Make your voice heard: protect Assange and the freedom of the press

Please ensure that the freedom of the press will be secured in Europe!

Dear Comrades,

On Tuesday 24th, during the evening vote session, the European parliament will be voting on the Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union 2018-2019.

The rapporteur on this report, Clare Daly MEP, included a reference to the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, recognising that it poses a threat to journalists and freedom of expression in Europe. The European Federation of Journalists stated that the detention and prosecution of Assange sets “an extremely dangerous precedent for journalists, media actors and freedom of the press.”

The Council of Europe statement ‘Continued Detention of WikiLeaks Founder and Publisher Julian Assange’ also highlights Julian Assange’s arbitrary confinement and the findings of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Nils Melzer. His conclusion was that in Belmarsh Assange exhibited “all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

As the Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed “Julian Assange should not be extradited due to potential impact on press freedom and concerns about ill-treatment.”

What we can do to protect Julian Assange from extradition

  • We can support Julian by sending a letter to the EU parliamentarians tomorrow asking them to vote on amendment 44 (see annex).
  • You can see the attached letter, as well as the email addresses of the parliamentarians and some arguments that you can use in your personal letter.

Here are our suggestions about points to include:

  • Write to each of the MEPs who represent you. You can find out who they are here.
  • Explain why the prosecution of Julian Assange is a threat to freedom of expression and journalism in Europe.
  • Make reference to the findings of authoritative bodies in support of this, including the statement of the EFJ on the case, the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe;

To further help, you can:

  • Express your support for including a reference to the case in the Fundamental Rights report, and your displeasure that the EPP, the S&Ds and Renew groups took it out.
  • Inform them that Clare Daly MEP has tabled an amendment adding it back in, specifically mention the number of the amendment, and encourage them to support it.
  • Tell them that you will be paying attention to how they vote on Tuesday, and that you are depending on their support.

Resources you’ll need: 

Assange Amendment_44.pdf

Letter to MEPs – Julian Assange.docx

DiEM25 has long supported Julian Assange, with many protests and events held across Europe by our members, such as solidarity actions in Brussels and Bonn, and the ‘We Are Millions’ exhibitions.

MeRA25 has also recently filed a motion to declare Julian Assange’s extradition case null and void.

The Progressive International, co-founded by DiEM25 and The Sanders Institute, has additionally held The Belmarsh Tribunal on 2 October which sought to “evaluate US war crimes in the 21st century, and defend Julian Assange’s right to reveal them.” You can now watch it here!

If you want to learn more about the case, read more here.

Read our call to action on our Forum!

Photo Source: Council of Europe.

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