Since the middle of February, DiEM25 members have been considering a statement of support for DiEM25’s Advisory Panel member Julian Assange proposed by the Greek National Collective.
More recently, our internal debate was overtaken by events in Ecuador and within the Ecuadorian Embassy (where Julian has spent the last six years, in the view of the UN, under conditions of ‘arbitrary detention’).
At first, Julian’s access to the outside world was cut off completely – prompting Coordinating Collective (CC) members, Yanis Varoufakis and Brian Eno, to begin a petition demanding that Julian’s access to the outside world (e.g. visitors and internet connection) be restored and his isolation ended. (Their petition gathered more than 80,000 signatures.)
Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that Ecuador, under immense pressure from US and UK authorities, is preparing to deliver him to British Police while the Trump administration is preparing an extradition request on spying charges – that will most certainly lead him, if his extradition proceeds, into the type of pre-trial incarceration and inhuman treatment Chelsea Manning was subjected to. It is also clear that any trial in the US will be political, sending him to a maximum-security jail for decades, as USA did in the past with other political prisoners.
With these developments in progress, it was incumbent upon DiEM25 to take a clear position and conclude our internal deliberation by means of an all-member vote. After a substantial period of internal deliberation, DiEM25 members have – with a clear majority of 80% – voted in favour of officially supporting Julian Assange’s bid for freedom.
Whatever differences of opinion one may have with Julian on particular issues (e.g. his support for Brexit, which DiEM25 opposed), we are proud to have one of the greatest champions of transparency on our Advisory Panel. Wikileaks has played a magnificent role in turning the spotlight onto Big Brother and allowing all of us to understand abuses and crimes perpetrated in our name. We shall not sit idly by while Julian Assange is persecuted for this and while he is facing the prospect of disappearing into the type of ‘justice’ system that Chelsea Manning came to know well.
DiEM25 expresses its solidarity with Julian Assange and Wikileaks and calls upon all progressives (individuals, movements, political parties…) to support his bid for life and liberty.
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