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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.

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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.

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

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

Click to watch video
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Past Events

Assange Defense at the People’s Summit 2022

Directed by Robert Corsini, Assange Defense-Los Angeles

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
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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

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 May 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?

Civil liberties groups, press freedom groups, and leading newspapers are urging UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to drop the case against Assange. Patel now has two weeks to sign 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.

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
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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.

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.

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.

Boston: March to UK Consulate for Assange

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

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Galaxy Park

220-238 Main St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 United States
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EU Free Assange Concert Rally

April 23 @ 8:00 am 10:00 am EST

On 23rd of April the EU Free Assange Concert/Rally in Brussels, on the Place de la Monnaie is arranged so the people of Europe can voice their support for freeing Julian Assange.

We the people all stand behind Assange and recognize the EU as the second most powerful institution which can influence the case, after Washington. However, we see that the EU is allowing this persecution to happen, on its doorsteps without expressing outrage to the danger that it will affect European/World Press Freedom irreversibly.

The Motion of the Rally: ´We the people of Europe demand the EU voice their support in the freeing of Julian Assange´ is being signed by many politicians/public figures and the public, to be handed in after the event.

The world famous ´Chicks on Speed´ music Ensemble will be giving an Open-Air Concert, bringing with them their many fans to join the Free Assange movement, which is growing every day!

This together with a fantastic film crew of the band including Prof. Florian Schneider (Film director for Arte & Kein Mensch ist Illegal), Joen Vedel & Mohammad Bayesteh (Camera men) who will live stream the Concert & Speeches through numerous channels across the globe & make a video.

Prominent speakers such as Nils Melzer (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture), Jeremy Corbyn, Stefania Maurizi, Ögmund Jönasson (former Icelandic Minister of Justice and Human Rights) & Dr Deepa Driver (ICMA Centre) will make the voice of Europeans’ outrage clearly heard on stage between songs especially composed for Julian, as we face the Extradition of the Award-Winning Journalist for Peace, to the State that threatened to murder him.

Music Ensemble:

  • Chicks on Speed / David Rovics

Speakers:

  • Dr Deepa Driver
  • Nils Melzer
  • Ögmundr Jonasson
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Stefania Maurizi
  • Ernest Sagaga
  • Andrej Hunko
  • RSF, Amnesty representatives.

On Friday 22nd April in the evening the Free University Brussels (ULB) or Fine Arts Museum will host a lecture from two of the speakers to encourage the participation of students in the rally.

On the 24th March there will be a promotional online event where all the speakers and artists are invited to give a taster & encourage people to attend with #FreeAssange signs & banners.

It’s about our Press Freedom and our basic rights and democracy so please join us in the build up to this rally by spreading the word, writing an article to newspapers, interviews and donating for the cost of equipment, if possible.

We hope to change the political sentiment behind Julian’s Political imprisonment, together with you the people & organizations such as Reporters Sans Frontiers, Amnesty International, Don’t Extradite Assange (DEA) & many more people in our efforts to save Julian’s life and European/World Press Freedom.

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

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.

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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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

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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Categories
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)

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.

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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Boston rally: 3 years since Assange’s arrest

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

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Galaxy Park

220-238 Main St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 United States
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DC rally: 3 years since Assange’s arrest

April 11 @ 10:00 am 4:00 pm EDT

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British Embassy

3100 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20008 United States
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DC: Stand Up for Assange, 3 years after arrest

April 10 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm EDT

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Tabard Inn

1739 N Street Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 United States
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Felton, CA: Free Assange rally

April 10 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm PDT

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Felton, CA

Highway 9 & Graham Hill Rd
Felton, California 95018 United States
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Categories
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.

Minneapolis rally: 3 years since Assange’s arrest

April 9 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm CDT

Please join Twin Cities Assange Defense in a panel discussion regarding the plight of remand political prisoner Julian Assange. Panelists include:

  • Susan Banaszewski – Minnesota Anti-War Committee
  • Major (retired) Todd Pierce – Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer
  • Kathya Dawe – President of Citizens for Global Solutions Minnesota
  • Jordan Kushner – Criminal Defense and Civil Rights Attorney, National Lawyer’s Guild

The discussion will be followed by an outdoor rally at the corner of 42nd and Cedar. Bring your voice and a sign of support for Julian.

Contact Mike Madden for further information.

Milwaukee: Stand with Assange

April 2 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm CDT

E Brady St & N Farwell Ave

E Brady St & N Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 United States
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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.

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.

Categories
Press Release

U.S. demonstrations planned for April 11th

April 11, 2022, will mark three years since WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange was arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in Britain, three years he has spent since in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison in London. Protests are planned in major cities around the world — see this thread from @Candles4Assange for global actions; here we highlight rallies and other events planned here in the United States.

Washington DC

Boston

Minneapolis

Felton, CA

Tulsa

Denver

Milwaukee

Online

Categories
Press Release

Julian and Stella marry at Belmarsh

March 23, 2022 — Julian Assange married his partner Stella Moris in a beautiful ceremony held at Belmarsh prison, in London. Stella was accompanied by Julian’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton. Legendary fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood custom-designed Stella’s dress and a tartan kilt for Julian, a nod to his Scottish heritage. 

“This is not a prison wedding”

As the Guardian notes, Belmarsh blocked the couple’s witnesses and proposed photographers on the grounds that they were members of the press and therefore, a “security risk.”

Stella wrote an op-ed for the Guardian on the fight to get married and what today’s occasion means to her:

Today is my wedding day. I will marry the love of my life. My husband to be is the father of our two sons, he is a wonderful man, intelligent and funny, he has a deep-seated sense of right and wrong and he is known the world over for his work as a courageous publisher. At lunchtime today, I will go through the gates at the most oppressive high security prison in the country and be married to a political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Of course, this is not the wedding we should be having. Julian has spent nearly three years unjustly detained on behalf of the foreign power that plotted to kill him in the streets of London.

Today will be a private moment in which we will affirm our love for each other. The dress is designed by Julian’s friends, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler. I am honoured to be wearing their beautiful creation. It is a symbol of our love and defiance in the face of this cruel situation.

This is not a prison wedding, it is a declaration of love and resilience in spite of the prison walls, in spite of the political persecution, in spite of the arbitrary detention, in spite of the harm and harassment inflicted on Julian and our family. Their torment only makes our love grow stronger.

Photos

Photos by Reuters’ Peter Nicholls

Categories
Commentary Hearing Coverage Press Release

Extradition Looms for Assange After UK Supreme Court Refuses to Hear His Appeal

March 16, 2022 This article, by professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and Assange Defense Committee advisory board member Marjorie Cohn, was originally posted at Truthout.org.


The British judicial system has erected still another barrier to Julian Assange’s freedom. On March 14, the U.K. Supreme Court refused to hear Assange’s appeal of the U.K. High Court’s ruling ordering his extradition to the United States. If extradited to the U.S. for trial, Assange will face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and up to 175 years in prison for revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes.

With no explanation of its reasoning, the Supreme Court denied Assange “permission to appeal” the High Court’s decision, saying that Assange’s appeal did not “raise an arguable point of law.” The court remanded the case back to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which is the same court that denied the U.S. extradition request on January 4, 2021.

In all likelihood, the magistrates’ court will refer the case to the British Home Office where Home Secretary Priti Patel will review it. Assange’s lawyers then have four weeks to submit materials for Patel’s consideration. If she orders Assange’s extradition — which is highly likely — his lawyers will file a cross-appeal in the High Court asking it to review the issues Assange lost in the magistrates’ court.

If the High Court refuses to review those additional issues, Assange can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. That could take years. Meanwhile, he languishes in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, in fragile mental and physical health. He suffered a mini-stroke as his extradition hearing began. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer wrote in a Twitter post that the “U.K. is literally torturing him to death.”

The Legal Background

On January 24, 2022, the High Court rejected Assange’s appeal but it certified to the Supreme Court that Assange had raised a “point of law of general public importance.” This means that it is a proper issue for the Supreme Court to review. The three-judge panel of the Supreme Court has now refused Assange permission to appeal.

The point of law that the High Court certified to the Supreme Court was as follows:

“In what circumstances can an appellate court receive assurances from a requesting state which were not before the court of first instance in extradition proceedings.”

The United States waited until after the extradition hearing was over to offer U.K. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser assurances about the way Assange would be treated in U.S. prisons if extradited.

Following a three-week evidentiary hearing, Baraitser ruled on January 4, 2021, that if Assange is extradited to the United States for trial, he is very likely to attempt suicide due to his mental state and the harsh conditions of confinement under which he would be held in U.S. prisons.

During the hearing, the U.S. government did not assure Baraitser that Assange would not be held in solitary confinement in the United States. After Baraitser denied extradition, the Biden administration provided “assurances” that Assange wouldn’t be subject to special administrative measures (SAMs) or be housed at the ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

But the United States’s so-called assurances contained a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. All assurances would be void if Assange committed a “future act” that “met the test” for the imposition of SAMs. That subjective determination would be made by prison officials with no judicial review.If extradited to the U.S. for trial, Assange will face … up to 175 years in prison for revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes.

Although the late timing of the U.S.’s assurances prevented Assange’s lawyers from arguing they were unreliable and citing prior such assurances the United States failed to honor, the High Court accepted Biden’s assurances and dismissed Assange’s appeal in its January 2022 ruling.

Issues Assange Seeks to Raise on Cross-Appeal

In the cross-appeal, Assange’s lawyers will raise the following points:

*The extradition treaty between the U.S. and the U.K. forbids extradition for a political offense and since espionage is a political offense, the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case;

*Extradition would be oppressive or unjust due to the passage of time;

*The charges against Assange do not satisfy the “dual criminality test” which requires that they constitute criminal offenses in both the U.S. and the U.K.;

*Extradition is barred because the request is based on Assange’s political opinions;

*Extradition is barred because it would violate Assange’s rights to a fair trial and freedom of expression, as well as the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment, under the European Convention on Human Rights; and

*The request for extradition is an abuse of process because it is being pursued for a political motive and not in good faith.

Human Rights Organizations Decry Supreme Court’s Refusal to Hear Appeal

Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s deputy research director for Europe, called the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal a “blow to Julian Assange and to justice.” Hall said, “Demanding that states like the UK extradite people for publishing classified information that is in the public interest sets a dangerous precedent and must be rejected.” She added:

Prolonged solitary confinement is a key feature of life for many people in U.S. maximum security prisons and amounts to torture or other ill treatment under international law. The ban on torture and other ill-treatment is absolute and empty promises of fair treatment, such as those offered by the U.S.A. in the Assange case threaten to profoundly undermine that international prohibition.

Likewise, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed strong opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision. “Assange’s case is overwhelmingly in the public interest, and it deserved review by the highest court in the U.K. After two full years of extradition proceedings, once again Assange’s fate has become a political decision,” said Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s director of operations and campaigns. “We call on the Home Office to act in the interest of journalism and press freedom by refusing extradition and releasing Assange from prison without further delay.”

Assange’s Fiancée Says U.S. Wants to Imprison Him for Exposing Its War Crimes

Stella Moris, Assange’s fiancée, says Assange is being persecuted for carrying out a core journalistic mission: telling the truth.

“Whether Julian is extradited or not, which is the same as saying whether he lives or dies, is being decided through a process of legal avoidance,” Moris said. “Avoiding to hear arguments that challenge the UK courts’ deference to unenforceable and caveated claims regarding his treatment made by the United States, the country that plotted to murder him. The country whose atrocities he brought into the public domain. Julian is the key witness, the [principal] indicter, and the cause of enormous embarrassment to successive US governments.”

Moris added, “Julian was just doing his job, which was to publish the truth about wrongdoing. His loyalty is the same as that which all journalists should have: to the public. Not to the spy agencies of a foreign power.”

According to Moris, the United States wants to imprison Assange for 175 years because he “published evidence that the country that is trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; that it committed gross violations that killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children; that it tortured and rendered; that it bombed children, had death squads, and murdered Reuters journalists in cold blood; that it bribed foreign officials and bullied less powerful countries into harming their own citizens, and that it also corrupted allied nations’ judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing.”

Assange and Moris, who share two small children, have finally received permission to marry. They will be wed later this month in Belmarsh Prison.

Categories
Hearing Coverage Press Release

UK Supreme Court refuses to hear Assange appeal

Statement from Assange’s legal team, Birnberg Peirce Solicitors

On 24 January 2022, the High Court (the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Justice Holroyde) certified that a point of law of public importance had been raised by Mr Assange following its rejection of his appeal.

The point certified for the potential consideration by the Supreme Court was

“In what circumstances can an appellate court receive assurances from a requesting state which were not before the court of first instance in extradition proceedings.”

A panel of three judges of the Supreme Court has considered the application on paper, and this afternoon (14 March 2022) refused permission to appeal on the basis that “the application does not raise an arguable point of law.”

We regret that the opportunity has not been taken to consider the troubling circumstances in which Requesting States can provide caveated guarantees after the conclusion of a full evidential hearing. In Mr Assange’s case, the Court had found that there was a real risk of prohibited treatment in the event of his onward extradition.

We explain below the legal processes that now follow in his case.

The case, on the direction of the High Court, will now be remitted to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, whose function thereafter is limited to referring the decision for extradition to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

The Home Secretary then decides whether to order or refuse extradition to the United States on a number of statutory bases. The defence is entitled to make submissions to the Home Secretary within the following four weeks, in advance of her making any decision.

It will be recollected that Mr Assange succeeded in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on the issue subsequently appealed by the US to the High Court. No appeal to the High Court has yet been filed by him in respect of the other important issues he raised previously in Westminster Magistrates’ Court. That separate process of appeal, of course, has yet to be initiated.

Statement from Assange’s partner, Stella Moris

From Moris’ new Substack newsletter:

Just this morning on our way to school, our four-year-old son asked me when daddy will come home. Julian’s life is being treated as if it were expendable. He has been robbed of over a decade of liberty, and three years from his home and his young children who are being forced to grow up without their father.

A system that allows this is a system that has lost its way.

Whether Julian is extradited or not, which is the same as saying whether he lives or dies, is being decided through a process of legal avoidance. Avoiding to hear arguments that challenge the UK courts’ deference to unenforceable and caveated claims regarding his treatment made by the United States, the country that plotted to murder him. The country whose atrocities he brought into the public domain. Julian is the key witness, the principle indicter, and the cause of enormous embarrassment to successive US governments.

Julian was just doing his job, which was to publish the truth about wrongdoing. His loyalty is the same as that which all journalists should have: to the public. Not to the spy agencies of a foreign power. He published evidence that the country that is trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; that it committed gross violations that killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children; that it tortured and rendered; that it bombed children, had death squads, and murdered Reuters journalists in cold blood; that it bribed foreign officials and bullied less powerful countries into harming their own citizens, and that it also corrupted allied nations’ judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. For this, that country wants him in prison for 175 years.

Now the extradition will formally move to a political stage. Julian’s fate now lies in the hands of Home Secretary Priti Patel. This is a political case and she can end it. It is in her hands to prove that the UK is better than all of this. Patel can end Britain’s exposure to international ridicule because of Julian’s incarceration. It takes political courage but that is what it needed to preserve an open society that protects publishers from foreign persecution.

The cruelty against Julian is corrupting. It corrupts our most cherished values and institutions.  They will be extinguished and lost forever unless this travesty is brought to an end.

The fight for freedom will go on, until he’s freed.

Categories
Past Events

VIDEO: The Belmarsh Tribunal comes to the United States

Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the late 1960s, which put the US government on trial for its war crimes in Vietnam, the Belmarsh Tribunal exposes the crimes of the so-called War on Terror 20 years after the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo Bay — and calls for Julian Assange’s freedom.

DOJ rally: Free All Political Prisoners

February 28 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm EST

Image

DOJ

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

DC: Stand-Ups for Assange

February 27 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm EST

A Night of Comedy and Satire in Support of Julian Assange

Featuring:

  • Marianne Williamson
  • Jesselyn Radack
  • Margaret Kunstler
  • Lee Camp
  • Katie Halper
  • Jaffer Khan
  • Naomi Karavani
  • Eleanor Goldfield

Hosted by Randy Credico

Email assangecountdown@gmail.com for more information

LIVESTREAM

Tabard Inn

1739 N Street Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 United States
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The Belmarsh Tribunal

February 25 @ 2:00 pm 6:00 pm EST

Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the late 1960s, which put the US government on trial for its war crimes in Vietnam, the Belmarsh Tribunal will expose the crimes of the so-called War on Terror 20 years after the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo Bay — and call for Julian Assange’s freedom. 

Read more: The Belmarsh Tribunal comes to the United States

Register here to watch the event online

Categories
Press Release

Twin Cities launch new Assange Defense chapter!

Supporters of imprisoned publisher Julian Assange in the Minneapolis/St. Paul have formed the newest branch of Assange Defense! The Twin Cities join other chapters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, Denver, and Washington D.C.

Twin Cities Assange Defense launched their chapter at Mayday Bookstore in Minneapolis:

Photo: Mike Madden

Spokesperson for the Twin Cities Assange Defense is Mike Madden, a member of Vets for Peace Chapter 27. Madden has organized several coordinated write-in actions to various government officials, explaining the threat Assange’s prosecution poses to the First Amendment and why he must be freed. Most recently, Mike helped organize a nationwide call-in to the White House with Women Against Military Madness, calling on the Biden Administration to drop the charges.

Last year, when John and Gabriel Shipton toured the United States to meet supporters and speak out about the case, Minneapolis/St. Paul warmly welcomed Assange’s family members with a roundtable discussion with local journalists at the East Side Freedom Library, followed by a rally at the Highland Park Pavilion.

In the Twin Cities and want to get involved? Get in touch! Email TwinCities@AssangeDefense.org

Nationwide call-in to the White House

February 22 @ 11:00 am 3:00 pm EST

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The Assange Defense Committee is endorsing an action organized by Women Against Military Madness and Assange Defense-Boston in a continuing effort to free Julian Assange: a call-in to President Joe Biden the day after President’s Day to say that upholding the First Amendment to the Constitution is presidential! We urge the White House to halt the extradition, drop all charges, and guarantee safe passage for Julian Assange.

The date of the call-in is Tuesday February 22, 2022.

The White House comment line is 1-202-456-1111.

To write instead, use the White House contact form.

The White House comment line has limited hours. On Tuesdays, you can only leave a message from 11am to 3pm Eastern Standard Time. Please remember respectful communication is most effective.

See some suggested messages here.

Categories
Press Release

VIDEO: John & Gabriel Shipton’s #HomeRun4Julian

In June 2021, John and Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of imprisoned publisher Julian Assange, toured the United States to speak about Julian’s persecution and to meet with thousands of supporters across the country. This 20-minute video features highlights from that trip and insights from John and Gabriel along the way.

Gabriel has produced a feature-length film on his and his father’s travels around the world to speak up about the prosecution of Julian Assange and what it means for the rights of journalists to publish and for the rights of citizens to know what their governments are doing in their names. Ithaka premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in November, and at the Capricorn Film Festival in Queensland, the film won awards for Best Documentary and Best Direction.

Categories
Past Events Press Release

Nils Melzer press briefing on The Trial of Julian Assange

On February 18, 2022, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer discussed his new book, The Trial of Julian Assange, in a press briefing with the Foreign Press Association.

PA Newswire: ‘No legal basis for leaving Assange in high security prison – human rights expert’

Accusations of the psychological torture of Julian Assange have not been addressed, with no legal basis for leaving the WikiLeaks founder locked up in solitary confinement in a high security prison, a human rights expert has claimed.

Nils Melzer, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, said Mr Assange’s health is being “destroyed” as he remains in Belmarsh prison in London as the United States continues to try to extradite him.

The UN official, speaking about his book The Trial Of Julian Assange, said allegations that Mr Assange hacked sensitive information were based on fabricated evidence.

He said he declined to become involved when he was first approached, shortly after Mr Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but acted after receiving medical reports.

Mr Melzer visited the WikiLeaks founder in prison, saying: “I did not expect to find torture. What I found shocked me.”

He claimed “mass violations” of Mr Assange’s human rights, which he added have not been properly addressed.

From Verso’s book listing:

“When Ecuador finally turned [Assange] over to Britain in 2019, the US immediately demanded his extradition and threatened him with 175 years in prison. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, initially declined to get involved. Only when he visited Assange in prison and researched the facts did he begin to see through the deception and recognize the case for what it really was: the story of a political persecution.

Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture. Melzer’s compelling investigation shows how—through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference—unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.”

Read more and see Melzer’s interviews about the new book, released by Verso, here.

Categories
Past Events

VIDEO: Progressive Democrats of America Town Hall on the Case of Julian Assange

If the Biden Administration persists in demanding Julian Assange’s removal from Great Britain to the United States, investigative journalism as we know it will be in mortal danger.

Future administrations will claim a legal basis to extradite any journalist, anywhere in the world – whether they’re American citizens or not – setting a precedent for authoritarian governments around the world.

  • Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, and one of America’s and the world’s leading advocates for press freedom
  • Marjorie Cohn, Advisory Board Member for both PDA and the Assange Defense Committee, also the former President of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Jody Armour, USC Law Professor
  • Nathan Fuller, Director of Assange Defense
  • Alan Minsky, Moderator, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America
Categories
Press Release

Tell the White House: Free Julian Assange

February 22, 2022 — The Assange Defense Committee is endorsing an action organized by Women Against Military Madness and Assange Defense-Boston in a continuing effort to free Julian Assange: a call-in to President Joe Biden the day after President’s Day to say that upholding the First Amendment to the Constitution is presidential! We urge the White House to halt the extradition, drop all charges, and guarantee safe passage for Julian Assange.

The White House comment line is 1-202-456-1111.

If you prefer to write, you can use the White House contact form.

The White House comment line has limited hours. On Tuesdays, you can only leave a message from 11am to 3pm Eastern Standard Time. Please remember respectful communication is most effective.

Below is a list of suggested comments. You may also have your own reasons to free Julian. Please speak from your heart in your call:

  • Free Julian Assange. He has committed no crime. He has done a public service. Every WikiLeaks publication has been shown to be true and authentic.
  • Julian Assange is charged under the Espionage Act. He is not a spy. He provided information of public interest to the whole world, not a foreign adversary.
  • The prosecution of Julian Assange is a threat to press freedom everywhere. He has won journalistic awards including the Martha Gellhorn Prize. His cause is supported by press freedom organizations around the world including Reporters Without Borders, PEN International, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
  • The Obama Administration recognized the threat to press freedom, and declined to prosecute Assange citing what it called a “NY Times problem”. Instead of following Obama’s lead, the Biden administration has taken up the mantle of the Trump Administration which unsealed an indictment and requested Assange’s extradition the very day (April 11, 2019) he was unlawfully expelled from Ecuador’s Embassy in London.
  • The wrong party is on trial. Julian Assange exposed US war crimes and torture. Instead of addressing its own wrongdoing, the US government is vindictively pursuing the messenger.
  • The case against Julian Assange has collapsed. A key Icelandic witness has recanted his testimony that Assange instructed him to hack into government computers. Prosecutorial conduct has been egregious. The CIA spied on Assange, including meetings with his doctors and lawyers. In 2017, the CIA plotted to kidnap or assassinate him.
  • The prosecution of Julian Assange diminishes the stature of the United States. While Secretary of State Antony Blinken proselytizes about U.S. support for independent journalism, it is simultaneously seeking to imprison the most high-profile journalist of the 21st century for 175 years.
  • Julian Assange did not “put lives at risk”. A 2013 Pentagon study could not identify a single instance of anyone killed as a result of being named in the WikiLeaks trove.
  • Julian Assange wanted the documents published responsibly. He worked with traditional news outlets to redact the documents and reduce harm. It was only when two Guardian journalists, Luke Harding and David Leigh, recklessly published an encryption code that unredacted documents spilled into the public realm.
  • An investigation by United Nations Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer found the entire period of Assange’s detention, including that spent in the Ecuadorian Embassy, to be arbitrary. He also called his treatment at the hands of the State parties responsible for his detention “a public mobbing”.
  • Over the course of more than ten years of arbitrary detention, Julian has suffered greatly. His physical and mental health have deteriorated to the point that he has trouble concentrating and cannot properly participate in his own defense. He suffered a small stroke on October 27, 2021 during a remote court hearing. His continued imprisonment is a threat to his very life. He must be transferred immediately from Belmarsh Prison to home confinement to regain his health.
  • Julian Assange is not an American citizen, nor was he on American soil when the alleged crimes were committed. He should not be subject to American laws like the Espionage Act.

If you belong to an organization that would like to be a co-sponsor of this effort, please contact Mike Madden.

Co-sponsors:

Categories
Press Release

Belmarsh Tribunal comes to the United States

Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the late 1960s, which put the US government on trial for its war crimes in Vietnam, the Belmarsh Tribunal will expose the crimes of the so-called War on Terror 20 years after the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo Bay — and call for Julian Assange’s freedom. Register here to watch the event online.

The event — convened in partnership with DiEM25, the Courage Foundation, The People’s Forum, DSA International Committee, The Intercept, People’s Dispatch and the International People’s Assembly — will be chaired by philosopher Srećko Horvat and civil rights attorney Margaret Kunstler. Witnesses will include: Alice Walker, Angela Richter, Austin González, Balthesar Garzón, Chip Gibbons, Chris Hedges, Clare Daly, Claudia De la Cruz, Cornel West, Deborah Hrbek, Golriz Ghahraman, Guillaume Long, Jeremy Scahill, Jodi Dean, Milo Rau, Nancy Hollander, Nathan Fuller, Nick Estes, Noam Chomsky, Renata Avila, Roger Waters, Sevim Dagdalen, Srećko Horvat, Steven Donziger, Vijay Prashad, and Yanis Varoufakis.

The Belmarsh Tribunal coincides with the 20th anniversary of the opening of the concentration camp at occupied Guantánamo Bay on Cuba’s southeastern shore. In January 2002, the first 20 detainees arrived at the site. Since then, 779 Muslim men and boys from 49 countries have been held there. The youngest detainee was just 14 when he arrived. The oldest was 89. Over years and decades, detainees faced torture, ritual humiliation, and the uncertainty of prolonged detention without charges or trial.

Two decades after the facility opened its doors, 39 people continue to languish at Guantánamo, 27 of them without charge — “eternal prisoners” with little hope for release, and no prospects for justice. Many of them remain confined for the simple reason that their release would allow them to testify to the brutal treatment they endured.

Classified documents leaked by Chelsea Manning and published by Wikileaks in 2011 revealed the grim contours of the US regime of detention and torture at Guantánamo. Many prisoners — among them a journalist from Al Jazeera — were held for years despite officially posing no threat to the US. Many developed severe mental health problems as a result of their treatment. Some committed suicide.

But, today, it is not the perpetrators who face persecution, but the whistleblowers. In April this year, Julian Assange will enter his third year of detention at HMP Belmarsh — a maximum-security prison, sometimes referred to as “Britain’s Guantánamo”, that was infamously used to detain terrorist suspects without trial — as he seeks to appeal a court decision to extradite him to the US.

That is why the Progressive International is bringing the Belmarsh Tribunal to the belly of the beast. On 25 February 2022 at 2pm EST, at the People’s Forum in New York City, we will convene legal experts, UN representatives, whistleblowers, journalists, and many others to investigate and expose the crimes of the so-called War on Terror, to seek justice for its victims, and to demand the closure of the concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay.

Ahead of the Tribunal, one of the most distinguished public intellectuals of our time, Council member of the Progressive International and co-chair of Assange Defense, Noam Chomsky said:

“We just commemorated one of the mechanisms to strangle Cuba – the control of the Guantánamo Bay naval facilities vital for Cuba’s development, which was stolen from Cuba in 1903 as part of the system for maintaining Cuba as a virtual colony after the United States intervened to prevent Cuba’s liberation from Spain. Twenty years ago Bush’s administration moved on turning it into one of the world’s most horrendous torture chambers still holding brutalized victims without charges. Information about all these was provided to the American and the world public by WikiLeaks. Those are the crimes that cannot be forgiven as power begins to evaporate when exposed to sunlight.”

The Prosecution of Julian Assange: Is the First Amendment at Risk?

February 10 @ 3:00 pm 5:00 pm EST

About Us | ACS

Join the ACS Austin, Bay Area, and San Diego Lawyer Chapters for a discussion on whether the First Amendment compels the government to dismiss its criminal case against Julian Assange. The distinguished panel will discuss the charges against Assange as well as the extradition hearing and appeals, and whether the federal government is jeopardizing fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Featuring:

Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Stephen Rohde, former Chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California

As the nation’s leading progressive legal organization, ACS is committed to ensuring that all aspects of our events are accessible and enjoyable for all. If you require any accommodations, please contact us at LCemails@acslaw.org.

REGISTER HERE

Boston: Free Assange rally

February 7 @ 1:00 pm 2:30 pm EST

February 7, 2022, 1-2:30 at Park St. Station, Boston Area Assange Defense stands out for Julian Assange, founder of the award-winning news outlet WikiLeaks. And in doing so, we also defend press freedom and our First Amendment. We defend Julian Assange because he is silenced and suffering in solitary confinement with the US prosecution cruelly denying him bail as this appeal process becomes an endless calendar of court dates. We cannot stand silent as the United States continues to unjustly imprison Assange and positions itself to extradite this truthteller.

On January 24, 2022, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange won his application to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. Very good news as it gives us hope that Assange’s case will be heard at the UK Supreme Court level and it may rule to deny the extradition. But sadly Assange is still denied bail, and remains incarcerated in a supermax prison, desperate for proper health care.

Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, said, “The High Court certified that we had raised a point of law of general public importance, and that the Supreme Court has good grounds to hear this appeal. The situation now is that the Supreme Court has to decide whether to hear the appeal. But make no mistake, we won today in court.”Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, who is actively campaigning to free his brother, tweeted after the High Court January 24th ruling:

“We are witnessing one of the great injustices of our time. A Man, the embodiment of a pillar of our democracies is being demolished in a UK prison. Julian Assange won today, but each day he spends without his freedom is a day none of US are truly free. #FreeAssange

Boston Area Assange Defense has created a letter campaign to members of Congress, to educate them on the Assange case, and encourage them to write to Biden to stop this unconstitutional prosecution of a publisher.

Please stand with us at Park St Station, February 7th , 1-2:30pm. Make a stand for your freedoms! Call AG Merrick Garland 202-353-1555 and demand the Dept of Justice #DropTheCharges and #FreeAssangeNOW

Contact Susan McLucas at 617-501-9125 or
Paula Iasella at AssangeBoston@gmail.com

Boston Common – Park St

Park St Station
Boston, MA 02108 United States
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Categories
Press Release

Book release: ‘The Trial of Julian Assange’

February 3, 2022 — UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer’s The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution will be released by Verso on February 8, 2022. In May 2019, Melzer visited Julian in prison and was shocked at what he found: that Julian Assange had been psychologically tortured.

Melzer gives a full recounting of how he came to discover just how misinformed he and the rest of the public had been about Assange’s case, and how a close examination reveals the extent of Assange’s mistreatment by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Ecuador. 

“When Ecuador finally turned [Assange] over to Britain in 2019, the US immediately demanded his extradition and threatened him with 175 years in prison. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, initially declined to get involved. Only when he visited Assange in prison and researched the facts did he begin to see through the deception and recognize the case for what it really was: the story of a political persecution.

Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture. Melzer’s compelling investigation shows how—through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference—unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.”

Current Affairs

Primary Sources podcast

On Contact with Chris Hedges 

Reaction: Assange case and Supreme Court appeal decision

January 28 @ 1:30 pm 2:30 pm EST

On January 24 the UK’s High Court announced that it has certified a point of law for Julian Assange to be able to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The decision comes after Assange raised three points of law of general public importance that have an impact on the procedural and human rights safeguards of a wide range of other types of cases. However it’s still up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it will review the case.

This Friday we will hear responses from Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner, and Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief.

Moderating will be Suzie Gilbert, filmmaker.

WATCH HERE

Categories
Hearing Coverage

Explanatory Background Note: High Court Decision in USA v Julian Assange Extradition Proceedings

Assange appeal certified: reaction livestream

January 24 @ 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EST

A special Assange Countdown to Freedom livestream reacting to today’s news that the UK’s High Court gave the green light for Julian Assange to apply to appeal his extradition ruling to the Supreme Court.

Featuring:

  • John Shipton
  • Daniel Ellsberg
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Roger Waters
  • Afshin Rattansi

Hosted by:

  • Randy Credico, Assange Countdown to Freedom
Categories
Hearing Coverage

Assange extradition argument certified for UK Supreme Court appeal

January 24, 2022 — In an extremely brief court hearing in London this morning, the UK’s High Court announced that it has certified a point of law for Julian Assange to be able to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court. The High Court ruled not to allow the appeal itself but to certify the question of what stage in the extradition hearing process ‘assurances’ can or should be introduced. Assange is now allowed to apply to appeal on that specific point to the UK Supreme Court.

In January 2021, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that it would be oppressive to extradite Assange on the grounds that it would drive him to suicide. The U.S. government appealed that decision, in part on the grounds that it should have been allowed to offer the district court “assurances” regarding Assange’s prospective treatment in the United States during the extradition hearing rather than afterward on appeal. The High Court overturned the lower court’s ruling, partially on the point that the judge should have informed the U.S. that it was “minded” to rule in Assange’s favor and allowed the U.S. government to offer assurances.

Assange will now appeal this point to the Supreme Court, which must first decide whether to allow an appeal hearing before setting a date. 

Journalists attempting to cover today’s legal proceedings remotely were provided with a video link just minutes before court was in session. However, they were never actually able to see what transpired in court, viewing only a blank screen instead. Those of us reporting on today’s developments had to rely on public tweets from those physically in attendance in London. 

Categories
Hearing Coverage Resources

Julian Assange’s Supreme Court Certification Application

DC: Stand-Up for Assange

January 21 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EST

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Join radio host Randy Credico as he MC’s a night of comedy and satire in support of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Comedians Jaffer Khan and Yoki Danoff will perform at the Tabard Inn, as will CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou and Defending Rights & Dissent’s Chip Gibbons.

The evening event, which starts at 7pm, follows a rally at the Department of Justice earlier in the day.

REGISTER HERE

Tabard Inn

1739 N Street Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 United States
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DOJ Rally: Justice for Julian

January 21 @ 2:00 pm 4:00 pm EST

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Saddened but not surprised that the UK High Court ruled in favor of the US prosecution to extradite Julian Assange, we worry about Julian holding up in solitary confinement at Belmarsh prison. Given this recent bad news and total lack of healthcare, we fear for Julian’s life.

Supporters of a free press will gather at the Department of Justice to send the message to Attorney General Merrick Garland that we will not stand by and be silent as the Biden administration continues to persecute and disappear Julian Assange who has risked his life to preserve the people’s right to know. 

Join us January 21st to seek and demand justice for Julian!

LIVESTREAM

Speakers:

  • Marianne Williamson: author, activist, former presidential candidate
  • John Kiriakou: CIA whistleblower
  • Brian Becker: antiwar activist
  • Leonardo Flores: CodePink activist
  • Eleanor Goldfield: journalist, artist, filmmaker

Hosted by:

  • Randy Credico: radio host and longtime activist

Endorsed by:

  • Stand with Assange NY
  • NYC Free Assange
  • Boston Area Assange Defense

Contact:  

DOJ

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

Decision on Assange appeal arguments to come Jan. 24th

January 21, 2022 — The UK High Court will deliver its decision on Monday, January 24th, at 10:45am London time as to whether to permit Julian Assange to appeal the U.S. extradition decision to the UK Supreme Court on points of law of general public importance. Julian Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris will be there to give a statement.

The judgment will either:

  1. Certify that the point(s) of law raised by Julian Assange are of general public importance–thus giving him permission to lodge an application with the UK Supreme Court; or
  2. Deny such certification, in which case the extradition order will pass to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to authorize or deny Mr. Assange’s extradition.

The judgment will be read out at 10:45am London time at:

Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand
WC2A 2LL

Background:

Categories
Press Release

Thousands Sign Petition Supporting Assange Release


January 19, 2022 – Led by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), more than 26 antiwar groups and 2,500 individual peace and justice advocates have cosponsored a statement calling for the immediate release of publisher Julian Assange and commending him for his contributions toward global peace. They write,

“The persecution of Julian Assange by the U.S. government is a threat against free speech and free press. It is also a threat to the Peace Movement and all movements for social change since without information and the ability to speak and write freely about U.S. wars and war crimes we are greatly limited, and the people of the world are kept in the dark.”

Assange is currently fighting extradition to the United States after the Trump administration indicted him on unprecedented Espionage Act charges. His indictment marked the first time in U.S. history that a journalist has been charged for publishing truthful information. 

Since being removed from Ecuador’s London embassy after a new Ecuadorian administration bowed to U.S. pressure to withdraw his asylum, Assange has been held for more than 1,000 days in Belmarsh Prison while his extradition case is being heard through UK courts. A decision from the British High Court on whether to hear an appeal is expected in the coming days.

Among the statement’s signers is Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple and longtime peace activist. Walker, a co-chair of the Assange Defense Committee, emphasized the importance of Assange’s commitment to showing the public the horrors of war.

“We owe it to Julian to fight for his freedom, because he fought for peace for the rest of us,” Walker said. “He fought for justice by exposing how the United States conducted horrific wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan. Millions died in these wars, mostly civilians. Assange believed that knowledge of U.S. war crimes belonged to us, the people, to decide for ourselves what should happen in our name. And now it’s time for us to fight for him.”

Remarking on the ignominious 1,000 day milestone, Nathan Fuller, Director of the Courage Foundation and Assange Defense, expressed disappointment over the Biden administration’s unjust continuation of Trump’s controversial prosecution.

“While the Biden administration is confronting U.S. adversaries over their press freedom shortcomings, it should address its own hypocrisy,” Fuller said. “Locking up Julian Assange for exposing the truth about U.S. wars is an insult to all those struggling for peace and human rights.” 

The Julian Assange Case

January 18 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm EST

The Julian Assange Case‘ discusses the charges against Assange. Does he pose a threat to global security or a victim of political persecution?

This is the second event in a 3-part series of events under the banner Journalism in the Firing Line. We explore the ways in which journalism and democratic values are being threatened by powerful interests.

Register here

Hosted by:

  • John Rees, Journalist, political activist, academic

In conversation with: 

  • Stella Moris, Wikileaks legal team & fiancée of Julian Assange
  • John McDonnell, Labour MP, campaigner for Julian
  • Tim Dawson, Chair of the International Federation of Journalists’ expert group on Surveillance and Former NUJ President
  • Dr Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Legal observer, trade unionist and academic

Boston: Free Assange Rally Calling on AG Merrick Garland to #DropTheCharges