The local DiEM25 group in Copenhagen gathered on September 24 at Fælledsparken, to march and protest for the freedom and integrity of Assange and all other journalists and whistleblowers who are faced with arbitrary imprisonment and fear for their life.
Around 15 activists gathered at the entrance of the park. From there, we marched to the British embassy in the district of Copenhagen, equipped with banners and protest chants such as
“This trial is a mess, for the freedom of the press”
“Freedom and justice for Julian Assange“
In front of the British embassy, we stood together in solidarity with Assange by chanting for his freedom and dignity.
Following a minute of silence, the group decided to read out a letter of concern — listing certain demands, such as the release of Assange from prison — addressed to the British ambassador, which was later handed over to the secretariat of the embassy.
Following the first assembly in front of the UK embassy, the activists moved over to the US embassy to repeat their protest action and chanting, which ended with a short photo-op. Unfortunately the US secretariat was not interested to receive a letter and rejected our demand to speak to an official representative.
After two hours of protest and marching, the group terminated the day with a brief presentation and why-you-are-here circle, which led to the decision to repeat the protest coming Thursday.
As Nils Melzer, the UN special Rapporteur on torture has posited:
“A murderous system is being created before our very eyes”
This is why it is of utmost importance to join such protest and to keep in mind that the freedom of press is under attack. Showing presence and solidarity in front of state-related institutions, such as embassies, can lead to important moments of attention, where certain demands can be raised, in order to reach the designated goal — namely the immediate release of Assange.
Letter to the ambassador.
“Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been imprisoned since April 11th last year after spending 7 years in political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. On Monday the 24th of February, the extradition hearings began with the ultimate goal to deliver Assange to the US, where he will face 18 federal charges for obtaining and disseminating secret materials from the US military. Today, 7 months have passed, ever since he first trial has started. Assange’s situation and health condition remain dramatic. He is still facing arbitrary extradition and punishment. Moreover, Assange is standing on the brink to suicide, as has been assessed by various doctors and experts.
Over the course of the past years, Assange has been confronted with a massive public campaign, branding him as a sexual predator and rapist and characterizing him time and again as a pathological narcissist and liar. As we know today, these allegations have been deliberately constructed to destroy his public image and suppress his work exposing state secrets including war crimes, mass surveillance and routinized torture practices.
We are deeply concerned for the life of journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been in critical health and extradition custody in the British high-security prison Belmarsh for over a year. We support the call by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, for the immediate release of Julian Assange for medical reasons and for reasons of the rule of law.
We remind the British media, politicians and other public figures that Assange is one of theirs and that the defence of press freedom is a fundamental issue of democracy. Notwithstanding the accusations made against Assange, we urge Britain, on the human rights and medical grounds mentioned above, to release Julian Assange from prison immediately so that he can recover under specialist medical supervision and exercise his fundamental rights without hindrance. Today, we stand up against this smear campaign and demand the ultimate stop of the extradition of Assange to the US. We are not alone in putting this message forward.
As part of an international network of activists from the civil society (“Don’t extradite Assange”), we assemble on this day and every other day all over the world and we demand justice for Julian Assange and all other whistle-blowers, journalists and political activists that are unjustly imprisoned, prosecuted repressed and/or murdered by government authorities, due to their courage of using freedom of speech to condemn corrupt and murderous political systems all around the world.
Freedom and justice for Julian Assange!”
Assange’s freedom is our freedom!
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