Courage our network


Bail sentence ends: UK now holding Assange solely on US’ behalf

Bail sentence ends: UK now holding Assange solely on US’ behalf

On 22 September 2019, Julian Assange’s sentence for a bail violation conviction ended, but he was not released from HMP Belmarsh. Beginning today, 23 September, the United Kingdom is detaining Julian solely on behalf of the United States, which requests his extradition and has charged him with 18 counts carrying 175 years in prison for publishing information in the public interest.

Before Assange’s lawyers even had the opportunity to file a bail application, and without giving notice that she would do so, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser preemptively announced that when his sentence ended, she would deny bail and continue to detain him.

Judge Baraitser told Assange, who appeared by video-link,

“You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.”

This means the UK is now holding Julian only on the basis of the US’ extradition request, and there can be no pretense of UK or Sweden issues keeping him in prison. As former British ambassador Craig Murray wrote, now that Assange’s sentence has ended,

“The sole reason for his incarceration [is now] the publishing of the Afghan and Iraq war logs leaked by Chelsea Manning, with their evidence of wrongdoing and multiple war crimes.”

This also means Assange will continue to be imprisoned for at least five more months, until his extradition hearing currently scheduled for February 2020. Assange has been held in solitary confinement in HMP Belmarsh’s health ward, as his health has deteriorated.

After UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer visited Assange in May (before he was moved to the health ward), he wrote that Assange—who had spent the previous seven years without sunlight in the limited space of Ecuador’s Embassy in London—had suffered psychological torture.

Assange has been so isolated that he can lose track of the date and the day of the week. On his birthday, 3 July, Julian could hear that people had congregated outside of Belmarsh, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. Assange didn’t know that it was his birthday and only found out the next day, and then he realized that supporters had come to wish him a happy birthday.

Assange extradition would set terrifying precedent

Judge Baraitser will also preside over Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, scheduled for five days in February. In that trial, the United Kingdom will rule whether or not to send Assange into the hands of Donald Trump, whose Justice Department has charged him with 17 counts under the 1917 Espionage Act (and 1 count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime) for publishing documents detailing the US’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its diplomatic activity in 2010. The charges, the first such charges for a journalist in US history, constitute a grave assault on press freedom around the world.

Furthermore, the proposed extradition poses a serious threat to European sovereignty. If the UK sends an Australian journalist in Europe to the United States for the “crime” of publishing truthful information in the public interest—information which virtually every major news outlets around the world has since published as well, and information which the UK Supreme Court has deemed admissible evidence—it will set a dangerous precedent for the global application of US state secrecy laws. Such an extradition would effectively grant permission for the Trump Administration to dictate what can and cannot be published outside of its borders.

The charges against Assange have been condemned by virtually all press freedom groups, human rights organisations, major news outlets, and leading US and EU politicians, in recognition of the glaring threat they pose to global journalistic freedoms. These unprecedented and manifestly political charges are the basis of the US’ extradition request, which is now the sole reason for which the United Kingdom is imprisoning Assange.

Judge: UK to imprison Julian Assange after his sentence ends

Judge: UK to imprison Julian Assange after his sentence ends

In a surprise “technical hearing” at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 13 September 2019, Julian Assange was told that he will continue to be detained at HMP Belmarsh to the United States’ extradition request even after his bail sentence ends on 22 September 2019.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who will preside over Julian’s extradition hearing, told Assange, who appeared by video-link,

“You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.”

The judge’s comments did not appear to be part of any formal ruling, as no bail application had yet been made.

Speaking to Assange, the judge also alleged, “I have given your lawyer an opportunity to make an application for bail on your behalf and she has declined to do so.”

In fact, as Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, who was in the courtroom, explained in an interview, the judge decided on her own to discuss Julian’s bail at what was supposed to be merely a “technical hearing.”

Judge Baraitser “decided to hear a bail application case which wasn’t before her,” Shipton said, “which she promptly refused.” When asked who brought the bail application, he said, “She made it herself.”

Assange himself was clearly caught off guard as well. When explicitly asked by the court if he understood these developments, Assange responded, “Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.”

The surprise hearing is especially troubling given ongoing concerns over Julian Assange’s ability to defend himself against the United States’ extradition request, the trial for which is scheduled for February 2020. In response to the abrupt nature of the hearing, a member of the public has written an open letter to Westminster Magistrates Court calling for more transparency about their proceedings.

“Absconding” to asylum

The grounds for which Assange was preemptively denied bail are troubling as well. Judge Baraitser told him, “In my view I have substantial ground for believing if I release you, you will abscond again.” To describe Assange’s decision to request asylum from Ecuador and to stay in Ecuador’s Embassy in London since 2012 as him having “absconded” is to willfully ignore overwhelming evidence that Assange’s fears of political persecution were entirely well-founded.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 explicitly because of the likelihood that he would otherwise be at serious risk of extradition to the United States, which has now realized Assange’s fears with an indictment threatening 175 years in prison for journalistic activity. The judge’s claim that Assange “absconded” further ignores the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s multiple statements ruling that Assange has been arbitrarily detained.

Following Assange’s 50-week sentence on a bail violation conviction on 1 May 2019, the UN Working Group wrote that it was “deeply concerned about this course of action including the disproportionate sentence imposed on Mr. Assange.”

Continuing Assange’s solitary

Julian Assange is currently being held in solitary confinement at HMP Belmarsh. He remains in the health ward and is only transported in and out of his cell under so-called ‘controlled moves’, meaning the prison is locked down and hallways are cleared. Furthermore, the prison hasn’t delivered mail to him for over a month, and Julian is unable to call his parents or his US lawyer. Continuing to imprison him beyond his sentence furthers this inhumane treatment and should be condemned.

Labour MP Chris Williamson responded to the news on Twitter:

Plans to hold Julian Assange in detention after his unjust sentence ends is an outrage.

Britain is increasingly behaving like a tin-pot dictatorship in its dealing with him. I’m raising his unjust treatment with the Home Sec#FreeJulianAssange

— Chris Williamson MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) September 14, 2019

An administrative hearing in Assange’s case is scheduled for 11 October at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and a status update hearing is scheduled for 21 October.

Julian Assange wins Compassion in Care’s 2019 Gavin MacFadyen Award for Whistleblowers

Julian Assange wins Compassion in Care’s 2019 Gavin MacFadyen Award for Whistleblowers

The award will be presented on September 28th in front of Belmarsh prison in London where Julian Assange is incarcerated. Compassion in Care founder Eileen Chubb:

I am proud to announce that the courageous Journalist and publisher Julian Assange is the winner of this year’s Gavin MacFadyen award; this is the only award given solely by whistle-blowers.

As a whistle-blower who has seen widespread abuse and torture inflicted on vulnerable people, it was the media that helped us to protect those with no voice.

Having campaigned and supported over 7000 whistle-blowers from all sectors, I know that when you are standing alone against the might of multi nationals or governments, that the only champion you need is someone with the courage to publish the truth.

The most common thread that ran through the reasons for nominating this year’s winner can be summarised in one sentence: “What will happen when the next abuse, corruption, crime or misconduct needs exposing, will other media be too afraid to publish the truth?” This is not a question that should ever be asked in any civilised country.

As a journalist, I am ashamed of the silence that has prevailed whilst this persecution of a courageous truth teller is taking place.

For the past months I have continually seen UK people waving placards with the word “Democracy.” If Democracy does not champion free speech and a free press, then it is a reprehensible imitation. It is the duty of every genuine journalist to stand up and expose the immoral punishment of Julian Assange.

We are giving this year’s award to a man who has the courage to publish the truth and has sacrificed so much as a result.

We, as whistle-blowers, by virtue of our experience, have a very long list of villains but a very scant list of champions and you have been voted number one champion of truth.

Thank you Julian Assange for everything you have done to expose the facts, no greater service can be given to the public and we are sorry your sacrifice has yet to be recognised by the public whose interest you serve.

Roger Waters sings ‘Wish You Were Here’ for Julian Assange

Roger Waters sings ‘Wish You Were Here’ for Julian Assange

At a rally in support of Julian Assange, held on Monday September 2nd outside UK Home Office in central London, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters performed the band’s classic  ‘Wish You Were Here’ after speaking about the importance of empathizing with Julian and defending him. John Pilger, filmmaker and journalist, opened the event with an impassioned speech before calling on Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton and Roger Waters to the stage.

VIDEO: Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters performs ‘Wish You Were Here’ outside the UK Home Office in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange @Ruptly

— Barnaby Nerberka (@barnabynerberka) September 2, 2019

John Pilger’s speech

Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton delivered message on behalf of his children, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, mother and father urging the government to stop his extradition to the United States.

Julian Assange’s brother delivers statement in support of the whistle-blower

— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) September 2, 2019

Labour MP Chris Williamson attended the rally and gave a statement saying “we should be championing Julian Assange, we should be venerating him, not having to gather here to protest his incarceration.”

We should be venerating Julian Assange for exposing the abuse of state power, not having to protest about his incarceration.#FreeJulianAssange

— Chris Williamson MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) September 3, 2019

Wikileaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Assange is not treated well in Belmarsh prison, adding that “of course he shouldn’t be there, publishers shouldn’t be there. But he is in no position to prepare for the defense of his life, basically, for the upcoming extradition hearing.”

Legendary musician @RogerWaters sang “Wish You Were Here” in honor of Julian Assange, at a protest outside the UK Home Office.

He was joined by journalist @JohnPilger and MP @DerbyChrisW in calling for the imprisoned Wikileaks publisher to be freed, and not extradited to the US.

— The Grayzone (@GrayzoneProject) September 3, 2019

(Featured photo: Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks dismissed in major free press victory

DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks dismissed in major free press victory

In a historic win for WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange a federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over WikiLeaks’ publication of DNC documents in 2016. The case sets an important precedent for freedom of the press.

In the 81-page ruling, District Judge John Koeltl emphasized the “newsworthiness” of WikiLeaks’ publishing activities, describing them as “plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”

Judge Koeltl importantly emphasized, “Journalists are allowed to request documents that have been stolen and to publish those documents.” The Judge also observed that such journalistic collaboration with sources is “common journalistic practice.” That principle is important for investigative journalists who often receive information from whistleblowers.

The Judge drew a comparison to the Pentagon Papers case of 1971, where the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the New York Times and Washington Post to publish secret documents on the Vietnam War provided by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. In that case the Nixon administration attempted to prevent the newspapers from publishing and threatened them with criminal prosecution.

“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” wrote District Judge John Koeltl.

Judge Koeltl also noted that it is “constitutionally insignificant” whether WikiLeaks knew the published documents were acquired without permission, by hacking, or other means before they were obtained by WikiLeaks. “A person is entitled [to] publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.”

Numerous free speech organizations supported WikiLeaks’ position in the case, including the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The groups submitted a brief in support of dismissing the case on First Amendment grounds.

The DNC had alleged that there was “circumstantial evidence” that WikiLeaks collaborated with the Trump campaign in WikiLeaks’ publishing activities. The DNC also brought claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and laws protecting trade secrets. The DNC’s arguments were dismissed as “moot or without merit.” The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the DNC cannot refile.

The opinion was handed down on 30 July 2019.

UN Torture Expert: “collective persecution” of Julian Assange must end now

UN Torture Expert: “collective persecution” of Julian Assange must end now

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, has published a scathing condemnation of the “deliberate and concerted abuse inflicted for years” on Julian Assange, calling on the UK government not to extradite him to the United States, where Melzer fears Assange “would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights.”

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” the expert said. “Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.”

Melzer, who visited Assange in Belmarsh prison following concerns for his health, sent official letters to the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Ecuador, urging each government “to refrain from further disseminating, instigating or tolerating statements or other activities prejudicial to Assange’s human rights and dignity and to take measures to provide him with appropriate redress and rehabilitation for past harm.”

Discussing his concerns in more detail with the Sydney Morning Herald, Melzer said that Australia shares the blame for Assange’s abusive treatment:

Australia is a glaring absence in this case. They’re just not around, as if Assange was not an Australian citizen. That is not the correct way of dealing with that.

Melzer also spoke with Democracy Now!

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the report is “wrong,” and that Melzer “should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”

Melzer responded:

With all due respect, Sir: Mr Assange was about as „free to leave“ as a someone sitting on a rubberboat in a sharkpool. As detailed in my formal letter to you, so far, UK courts have not shown the impartiality and objectivity required by the rule of law.

— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) May 31, 2019

Melzer’s full statements from the UN’s release:

My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future.

Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards getting Mr. Assange extradited to the United States for prosecution, raising serious concern over the criminalisation of investigative journalism in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights law.

Since then, there has been a relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr. Assange, not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Sweden and, more recently, Ecuador.

In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.

It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years,” the expert said. “Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

The evidence is overwhelming and clear. Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.

I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr. Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity. By displaying an attitude of complacency at best, and of complicity at worst, these governments have created an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr. Assange’s uninhibited vilification and abuse.

In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law. The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!

Julian Assange writes a letter from Belmarsh prison

Julian Assange writes a letter from Belmarsh prison

(Published by The Canary, dated 13 May 2019, to independent journalist Gordon Dimmack)

Thanks Gordon. You are a good man.

I have been isolated from all ability to prepare to defend myself: no laptop, no internet, ever, no computer, no library, so far, but even if I get access it will be just for half an hour, with everyone else, once a week. Just two visits a month and it takes weeks to get someone on the call list and a Catch-22 in getting their details to be security screened. Then all calls except lawyers, are recorded and calls are max 10 minutes and in a limited 30-min window each day in which all prisoners compete for the phone. And credit? Just a few pounds a week and no one can call in.

The other side? A superpower that has been preparing for 9 years with hundreds of people and untold millions spent on the case. I am defenseless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life.

I am unbroken, albeit literally surrounded by murderers, but the days when I could read and speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals, and my people are over until I am free! Everyone else must take my place.

The US government, or rather, those regrettable elements in it that hate truth liberty and justice, want to cheat their way into my extradition and death, rather than letting the public hear the truth, for which I have won the highest awards in journalism and have been nominated 7 times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Truth, ultimately, is all we have.


UN Rapporteur on Torture’s Letters to UK, Ecuador, US and Sweden

UN Rapporteur on Torture’s Letters to UK, Ecuador, US and Sweden

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer visited Julian Assange at HMP Belmarsh on 9 May 2019, and has written letters to the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador and Sweden to express that he is “gravely concerned” about Assange’s treatment and to urge the latter three governments to ensure Assange is not extradited to the United States. Melzer, who also detailed his findings about Assange’s current health and conditions, was assisted in his assessment by medical forensic expert Prof. Duarte Vieira Nuno and psychiatrist Dr. Pau Perez-Sales.

Melzer found that the cumulative effects of Assange’s treatment by the governments’ collective persecutionclearly amount to psychological torture.”

Above all, most concerning is the threat of extradition to the United States, where both Assange’s human rights and the media’s freedom to conduct investigative journalism are at serious risk. Melzer writes, “I am gravely concerned that US authorities intend to make an ‘example’ of him, in order to punish him personally, but also to deter others who may be tempted to engage in similar activities as Wikileaks or Mr. Assange.”


Findings & Concerns

Concerns regarding current conditions of detention

The restrictive “B-type” security regime applied to Mr. Assange, including the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and the lack of access to a computer (even without internet), severely hampers his ability to adequately prepare for the multiple and complex legal proceedings that are pending against him.

Concerns regarding current state of health

From a strictly physical point of view, several aspects of Mr. Assange’s health condition and cognitive and sensory capacity have been, and still are, significantly impaired as a direct consequence of his long-term confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy, without access to natural sunlight and adequate medical and dental care.

From a psychological perspective, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged and sustained exposure to severe psychological stress, anxiety and related mental and emotional suffering in an environment highly conducive to major depressive and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Both medical experts accompanying my visit agreed that Mr. Assange is in urgent need of treatment by a psychiatrist of his own choice and confidence, whom he does not associate with the detaining authorities, and that his current condition is likely to deteriorate dramatically, with severe and long-term psychological and social sequels, in the event of prolonged exposure to significant additional stressors, such as those expected to arise in the event of his extradition to the United States or any other country refusing to provide guarantees against refoulement to the United States.

In this regard, I am alarmed at information received after my visit, that on or about 18 May 2019, Mr. Assange was moved to the health care unit within HMP Belmarsh. The reason for this transfer appears to be a serious deterioration of the medical symptoms observed during my visit, now also involving a significant loss of weight, thus confirming Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to progressively severe psychological suffering and the ongoing exacerbation of his pre-existing trauma.

Causal relation between current medical symptoms and previous treatment and conditions

Starting from August 2010, Mr. Assange has been, and currently still is, exposed to progressively severe pain and suffering, inflicted through various forms and degrees of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which clearly amount to psychological torture.

Based on the known evolution of the factual circumstances impacting Mr. Assange’s daily life during the past seven years, a clear and direct causal relation can be established between the serious psychological trauma and other medical symptoms observed and his well-documented prolonged exposure to the following factors:

Prolonged arbitrary confinement by the United Kingdom and Sweden:

All records available to me show that Mr. Assange voluntarily and consistently cooperated with the Swedish police and prosecutors, both during his presence in Sweden in 2010 and after he sought refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in June 2012, in relation to the allegations of sexual offences which had been made against him. However, there is compelling evidence that Swedish and British prosecuting authorities, through concerted actions and omissions, have deliberately created and maintained a long-term situation rendering Mr. Assange unable to travel to Sweden for additional questioning, and to comply with British bail conditions, without simultaneously having to expose himself to the materially unrelated risk of onward extradition or surrender to the United States and, thereby, to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights.

Public shaming and judicial harassment by Sweden:

For almost nine years, the Swedish authorities have consistently maintained, revived and fueled the “rape”-suspect narrative against Mr. Assange, despite the legal requirement of anonymity, despite the mandatory presumption of innocence, despite the objectively unrealistic prospect of a conviction, and despite contradicting evidence suggesting that, in reality, the complainants never intended to report a sexual offence against Mr. Assange, but that they had been pressured (“railroaded”) into doing so by the Swedish police and had subsequently decided to “sell” their story to the tabloid press.

Coercive harassment and defamation by Ecuador:

After the election of the new Ecuadorian Government in 2017, the Ecuadorian authorities reportedly began to deliberately create and maintain circumstances rendering Mr. Assange’s living conditions increasingly difficult and oppressive, with the apparent aim of coercing him to voluntarily leave the Embassy, or to trigger a health crisis which would justify his involuntary transfer to a hospital under British jurisdiction, where he could be arrested. Between March 2018 and April 2019, the progressively severe harassment of Mr. Assange by the Ecuadorian authorities reportedly culminated in a situation marked by excessive regulation, restriction and surveillance of Mr. Assange’s communications, meetings with external visitors (including lawyers and medical doctors) and his private life; by various degrees of harassment by security guards and certain diplomatic staff; and by the public dissemination of distorted half-truths, defamations and deliberately debasing statements, including by the State leadership.

Sustained and unrestrained public mobbing, intimidation and defamation in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Ecuador

consisting of a constant stream of public statements not only by the mass media and influential private individuals, but also by current or former political figures and senior officials of various branches of government, including judicial magistrates personally involved in proceedings against Mr. Assange that have ranged from deliberate ridicule, insult and humiliation, to distorted reporting and misleading criminal accusations, and from open threats and instigation of violence, to repeated calls for his assassination or murder.

Risks in the event of direct or indirect extradition or transfer to the US

If Mr. Assange were to be extradited or otherwise surrendered to the United States, or to Sweden or any other State refusing to provide full guarantees against onward extradition or surrender to the United States, he would be exposed to a real risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The risks arising in the event of his extradition or surrender to the United States, whether directly from the United Kingdom (direct refoulement) or indirectly via Sweden or any other intermediary third country (indirect refoulement) and the related concerns are the following:

Concerns related to the impunity for torture in the United States:

In the recent past, the United States Government has repeatedly refused to investigate and prosecute torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment perpetrated by its officials, despite compelling and undisputed evidence, particularly in cases involving national security.

Concerns related to conditions of detention:

If extradited to the United States, I fear that Mr. Assange may be detained in a high security prison (“Supermax”) or in an institution with comparable conditions of detention and treatment, both during his trial and after his conviction.

Concerns related to psychological ill-treatment:

Severely intimidating and debasing public statements made by current and former state officials, media representatives and other influential persons in the United States suggest that, if extradited or otherwise surrendered to the United States, Mr. Assange will be exposed to an environment of public vilification, arbitrariness and judicial bias, which will be even more intense than has been the case so far.

Concerns regarding cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment:

In light of the public prejudice prevailing in the United States against Mr. Assange, and the threat which the publishing activities of Wikileaks are perceived to present to US national security I am gravely concerned that US authorities intend to make an “example” of him, in order to punish him personally, but also to deter others who may be tempted to engage in similar activities as Wikileaks or Mr. Assange.

Melzer’s Appeals to the Governments Involved

To the United Kingdom Government

“I urgently appeal to Your Excellency’s Government not to extradite or otherwise surrender Mr. Assange to the United States, whether directly or indirectly via another State failing to provide reliable guarantees against his onward transfer to the United States. I also respectfully recommend to Your Excellency’s Government to commute the sentence imposed for bail violation or, should that prove not possible, to review and significantly adjust its implementation so as to allow Mr. Assange to regain his physical and mental health, which is acutely endangered, most notably through urgent access to a psychiatrist of his choice and confidence, and through urgent relief from his constant exposure to traumatizing psychological stress, anxiety and depression. Moreover, Mr. Assange must be enabled to adequately prepare, with the unrestricted support of his legal team, for any judicial or administrative proceeding which may be pending against him personally, or that may otherwise require his attention.”

To the Ecuadorian Government

“I urge your Excellency’s Government to cease disseminating, without delay, any news or information which may be prejudicial to Mr. Assange’s dignity and integrity, and to his rights to fair and impartial proceedings in line with the highest standards of human rights law.”

To the United States Government

“Should Mr. Assange come under the jurisdiction of the United States for any reason, I urge your Excellency’s Government to ensure that any proceedings conducted against him meet the highest human rights standards in terms of judicial and procedural guarantees, taking further into account that Mr. Assange has no duty of allegiance to the United States but benefits from the full protection of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. Moreover, I urge the United States Government to ensure that Mr. Assange not be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including prolonged solitary confinement and other excessively harsh conditions of detention, or grossly disproportionate sanctions such as the death penalty or a life sentence without parole.”

To the Swedish Government

“Should Mr. Assange come under Swedish jurisdiction for any reason, I urge the your Excellency’s Government to refrain from expelling, returning or extraditing Mr. Assange to the United States or any other jurisdiction, until his right to asylum under refugee law or subsidiary protection under international human rights law has been determined in a transparent and impartial proceeding granting all due process and fair trial guarantees, including the right to appeal.

Furthermore, I urge all relevant Swedish authorities to cease disseminating, without delay, any news or information which may be prejudicial to Mr. Assange’s dignity and integrity, and to his rights to a fair and impartial proceeding in line with the highest standards of human rights law.”

Julian Assange receives 4th Annual DANNY Award for Journalism

Julian Assange receives 4th Annual DANNY Award for Journalism

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been granted the 2019 Danny Schechter Global Vision Award for Journalism & Activism by not-for-profit educational foundation The Global Center. As a press release announcing the award explains, The DANNY is “awarded annually to an individual who best emulates Schechter’s practice of combining excellent journalism with social advocacy and activism.”

The DANNY Award announcement warns, ”The Assange case represents a threat not only to freedom of expression but also to the heart of American democracy itself.”

Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019 in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after Ecuador unlawfully revoked his asylum and invited British police into the Embassy. On 23 May, a superseding indictment charged Assange with 17 counts under the Espionage Act for publishing US war and diplomatic secrets in 2010 — the first such charges for a publisher.

An extradition hearing for Assange, who entered the Embassy in 2012 for fear of US persecution, is scheduled for February 2020, in London.

As the announcement explains,

The charges against Assange make the ultimate targets of his prosecution clear: journalists worldwide. Prosecutors are using the case against him to mask a blatantly political campaign to limit all journalists-a cornerstone of the Trump agenda often expressed by the president himself. The charges describe the routine practices of investigative and national-security journalists-and would effectively criminalize a wide range of reporting practices. So the stakes for both Assange and the rest of the news media have dramatically increased, raising questions about the limits of the First Amendment and protections for publishers of classified information.

After leaving the restrictive corporate media sector, journalist Daniel Schechter partnered with Globalvision to produce investigative programming on human rights abuses around the world. Schechter passed away in 2015, and the DANNY Award was established to honor his work.

The award includes a a $3,000 stipend, which will be donated to Julian Assange’s defense.

Press freedom, human rights orgs condemn Julian Assange’s arrest

Major civil liberties, media freedom, and human rights groups speak out against the arrest of Julian Assange

Press freedom

Knight Center at Columbia University (USA) 

Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, issued the following response:

“The indictment and the Justice Department’s press release treat everyday journalistic practices as part of a criminal conspiracy. Whether the government will be able to establish a violation of the hacking statute remains to be seen, but it’s very troubling that the indictment sweeps in activities that are not just lawful but essential to press freedom—activities like cultivating sources, protecting sources’ identities, and communicating with sources securely.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Trevor Timm:

For years, the Obama administration considered indicting WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, before rightly concluding it could not do so without encroaching on core press freedoms. Now almost nine years in, the Trump administration has used the same information to manufacture a flimsy and pretextual indictment involving a “conspiracy” to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—based entirely on alleged conversations between a journalist and source. While the Trump administration has so far not attempted to explicitly declare the act of publishing illegal, a core part of its argument would criminalize many common journalist-source interactions that reporters rely on all the time. Requesting more documents from a source, using an encrypted chat messenger, or trying to keep a source’s identity anonymous are not crimes; they are vital to the journalistic process. Whether or not you like Assange, the charge against him is a serious press freedom threat and should be vigorously protested by all those who care about the First Amendment.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

While the indictment of Julian Assange centers on an alleged attempt to break a password—an attempt that was not apparently successful—it is still, at root, an attack on the publication of leaked material and the most recent act in an almost decade-long effort to punish a whistleblower and the publisher of her leaked material. Several parts of the indictment describe very common journalistic behavior, like using cloud storage or knowingly receiving classified information or redacting identifying information about a source. Other parts make common free software tools like Linux and Jabber seem suspect. And while we are relieved that the government has not chosen to include publication-based charges today, the government can issue additional charges for at least another two months. It should not do so. Leaks are a vital part of the free flow of information that is essential to our democracy. Reporting on leaked materials, including reporting on classified information, is an essential role of American journalism.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Ben Wizner:

“Criminally prosecuting a publisher for the publication of truthful information would be a first in American history, and unconstitutional. The government did not cross that Rubicon with today’s indictment, but the worst case scenario cannot yet be ruled out. We have no assurance that these are the only charges the government plans to bring against Mr. Assange. Further, while there is no First Amendment right to crack a government password, this indictment characterizes as ‘part of’ a criminal conspiracy the routine and protected activities journalists often engage in as part of their daily jobs, such as encouraging a source to provide more information. Given President Trump’s and his administration’s well-documented attacks on the freedom of the press, such characterizations are especially worrisome.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

“The potential implications for press freedom of this allegation of conspiracy between publisher and source are deeply troubling,” said Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “With this prosecution of Julian Assange, the U.S. government could set out broad legal arguments about journalists soliciting information or interacting with sources that could have chilling consequences for investigative reporting and the publication of information of public interest.”

Reporters Without Borders

“Targeting Assange after nearly nine years because of Wikileaks’ provision of information to journalists that was in the public interest (such as the leaked US diplomatic cables) would be a purely punitive measure and would set a dangerous precedent for journalists, whistleblowers, and other journalistic sources that the US may wish to pursue in the future. The UK must stick to a principled stance with any related requests from the US to extradite Assange, and ensure his protection under UK and European law relevant to his contributions to journalism”, said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.

Amnesty International Ireland

“Amnesty International calls on the UK to refuse to extradite or send in any other manner Julian Assange to the USA where there is a very real risk that he could face human rights violations, including detention conditions that would violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and an unfair trial followed by possible execution, due to his work with Wikileaks.”

Amnesty International Australia

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

“Prosecuting Julian Assange for acts often associated with publishing news of public importance – including sensitive or classified information – has potential to open a dangerous precedent for every news organization,” said Dinah PoKempner, general counsel at Human Rights Watch. “The Trump administration’s open hostility to ‘mainstream media’ has contributed to an increasingly dangerous environment for investigative journalism worldwide.”

Australian Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA)

MEAA has written to the British and Australian governments urging them to oppose the extradition to the United States of Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange.This comes after Assange was arrested by police in London on Thursday, April 11.

MEAA has stated that WikiLeaks has played a crucial role in enabling whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing and many media outlets have collaborated in that work.

(Download PDF of the letter here)

Blueprint for Free Speech

The current indictment does not directly seek to criminalise publishing, but targets the communications between sources and journalists that make publication possible. The journalist-source relationship is not a transactional, one-way relationship. Journalists develop their sources. Journalists enter into extended conversations with their sources. They discuss ways of verifying allegations. Increasingly, they use instant messaging protocols and encrypted communications.

Technology and whistleblowing go hand in hand. They always have. Daniel Ellsberg’s whistleblowing involved a Xerox machine, a phone and the post. Mark Felt used phones, coded messages and a car park. Today, whistleblowers and the journalists they work with use computers and smartphones.

The communication between a journalist and a source is a particularly vulnerable part of the publication process. If journalists are unable to communicate with their sources without fear of criminal liability, the press will have one of its most vital functions curtailed. Wrongdoing in powerful institutions will no longer be exposed and stories will no longer be written, out of fear of prosecution. Combined with the threat of extradition, today’s indictment represents a profound danger to the free press, not just within the United States, but also well outside its borders.

Center for Constitutional Rights

Mr. Assange’s arrest and possible extradition to face charges related to an alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning to publish documents that exposed corruption and criminality by numerous private businesses, tyrants, and countries worldwide is ultimately an attack on press freedom.

The arrest sets a dangerous precedent that could extend to other media organizations such as The New York Times, particularly under a vindictive and reckless administration that regularly attacks journalistic enterprises that, just like WikiLeaks, publish leaked materials that expose government corruption and wrongdoing. This is a worrying step on the slippery slope to punishing any journalist the Trump administration chooses to deride as “fake news.”

It comes in the backdrop of even further cruelty toward and imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, who continues to defend the integrity of her heroic decision to act as a whistleblower and expose U.S. government atrocities it committed in Iraq.

The United States should finally seek to come to terms with the war crimes in Iraq that it has committed rather than attack and imprison those who sought to expose the truth of it.

FAIR Media Watch: ‘Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been Punished’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should never have been punished for working with a whistleblower to expose war crimes. Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower, has done more time in prison, under harsher conditions, than William Calley, a key perpetrator of the My Lai massacre. Remarkably, Manning is in jail again, failed by organizations that should unreservedly defend her, as the US tries to coerce her into helping inflict more punishment on Assange.

Now Assange could be punished even more brutally if the UK extradites him to the US, where he is charged with a “conspiracy” to help Manning crack a password that “would have” allowed her to cover her tracks more effectively. In other words, the alleged help with password-cracking didn’t work, and is not what resulted in the information being disclosed. It has also not been shown that it was Assange who offered the help, according to Kevin Gosztola (Shadowproof4/11/19). The government’s lack of proof of its charges might explain why Manning is in jail again.

Code Pink

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning exposed US war crimes to the people of the world.

Yet we’re led to believe that they’re the criminals?! Shame!

— CODEPINK (@codepink) April 11, 2019


Moazzam Begg Outreach Director for CAGE said:

“This is a witch hunt against whistleblowers and those who are seeking accountability from the powerful. The UK-US extradition treaty which has always been ripe for abuse, will be used once again to silence voices of dissent.”

“Assange must not be extradited to the US. He is a truth-teller and one that has sacrificed his own liberty to shed light on the abuses of the world’s most powerful states. If no one is above the law as Sajid Javid boasted, then surely we should be supporting Assange not arresting him.”

Human Rights Law Center (Australia)

Emily Howie, a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, said any prosecution by the US relating to publishing true information in the public interest, including revealing war crimes, would set an alarming and dangerous precedent.

“Governments may be uncomfortable about a publication that exposes wrongdoing, but that’s precisely why a free press is absolutely vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy. If the US does this to Julian Assange, journalism is imperiled around the globe,” said Ms Howie.

Digital Rights Watch (Australia)

“We do not support arbitrary deprivation of liberty without proper due legal process. Mr Assange continued to seek political asylum in the Ecaudorian embassy in London, as is his right to do so, and the decision to revoke these protections is a worrying development,” said Digital Rights Watch Chair Tim Singleton Norton.

“If Mr Assange is extradited to the United States, it sets a dangerous precedent for the future of whistleblowing and transparent reporting of government operations in violation of human rights.”


“The UK should refrain from complying with requests to extradite Assange to the US that would aim at sanctioning his journalistic-like activities”, says RSF @avilarenata @IndexCensorship @P24Punto24

— IFEX (@IFEX) April 12, 2019

Fair Trails (global criminal justice watchdog)

The risks to Mr Assange’s human rights need to be taken into account if he will be extradited, says Fair Trials’ Chief Executive @JagoRussell. #Assange

— Fair Trials (@fairtrials) April 13, 2019

Veterans for Peace UK

We oppose the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States and are deeply concerned that journalism and whistleblowing is being criminalised by the US and actively supported by British authorities.  The indefinite detention of Chelsea Manning and the persecution of Reality Winner and John Kiriakou have demonstrated that a whistle blower will not receive a fair trial in the US court system. We believe the authorities are seeking a show trial for the purpose of revenge and to intimidate journalists.

SEP (Australia) condemns the arrest of Julian Assange

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) emphatically condemns the decision of the Ecuadorian government to end the political asylum granted to Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, literally opening the door for British police to arrest him.

The UK is holding Assange on trumped-up bail charges, and on an extradition request from the Trump administration, which is seeking to prosecute him for his role in Wikileaks’ lawful publishing activities.

The claim by Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno that Assange had repeatedly violated “international conventions and daily-life protocols” is a transparent lie. The decision to hand over Assange to British authorities, paving the way for his extradition to the US, is a fundamental breach of international law and democratic rights. Moreno and his government stand condemned before history as stooges of US and British imperialism.

Assange is now in grave danger. The Trump administration is pressing for his extradition to the US, where he will be indicted on fabricated charges and face a heavy jail term or even the death penalty. Assange’s only “crime” has been to expose to the world the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of US imperialism.

The New Yorker: The Indictment of Julian Assange Is a Threat to Journalism

…On Thursday, my colleague Raffi Khatchadourian, who has written extensively about Assange, pointed out that, as of now, it looks like Assange didn’t do much, if anything, to crack the password once Manning sent the encrypted version. Khatchadourian also pointed out that federal prosecutors have known about this text exchange for many years, and yet the Obama Administration didn’t bring any charges. “As evidence of a conspiracy,” Khatchadourian writes, “the exchange is thin gruel.”

Even if Assange had succeeded in decoding the encryption, it wouldn’t have given Manning access to any classified information she couldn’t have accessed through her own account. “Cracking the password would have allowed Manning to log onto the computers using a username that did not belong to her,” the indictment says. “Such a measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of disclosures of classified information.” So the goal was to protect Manning’s identity, and Assange offered to assist. But who could argue that trying to help a source conceal his or her identity isn’t something investigative journalists do on a routine basis?

Association for Progressive Communications: Assange and Bini’s arrests, a serious threat to freedom of expression worldwide

These indictments contribute to criminalising a key component of journalistic ethics: taking steps to help sources maintain their anonymity. This poses a serious threat to press freedom in the US and worldwide.

“By criminalising actions that investigative journalists routinely use to protect their sources, the US is engaging in an attack on freedom of expression and the media,” APC’s global policy advocacy lead Deborah Brown says. “This can open the door for other news organisations and even individuals to face similar charges, and can create a chilling effect on the right to seek, receive and impart information, which is fundamental for putting checks on powerful actors and institutions.”

International Association for Media and Communication Research

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) —  the preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communications research — expresses concern about his possible extradition to the United States.

WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 as an online platform for the secure and anonymous submission of information by whistleblowers on the actions of power holders that would otherwise be concealed from public view and scrutiny. It has provided vital material for investigative journalists. For instance, in 2010, in collaboration with established newspapers — The New York TimesThe Guardian and Der Spiegel — the documents and field reports it supplied formed the basis for news coverage revealing thousands of unreported deaths, including US army killings of civilians in the Afghan and Iraq Wars.

WikiLeaks releases have played a crucial role in exposing government and corporate  evasions and denials, enabling journalists to uphold the public interest. IAMCR is dedicated to defending the principles of freedom of speech and the public right to know. Extradition of Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, and prosecution by the United States government would set an unwelcome precedent that threatens the welfare of whistle-blowers and discourages the sustained watchdog role of the media in democratic societies.

United Nations

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

The UN independent expert on the right to privacy, Joe Cannataci, issued a statement following the arrest, saying that “this will not stop my efforts to assess Mr. Assange’s claims that his privacy has been violated. All it means is that, instead of visiting Mr Assange and speaking to him at the Embassy…I intend to visit him and speak to him wherever he may be detained.”

In a statement last Friday, Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, said he was alarmed by reports that an arrest was imminent, and that if extradited, Mr. Assange could be exposed to “a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Agnes Callamard (UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions)

By expelling #Assange from the Embassy, #Ecuador allowed #GB to arrest him, taking him 1 step closer to extradition to the #US, thus exposing him to risks of serious #humanrightsviolations. #GB has arbitrary detained Mr Assange possibly endangering his life for the last 7 years

— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) April 11, 2019

Arrest of Wikileaks’ Assange in UK takes him a step closer to poss extradition to US, and potential “serious human rights violations”, warn @UNHumanRights experts.

— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) April 11, 2019

David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion & Expression)

many Americans and others may look at arrest of #JulianAssange as a kind of accountability for him & @wikileaks. in context of potential extradition to US, i urge ppl to put aside feelings and consider at least two questions

— David Kaye (@davidakaye) April 11, 2019

first, do you think the U.S. Government – this one or any other – can address allegations against him without doing damage to basic free press guarantees? can they cabin a prosecution to protect the press? i strongly doubt it; i only see downsides.

— David Kaye (@davidakaye) April 11, 2019

second, many/most of WL’s most ‘troubling’ and seemingly partisan releases were avidly picked up by the traditional american press, so-called legacy media. should they be penalized, too? (and how are they reporting this, btw?)

— David Kaye (@davidakaye) April 11, 2019

Maria Fernanda Espinosa (President of the United Nations General Assembly) “truly hopes that Mr. Assange’s rights will be respected and protected, based on international standards”

The United Nations human rights office Geneva

We expect all the relevant authorities to ensure Mr Assange’s right to a fair trial is upheld by authorities, including in any extradition proceedings that may take place,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

Politicians, activists and political organisations/movements

Jeremy Corbyn (UK, Labour)

The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing
evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the

Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April
11, 2019

Diane Abbot (UK, Labour, Shadow Home Secretary)

In this country we have protections for whistle-blowers, those
who take personal risk to disclose wrongdoing in the public intrest.
Julian Assange is not being pursued to protect US national security. He
is being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by US administrations

Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) April
11, 2019

We only need look at Chelsea Manning to see what awaits
Assange. She’s indefinitely detained for refusing to expose
whistle-blowers. And US officials have already deemed Assange guilty

Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) April
11, 2019

Richard Burgon (UK, Labour MP)

This shocking video from Iraq, revealed by WikiLeaks, showing
the killing of civilians and Reuters journalists provides some context
to today’s moves towards extraditing Julian Assange to the USA.

Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) April
11, 2019

Yanis Varoufakis (Diem25, EU)

When Julian took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, he
explained he was fleeing from US extradition orders. Many mocked him.
Today he is being held awaiting extradition to the US. Time for those
doubting mockers to admit they were wrong – even if they loathe

— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) April
11, 2019

The game is up. Years of lies exposed. It was never about
Sweden, Putin, Trump or Hillary. Assange was persecuted for exposing war
crimes. Will those duped so far now stand with us in opposing his
disappearance after a fake trial where his lawyers will not even now the

— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) April
11, 2019

Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize laureate)

`Mairead Maguire has requested UK Home Office for permission to visit her friend Julian Assange whom this year she has nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize’

‘I want to visit Julian to see he is receiving medical care and to let him know that there are many people around the world who admire him and are grateful for his courage in trying to stop the wars and end the suffering of others’

Srećko Horvat (Diem25, EU)

A sad day for democracy in the so called West. This is not
about breaching bail, it’s about extraditing #Assange
to a Guantanamo-like prison in the US for being a publisher.

Srećko Horvat (@HorvatSrecko) April
11, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard

The purpose of arresting #JulianAssange
is to send a message to the people, especially journalists, to be quiet
and don’t get out of line. If we, the people, allow the government to
control us through fear, we are no longer free, we are no longer

Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April
11, 2019

Dr. Jill Stein

Arresting Julian Assange for publishing is an attack on
fundamental press freedom that democracy depends on. Like Chelsea
Manning, US empire wants to imprison him for the “crime” of
revealing what our government is doing. All who support democracy must

— Dr. Jill Stein🌻 (@DrJillStein) April
11, 2019

Ro Khanna

Tonight on @HardballChris
I will argue that the over-broad indictment of Assange is a chilling
suppression of speech. The indictiment criminalizes journalists asking a
source for info or deleting chat logs. I detest that Assange helped
Trump. But this violates the 1st Amendment.

— Ro Khanna
(@RoKhanna) April
11, 2019

Mike Gravel (former Senator, Democratic party, US)

Official statement from Sen. Mike Gravel about the arrest of
Julian Assange

Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) April
11, 2019

Jesse Ventura (former Governer of Minnesota, US)

What did @wikileaks
reveal? The truth about our war crimes. Julian Assange is a hero. Our
government doesn’t want you to know the truth. Get ready because when
he’s prosecuted, journalism/news as we know it & the 1st amendment
will never be the same again

Jesse Ventura (@GovJVentura) April
12, 2019

Katja Kipping (DE, die Linke)

So wie sich Blair im #Irakkrieg
zum Pudel von Bush machte, macht sich May zur Gehilfin der US-Justiz.
Nein, @wikileaks-Gründer
darf nicht an die #USA
ausgeliefert werden! Ich wiederhole, was ich 2017 sagte: „Whistleblower
weltweit schützen – freies Geleit für Assange“.

— Katja Kipping
(@katjakipping) April
12, 2019

Heike Hänsel (DE, die Linke)

mit Julian #AssangeArrested
bitte morgen zur Protestkundgebung vor Britische Botschaft in Berlin
neben Hotel Adlon kommen! #FreeAssangeNOW
Keine #Auslieferung
an #USA

Heike Hänsel (@HeikeHaensel) April
11, 2019

Carles Puigdemont (Catalan president in exile)

I am deeply shocked by the arrest of Julian Assange in London.
Human rights, and especially freedom of expression, are under attack
once again in Europe | @DefendAssange#FreeJulianAssange

Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) April
11, 2019

Rafael Correa (former President of Ecuador)

The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history,
Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London
to arrest Assange.
Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a
crime that humanity will never forget.

Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) April
11, 2019

Evo Morales Ayma (President of Bolivia)

Condenamos enérgicamente la detención de #JulianAssange
y la violación a la libertad de expresión. Nuestra solidaridad con este
hermano que es perseguido por el gobierno de #EEUU
por revelar sus violaciones a los derechos humanos, asesinatos de
civiles y espionaje diplomático.

— Evo Morales Ayma
(@evoespueblo) April
11, 2019

Samia Bomfim (Brazil, PSOL)

Pela liberdade de imprensa e contra a sociedade do controle
absoluto: libertem Julian Assange!

Sâmia Bomfim (@samiabomfim) April
11, 2019

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

I agree with @Snowden

Birgitta (@birgittaj) April
11, 2019

Edward Snowden

Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s
secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or
not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in
the history books. Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark
moment for press freedom.

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April
11, 2019

The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The
allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their
world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the
count Obama’s DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April
11, 2019

Pamela Anderson

Was anyone prosecuted for war crimes and corruption

exposed by Wikileaks ?

How is it more important to prosecute
a journalist for exposing factual information that was to warn citizens
of what their governments
are secretly up to.

— Pamela
Anderson (@pamfoundation) April
12, 2019

Oliver Stone

is a publisher for truth. He’s done great work on behalf of mankind
despite his inhumane treatment. This case is crucial to the survival of
our right to know and our essential freedom against #USA
and #UK
oppression — and now tyranny!

— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)
11, 2019

Saskia Sassen

Don’t extradite Assange! Sign the petition #diem25

Saskia Sassen (@SaskiaSassen) April
11, 2019

Eva Golinger

Julian Assange is a journalist and publisher persecuted by the
US government for publishing information in the public interest. He is a
citizen of Australia and Ecuador. His arrest today in UK should be
denounced by media, journalists and all who believe in a free press.

Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) April
11, 2019

Ari Melber

The U.S. government indictment of Julian Assange is an
aggressive and potentially chilling legal document for journalists in
the U.S. and abroad.

That is a significant issue regardless of
one’s view of Assange as a person, or his work, or his

— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April
11, 2019

Glenn Greenwald

The @ACLU‘s
point is vital: if the US can force the arrest and then extradite
foreigners like Assange on foreign soil for publishing docs, what
prevents China or Iran or, you know, Russia for doing the same to US
journalists who publish secrets about them?

Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April
11, 2019

Cenk Uygur

I agree 100% with @ggreenwald
on this. What @wikileaks
did to bring forth @xychelsea
story was one of the best pieces of journalism of my lifetime. Now, to
have other so-called journalists doing the government’s job for them
by smearing Assange is gross and frankly pathetic.

Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) April
11, 2019

Ewen MacAskill

US did not waste any time putting in extradition request for
Assange. Terrible precedent if journalist/publisher ends up in US jail
for Iraq war logs and state department cables.

— Ewen MacAskill
(@ewenmacaskill) April
11, 2019

George Galloway

The name of the president of Ecuador will live forever in the
annals of international shame for the squalid act of treachery he
performed today. The British & US governments wrote the book.
International War Criminals shackling a chronicler of their crimes #UKGov

George Galloway (@georgegalloway) April
11, 2019

Evgeny Morozov

The Assange case offers so many people the perfect
opportunities to shut up & speak up. Alas, those that need to shut
up will keep screaming; those who need to speak up will remain silent.
Legal casuistry aside, no one fighting for democracy can support sending
him to the US.

— Evgeny Morozov (@evgenymorozov) April
11, 2019

Parliament of Catalonia

Parliament of Catalonia now #FreeAssange

Jordi Salvia 🎗 (@jordisalvia) April
11, 2019

Diem25 (EU)

“Julian is in custody for breaching bail conditions imposed over a warrant that was… rescinded. Anyone else would be fined and released. Except that Julian Assange’s persecution is all about challenging our right to know about the crimes governments commit in our name,” said DiEM25 founder and European Parliament candidate, Yanis Varoufakis.

We as DieM25 demand that UK authorities do not become accomplices of those whose only intention is to manufacture legal fabrications, narratives and create false enemies among the people. The UK government must to defend people’s rights to freedom of expression and protect those who fight for transparency. This can be the only antidote to preventing the continued rise of the extremists.

We further call on the EU to condemn this atrocious action which undermines the core values of our Union, and reiterate our support for our dear friend and founding member Julian Assange.

Pablo Iglesias (Podemos, Spain)

La explotación, la injusticia y los privilegios de los poderosos solo son posibles porque se sustentan en la mentira.

Por eso, si algo teme el poder, en España y en el mundo, es a la verdad.

Julian Assange libertad.

— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) April 11, 2019

Samia Bomfim (Brazil, PSOL)

O PSOL se posiciona e conclama a esquerda e os democratas a se levantarem pela liberdade de Julian Assange e contra sua extradição aos Estados Unidos. Pela liberdade de imprensa e contra a sociedade do controle absoluto.

Workers Party (Brazil)

O atual governo equatoriano viola princípios fundamentais de proteção aos direitos humanos da ONU e da Corte Interamericana de Direitos Humanos ao entregar um cidadão equatoriano que estava dentro da embaixada de seu próprio país, inaudita na história diplomática mundial.

O Partido dos Trabalhadores envia a sua solidariedade aos familiares e amigos de Julian Assange, bem como aos integrantes do Wikileaks.

Richard Di Natale (Australian Greens): Use the ‘special relationship’ to stop Assange extradition

This arrest is a dark day for press freedom around the world,” Di Natale said.

“Regardless of what you think about Assange as an individual, he is facing extradition to the US on charges relating to his work to shine light on potential war crimes – an act that won him Australia’s highest honour for journalism.

“Seeking to punish Assange for exposing evidence of US atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan would put a chilling effect on moves towards open and more transparent democracy.

Scott Ludlam Former Greens Senator on ABC (audio)

Noam Chomsky

Kenneth Roth (Human Rights Watch)

The US government’s indictment of Julian Assange is about far more than a charge of conspiring to hack a Pentagon computer. Many of the acts detailed in the indictment are standard journalistic practices in the digital age. How authorities in the UK respond to the US extradition request will determine how serious a threat this prosecution poses to global media freedom.

Hacking with Care

Let’s fight for Julian Assange’s rights, his life, and with him and Wikileaks for the freedom of the press, and ultimately, for the rights of everyone to live in a hospitable world, where compassion, altruism, courage are key, knowledge circulates in the hands of the people, powers are held in check, and history is no more a story written only by the “winners”.

Because that is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks stand for, what their work has done/enabled/inspired, what we should be grateful for and fight to protect.

UK and everyone must resist !

Jesselyn Radack, whistleblower & whistleblower lawyer

#Assange’s arrest puts at risk ALL journalists, publishers & media orgs providing info on another country’s war crimes.

— unR̶A̶D̶A̶C̶K̶ted (@JesselynRadack) April 11, 2019

Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower

Ominous wake up watershed call for all press & media! Are truth tellers & truth telling increasingly viewed as treason by the liars & leaders of the State with the State treating both sources & the press as enemies of the State?

— Thomas Drake (@Thomas_Drake1) April 11, 2019