By Jeff Mackler, National Steering Committee, Assangedefense.org
Imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange faces extradition from the UK to the U.S. on spurious charges that he violated the 1917 Espionage Act. Assange’s crime is that he exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and beyond.
Upon Assange’s legal team filing appeal documents in London on May 18, 2022 activists and advocates around the world joined to tell UK Home Secretary Priti Patel: DON’T EXTRADITE JULIAN ASSANGE!
Assange’s wife Stella Assange announced the defense team’s official filing while warning that the stakes were high: “The U.S. government is trying to silence – and even kill Julian.” She asserted that her husband was being persecuted for “carrying out a core journalistic mission: telling the truth.” Citing documents that revealed CIA plans to assassinate Assange and the CIA’s contracting with Spanish spy agencies to secretly record Assange’s conversations while he was granted asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, she charged that. “The U.S. plotted to murder Julian because he exposed and brought U.S. atrocities into the public domain and because he is the key witness, the [principal] indicter, and the cause of enormous embarrassment to successive U.S. governments.”
She 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.”
Support for Assange is mounting around the world. Recently, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the 46-nation Council of Europe called on the UK not to extradite Assange to the U.S.
More than 26 peace and justice organizations and 2,500 activists signed a statement calling for the immediate release of Assange, praising him for contributing to global peace. (See assangedefense.org.) Alice Walker, national co-chair of Assange Defense in the U.S. stated:
“Julian 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.”
British Labor Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn stated, “Journalism is not a crime,” contrasting Assange’s confinement with the freedom of the war criminals he exposed. “Wikileaks exposed crimes of U.S. empire in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. The perpetrators of these crimes walk free, often still prominent public figures in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere,” Corbyn added. “They should be held accountable for the lives they destroyed and the futures they stole.”
Stella Assange concluded, “The U.S. 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.”
Julian and Stella Assange, who share two small children, were recently wed in Belmarsh Prison.
To support Julian Assange in the U.S. contact: Assangedefense.org