The Covid-19 Global Solidarity Coalition [i] condemns the on-going persecution and prosecution of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, a non-profit organization that has published more than 10 million classified documents just between 2006 and 2016 revealing war crimes, torture, corruption and other outrages committed by scores of governments. Exposure of official wrongdoing should be applauded not condemned. Criminalizing such behavior, as the U.S. is attempting to do with help from the U.K., is not only an affront to democracy, it poses a threat to all journalists who attempt to bring government lies and malpractice to the light of day. This is clearly a politically motivated prosecution, and Article 10 of the UK’s extradition law prohibits extraditing persons for political reasons.
In Assange’s case, the outrageous charges are compounded by the fact that he has little hope of receiving a fair trial in the United States. UN Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer points out that if the UK extradites Assange to the US, he will be prosecuted in Alexandria, Virginia, home to an inordinate number of residents who work in the national security community, from whom jury members would be drawn. “When people are tried for harming national security in front of a jury like that,” Melzer explains, “the verdict is clear from the very beginning. The cases are always tried in front of the same judge behind closed doors and on the strength of classified evidence. No one has ever been acquitted there on a similar case.”[ii]
Suggestions to support freeing Julian Assange:
1. Write letters-to-editors
2. Contact media to cover the hearings
3. Organize actions/happenings at US/UK government buildings
4. Donate to his defense fund