UPDATE 27. April 2022: Very impressive: Assange Defense Los Angeles hosting WikiLeaks & War Crimes featuring Chris HedgesMedea BenjaminVijay Prashad, and Renata Avila!

UPDATE 23. April 2022: EU Free Assange Concert Rally - Brussels - Great Event but SUCCESS can only be celebrated once Julian Assange is FREE 

PDATE 20. April 2022: Dark Day For Press Freedom: British Court Orders Assange Extradition + DARK DAY FOR PRESS FREEDOM

UPDATE 11. April 2022: Julian Assange 3 Years in Belmarsh Prison: A Shameful Anniversary for the Anglo-American War Cult + Progressive leaders call on US President Biden to drop the charges against Assange

UPDATE 23. March 2022: Julian Assange and Stella Moris have married! + Julian and Stella marry at Belmarsh + ‘Today I will marry the love of my life’: Julian Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris

UPDATE 14. March 2022: UK Supreme Court refuses to hear Assange appeal

UPDATE 25. February 2022: Belmarsh Tribunal comes to the United States

Update 18. February 2022: Nils Melzer press briefing on The Trial of Julian Assange

UPDATE 25. January 2022: Right to appeal granted ... A victory, but at what cost? | Keep the pressure up - SIGN THE PETITION

UPDATE 24. December 2021: The Biden Administration says it supports a free press. If you want a free press, you must free Julian Assange.

UPDATE 23. December 2021: Stella Moris statement on Julian Assange’s Supreme Court appeal

UPDATE 17. December 2021: “Grave Injustice” in Assange Ruling – Prominent Voices Speak Out - The British Queen Elizabeth II still keeps publisher and journalist Julian Assange in her Belmarsh prison, tortures him and has not set him free.

Julian Assange suffered stroke during High Court appeal for extradition

By  — 12. December 2021

Doctors have confirmed that Julian Assange suffered a “mini stroke” inside Belmarsh Prison during a High Court appeal in October, his fiancée Stella Moris revealed over the weekend. She made clear that a pseudo-legal conspiracy by the US and UK governments to secure Assange’s extradition is pushing the WikiLeaks publisher to breaking point.

Moris spoke to the Daily Mail on Saturday, just one day after Britain’s High Court ruled in favour of a US government appeal overturning an earlier bar to extradition on health grounds. Assange faces extradition to the US under the Espionage Act (1917) and a possible 175-year prison sentence for WikiLeaks’ publications exposing war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Assange suffered what doctors diagnosed as a “transient ischaemic attack” on the opening day of a High Court appeal on October 26, which he watched from prison via video-link. The Mail reported that Assange “believes the mini-stroke was triggered by the stress of the ongoing US court action against him, and an overall decline in his health as he faces his third Christmas behind bars.”

TIAs or mini-strokes temporarily block blood supply to the brain. A doctor has reportedly examined Assange, finding evidence of nerve damage. He underwent an MRI scan and has been prescribed blood thinning medication.

Moris spoke of her concern for Assange’s survival, telling the Mail, “Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on.”

She continued, “Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.”

World Socialist Web Site reporter Thomas Scripps covered the High Court appeal hearing on October 26-27. His report noted that Assange looked “visibly unwell—thin, downcast and struggling to stay awake or to sit up in his chair.” Yesterday, Scripps recalled, “it took a moment to recognise Assange when he first appeared,” adding, “many journalists expressed concern in the videolink chat.”.

According to the Mail ’s report on Saturday, Assange was “left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage.”

Moris told the Mail, “It must have been horrendous hearing a High Court appeal in which you can’t participate, which is discussing your mental health and your risk of suicide and in which the US is arguing you are making it all up.”

She recalled, “He had to sit through all this when he should have been excused. He was in a truly terrible state. His eyes were out of synch, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry.”

Throughout the two-day hearing the US sought to discredit medical experts who had testified that Assange would likely commit suicide if he were extradited to the United States. Lawyers for the US government argued that US federal prison conditions were not oppressive and that District Judge Vanessa Baraitser had failed to provide an opportunity to hear what are worthless US assurances that he would not be mistreated.

News of Assange’s stroke has evoked protest and urgent warnings from doctors and medical experts. It will add to the growing revulsion felt by tens of millions of workers and youth worldwide over Assange’s slow-motion assassination in plain sight, sanctioned by the British state.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a prison van traveling to Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 (Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who examined Assange with a medical team inside Belmarsh Prison in May 2019, responded on Saturday night, “Assange’s stroke is no surprise. As we warned after examining him, unless relieved of the constant pressure of isolation, arbitrariness and persecution, his health would enter a downward spiral endangering his life. [The] UK is literally torturing him to death.”

Noting CIA plans to kidnap and assassinate Assange, and the CIA’s illegal surveilling of his lawyers, Doctors for Assange demanded the WikiLeaks publisher be granted his “long overdue freedom.”

Bill Hogan, a medical doctor from the United States and a member of D4A told the WSWS yesterday, “The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Doctors for Assange warned repeatedly that unless the United States and United Kingdom ended their psychological torture of Mr Assange, his physical health would deteriorate and he is at high risk of death over time.”

Dr. Hogan said of Assange’s stroke, “Fifty-year-old men rarely experience such events, and there is a direct physiological chain of events … This outcome was wholly predictable and preventable. That the US and UK ignored our warnings directly implicates them as responsible and clarifies even further that their intent is to murder Mr Assange.”

Dr. Derek Summerfield, honorary clinical senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College,and D4A member, told the WSWS, “The Western order demands its sacrificial victim, here the journalist daring to expose its secrets and lies, and in last few years we have witnessed Assange going through a process somehow akin to the hanging, drawing and quartering of medieval executions.”

Friday’s High Court ruling—made in the certain knowledge of Assange’s acute medical deterioration—confirms there is no line the British state, its judiciary, media and parliament will not cross in securing the courageous journalist’s destruction. He must not be left in their clutches. The fight for Assange’s freedom must be taken to the working class and especially its young generation whose future rests on defeating the growing threat of imperialist war and authoritarianism in the fight for socialism.

Originally published in WSWS.org

===

UPDATES:

EU Free Assange Concert Rally - Brussels

23. April 2022

 

Great Event, but SUCCESS can only be celebrated once journalist Julian Assange is FREE. Nils Melzer must step up efforts to get the assailants of Julian Assange prosecuted.

===

Dark Day For Press Freedom: British Court Orders Assange Extradition

By Kevin Gosztola - 20. April 2022

Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom, where Julian Assange's extradition hearing was held. (Photo by Ludhi85)

A British magistrates court ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States and sent the request for his extradition to Home Office Secretary Priti Patel for approval. 

The order came a little more than a month after the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom refused to hear Assange’s appeal. In December, the UK High Court of Justice granted the US government's appeal and overturned a district court decision that spared Assange. 

Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring contended he was “duty-bound” to send the extradition request to Patel. Goldspring also told Assange he had a right to appeal if the Home Office approved the extradition before issuing the order.

Mark Summers QC, an attorney for Assange, asserted there were “fresh developments” in the case and bemoaned the fact that the defense was not permitted at this stage to raise this evidence, according to Computer Weekly’s Bill Goodwin.

Assange’s legal team has until May 18 to submit evidence to the Home Office and argue why the department should block the extradition request. In two months, Patel is expected to make a decision.

If approved by Patel, attorneys for Assange may request permission to appeal to the British High Court of Justice. His attorneys may appeal the decision of the district judge to send the case to the Home Office for approval and may also appeal the Home Office secretary’s order.

While the defense for Assange objected to District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling on January 4, 2021, particularly as it related to issues of press freedom, they never had an appropriate opportunity to raise their objections. She denied the extradition request after determining it would be “oppressive” for mental health reasons. 

His attorneys would likely challenge many of Baraitser's conclusions about Assange if Patel allowed the request. (Note: Baraitser is no longer a district judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court.)

Assange is detained at Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh. He faces 18 charges brought against him by the US Justice Department, 17 of which are under the Espionage Act. All the charges relate to documents WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, which were provided by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. 

The prosecution makes Assange the first publisher to be charged under the 1917 law, and globally the case has been condemned by virtually all reputable civil liberties, human rights, and press freedom organizations.

Patel and the Home Office support an expansion of the Official Secrets Laws in the UK, which Elmaazi reported “would expand possible imprisonment for leakers, recipients of leaks and secondary publishers–including journalists–from the current maximum of two years to as high as 14 years in prison.”

The Home Office contends there is no longer much of a difference between “espionage and the most serious unauthorized disclosures.” That includes what Patel would call “onward disclosure.” The department treats journalism as an act capable of “far more serious damage” than traditional espionage.

In the UK, the Office for Security and Counterterrorism is a part of the Home Office. The division is responsible for MI5 (Britain’s FBI) and anti-terrorism police operations.

Operation Pelican, the name for the pressure campaign to force Assange out of the Ecuador embassy in London, was supported by the Home Office. But as Declassified UK chief investigator Matt Kennard noted, the Home Office claims it does not “hold” any records containing details related to the operation, even though eight officials from the department were involved.

Kennard also reported that Patel was on the advisory council for a right-wing group linked to the CIA called the Henry Jackson Society, which has attacked Assange in the press for over a decade.

"[Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, don't extradite Julian to the country that conspired to murder him," Stella Assange declared. "They can stop this nightmare today and return to Julian to his family. They can do the right thing and enforce Article 4 of the US/UK extradition treaty, which prohibits extradition for political offenses." 

"This is a political case, and with the signature of the magistrate, this now passes squarely into the political domain," Stella added. 

“The next four weeks will prove crucial in the fight to block extradition and secure the release of Julian Assange,” stated Rebecca Vincent, the director of operations and campaigns for Reporters Without Borders (RSF). “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.”

RSF, a global press freedom organization, launched a “Free Assange” petition urging supporters to sign on before May 18, the last day Assange can make any submissions to the Home Office. 

The National Union for Journalists (NUJ) in the UK renewed their call for his release from Belmarsh prison and charges to be dropped.

Assange defense groups and a coalition of civil liberties, human rights, and press freedom organizations will build on prior work and use the next several weeks to ramp up their campaigning. Their intent will be to make the extradition request a political issue in the UK and throughout Europe.

He will remain in detention at Belmarsh until Patel's decision and during any appeal.

===

DARK DAY FOR PRESS FREEDOM

It was a dark day for press freedom today.

A British court ordered the extradition of Julian Assange and sent the extradition request to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The move was an expected procedural development, and the legal battle will continue.

Check out Kevin Gosztola’s live coverage and analysis of the UK court’s ruling at The Dissenter (see above).

Julian’s legal team is preparing to fight on multiple fronts, starting with raising fresh developments with the Home Secretary before May 18. If the Home Secretary approves extradition, Julian’s team can then attempt to appeal other legal points in the courts.

Make Your Voice Heard

You can speak out in several ways. RSF (Reporters without Borders) is spearheading a new petition to the UK Home Secretary.

Make your voice heard by signing RSF’s UK petition. You can also sign our petition to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (below)

Upcoming #FreeAssange Events

One major event to keep on your radar: on April 27, Assange Defense Los Angeles is hosting WikiLeaks & War Crimes featuring Chris HedgesMedea BenjaminVijay Prashad, and Renata Avila!

There are more events and anniversaries coming up, so stay tuned by checking out our upcoming events page

The Assange Defense Committee
www.assangedefense.org

===

Julian Assange 3 Years in Belmarsh Prison: A Shameful Anniversary for the Anglo-American War Cult

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 overturnedthat 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

Julian Assange arrest anniversary prompts London protests https://t.co/ZCwGZ1Ls9o

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 10, 2022

Westminster Magistrates Court

Image
Photo by Gordon Dimmack

Projections across London

Image

Projections in London on the third anniversary of political prisoner Julian Assange detained in UK's harshest prison on behalf of US Government.#FreeAssangeNOW #DropTheCharges#NoExtradition pic.twitter.com/AFCKpn5ADe

— Don't Extradite Assange (@DEAcampaign) April 11, 2022

Rallies across the United States

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

U.S. demonstrations planned for April 11th

DC rallies at UK Consulate and DOJ

April 11, third anniversary of #JulianAssange dragged out of his political asylum against all international laws.
DC action Dept of Justice!@SarcasmStardust@drgloryjjjjj958pic.twitter.com/FAzRXjPJs6

— Paula Iasella(@Plucille54) April 11, 2022

Right now: Protesters gather to “Free #JulianAssange outside the British Embassy.

Their group also plans to rally at the Department of Justice at 2pm; I plan to livestream that event. pic.twitter.com/yBIklmVoHy

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) April 11, 2022

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.”

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

More reactions / statements

Three years since Julian Assange’s arrest from the Ecuador Embassy – Reactions & Statements

===

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

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: 


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)

This was first published at the International Peoples’ Assembly

===

Julian Assange and Stella Moris have married!

23. March 2022

Despite oppressive “security” measures and red tape from UK authorities, Julian and Stella tied the knot today at London’s Belmarsh Prison.

The couple tied the knot today at London’s Belmarsh Prison. It wasn’t easy. UK authorities “intensely policed” the event, denying the couple’s preferred witnesses and refusing to allow them to take a wedding picture.

Still, it was a memorable day for friends and family. Stella donned a dress custom-designed by fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, and supporters around the world voiced their well wishes.

Stella’s description of UK authorities’ “security” measures is particularly chilling:

Every part of this private event is being intensely policed, from our guest list to the wedding picture.

Behind the scenes we have been locked in a dispute with the Ministry of Justice and prison authorities, who have denied our proposed witnesses because they are journalists; and who have denied our proposed photographer because he also works as a press photographer, even though they would all attend in a private capacity.

The prison states that our wedding picture is a security risk because it could end up in social media or the press. How absurd. What kind of security threat could a wedding picture pose.

---

Julian and Stella marry at Belmarsh

23. March 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. 

Julian Assange and Stella Morris tie the knot at Belmarsh pic.twitter.com/ReDSiD06Qa

— Barnaby Nerberka (@barnabynerberka) March 23, 2022

“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.

The birds are singing, the sun is shining & it’s beautiful for Stella & Julian #Assange today

So many around the world are sending love & solidarity to the family of the defining political prisoner of our lifetime. 

Image by street artist AFK Insta@afk_artworks#AssangeWeddingpic.twitter.com/jqtMWqa9zk

— Dr Deepa Govindarajan Driver (@deepa_driver) March 23, 2022

Congratulations to Julian and Stella for todays victory against hate. The prison failed to destroy the occasion despite their best efforts. The UK has done enough damage; it's time to show there is some sense of decency left in the kingdom and end this injustice. #AssangeWeddingpic.twitter.com/Sf5GuGloWn

— Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) March 23, 2022

Photos

Photos by Reuters’ Peter Nicholls

Stella Moris, the partner of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, is photographed with their sons Max, 3, and Gabriel, 4, before driving to Belmarsh Prison where they are due to marry.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Pool
Stella Moris arrives at HMP Belmarsh prison in London, March 23. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Stella Moris cuts the wedding cake after departing HMP Belmarsh prison where she married WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
People throw confetti at Stella Moris after her wedding to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at HMP Belmarsh prison. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

‘Today I will marry the love of my life’: Julian Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris

Stella Moris’s wedding to WikiLeaks co-founder takes place at Belmarsh prison on Wednesday

Stella Moris
Stella Moris: ‘This is not a prison wedding, it is a declaration of love and resilience.’ Photograph: Tayfun Salcı/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

Our right to marry

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.

Every part of this private event is being intensely policed, from our guest list to the wedding picture.

Behind the scenes we have been locked in a dispute with the Ministry of Justice and prison authorities, who have denied our proposed witnesses because they are journalists; and who have denied our proposed photographer because he also works as a press photographer, even though they would all attend in a private capacity.

The prison states that our wedding picture is a security risk because it could end up in social media or the press. How absurd. What kind of security threat could a wedding picture pose?

Belmarsh regularly permits photography. Tommy Robinson and other convicted prisoners were allowed to be interviewed on camera when ITV filmed inside Belmarsh prison. But for Julian, who isn’t even serving a sentence, there appear to be a different set of rules. What are they so afraid of?

I am convinced that they fear that people will see Julian as a human being. Not a name, but a person. Their fear reveals that they want Julian to remain invisible to the public at all costs, even on his wedding day, and especially on his wedding day. For him to disappear from public consciousness.

The press has not been permitted to photograph Julian since 2019. The last time he was photographed by the press was through the scratched windows of a Serco prison van on his way to court, shortly after his arrest on 11 April 2019. After those pictures were published, the authorities switched his transport to vans with automatic steel shutters, which prevent even that type of press photography.

Julian hasn’t been seen by the public in three years. Recently, he has not even been permitted to be in court for his own hearings. In October, he suffered a transient ischemic (TIA) attack, or mini-stroke.

The way he is being treated is cruel and inhuman, and the public doesn’t like it. So the authorities hide it from the public.

Julian is being turned into prisoner X, an abstraction that is neither seen nor heard, and therefore nonexistent. Julian is being disappeared because his imprisonment is a national disgrace, an embarrassment for the British state, and a vicious, authoritarian move.

The logic of disappearing a person in the hope that they will be forgotten is what Soviet Russia did. But it’s too late to hide what is being done to him. The UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, has deconstructed a decade of persecution and psychological torture inflicted on Julian. Julian is being made to suffer in a monstrous, undeniable, political persecution.

Julian is not charged with a crime in the UK. The charges he faces in the United States are, according to Amnesty International, politically motivated. And according to every major press freedom organisation, the charges are also an attack on journalism itself, because they criminalise journalism and open the doors to imprisoning journalists for doing their jobs.

The urge of the authorities to silence and disappear Julian is born out of fear. We have the strength of our love and righteous conviction. Julian’s family will fight for his freedom and for his life, until he is free. Love over fear. Join us.

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EU Free Assange Concert Rally

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 promotion 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.

Please sign our petition (here)

Subscribe to get on the Guest List of #Official: EU FREE ASSANGE CONCERT/RALLY

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UK Supreme Court refuses to hear Assange appeal

BREAKING: UK Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in Assange extradition. The case now moves to @UKHomeSecretary Priti Patel to authorize the extradition https://t.co/Falow48IyPpic.twitter.com/nLdUMkbh5m

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 14, 2022

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.

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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.

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Belmarsh Tribunal comes to the United States

The Belmarsh Tribunal

February 25, 2022 @ 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. Register here to watch the event online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsLmzPwmzoY

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, andYanis 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.”

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Nils Melzer press briefing on The Trial of Julian Assange

“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.”

18. February 2022

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYEKb488PEk

On February 18, 2022, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A victory, but at what cost?

25. January 2022

The UK’s High Court this morning granted Julian Assange’s “application to certify a point of law,” enabling him to appeal to the UK Supreme Court to block his extradition to the United States.

The ruling is a victory, as Julian’s fiancée Stella Moris noted outside the courthouse.

“We won today in court,” says Stella Moris.

While free speech defenders rightly breathed a sigh of relief at the ruling, it is important to focus on the bigger picture: that Julian is the victim of “punishment by process.”

Julian has languished in Belmarsh prison for more than 1,000 days…with no end in sight.

The notorious maximum security prison, which is being ravaged by (yet another) a COVID outbreak, houses some of the UK’s most dangerous violent criminals. Julian’s continued incarceration comes at great cost to his health, his work, his family, and press freedom writ large.

As Julian’s seemingly endless legal struggle moves to the next chapter, our focus is on President Biden and Attorney General Garland. They can end this case with the stroke of a pen, reversing the dangerous precedent set by Donald Trump and signalling that the First Amendment is alive and well.

Keep the Pressure on the U.S. GovernmentConceptual Marketing Corporation - ANALYSIS INFORMATION ...

Apart from Queen Elizabeth II who holds Julian Assange in her priso unjustly, the responsibility for Julian’s incarceration lies squarely at the feet of Biden, Garland, and the U.S. government. 

The Assange Defense Committee
www.assangedefense.org

Activists are keeping up the pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland, President Biden, and the administration.

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and the Courage Foundation spearheaded a petition, signed by more than 26 antiwar groups and thousands of activists. They are calling for Julian’s immediate release and commending Julian for his contributions toward global peace.

SIGN THE PETITION

"We owe it to Julian to fight for his freedom, because he fought for peace for the rest of us. 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.” - Nobel Prize Winner Alice Walker

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PROLOGUE: Did Julian Assange suffer the stroke due to the horrific prison terms, the extreme distress and the circumstances of the persistent torture in Her Majesty's Belmarsh Prison or was it a heinous direct EMF attack during the video link ? Nils Melzer, the special rapporteur to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Torture, must do more to investigate.  

Just hours ago, Julian Assange filed an appeal in his extradition case. Here the official statement from Stella Moris and the UK's Don't Extradite Assange campaign.

Stella Moris statement on Julian Assange’s Supreme Court appeal

December 23, 2021 — This morning at 11:05 Julian Assange filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court the High Court’s ruling that he can be extradited to the US on three grounds.

The High Court’s ruling in USA v Assange raises 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.

On December 10th, the High Court upheld the Magistrates’ Court’s assessment, based on the evidence before her, that there was a real risk that, should Julian Assange be extradited to the United States, he would be subjected to near total isolation, including under the regimes of SAMs (Special Administrative Measures) and/or ADX, (administrative maximum prison) and that such isolation would cause his mental condition to deteriorate to such a degree that there was a high risk of suicide. These findings led the lower court to block the extradition under s. 91 of the Extradition Act, which bans “oppressive” extraditions.

However, the High Court overturned the lower court’s decision to block the extradition, based solely on the fact that after the US lost the extradition case on January 4th 2021, the US State Department sent a letter to the UK Foreign Office containing conditional assurances in relation to Julian Assange’s placement under SAMs and ADX. The assurances letter explicitly states in points one and four that “the United States retains the power” to “impose SAMs” on Mr. Assange and to “designate Mr. Assange to ADX” should he say or do anything since January 4, 2021 that would cause the US government to determine, in its subjective assessment, that Julian Assange should be placed under SAMs conditions and/or in ADX Florence. These conditional assurances alone were considered sufficient by the High Court to overturn the lower court’s decision.

Under English law, in order for the application to have a chance to be considered by the Supreme Court, first the same High Court judges who ordered Julian Assange’s extradition must certify that at least one of the Supreme Court appeal grounds is a point of law of general public importance (s.114 of the 2003 Extradition Act).

Julian Assange’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court is therefore currently under consideration by the High Court judges. It is not known how long it will take for the decision to come down, but it is not expected before the third week of January.

For background, see Julian Assange’s filing opposing the US extradition in the High Court.

Stella Moris

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SET JULIAN ASSANGE FREE NOW

 

The hard work of press freedom activists is paying off! Mainstream outlets are increasingly speaking out against the prosecution of Julian Assange, with The New York Times editorial board the latest to join in.

The Times writes that the Assange prosecution “should be rejected by Mr. Biden” and that the case “could set dangerous precedents” for press freedom.

The Times blasted the Biden administration for striking “at the very foundations of a free press” by prosecuting Julian:

"It is most unfortunate that the U.S. government has chosen to continue to use a law as potent as the Espionage Act to pursue Mr. Assange. There is a debate about whether Mr. Assange is a journalist, but equating the publication of classified materials received from government sources with espionage strikes at the very foundations of a free press and should be rejected by Mr. Biden." - The New York Times Editorial Board (December 18, 2021)

Round-Up

This live blog has an update today on the Times editorial and big letters in the Times and Chicago Tribune by Assange supporters. In other news, here’s a recap of some of the great work activists did last week:

  • A star-studded livestream hosted by Marianne Williamson, Kyle Kulinski, Krystal Ball, and Katie Halper. Special guests included: Rep. Ro Khanna, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Susan Sarandon, Roger Waters, Steven Donzinger, Glenn Greenwald, and members of Julian’s family!

  • A huge rally in New York at the UK consulate featuring Gabriel Shipton, Susan Sarandon, and Roger Waters!

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“Grave Injustice” in Assange Ruling – Prominent Voices Speak Out

The British Queen Elizabeth II still keeps publisher and journalist Julian Assange in her Belmarsh prison, tortures him and has not set him free.

17. December 2021

In the aftermath of the UK High Court decision allowing Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, people are speaking out louder than ever.

We’ve always had dedicated, principled activists on our side. But now we’re starting to see more voices joining the choir and more coverage of those voices.

Superstars Roger Waters and Susan Sarandon call on the Biden Administration to #FreeAssange in New York City on December 15, 2021.

Progressive members of Congress Ro Khanna and Ilhan Omarlent their voices to the cause this week.

Rep. Ilhan Omar encourages Twitter followers to listen to a powerful clip on “why the prosecution of Assange is indefensible.”

All-Star Panel: #FreeAssange

Last night’s star-studded panel was a huge success. Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk hosted a rotating conversation with Julian’s family, Noam ChomskyCornel WestDaniel EllsbergMarianne WilliamsonChris HedgesSusan SarandonKatie HalperKrystal BallSteven DonzingerGlenn Greenwald, and more!

Here’s a powerful clip from the livestream featuring Rep. Ro Khanna:

Rep. Ro Khanna joins the #FreeAssange livestream and discusses press freedom.

We’re seeing a dramatic increase in coverage of Julian’s case, both on social media and the mainstream press. The livestreammedia hits, and a major rally in NYC have made an impact. You can help keep that momentum going by sharing these powerful clips and viral social media posts.

What’s Next?

This UK High Court ruling will be appealed (see our legal recap), but every day that Julian remains behind bars compounds the injustice and chills press freedom.

That’s where we come in. Will you help spread the word and help us pressure the Biden Administration to #FreeAssange?

Join the Chorus: #FreeAssange

Check out our events page to find ways to get involved and the Assange Defense blog to stay up-to-date. You can also help us pressure President Biden and A.G. Garland by boosting our campaign on social media by sharing our petition on FacebookTwitter.

The Assange Defense Committee
www.assangedefense.org

##

Julian Assange remains locked away in Belmarsh Prison as the U.S. government -- which plotted to kidnap or kill him -- succeeded in persuading the UK High Court that he should be extradited to face charges for exposing war crimes.

Julian’s fiancée Stella Moris promptly noted that they will appeal this ruling, but it once again falls on President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and the U.S. government to #FreeAssange from his decade-plus of persecution.

Stella Morris, Julian Assange's partner, speaks to the press outside the Royal Courts of Justice following the extradition hearing.
Stella Moris: “How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?”

Legal Recap

We have full coverage of this morning’s ruling on the Assange Defense blog. You can also catch some strong, supportive coverage of the ruling in Vanity Fair and The Guardian.

What’s Next?

This ruling will be appealed, and Julian still has the option of appealing the original ruling, which was deeply flawed to begin with. But in the meantime, the U.S. government gets exactly what it wants: Julian “off the chess board,” locked away with his voice silenced while investigative journalism is chilled throughout the world.

Join the Chorus: #FreeAssange

Check out our events page to find ways to get involved. You can also help us pressure President Biden and A.G. Garland by boosting our campaign on social media by sharing our petitionon Facebook & Twitter.

The Assange Defense Committee

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References:

  1. LIVE | Julian Assange’s fiancee and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief speak ahead of US extradition hearing
  2. British court opens door for Julian Assange to be extradited to US | 9 News Australia
  3. 'Ironic it happened on Human Rights Day' | WikiLeaks editor on Assange extradition overturn
  4. Julian Assange appears via video link for his extradition hearing
  5. DAY TWO of the Julian Assange Saga – whistleblowers' lawyers present their case
  6. Julian Assange supporters condemn 'unjust' British court system
  7. Trump's CIA Planned To Kidnap and Assassinate Julian Assange
  8. 'We won't stop untill Assange is free' | Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to RT on US extradition appeal
  9. Julian Assange's fiancee on US extradition ruling: 'How long can this go on?'
  10. U.K. Court: Julian Assange Can Be Extradited To The U.S.
  11. British court rules WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to US
  12. Julian Assange CAN be extradited to the US, court rules
  13. U.S wins appeal over Assange extradition | Julian Assange | UK Court | WikiLeaks | WION |Latest News
  14. Julian Assange extradition case – US wins appeal to extradite Wikileaks founder from the UK | UPSC
  15. Investigation reveals plans to assassinate Julian Assange in embassy
  16. Whaaaat?!! The CIA Plotted To MURDER Julian Assange!!
  17. US Wins Appeal to Extradite WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
  18. US Extradition: ‘If Julian Assange Dies, He Would Have Been Tortured To Death!’- Nils Melzer
  19. Did the CIA Consider Kidnapping, Assassinating Julian Assange? | Pod Save the World
  20. Stella Moris speaks | julian assange | WikiLeaks Founder Assange May Be Closer To Extradition From
  21. The US Govt Contemplated KILLING Julian Assange With UK Complicity (Wikileaks’ Kristinn Hrafnsson)
  22. UK court permits Julian Assange's extradition to US on spying charges
  23. London court rules Julian Assange can be extradited to the US | ABC News
  24. Will Julian Assange be extradited? | Inside Story
  25. Julian Assange extradition: Fiancee Stella Morris reacts to UK court's decision
  26. Julian Assange granted permission to marry partner Stella Moris in Belmarsh prison
  27. The Fate of Humanity Depends on Julian Assange's Extradition Trial: The World is Watching the UK
  28. F You America, Julian Assange extradition