human chain to surround Parliament in a demonstration of mass support for the jailed journalist. Supporters around the world are holding rallies locally in solidarity with the London action. See this thread from @Candles4Assange for more actions outside the U.S.

In Washington D.C., Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adepayo, and CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou are among dozens of speakers who will call for an end to the persecution of Julian Assange.

Seattle: Oct. 8th Assange rally

October 8 @ 11:30 am 2:00 pm PDT

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market
Seattle, Washington 98101 United States
+ Google Map

Tulsa: Oct. 8th Assange rally

October 8 @ 12:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT

@Tulsa4A

Denver: Oct. 8th Assange rally

October 8 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm MDT

@DNVFreeJA
Categories
Commentary Press Release

Chicago Tribune op-ed: Biden’s efforts to have Julian Assange extradited should be called out

September 27, 2022 — Stephen Rohde, a former Constitutional lawyer, a past chair of ACLU of Southern California, and a member of Assange Defense-Los Angeles, has written a new op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, urging the Tribune and other editorial boards across the country to recognize the threat to their profession posed by the prosecution of Julian Assange.

“It is called ‘the New York Times problem,'” Rohde writes, “but it could just as easily be called ‘the Tribune problem.'”

“News media outlets should be unanimous in their outrage that President Joe Biden has followed in Trump’s footsteps and continued to pursue this dangerous case.”

Rohde concludes by warning that the threat to press freedom doesn’t require a conviction — in fact it’s already begun:

“Attorney General Merrick Garland’s failure to reject the Trump-era indictment against Assange risks the erosion of the First Amendment safeguards that protect reporters and publishers. Even if Assange is never convicted, the chilling effect on investigative journalism increases with each day that Assange remains locked in a maximum-security London prison fighting extradition. If he were to be flown to the United States for trial, the damage to press freedom would be immeasurable.

Biden backers often portray the president’s legacy in opposition to Trumpism, and Biden himself has called journalists “indispensable to the functioning of democracy.” With the midterms approaching, if Biden truly wishes to roll back the authoritarian abuses of the Trump era, he should have a problem with “the New York Times problem.”

Outlets such as the Tribune must follow the lead of the Times and the Guardian, increasing the pressure on Biden to dismiss the charges against Assange and to return us to safer, saner territory.”

Read the full piece here.

Categories
Press Release

Julian Assange receives Keys to Mexico City

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

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

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

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

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

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

Film screening: “The War on Journalism: the Case of Julian Assange”

September 18 @ 2:00 pm 4:30 pm EDT

Boston Free Assange Rally – STOP unconstitutional prosecution of Julian Assange under Espionage Act!

September 12 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Monday, Sept 12th, 11am-12:30pm, Boston Area Assange Defense and fellow First Amendment supporters will rally at Park St. Station.

Every three weeks we gather to raise awareness and report factually on the Julian Assange case.

Mainstream media remains eerily silent on the Assange case – doing the bidding of a government attempting to bury Julian Assange in a dungeon in the UK – whilst sending a message to all journalists worldwide, that a dungeon awaits them if they dare report US war crimes.

Our Boston actions will continue as long as Biden’s administration continues with Trump’s unconstitutional prosecution of journalist, Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.

Speaking of the troublesome archaic Espionage Act, there is new bi-partisan legislation in Congress which protects whistleblowers and journalists from the hundred-year-old law meant to be used against spies, not journalists!

Good news! Assange’s American attorneys filed a lawsuit against CIA, Mike Pompeo, UC Global, and UC Global CEO David Morales. The Plaintiffs are US lawyers and journalists who were spied on by the CIA at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The evidence of CIA malfeasance which has been uncovered in Spain’s High Court will come to light in this lawsuit being tried in the Southern District of NY.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet met with Assange’s wife and father at the end of August. After the meeting, Bachelet stated that she is aware of the health issues which Mr Assange has suffered during his time in detention, and she is concerned for his physical and mental well-being. She also stated that the potential extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange raised concerns for media freedom and could have a “chilling effect” on investigative journalism.

Roger Waters’ Pink Floyd ‘This Is Not A Drill’ tour continues in 31 major cities!. A long-time supporter of Julian Assange, he creatively presents WikiLeaks’ ‘Collateral Murder’ in a series of light projections which show US soldiers gunning down innocent civilians in Iraq. Text across the video footage reveals that only those who exposed these crimes have been punished while no one was court martialed for the killing spree.

Roger Waters invited #FreeAssange activists to set up information tables at EVERY venue!!

If more artists, performers and media outlets came forward to defend Julian Assange – as Roger Waters has – Assange would be free now!

Journalism is not a crime and journalists like Julian Assange should not be prosecuted. Journalists should be protected and cherished for their public service of courageously defending our right to know what our government does in our name!

Please join us on Monday, Sept 12th at Park St. Station, 11-12:30pm. We must all stand up and fight to stop this US extradition of a truth teller! Protect journalism, protect our First Amendment!

Contact: Paula Iasella: AssangeBoston@gmail.com or SusanBMcL@gmail.com 617-501-9125

Boston Common – Park St

Park St Station
Boston, MA 02108 United States
+ Google Map
Categories
Hearing Coverage Press Release

Julian Assange Files his Perfected Grounds of Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Press Release

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

(en español)

Stella Assange, Michelle Bachelet, Baltasar Garzón, and Aitor Martínez


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—-


ESPAÑOL

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC rally: Hands off Assange!

October 8 @ 12:00 pm 3:00 pm EDT

On October 8, 2022, supporters of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in England will join hands to form a human chain surrounding Parliament in London. In solidarity, US-based supporters will hold a rally at the Department of Justice in Washington DC, calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange.

DOJ

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Past Events Press Release

Roger Waters joins DOJ rally, tells Merrick Garland to free Julian Assange

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.

Video by News2Share // Ford Fischer

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.

Assange Defense at the Roger Waters 2022 tour

July 12 @ 8:00 am October 8 @ 11:00 pm EDT

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Legendary guitarist, cofounding member of Pink Floyd, and longtime activist Roger Waters is bringing his ‘This is Not A Drill‘ tour to North America, with shows in major cities from Boston to Los Angeles. Waters has long spoken out against the persecution of Julian Assange, in interviews, on stage, and at events hosted by Assange Defense.

Assange Defense will have a table at every U.S. stop on the This is Not A Drill tour. Stop by before the show, during intermission, or afterward to sign up for our newsletter, take home leaflets on Assange’s case, and meet a local Assange Defense representative who can help you get more involved in the campaign to defend Assange and the freedom of the press.

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

Press conference

News coverage

Sydney Morning Herald: Assange lawyers sue CIA for allegedly spying on Wikileaks founder and his visitors in London

“At a press conference in New York on Monday, Assange’s US lawyers said the suit alleges that unbeknown to even the Ecuadorians, who granted Assange aslyum, the data on their phones and other electronic devices was copied and handed over to the CIA.”

Reuters: CIA sued over alleged spying on lawyers, journalists who met Assange

“The CIA, which declined to comment on the lawsuit, is prohibited from collecting intelligence on U.S. citizens, although several lawmakers have alleged that the agency maintains a secret repository of Americans’ communications data.”

Newsweek: CIA spying on Assange “illegally” swept up US lawyers, journalists: Lawsuit

“Legal experts, including a former senior intelligence official, told Newsweek that the allegations in the lawsuit, if proven, show the CIA crossed lines drawn to protect American citizens from surveillance by overzealous intelligence agencies.”

Democracy Now

Legal filing

Boston Free Assange Rally! Thank you WikiLeaks for 2009 Burn Pit Report! Senate passes PACT Act!

August 22 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Click for Facebook event

Monday, August 22nd, 11am-12:30pm, Boston Area Assange Defense and fellow supporters will rally at Park St. Station to raise awareness of the US government’s war on publisher Julian Assange and its war on investigative journalism. The Biden administration continues with Trump’s unconstitutional prosecution of a journalist under the Espionage Act.

The government and its media would like us to believe that Assange is a ’national security terrorist’ instead of a publisher of truth and defender of human rights.

Assange didn’t publish National Security ‘secrets’, he published US ‘war crimes’.

It’s unlikely that Americans will know how WikiLeaks publications are used in thousands of court cases globally to right corporate and government wrongs! For example, the US Senate last week passed the Burn Pits restitution Act (aka PACT Act). Assange’s contribution to this case cannot be denied. It was Julian Assange through WikiLeaks that published a memo in 2009 (that was suppressed by the Pentagon!) which revealed the US military was exposing its personnel and civilians to lethal toxic fumes. President Biden’s son Beau developed brain cancer because of exposure to burn pits when he served in Iraq.

Roger Waters is touring this year with Pink Floyd’s ‘This Is Not A Drill’. A long-time supporter of Julian Assange, he creatively presents WikiLeaks’ ‘Collateral Murder’ in a series of light projections which show US soldiers gunning down innocent civilians in Iraq. Text across the video footage reveals that only those who exposed these crimes have been punished while no one was court martialed for the killing spree. Roger Waters has invited #FreeAssange activists to set up information tables nationally at EVERY venue!!

Breaking News! Watch for the August 15th Press Conference which unveils Assange’s US lawyers suing Mike Pompeo, ex-CIA head, and the CIA’s contracted security firm for stealing lawyer-client privileged communications.

Please join us on Monday, August 22nd at Park St. Station, 11-12:30pm. We must all stand up and fight to stop this US extradition because journalism is not a crime, and the prosecution of Julian Assange will criminalize investigative journalism and threaten any person handling classified material. The decision to extradite Assange to the country which plotted to assassinate him hovers like a stake over the heart of press freedom which is essential to a true democracy.
Contact: Paula Iasella AssangeBoston@gmail.com or SusanBMcL@gmail.com 617-501-9125

Boston Common – Park St

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PRESS CONFERENCE: Assange US Attorneys Sue Pompeo & Spanish Security Firm

August 15 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Attorneys representing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to sue U.S. Government

Members of Legal Team and Journalists Were Illegally Surveilled Inside Ecuadorian Embassy

Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of Trump Administration.

WHO: Margaret Ratner Kunstler (Plaintiff)

            Deborah Hrbek (Plaintiff)

            Richard Roth (Attorney)

            Robert Boyle (Attorney)

            Nathan Fuller (Assange Defense Committee)

            John Goetz (Journalist)

Boston: Rally to Free Assange!

August 1 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Boston Area Assange Defense continues its efforts to wake up Americans on the Assange case!

In our small corner of the world, here in Boston, we do our small global part in freeing Julian Assange and protecting our First Amendment!

Don’t know who Julian Assange is and why this case matters?
Take a minute (or 10) and have a look at these short videos:

In less than 1 minute: 

In less than 10 minutes:

There’s been a groundswell of support and actions to Free Assange around the world, but one wouldn’t know this as the media continues to blackout this most important press freedom case of the century.

Oct 8, an ‘human chain’ will circle around London parliament to free Assange!

Here are a few updates because news on this case matters:

July 1st, Assange’s defense filed appeal on 16 grounds. Wait begins for High Court’s decision to accept or deny defense appeals.

July 12, Boston tabled at Roger Waters ‘This Is Not A Drill’ tour (part of national campaign to table for Assange at most Waters’ tour venues across the US):

July 12, President of Mexico Lopez Obrador (AMLO) sent a letter to President Biden renewing his offer to grant Assange asylum and requesting Biden exonerate Julian Assange.

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would reform the Espionage Act:

We encourage others to join us Monday, August 1st at Park St Station, 11am-12pm and between 12-12:30, walk thru the Common and Public Garden with signs and flyers.

You too, might be inspired to speak up for press freedom, speak out against injustice, and take action as Allen Perez did:

Help raise awareness to this important press freedom case and stop this unconstitutional US extradition of a journalist and publisher.
Help us Free Julian Assange.

Contact:
Paula Iasella AssangeBoston@gmail.com
or SusanBMcL@gmail.com 617-501-9125

Boston Common – Park St

Park St Station
Boston, MA 02108 United States
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Mexican president called on Biden to free Assange

Photo: Randy Credico (click for source)

July 20, 2022 — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) delivered a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden last week, in which “he defended Julian Assange’s innocence and renewed a previous offer of asylum to the WikiLeaks founder,” Reuters reports

“I left a letter to the president about Assange, explaining that he did not commit any serious crime, did not cause anyone’s death, did not violate any human rights and that he exercised his freedom, and that arresting him would mean a permanent affront to freedom of expression”

Al Jazeera adds that AMLO also said that “Mexico is offering protection and asylum to Julian Assange,” but he hasn’t yet heard a response from Biden. 

Activists in Washington DC thanked AMLO for raising Assange’s persecution with Assange in a letter delivered to the Mexican embassy, writing,

“We applaud your decision to bring up Julian Assange in your conversation with President Biden today. We agree with you that the prosecution of Mr. Assange for publishing is a profound threat to journalism around the world. We appreciate your consistent vocal support for these important principles, core tenets of a functioning democracy.”

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Letter thanking Mexican President AMLO for Assange support

As President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with President Joseph Biden in Washington, a national network of press freedom groups delivered a letter to him at the Mexican Embassy. The coalition thanked López Obrador for his support for publisher Julian Assange and freedom of the press. Carrying “Gracias AMLO – Free Assange” signage, local activists celebrated Lopez Obrador’s announcement that he will raise the issue in his conversation with Biden. Below is the English translation of the letter in full.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
President of Mexico
c/o Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, USA

RE: Freedom of the Press and Julian Assange

Dear President Lopez Obrador,

Welcome to the United States, welcome to Washington D.C., and thank you for your support for press freedom!

We are activists dedicated to saving publisher Julian Assange from prosecution and persecution for his revelations regarding U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fight to save Assange is also the fight to save press freedom and our First Amendment rights.

We applaud your decision to bring up Julian Assange in your conversation with President Biden today. We agree with you that the prosecution of Mr. Assange for publishing is a profound threat to journalism around the world. We appreciate your consistent vocal support for these important principles, core tenets of a functioning democracy.

Your courage and commitment to freedom of speech are justly celebrated in Mexico and across the globe. Here in Washington, your voice is important.

In Solidarity,

DC Action for Assange
Assange Defense

Boston: Protest US Extradition of Journalist Julian Assange

July 11 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Supporters of our First Amendment return to the British Consulate at One Broadway in Kendall Sq Cambridge on Monday July 11th, 11am-12:30pm to protest the UK signing off on the US extradition of journalist and publisher, Julian Assange.

Julian Assange the founder of WikiLeaks, published thousands of documents showing evidence of US war crimes. Videos of these crimes in this thread.

These publications won international awards but a decade later these same documents became the US government’s grounds to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act of 1917. Journalist Chip Gibbons explains this repressive law that is used to suppress dissent.

This short video by Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, covers the key points of the Assange case.

Every day more and more individuals and organizations come forward calling on the UK and US to stop this prosecution.

Geneva Press Club calls for Assange’s freedom. Please sign their petition.

And Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) president Karen Percy called on Australia’s new PM Anthony Albanese to intervene and stop the extradition.

The Chair of the Walkley Foundation (Australia’s ‘Pulizer Prize’) Adele Ferguson has called on the Australian Government to intervene in the case of Julian Assange.

Articles are now surfacing on ex Secretary of State/CIA director Mike Pompeo having been summoned by the Spanish High Court to testify on the CIA spying and plotting to assassinate Assange – except here in the United States where the media is burying the story!

Stella Assange reported that Julian was strip searched and put in a bare cell with no visitors after UK Home Sec Priti Patel ruled to extradite him to the US.

“Shout louder. Lobby harder. Don’t stop until he’s free!”

Please join us on Monday, July 11th at the British Consulate in Cambridge to say ‘No!’ to Britain’s treatment of political prisoner Julian Assange, and say ‘No!’ to US imperialism which has made the UK complicit in this illegal extradition of political prisoner. We must all stand up and fight to stop this extradition because journalism is not a crime, and the prosecution of Julian Assange will criminalize investigative journalism and threatens any person handling classified material.

Contact:
Paula Iasella AssangeBoston@gmail.com
or SusanBMcL@gmail.com 617-501-9125

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Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 United States
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DC Action for Assange to deliver letter of appreciation to Mexican President Lopez Obrador

July 12 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm EDT

Mexican Pres Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) recently voiced support for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, calling on the US to drop its extradition effort. Lopez Obrador will be visiting U.S. President Joe Biden next Tuesday, July 12, at the White House.

As part of this visit, DC Action for Assange will deliver a letter of thanks to AMLO, at the Mexican Embassy on Tuesday. We will first rally at noon, at Edward R. Murrow Park (named for a famed journalist!), at 18th & Penn Ave NW. Then at 1:00 pm, we will proceed to the Embassy of Mexico, 1911 Penn. Ave NW, to deliver our letter.

Please join DC Action for Assange at this action, to thank a world leader who has spoken out to the US Government about Assange’s case! Look for Twitter updates at @assangeactionDC.

Edward R. Murrow Park

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Washington, District of Columbia 20006 United States
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Rep. Tlaib introduces Espionage Act Reform amendment that would protect journalists and their sources

Representative Rashida Tlaib has introduced an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would reform the draconian 1917 Espionage Act to protect whistleblowers and publishers from prosecution. 

Defending Rights and Dissent explains just how important enacting this reform would be:

The Tlaib amendment puts roadblocks in front of the government, making it harder to charge whistleblowers under the Espionage Act, and allowing whistleblowers to defend themselves if they are charged. Specifically, the amendment:

-Requires the government prove specific intent to injure the United States

-Requires that the information exposed was actually properly classified

-Permits a defendant charged under the Espionage Act  to testify as to their purpose for disclosing the information

-Creates a public interest defense.

-Additionally, the amendment would undermine the government’s effort to prosecute Julian Assange – or any future publisher or journalist – under the Espionage Act by excluding journalists, publishers, and members of the general public from its jurisdiction.

As the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Trevor Timm put it, “Congress has a historic chance to protect journalists and whistleblowers in this year’s defense authorization bill.”

Assange Defense co-chair and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg reacted to the amendment in a statement to reporter Ryan Grim:

“For half a century, starting with my own prosecution, no whistleblower charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 has had, or could have, a fair trial.  These long-overdue amendments would remedy that injustice, protect the First Amendment freedom of the press, and encourage vitally-needed truth-telling.”

Grim reported on the amendment proposal on The Hill’s Rising:

See the full text of the amendment here.

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Press Release

International Federation of Journalists launches major Free Assange campaign

July 5, 2022 – Last week, the International Federation of Journalists launched a new global campaign to call on the United States to drop all charges against publisher Julian Assange.

The IFJ is the largest association of journalists’ trade unions worldwide, representing over half a million media employees from 187 organizations in 146 countries. Assange, a member of Australia’s Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance (MEAA), is an international press card-carrying member of the IFJ.

In its announcement of the new campaign, the federation explains,

“The IFJ is gravely concerned about the impact of Assange’s continued detention on media freedom and the rights of all journalists globally. The US pursuit of Assange against the public’s right to know poses a grave threat to the fundamental tenets of democracy, which are becoming increasingly fragile worldwide. Irrespective of personal views on Assange, his extradition will have a chilling effect, with all journalists and media workers at risk.

The case sets a dangerous precedent that members of the media, in any country, can now be targeted by governments, anywhere in the world, to answer for publishing information in the public interest.”

Following a timeline of WikiLeaks’ work, Assange’s journalism awards, his political asylum, and the U.S. persecution, the IFJ encourages media unions around the world to take action to fight back against a grave threat to their profession. IFJ has prepared a model letter for unions around the globe to sign and send to their local U.S. embassy.

The IFJ also calls on unions to urge their members to cover Assange’s case. “Organise a meeting, a rally, a press conference to highlight the implications of Assange’s extradition in the US on freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.”

Click to watch video

Finally, the IFJ has posted video statements from key union leaders, including Dominique Pradalié, President of the IFJ; Sadiq Ibrahim, President of the Federation of African Journalists; Zuliana Lainez, President of the Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe; Maja Sever, President of the European Federation of Journalists; Sabina Inderjit, President of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Journalists; and Karen Percy, president of MEAA.

Click to watch video

The IFJ’s statement closes,

“The IFJ is calling on the United States government to drop all charges against Julian Assange and allow him to return home to be with his wife and children. The IFJ is also calling on all media unions, press freedom organisations and journalists to urge governments to actively work to secure Assange’s release. #FreeAssangeNOW”

Click to watch video
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Past Events Press Release

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

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.

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Past Events

Geneva Press Club: In the name of press freedom, media and journalists call for the release of Assange

For all citizens:

For journalists only:

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.


This video was originally published at the Geneva Press Club.

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Press Release

UK Home Sec. signs Assange extradition order

United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition order, paving the way to send the publisher to the United States where he is indicted on unprecedented charges endangering press freedom.

Assange’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, held a press conference in New York City immediately following the news, in which they announced Assange’s defense team will fight this decision in an appeal to the UK’s High Court.

‘Julian Assange strip searched and moved to bare cell on day extradition announced’

The Independent:

“Prison is a constant humiliation but what happened on Friday felt especially cruel,” said Ms Assange.

“After the announcement of Patel’s decision, Julian was taken from his cell so that he could be strip searched, and then escorted to a bare cell where he remained for the rest of the weekend.

“His own cell was searched. They were looking for things that could be used to take one’s own life.

“In the bare cell, guards logged his status every hour until he was allowed to return to his cell on Tuesday.

“This kind of thing never becomes more tolerable. Any person would find it degrading. The mental strain on Julian is enormous as it is, having to process what is essentially a death sentence.

“The fact he is imprisoned while this outrageous extradition proceeds is a grave injustice in itself. He needs to deal with all that, while preparing for a complex appeal to the High Court.”

National Writers’ Union condemns Assange extradition order

Gabriel Shipton read a statement from National Writers’ Union President Larry Goldbetter:

“This fight isn’t over. As President of the National Writers Union and in the name of press freedom, I stand in solidarity with John and Gabriel Shipton, the father and brother of Julian Assange, in calling on the Biden Administration to withdraw the extradition request. Their protest at the Consulate here in Manhattan will be echoed around the world by professional journalists and our brothers and sisters in the global human rights community.

We join the 600,000 journalists represented by the International Federation of Journalists and its 147 member unions, plus press freedom advocates, like PEN, Reporters Without Borders, the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Investigative Journalism, FAIR and many more in demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

Julian is not alone and we will support the appeal of this outrageous decision in London today.”

Journalists demand Assange release from UK jail

From the AFP:

An international coalition of journalists, editors and publishers demanded Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be immediately released from a UK jail and that all charges against him be dropped.

Fifteen representatives of international journalist and publishers’ unions and organisations gathered in Geneva for the “call to free Julian Assange in the name of press freedom”.

“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), which counts some 600,000 members across 140 countries.

Assange’s brother on MSNBC and Democracy Now

Press freedom riding on upcoming Julian Assange decision 

‘Punished for Exposing War Crimes? U.K. Approves Assange Extradition to U.S., Faces 175 Years in Prison’

Assange Defense co-chairs condemn decision

Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Alice Walker:

“It is a sad day for western democracy. The UK’s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him – the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest – is an abomination. 

We expect the world’s most despised autocrats to persecute journalists, publishers, and whistleblowers. We expect totalitarian regimes to gaslight their people and crack down on those who challenge the government. Shouldn’t we expect western democracies to behave better?

Julian Assange is my husband – his extradition is an abomination

Stella Assange’s op-ed in the Independent:

“Julian remains imprisoned in Belmarsh after more than three years at the behest of US prosecutors. He faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years for arguably the most celebrated publications in the history of journalism.

Patel’s decision to extradite Julian has sent shockwaves across the journalism community. The home secretary flouted calls from representatives of the Council of Europe, the OSCE, almost 2000 journalists and 300 doctors for the extradition to be halted.

Julian’s extradition case itself creates legal precedent. What has long been understood to be a bedrock principle of democracy, press freedom, will disappear in one fell swoop.

As it stands, no journalist is going to risk having what Julian is being subjected to happen to them. Julian must be freed before it’s too late. His life depends on it. Your rights depend on it.”

The Guardian view on Julian Assange’s extradition: a bad day for journalism

The Guardian’s editorial:

“Ms Patel could have turned down the American request. Britain should be wary of extraditing a suspect to a country with such a political justice department. Her predecessor Theresa May halted the extradition proceedings of Gary McKinnon, who hacked the US Department of Defense. The UK could have decided that Mr Assange faces an unacceptably high risk of prolonged solitary confinement in a US maximum security prison. Instead, Ms Patel has dealt a blow to press freedom and against the public, who have a right to know what their governments are doing in their name. It’s not over. Mr Assange will appeal.

The charges against him should never have been brought. As Mr Assange published classified documents and he did not leak them, Barack Obama’s administration was reluctant to bring charges. His legal officers correctly understood that this would threaten public interest journalism. It was Donald Trump’s team, which considered the press an “enemy of the people”, that took the step. It is not too late for the US to drop the charges. On World Press Freedom Day this year, the US president, Joe Biden, said: “The work of free and independent media matters now more than ever.” Giving Mr Assange his freedom back would give meaning to those words.”

Reporters without Borders condemns extradition order on BBC

‘Julian Assange Is Enduring Unbearable Persecution for Exposing US War Crimes

Marjorie Cohn, for Truthout:

“Assange now has until July 1 to appeal Patel’s decision and will apply to the High Court to reverse Baraitser’s rulings on other issues Assange raised at the extradition hearing. They include:

The U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty prohibits extradition for a political offense and “espionage” is a political offense;

Extradition is forbidden as the U.S. request is based on Assange’s political opinions;

The request for extradition is an abuse of process as it was made for a political motive and not in good faith;

Extradition would be oppressive or unjust because so much time has passed;

The charges against Assange do not comply with the “dual criminality test” because they encompass acts that are not criminal offenses in both the U.S. and the U.K.; and

Extradition would violate Assange’s rights to free expression and a fair trial, in addition to the prohibition against inhuman and degrading treatment in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Assange will also raise on appeal the CIA’s plot to kidnap and assassinate him while he was in the Ecuadorian Embassy under a grant of asylum.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation: ‘The extradition of Julian Assange must be condemned by all who believe in press freedom

By Trevor Timm:

There is some historical irony in the fact that this extradition announcement falls during the anniversary of the Pentagon Papers trial, which began with the Times publication of stories based on the legendary leak on June 13, 1971, and continued through the seminal Supreme Court opinion rejecting prior restraint on June 30, 1971.

In the months and years following that debacle, whistleblower (and FPF co-founder) Daniel Ellsberg became the first journalistic source to be charged under the Espionage Act. What many do not know is that the Nixon administration attempted to prosecute Times reporter Neil Sheehan for receiving the Pentagon Papers as well — under a very similar legal theory the Justice Department is using against Assange.

Thankfully, that prosecution failed. And until this one does too, we continue to urge the Biden administration to drop this prosecution. Every day it continues to further undermine the First Amendment.

Doctors for Assange plea for Assange’s release

Just one week before the announcement, a coalition of more than 300 doctors wrote to Patel urging her to reject the extradition order, on the grounds that sending Assange to the United States would further imperil his health:

“During the extradition proceedings, the Court heard and accepted medical evidence that Mr Assange’s mental health was such that an extradition order, if imposed, would likely inflict substantial risk of suicide on him. The subsequent “assurances” of the United States government, that Mr Assange would not be treated inhumanly, are worthless given their record of pursuit, persecution and plotted murder of Mr Assange in retaliation for his public interest journalism, quite apart from the fact that the US government reserves the right to subject Mr Assange to the very conditions, namely, “Special Administrative Measures”, that would be inhuman.”

Protesters across U.S. demand Assange’s freedom

Geneva Press Club: In the name of press freedom, journalists call for the release of Assange

See more reactions from leaders around the world here.

Categories
Past Events

Assange Defense at the People’s Summit 2022

Directed by Robert Corsini, Assange Defense-Los Angeles

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

June 23 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am EDT

Click to watch video
Categories
Press Release

AD Co-Chairs Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Alice Walker React to the Assange Extradition Sign Off

June 17

“It is a sad day for western democracy. The UK’s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him – the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest – is an abomination. 

We expect the world’s most despised autocrats to persecute journalists, publishers, and whistleblowers. We expect totalitarian regimes to gaslight their people and crack down on those who challenge the government. Shouldn’t we expect western democracies to behave better?

The U.S. government argues that its venerated Constitution does not protect journalism the government dislikes, and that publishing truthful information in the public interest is a subversive, criminal act. This argument is a threat not only to journalism, but to democracy itself. 

The UK has shown its complicity in this farce, by agreeing to extradite a foreigner based on politically motivated charges that collapse under the slightest scrutiny.”

– Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Alice Walker

Categories
Press Release

***MEDIA ALERT***

FRI June 17, 12:30 PM ET

UK Home Secretary Orders Julian Assange Extradition, Assange Family To Hold Press Conference at the British Consulate

Open to all media, Julian Assange’s Father and Brother Respond to Extradition Decision and take questions today at 12:30 PM ET

NEW YORK CITY — Julian Assange’s father and brother will hold a press conference today in front of the British Consulate to respond to the decision from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to extradite Assange to the United States. 

Press freedom and human rights groups have condemned the U.S. extradition efforts. If extradited, Julian Assange faces unprecedented charges that carry up to 175 years in prison. This is the first time in history that the U.S. Justice Department has charged a journalist under the controversial Espionage Act of 1917. The United Nations has declared Assange “arbitrarily detained” since 2010. Assange will appeal the decision.

WHEN: Friday, June 17, 2022 at 12:30pm EST

WHERE: In front of the British Consulate 

885 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017

WHO

  • John Shipton & Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of Julian Assange

BACKGROUND: For more information visit the Assange Defense website or our social media pages.

Journalism Under Attack: Assange Extradition Looms

June 14 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm EDT

Julian Assange’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, at Busboys & Poets’ 14th & V location, in a discussion moderated by The Intercept and The Hill journalist Ryan Grim.

Busboys & Poets

2021 14th St, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20009 United States
View Venue Website
Categories
Past Events Press Release

Audio panel: Stella Assange & Harvard protesters

June 6, 2022 — Assange Defense hosted a Twitter Spaces conversation among Stella Assange, Julian’s wife; Mike Miccioli, Harvard student who organized the May 29th protest of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s commencement speech; and Susan McLucas, Boston Area Assange Defense campaigner.

NYC: Stand Ups for Assange

June 18 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm EDT


Theatre 80 – St Marks

80 St Marks Pl
New York, New York 10003 United States
+ Google Map
Categories
Past Events Press Release

Harvard students, local activists protest Merrick Garland’s commencement speech over Assange prosecution

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!)”

Jill Stein, former Green Party presidential candidate, spoke at Sunday’s rally, saying,

“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.”

The protest was picked up by the Boston Globe and the Harvard Crimson. See this thread on Twitter for more photos and videos from the action.

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.”

Photo: Paula Iasella
Categories
Press Release

Protected: PROTEST: Priti Patel signs Julian Assange’s extradition order

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Harvard commencement: Merrick Garland

May 29 @ 8:00 am 10:30 am EDT

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is giving the commencement speech at Harvard University’s graduation ceremony (for class 2020-21) on May 29 at the Smith Center. Students are calling for Garland to drop the unprecedented charges against publisher Julian Assange.

Categories
Press Release

Book Release: ‘Secret Power: WikiLeaks and its Enemies’

Book cover, in black with ripped paper showing the words "Secret Power: WikiLeaks and its Enemies" by Stefania Maurizi, with a foreword by Ken Loach.
Pluto Press

Investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi has written a new book detailing the secretive innerworkings behind the persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Originally published in Italian, Secret Power: WikiLeaks and its Enemies won the 2022 European Award for Investigative And Judicial Journalism and Premio Alessandro Leogrande Award, and will be out in English in November 2022 from Pluto Press.

From Pluto Press’s overview:

‘I want to live in a society where secret power is accountable to the law and to public opinion for its atrocities, where it is the war criminals who go to jail, not those who have the conscience and courage to expose them.’

It is 2008, and Stefania Maurizi, an investigative journalist with a growing interest in cryptography, starts looking into the little-known organisation WikiLeaks. Through hushed meetings, encrypted files and explosive documents, what she discovers sets her on a life-long journey that takes her deep into the realm of secret power.

Working closely with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange and his organisation for her newspaper, Maurizi has spent over a decade investigating state criminality protected by thick layers of secrecy, while also embarking on a solitary trench warfare to unearth the facts underpinning the cruel persecution of Assange and WikiLeaks.

With complex and disturbing insights, Maurizi’s tireless journalism exposes atrocities, the shameful treatment of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, on up to the present persecution of WikiLeaks: a terrifying web of impunity and cover-ups.

At the heart of the book is the brutality of secret power and the unbearable price paid by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and truthtellers.

Pluto Press’s biography of Maurizi:

Stefania Maurizi is an Italian investigative journalist working for the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, having previously reported for La Repubblica and l’Espresso. She began working with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in 2009 for her newspaper. Among international journalists, she is the only one who has worked on the entirety of the WikiLeaks secret documents and the only one who has conducted a multi-jurisdictional litigation to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on the WikiLeaks case.

Categories
Press Release

VIDEO: Stella Assange on BBC Hardtalk

Julian Assange’s wife Stella on BBC Hardtalk

Stella Assange, Julian’s wife and mother to his two young children, speaks to the BBC’s Stephen Sackur about Assange’s case as supporters await the decision from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on whether to sign his extradition order.

Categories
Press Release

Assange awarded German journalism prize

Günter Wallraff Prize 2022 goes to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Investigative journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange receives this year’s Günter Wallraff Prize. In the name of Germany’s best-known investigative journalist, this award recognizes critical journalism and civil courage. The prize will be awarded during the 6th Cologne Forum for Journalism Criticism, which will take place tomorrow at Deutschlandradio’s broadcasting centre. Human rights activist and lawyer Stella Moris accepts the award on behalf of her husband Julian Assange.

“Julian Assange has made a significant investigative contribution to the news by revealing classified footage and text of possible US war crimes. In his work with the Internet platform WikiLeaks, Assange has always accepted immense reprisals in favor of reporting. The relentless pursuit of the investigative journalist Assange by the USA with the threat of extradition now poses a threat to free reporting in general,” was the jury’s reasoning.

On Thursday, May 19, the 6th Cologne Forum for Criticism of Journalism will deal with the topics of “reporting in times of war” and “activism in the media”. Among others, Thomas Präkelt (war correspondent RTL and n-tv), Olaf Müller (Humboldt University Berlin), Bettina Schmieding (editorial manager @mediasres), Karsten Frerichs (epd) and Ellen Heinrichs (Bonn Institute) will sit on the podium. The presentation of the Günter Wallraff Prize marks the end of the event, the laudatory speech will be held by Deutschlandfunk editor-in-chief Birgit Wentzien.

Deutschlandfunk broadcasts all program items via live stream and on digital radio on the “Deutschlandfunk Documents and Debates” channel.

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.


This was originally published at derbindefleck.de.

Categories
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 Internationalpress freedom and human rights organisations, legalmedical 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 ParliamentParliamentarianshead 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
Press Release

COE Human Rights Commissioner calls on UK government not to extradite Julian Assange

Rt Hon Priti PATEL MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department
of the United Kingdom
Strasbourg, 10 May 2022


Dear Home Secretary,

I am writing to you regarding the case of Mr Julian Assange, since a decision will soon be made about his extradition to the United States. While I have expressed myself publicly on this matter before, at this
important juncture in the extradition procedure I wish to convey my views to you directly.

I have been following the developments in Mr Assange’s case with great attention. In the judicial proceedings so far, the focus has mainly been on Mr Assange’s personal circumstances upon his possible extradition to the United States. While a very important matter, this also means, in my opinion, that the wider human rights implications of Mr Assange’s possible extradition, which reach far beyond his individual case, have not been adequately considered so far.

In particular, it is my view that the indictment by the United States against Mr Assange raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including information that exposes human rights violations. The broad and vague nature of the allegations against Mr Assange, and of the offences listed in the indictment, are troubling as many of them concern activities at the core of investigative journalism in Europe and beyond. Consequently, allowing Mr Assange’s extradition on this basis would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.

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.

I look forward to continuing our ongoing dialogue on this issue and other matters of mutual interest.

Yours sincerely,
Dunja Mijatović

Categories
Resources

Assange Extradition Ruling: Briefing Note as of September 2022

In summary:

  • On 4 January 2021, a UK judge ruled that it was unsafe to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, and that if an extradition is ordered, this would likely result in his death.
  • The United States wants to prosecute Assange for common journalistic practices after he published documents containing evidence of U.S. war crimes in 2010. He faces up to 175 years in prison.
  • The decision to prosecute Assange has been universally condemned by free speech groups, newspapers and experts as an unprecedented threat to press freedom everywhere, including in the UK.
  • Assange is an unconvicted “remand” prisoner in Belmarsh high-security prison. He has been there for 37 months. He faces incredibly difficult conditions of isolation, which are compounded by the COVID pandemic. 97 prisoners in Assange’s house block had tested positive for COVID by the end of December 2020, including the prisoners in the cells on either side of Assange. There have been a number of COVID deaths, suicides and murders at Belmarsh during the time that Assange has been there.
  • If the new U.S. Administration’s Department of Justice drops the charges, this would put a sudden and definitive end to this extraordinary political prosecution and end the gravest attack on press freedom in living memory.
  • RSF and other press freedom groups have written, “Our government must ensure the UK is a safe place for journalists and publishers to work. Whilst Julian Assange remains in prison facing extradition, it is not.”
  • Assange is not being prosecuted for publishing bulk databases.
  • UK courts have consistently described Julian Assange as a journalist and Wikileaks as a media organization since 2011. The U.S. government’s position on his status is therefore irrelevant from the UK perspective (he is also a member of his journalism union in Australia since 2006 and has won numerous top journalism prizes).
  • Assange is not being prosecuted for “putting lives at risk”. The “criminal acts” Assange is being accused of is possessing, receiving and disseminating (publishing) classified information which the U.S. government says was harmful to U.S. national interests.
  • The U.S. has testified under oath that there is no evidence that any person has been harmed as a result of WikiLeaks publications.
  • The single computer misuse charge makes up only 5 years of the 175-year potential sentence. The U.S. does not claim that Julian Assange “hacked” anything. The U.S. theory is that Assange and Manning tried to hide Chelsea Manning’s identity. The U.S. does not claim the purpose was to access classified information, and indeed the chronology shows that Manning had already provided Wikileaks with the material and had full authorized access by the time this alleged conversation took place.
  • The U.S. government’s key witness Sigurdur Thordarson—who was granted immunity by the Trump administration in exchange for his testimony that provided the basis for the second superseding indictment against Assange—has recanted his testimony and admitted that he lied about his allegations.
  • Cryptome.org was the first to publish the unredacted U.S. State Department cables. The U.S. does not dispute that Cryptome published a full day before WikiLeaks. Cryptome’s owner has not been prosecuted and has not even been served with a takedown notice.
  • A 75-minute phone call between Assange and the U.S. State Department was leaked over the Christmas period. The phone call took place a full week before Cryptome published the unredacted 250,000 U.S. State Department cables and demonstrates that the U.S. case is not only unfounded, but profoundly misleading. In the conversation, Assange warns the State Department that third parties would release the unredacted cables onto the Internet, and he advised the U.S. government on how to stop it or mitigate it.
  • On 26 September 2021, Yahoo! News reported on the CIA’s proposals and discussions in 2017 to kidnap and render and even to assassinate Julian Assange
    • “Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred ‘at the highest levels’ of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. ‘There seemed to be no boundaries.’”
      • The CIA’s plans drove the DOJ’s prosecution
        • “Concerned the CIA’s plans would derail a potential criminal case, the Justice Department expedited the drafting of charges against Assange to ensure that they were in place if he were brought to the United States.”

Extradition judgment– 4 January 2021

On January 4, 2021, a British judge ruled to block the U.S. extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange on grounds that his extradition would be “oppressive” because it would result in his death. The conclusion rested on medical evidence that his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, combined with his psychiatric history (including the period pf confinement in the embassy and current incarceration) and the prospect of U.S. imprisonment resulted in a high likelihood of suicide. The judge also concluded that these factors meant that the mere order of extradition could trigger his suicide.

The U.S. government is attempting to extradite Assange in order to prosecute him for publishing evidence of war crimes in 2010. For more than two years, Assange has been detained in London’s highest-security prison—HMP Belmarsh—as he fights extradition.

The U.S. Justice Department is requesting extradition on charges that legal scholars testified would “radically rewrite the First Amendment” by criminalizing the soliciting, possession, and publishing of government information, regardless of its public interest value. If sent to and tried in the United States, a conviction would be all but guaranteed, as Assange would not be allowed to argue in court that his actions were justified. For publishing stories that won numerous journalism awards, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison. 

Assange’s extradition hearing focused on three main arguments:

  • that the indictment of Assange is an unprecedented and dangerously overbroad attempt to criminalize basic journalistic activity
  • that the prosecution — which Obama declined to introduce and which the media-hostile Trump made its “priority” — is politicized
  • that sending Assange to the U.S., when he has Asperger’s syndrome and clinical depression and where experts testified would most likely be placed in solitary confinement for the rest of his life, would endanger his life and put him at grave risk of suicide.

The judge accepted this last point. The magistrate delivered a lengthy decision recounting the U.S. government’s claims, the defense’s responses, and which aspects she agrees with before ultimately ruling to deny the extradition request.

It is important to note that the UK magistrate only made findings of fact with regards to the medical evidence. U.S. prosecutors’ arguments are presumed to be true, and the defence cannot cross-examine those claims.

Decision Overturned (Dec. 2021) & U.S. “Assurances”

The U.S. government, having lost at the Magistrate’s court, appealed that decision to the UK’s High Court, which heard appeal arguments October 27 and October 28 of last year (see Julian Assange’s appeal defense here). Those arguments dealt primarily with psychiatrists’ assessment of Assange’s suicide risk if his extradition were ordered, and the prison conditions Assange would face in the United States.

The High Court ruled in the U.S. government’s favor, overturning the District Court’s ruling after accepting the U.S. government’s so-called “assurances” regarding the conditions Assange would face in pre- and post-trial confinement. These “assurances” include caveats that render them meaningless: the United States can still use these measures if it decides that Assange “do[es] something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX.” Amnesty International says, “Such latitude to alter the terms of the core assurances after Assange’s transfer to the US renders them irrelevant from the start since he would remain at risk of ill-treatment in US detention at the point of transfer and afterward.”

Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s Expert on Counter-Terrorism, Criminal Justice, and Human Rights, says, “Those are not assurances at all. It is not that difficult to look at those assurances and say: these are inherently unreliable, it promises to do something and then reserves the right to break the promise.”

Responding to the High Court’s decision to accept the US’s appeal against the decision not to extradite Julian Assange, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muižnieks said:

“This is a travesty of justice. By allowing this appeal, the High Court has chosen to accept the deeply flawed diplomatic assurances given by the US that Assange would not be held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. The fact that the US has reserved the right to change its mind at any time means that these assurances are not worth the paper they are written on.

“If extradited to the US, Julian Assange could not only face trial on charges under the Espionage Act but also a real risk of serious human rights violations due to detention conditions that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment.

“The US government’s indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad. If upheld, it would undermine the key role of journalists and publishers in scrutinizing governments and exposing their misdeeds would leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders.”

What happens next?

What happens now that Priti Patel has signed the extradition order?

Despite a renewed call from civil liberties groups, press freedom groups, and leading newspapers to drop the case against Assange, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel signed off the amended extradition order following the High Court’s ruling.

Assange’s defense team has submitted its application to appeal the extradition order to the High Court again, this time on the other substantive issues from the original Magistrates’ ruling that were not discussed at the previous appeal. These issues include a politicized prosecution, the threat the charges pose to the First Amendment, and the likelihood Assange would face a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.

At any time, if U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland decides to drop the charges, in keeping with the Obama Justice Department’s policy not to prosecute Assange and grant clemency to Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange will immediately walk free.

If the final decision comes from an appeal at the High Court, it will most likely be a matter of months. If the case goes through each stage of appeal to the European Court, the process could take several months.

Implications for Press Freedom

The indictment and extradition request for Assange raises grave and extraordinary concerns for press freedom:

  • The indictment criminalizes public interest journalistic activity: legal scholars testified at the Assange hearing that his prosecution on this indictment would put an end to national security journalism and “radically rewrite the First Amendment” by criminalizing the soliciting, possession, and publishing of government information, regardless of its public interest value.
  • The U.S. government is seeking to exercise jurisdiction over a foreign publisher and journalist, while at the same time claiming that Assange will not benefit from constitutional free speech protections because he is a foreigner (an Australian citizen), opening the door for the U.S. government to extradite other journalists and publishers without offering them free speech protections; this also opens the door for other countries to prosecute foreign journalists outside their jurisdiction for doing their jobs, and will allow them to use these tools to judicially persecute exiled dissidents.
  • Accepting U.S. arguments about double criminality under the Official Secrets Act in the UK means that UK court is locking in the Trump administration’s approach to the prosecution of journalists under the law in this UK, making republication of a document that has previously published a crime, and accepting for the first time the prosecution of a publisher or media worker for clearly newsworthy information.

There has been widespread concern expressed by international organizations and media organizations across the political spectrum about the free speech implications of the extradition and prosecution of Assange. See more here.

In March 2020, two dozen leading U.S. press freedom organizations cosigned a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for the charges against Assange to be dropped immediately. They write,

“The indictment of Mr. Assange threatens press freedom because much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely—and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do. Journalists at major news publications regularly speak with sources, ask for clarification or more documentation, and receive and publish documents the government considers secret. In our view, such a precedent in this case could effectively criminalize these common journalistic practices.”

Prison Conditions in the UK

Assange remains detained in HMP Belmarsh, a high-security prison. There have been constant issues with his prison conditions, which have been compounded by the further restrictions imposed during the COVID pandemic. There have been at least 97 cases of COVID in Belmarsh alone, with several deaths reported. There has been a COVID outbreak in Assange’s prison block, where he is at serious risk of contracting COVID and suffering serious medical complications because of his existing respiratory issues.

For example, before COVID, his legal team reported:

  • Difficulties in access to visits to Assange for the purposes of preparing their case
  • Difficulties in ensuring Assange had adequate facilities for preparing his defence, including delays in legal papers reaching Assange by post, not being permitted to physically deliver him legal papers, delay in the provision of a laptop to enable him to be able to review the extensive material required for his defence, and so on; and
  • His isolation within the prison and being kept in his prison cell up to 23 hours a day.

Since COVID, his situation in prison has become more difficult, including:

  • No in-person legal visits due to COVID restrictions
  • No videoconferencing because of the risk of COVID transmission (when video conferencing has been permitted during COVID, the waiting list is approximately 6 weeks)
  • No social visits due to COVID restrictions, which meant Assange was completely isolated from contact with his partner, their small children and his family and friends between late March- mid August and November 2020.
  • Due to the COVID outbreak in his prison block, he has for long periods been kept in his cell 24/7, unable to leave his cell to exercise or to shower.

The judge refused a bail application made in early 2020 despite the concerns raised by Assange’s lawyers in relation to the risk of COVID in prison and his ability to properly prepare his defence. Since her decision, there have been several COVID related deaths at Belmarsh prison. After winning his case at the Magistrates Court on 4 January, Assange applied for bail. Bail was refused despite the ruling in his favour in relation to U.S. extradition.

Categories
Press Release

WHISPeR Urges UK to Reject Assange Extradition

Posted below is the letter from the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program [WHISPeR] at Expose Facts, calling on UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to reject the US government’s request to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.

The Rt. Hon Priti Patel
Secretary of State for the Home Department
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
May 16, 2022

Dear Home Secretary,

The Whistleblower & Source Protection Program is a US-based nonprofit organization that protects freedom of the press and civil liberties by providing pro bono legal defense for journalistic sources and whistleblowers. We write to urge you to reject the United States government’s request to extradite Julian Assange.

We are uniquely positioned to speak to this matter. We have represented several of the most prominent defendants in Espionage Act cases, including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, and Daniel Hale, who were investigated, charged, and/or prosecuted for revealing information about mass surveillance, torture, and war crimes. They were charged under the same law as Mr. Assange: the Espionage Act of 1917, a draconian wartime law that has been increasingly abused to hide government abuses and punish dissent. Under the Espionage Act, no prosecution of a non-spy can be fair or just. The trial would take place largely in secret. Moreover, it is effectively a strict liability law that does not permit you to raise a defense because under the terms of the law, intent is irrelevant.

Thanks to vague and overbroad language, the Espionage Act implicates a wide range of activities that are central to the news-reporting process and bear little or no resemblance to classic espionage. Prosecutions of journalists’ sources over the past decade have done enormous damage to the free functioning of investigative
journalism, a central pillar of democracy. The prosecution of a publisher such as Assange is even more chilling. Several counts of the Assange indictment criminalize “pure publication,” and others extend to ordinary journalistic activities, including using encryption.

The precedents from any such proceeding would erode the bedrock principles of the Anglo-American legal tradition, and the cherished freedoms they guarantee. The extradition of a foreign-citizen publisher operating on foreign territory for crimes of pure publication would give encouragement and cover for similar behavior by tyrants and dictators around the world. It would be a boon to the enemies of freedom and a travesty for human rights and freedom of speech globally.

Finally, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is simply too capricious and arbitrary to guarantee that Mr. Assange will receive the minimum standard of humane treatment for prisoners. Consider the experience of our client, drone whistleblower Daniel Hale. Last year, Hale was unexpectedly jailed pre-trial due to supposed concern for his mental health. He was sent to the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia – the same facility where Assange would be held – where he was placed in “administrative segregation,” euphemism for solitary or near-solitary confinement. In actual practice, mental health is commonly used as a pretext for more oppressive conditions.

At sentencing, Judge Liam O’Grady recommended Hale for placement in minimum security prison, citing Hale’s nonviolent offense, lack of criminal history, and the utter impossibility of recidivism, given his now permanent lack of access to classified information. The Bureau of Prisons, however, is not bound to this recommendation, and instead sent him to a high security facility called a Communications Management Unit (CMU) where he is nearly isolated from the outside world. These conditions, while not meeting the strict definition of solitary confinement, do not meet international minimum standards, and are deeply detrimental to his well being. The stated rationale for creation of Communications Management Units was the need to more heavily monitor and control the communications of people convicted of crimes with ties to organized crime or terrorist networks, who could potentially carry on these crimes while incarcerated. The specious logic of the Bureau of Prisons placement then should be obvious, given the aforementioned impossibility of recidivism by Hale, and the fact that the communications central to his conviction were with a journalist, not a criminal network. Julian Assange would certainly be vulnerable to these kinds of capricious designations.

The assurances provided by the U.S. government elided these realities, and even their own terms left plenty of freedom to renege. Our experience is that they are not reticent to take those liberties, and given the political nature of Assange’s prosecution, they would be exceptionally eager to avail themselves of any opportunity for retaliation.

For these reasons, we ask you to reject this extradition.

Sincerely,

Jesselyn Radack,

Director, Whistleblower & Source Protection Program at
ExposeFacts


This post was originally published at ExposeFacts.

Categories
Resources

Write a letter to the editor

One of the best ways to spread the word is to write a letter to the editor (also known as an LTE) of your local newspaper. When you write an LTE, you are letting your community, your legislators, and our national leadership know that you will not be silent about the criminalization of journalists and publishers like Julian Assange.

  • If you’d like us to submit your letter for you, send us your full name, street address, and phone number at team@assangedefense.org. Then we will use this information ONLY to submit a letter to the editor that one of our team members will write on your behalf.
  • If you’d like to write/submit yourself, get in touch with us for tips, templates, and resources, and let us know where you’re submitting so we can keep track of which newspapers are publishing your letters around the country.

Example of a published LTE

See two examples of published LTEs for Assange here.

In December 2021, retired constitutional lawyer and Assange Defense-Los Angeles member Stephen Rohde wrote to the New York Times,

A free, uninhibited and courageous press is essential to a functioning democracy. When the Supreme Court upheld The New York Times’s right to publish the classified Pentagon Papers, Justice Hugo Black wrote, “Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama rightly declined to indict Julian Assange for publishing secret government documents. But in 2019, the Trump administration did so, and President Biden’s Justice Department chose Donald Trump’s path over Mr. Obama’s by vigorously pursuing Mr. Assange’s extradition. Mr. Trump’s shameful legacy threatens to become Mr. Biden’s.

In October, 24 leading press freedom, civil liberties and human rights organizations urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to dismiss the indictment.

Mr. Garland should uphold the Constitution and American values of freedom of the press, due process and human rights by immediately dropping the indictment against Julian Assange.

Categories
Press Release

Defending Rights & Dissent Urges UK To Reject Extradition Request for Julian Assange

SmallLogo

On Monday May 9, 2022, Defending Rights & Dissent urged UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to reject the US’s extradition request for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. As a US-based NGO focused on the First Amendment, it is highly unusual for us to correspond with foreign governments. However, given the extraordinary nature of Assange’s case and its implications for press freedom not just in the US, but globally, we are compelled to do so.

For 12 years, our organization has closely monitored the US government’s attacks on WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange. We have also monitored the cases of other individuals indicted under the Espionage Act.We have repeatedly monitored the treatment of national security journalism-related individuals detained at the Alexandria Detention Center, where Assange is likely to be held if extradited. We raised concerns about their treatment to both local officials and United Nations experts.

Based on this extensive monitoring, we have concluded that the case against Assange is politically motivated, that he will not receive a fair trial in the US, and that he will be subjected to conditions of confinement that would constitute serious deprivations of human rights. For these reasons, we urge the UK to reject his extradition.

You can read the letter below:


This was originally published at Defending Rights & Dissent.

May 17: Protest at the DOJ

May 17 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm EDT


In coordination with London protests of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, we call on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to stop the extradition and drop all charges against award-winning journalist Julian Assange.

These May 17 U.S. and UK actions are ahead of the May 18 deadline after which Patel may sign off on Assange’s extradition order. People around the world are demanding that Patel comply with Article 4 of U.S./UK extradition treaty, which bans extradition for political offenses.. 

All voices are desperately needed as Assange faces extradition to the country that plotted to assassinate him. Please join us! 

DOJ

369 10th St NW
Washington D.C., 20530 United States
+ Google Map

Milwaukee: Lights for Assange

May 3 @ 8:00 pm 10:00 pm CDT

Categories
Commentary

The Future of Gen Z Journalism Depends on Julian Assange’s Freedom

This post by Sam Carliner was originally published at CodePink

CODEPINK’s staff sending their support to Assange ahead of his wedding

Just thirteen days before World Press Freedom Day 2022 the very existence of world press freedom inched closer to its possible demise. On April 20, a U.K. court formally approved extradition of WikiLeaks founder and Australian journalist, Julian Assange, to the United States to be tried under the Espionage Act. He is facing a sentence of up to 175 years.

Extradition is still not guaranteed. The ultimate decision is pending approval from the U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Assange’s legal team is requesting an appeal. However the reality of extradition and all the implications for a free press that come with it are increasingly likely.

Unlike most Assange supporters I’ve met, I’m from a generation born too late to fully appreciate the importance of WikiLeaks and its most significant publications like the Collateral Murder Video, the Iraq War Logs, and CableGate. In fact, I first encountered Chelsea Manning through my friends in the LGBTQ+ community who admired her trans rights activism. At the time I was focused much more on LGBTQ+ issues than on whistleblower issues. Following this introduction, I learned about her importance as the source who provided proof of U.S. war crimes for WikiLeaks to publish.

The first time I remember really understanding WikiLeaks’s importance was when Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2019. Because I had been only vaguely aware of WikiLeaks and Assange up until that point, it was easy for me to look past many of the smears that had circulated about him and instead quickly wrap my head around the dangers for press freedom that his case presented. As I educated myself about the Assange case, I also began to educate my peers.

At the time I was in college for journalism. The journalism program at my school focused on teaching students about flashy news production and marketing, but placed little emphasis on the public service aspect of journalism, such as challenging the powerful, platforming the voiceless, and informing one’s community. I became convinced that it was foolish for me and my classmates to be preparing for future careers in journalism while the very basic principles of ethical journalism might soon be criminalized. I found that many of my classmates were receptive to this message, even as the administration of my school refused to take the case seriously. As one of my first initiatives to grow support for Assange, I sent several emails to the director of the communications school I was attending, inquiring about the school’s stance on the case and asking for the school to voice support. I also got some of my classmates to send emails. Not one of those emails received a reply.

Following the silence from my own school’s administration, I compiled a list of hundreds of communications schools and journalism programs throughout the United States and emailed their directors. I received less than five replies and no commitments to take action in support of Assange.

Much has been written about why Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States is so dangerous, but two points are worth repeating.

First is that the United States aims to prosecute and sentence Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq. This would criminalize the action of publishing truthful information about the world’s most expansive military, resulting in a legal precedent that would enable the U.S. government to sentence any publication, from indie media to legacy papers like The New York Times. Such a precedent will likely extend beyond the realm of foreign policy reporting. Any form of adversarial reporting could be punished in a world where U.S. courts decide that publishing true information constitutes espionage. 

The second point that makes Assange’s case so dangerous is that he is not a citizen of the country seeking his extradition (The United States) or of the country overseeing his extradition (The United Kingdom). Assange is Australian. The absurdity and international implications of one country extraditing the citizen of another country to a third country is likely to silence any journalist from any part of the world who might otherwise report on U.S. crimes and corruption. Essentially, the world’s most powerful government will be able to suppress scrutiny and accountability from journalists anywhere in the world if Assange is successfully extradited, tried, and sentenced.

As both World Press Freedom Day and Assange’s possible extradition approach, it is essential that anyone who hopes to hold onto world press freedom support Julian Assange, firmly and vocally. Nothing short of mass pressure from the public will allow for Assange’s freedom and the guarantee of press freedom that hangs in the balance. 

It is easier than ever to support the campaign than at any point in this last decade. Most leading human rights and press freedom organizations have spoken out against extradition including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, PEN International, and the Committee to Protect Journalists as well as editorial boards of The New York TimesThe Guardian and many other outlets. 

News outlets that previously remained quiet are also starting to sound the alarm. MSNBC, an outlet that generally aligns with the framing of U.S. foreign policy, allowed an interview with Julian’s wife, Stella Assange, to be aired on their streaming service. Then MSNBC promoted the interview on Twitter to its 4.6 million followers. This action alone is likely exposing the case to countless people who may not otherwise question the threat it poses and shows that momentum is building for new activism around freeing Assange.

The new generation of journalists can bring an essential energy to the campaign for Assange’s freedom. My hope is that as momentum starts to build in the United States for Assange’s freedom, established journalists and journalism schools will support us by taking Assange’s case seriously. I encourage young journalists like myself and student journalists to take initiative, call for Assange’s freedom, and demand that our mentors join us. Our future remains in jeopardy as long as Assange is not free.

Categories
Press Release

Send a message to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Please use this form to contact UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Customize your email subject line and message to ensure each email is delivered and read by them separately.

Categories
Past Events

VIDEO: WikiLeaks & War Crimes

April 27, 2022

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.

Moderator:

  • Jim Lafferty 

Speakers:

  • Renata Avila
  • Medea Benjamin
  • Marjorie Cohn
  • Chris Hedges
  • Vijay Prashad

Sponsored by LA Progressive, CodePink, the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU Pasadena/Foothill Chapter, American Constitution Society-San Diego chapter, and Assange Defense.

Categories
Press Release

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 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

Boston: March to UK Consulate for Assange

April 25 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Image

Galaxy Park

220-238 Main St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 United States
+ Google Map
Categories
Press Release

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
Past Events

Twin Cities 3 year anniversary event

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.


Photos by Tom Dickenson

Categories
Press Release

PEN America highlights Assange’s persecution

PEN America, the U.S. chapter of PEN International, an association of writers around the world founded in 1921, has released its annual ‘Freedom to Write’ index, a catalogue of bloggers and journalists and other writers who have been killed, prosecuted, or otherwise threatened for carrying out their work.

In its section on the United Kingdom, PEN highlights the detention and indictment of Julian Assange, noting:

“Assange, publisher of WikiLeaks, was imprisoned in the U.K. in 2019 for violating bail terms. Since September 2019 he is jailed facing possible extradition to the U.S., including on 17 counts under the Espionage Act, charges with worrying implications for press freedom.”

In the full report, PEN expounds on Assange’s journalism and the charges against him, noting

PEN International calls on the United States to drop charges against Assange. Espionage laws should not be used against journalists and publishers for disclosing information of public interest. PEN International further calls on the United Kingdom to reject extraditing Julian Assange to the United States. PEN Action: statement April 2019, resolution September 2019.

Last year, PEN America joined two dozen other press freedom and human rights organizations in signing an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, calling on the Department of Justice to drop the case against Assange.

Earlier this week, PEN’s Australian branch visited the British Consulate to present an Open Letter calling for the immediate release of Julian Assange and a halt to the extradition. They wrote,

“PEN Australia centres, in conjunction with PEN International, call for the British Government as an independent democracy to immediately release Julian Assange and to halt the US case for extradition.

The prosecution of Assange has been described as a political case from the outset. Extradition for political offences has been prohibited by democracies that respect human rights. Britain prides itself for standing for democracy and freedom of expression. We call on Britain to take a stand for the wellbeing and democratic freedom of expression of Wikileaks founder, Australian citizen Julian Assange.”

See PEN America’s full ‘Freedom to Write’ index here.

Categories
Press Release

3 years since Julian Assange’s arrest

April 11, 2022 — Today marks three years since WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had his political asylum revoked by the Ecuadorian government, which then allowed British police into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to arrest Assange, as the United States unsealed its indictment against him. Assange has spent the entire interim in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison, where experts have visited him and determined him to have suffered psychological torture. He has been all but barred from participating in his own extradition proceedings, in which a district judge initially ruled against sending Julian to the United States on grounds that doing so would put him at undue risk of suicide. A High Court later overturned that ruling after accepting belated, caveated “assurances” from the United States government regarding the prospective prison conditions Assange would face. Human rights organizations, press freedom groups, leading politicians, and top newspaper editors across the board have condemned the U.S. indictment against Assange as a landmark threat to the First Amendment which would criminalize basic journalistic activity on which a functioning democracy depends. If convicted, Assange faces 175 years in a U.S. prison.

Stella Assange: Julian’s continued imprisonment is “a criminal act”

Speaking to Press Association, Stella said,

“The UK Government could end Julian’s imprisonment at any time by obeying its treaty obligations. The US extradition request violates the US-UK extradition treaty Article 4, which prohibits extraditions for political offences. The UK Government can and should obey the word of the treaty and put an end to the extradition process once and for all. Julian’s incarceration and extradition process is an abuse in itself. He faces 175 years buried alive in a US hellhole for publishing true information in the public interest, exposing the crimes and killing of innocent people by the country that wants him to spend the rest of his life in prison. The UN special rapporteur on torture has found that Julian has been subjected to psychological torture. Senior US officials have reportedly confirmed White House and CIA plans to assassinate him on UK soil during the Trump administration. The UK is imprisoning a publisher on behalf of the foreign power who conspired to murder him. There is no way of concealing any more that Julian is the victim of a vicious political persecution. His continued imprisonment is not only a national disgrace, it is a criminal act.”

PEN International delegation calls on UK to free Assange

In Australia, a delegation from global writers’ association PEN International visited the British Consulate to present an Open Letter calling for the immediate release of Julian Assange and a halt to the extradition. They write,

“PEN Australia centres, in conjunction with PEN International, call for the British Government as an independent democracy to immediately release Julian Assange and to halt the US case for extradition.

The prosecution of Assange has been described as a political case from the outset. Extradition for political offences has been prohibited by democracies that respect human rights. Britain prides itself for standing for democracy and freedom of expression. We call on Britain to take a stand for the wellbeing and democratic freedom of expression of Wikileaks founder, Australian citizen Julian Assange.”

Australian media union calls on government to stand up for one of its own

SBS News: ‘It’s been three years since Julian Assange was imprisoned. Advocates say it’s time to let him go’

Australia’s Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) calls on the Australian government to help free Assange:

“Julian Assange’s work with WikiLeaks was important and in the public interest: exposing evidence of war crimes and other shameful actions by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,” MEAA Media federal president Karen Percy said on Monday.

“The stories published by WikiLeaks and its mainstream media partners more than a decade ago were picked up by news outlets around the world. 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.”

Protests held around the world to free Assange

Westminster Magistrates Court

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Photo by Gordon Dimmack

Projections across London

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Rallies across the United States

Demonstrations organized in Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Denver, Tulsa, Bay Area, Minneapolis, and more:

DC rallies at UK Consulate and DOJ

Progressive leaders call on US President Biden to drop the charges against Assange

“progressive leaders, intellectuals, and former heads of state from across the world including Dilma Rousseff, Yanis Varoufakis, Roger Waters, Rafael Correa, among others sent a letter to US President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to demand that US officials drop the 18 charges against Julian Assange.”

More reactions / statements

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Press Release

Progressive leaders call on US President Biden to drop the charges against Assange

This was first published at the International Peoples’ Assembly

En Español

Today April 11, progressive leaders, intellectuals, and former heads of state from across the world including Dilma Rousseff, Yanis Varoufakis, Roger Waters, Rafael Correa, among others sent a letter to US President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to demand that US officials drop the 18 charges against Julian Assange.

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.  

JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN TO FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW:

SEND A LETTER – Sign this letter drafted by the IPA and send it to your local British embassy or consulate telling them to respect their legal responsibilities and Free Assange NOW!

PARTICIPATE – Follow the social media accounts of the IPA to learn more about Assange’s case and his immeasurable contributions to the anti-imperialist struggle today. Share our materials with your communities and movements. Help us get the word out about why we must #FreeAssangeNOW! 

Contact information: secretaria@asambleadelospueblos.org


President Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

1236 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear President of United States and Speaker of the House,

We have been paying close attention to the legal process and trial of Australian journalist Julian Paul Assange, who is currently in prison in the United Kingdom where he awaits a final decision on the extradition request made by the government of the United States of America.

 The United States of America has a long tradition of defending freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of the press. The philosophical, legal, political and social thought produced by intellectuals in the United States of America forms an important foundational framework for the reflection and realization of freedom of expression throughout the world. Likewise, the struggle of activists since the 19th century for this freedom has been a source of inspiration for countless societies and countries.

It is precisely in the name of this tradition, continually renewed by daily creation, that we, progressive leaders of the world, address you to ask that, within the scope of its constitutional and legal competence, in respect of due process of law, and the democratic rule of law, that Your Presidency exercise its prerogative of dropping all 18 charges leveled against journalist Julian Paul Assange.

With such a gesture, you will send a strong message to the world: that freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of the press constitute an instrument that can controvert the interests of any government, including that of the United States of America. The cases where there are reports of serious violations of freedom of expression would also be impacted by the dropping of the 18 charges against Assange. It would affirm the defense of this Fundamental Human Right and would undoubtedly represent a clear and robust sign that everyone can express their opinion without fear of retaliation; that all the press outlets can give news to all the citizens of the world, with the certainty that the pluralism of thought is guaranteed.

It is these considerations that lead us to address you, Mr. President and other American authorities, to request that you drop all 18 charges against Julian Paul Assange.

São Paulo, April 11, 2022.

SIGNATORIES OF THE LETTER:

  • DILMA ROUSSEFF –
  • Former President of Brazil (2011-2016).
  • ERNESTO SAMPER – Former President of Colombia (1994-1998) and former General Secretary of UNASUL
  • FERNANDO LUGO – Former President of Paraguay (2008-2012).
  • RAFAEL CORREA – Former President of Ecuador (2007-2017)
  • AIDA NARANJO GARCIA MOCHA – Former Minister for Women in Peru
  • ALOIZIO MERCADANTE – Former Chief of Staff and former Brazilian Minister of Education in the governments of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff
  • ANDRÉS ARAUZ – Ecuadorian presidential candidate in 2019
  • CARLOS OMINAMI – Chilean intellectual
  • CELSO AMORIM – Brazilian diplomat, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Itamar Franco’s government and in Lula’s government, and Minister of Defense in Dilma’s government 
  • DANIEL MARTÍNEZ – Former Mayor of Montevideo for the Broad Front of Uruguay
  • ESPERANZA MARTÍNEZ – Senator from the Guasú Front in Paraguay
  • GUILLAUME LONG – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Government of Rafael Correa in Ecuador
  • IDELI SALVATTI – Former Senator of the Republic, former Minister of Human Rights, former Secretary of Access to Rights and Equity at the OAS (Brazil)
  • IVAN CEPEDA – Senator from the Alternative Democratic Pole party in Colombia
  • JOSÉ CARLOS DIAS – Lawyer, former Minister of Justice, former Secretary of Justice in the State of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • JOSÉ EDUARDO CARDOZO – Former Minister of Justice and attorney-general of the Union of Brazil. He is a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo
  • KAROL CARIOLA – Federal Deputy from the Communist Party of Chile
  • MARCO ENRÍQUEZ-OMINAMI – Chilean filmmaker
  • MARIA DO ROSÁRIO NUNES – Member of parliament and former Special Secretary for Human Rights (Brazil)
  • MARÍA JOSÉ PIZARRO – Senator from the Historic Pact in Colombia
  • MÓNICA XAVIER – Former Senator from the Broad Front in Uruguay and the former President of the Socialist Party of Uruguay
  • NILMA GOMES – Professor Emeritus of UFMG. Former Minister of the Secretariat for Racial Equality Policies and the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights (Brazil)
  • NILMÁRIO MIRANDA – Former National Secretary of Human Rights (Brazil)
  • PAULO SÉRGIO PINHEIRO – Former Brazilian National Secretary for Human Rights. Former UN Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights in Burundi, an African country victim of civil war
  • PAULO VANNUCHI – Former Brazilian Minister of Human Rights (2005-2010). Former Commissioner of Inter American Commission on Human Rights (2014-2017)
  • PEPE VARGAS – Former Minister of Human Rights, Minister of Institutional Relations, and Minister of Agrarian Development in the Dilma Rousseff government
  • RICARDO PATIÑO – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Government of Rafael Correa in Ecuador
  • ROGÉRIO SOTTILI – Executive Director of Vladimir Herzog Institute, former Special Secretary of Human Rights, former Secretary of Human Rights in the State of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • ROGER WATERS – Singer, songwriter and musician (England)
  • SLAVOJ ZIZEK – Philosopher (Slovenia)
  • SREĆKO HORVAT – Philosopher and Co-founder of DiEM25 (Croatia)
  • TARSO GENRO – Jurist, former Minister of Education, former Minister of Justice, former Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
  • YANIS VAROUFAKIS – Member of the Hellenic Parliament (Greece)

Milwaukee: Lights for Assange

April 11 @ 8:00 pm

Across from Collectivo

S.E. corner of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Lafayette
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 United States
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Past Events

VIDEO: Panel on Assange at the International Journalism Festival

The International Journalism Festival in Italy hosted “Julian Assange and Wikileaks: freedom of information on trial”

“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.

Denver rally: 3 years since arrest

April 11 @ 4:30 pm

Click for source

7News

123 Speer Blvd
Denver, Colorado 80203 United States
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WikiLeaks & War Crimes

April 27 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm EDT

LA Progressive, CodePink, the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU Pasadena/Foothill Chapter and Assange Defense are hosting a webinar on the threat to freedom of the press in a time of war.

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.

Please join legal scholar Marjorie Cohn and Jim Lafferty from The Lawyers Guild as they moderate a roundtable discussion on these issues and more on April 27th at 4:00pm PST.

Our roundtable will include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, CodePink cofounder Medea Benjamin, author and historian Vijay Prashad and international human rights lawyer Renata Avila.

The panelists will discuss a citizen’s right and need to know what our governments say and do in our names, the necessity of a free and unhindered press to provide that knowledge to the public, and the existential threat to journalism we now face due to the actions by governments around the globe, including our own.


Take Action

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel can and must stop the extradition of Julian Assange. A UK Judge previously ruled “it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States.”

Email Boris & Patel.

Use this form to contact UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Customize your email subject line and message to ensure each email is delivered and read by them separately.

Tulsa rally: 3 years since Assange’s arrest

April 11 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT

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Tulsa World Newspaper

315 S Boulder Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103 United States
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Hacking Justice: Julian Assange – Film Screening and Q&A

April 11 @ 1:00 pm

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

  • Directors: Clara López Rubio, Juan Pancorbo
  • When: Monday, April 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM BST
  • Where: Khalili Lecture Theatre(KLT), SOAS University, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG
  • Hosted by SOAS ICOP – an innovative front-line project addressing the democratic deficit between UK universities and UK politics.

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

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

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

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

Categories
Press Release

Call for Assange’s Freedom

Call your Senators, Representatives, the Department of Justice and the White House comment line. We can make clear to our elected officials that we demand the charges be dropped, the First Amendment be protected, and Assange be freed. Here’s how.

Free Assange Phone Script

Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [CITY]. I’m calling to ask that the United States drop its case against Julian Assange. I’m deeply concerned about the ramifications that prosecuting a journalist for exposing American war crimes will have on our civil liberties.

President Biden promised that he would end Trump’s attacks on the press, yet his administration is continuing to seek Assange’s extradition.

The prosecution of Assange creates a dangerous precedent that will prevent journalists from holding our government accountable. Please protect our First Amendment and drop the case against Assange immediately.

Thank you for your time.

Contact your Senator

Phone numbers are available on each state’s page or on your senator’s website — a directory is also available here: Senators Suite & Telephone List (PDF)

Or you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard operator: (202) 224-3121

Find other ways to contact your Senator here.

Contact your Representative

Contact the Department of Justice

  • DOJ comment line: 202-353-1555
  • DOJ general phone number: (202) 514-2000
  • Email: AskDoJ@usdoj.gov

Ask Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the prosecution of a publisher

Contact the White House

The White House comment line is open Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 11am to 3pm EDT, and callers have the option of speaking to an operator and leaving a voicemail. Please remember that respectful communication is most effective.

Minneapolis rally: 3 years since Assange’s arrest