Protest against the extradition of Julian Assange in Bonn, Germany

“Brave whistleblowers and investigative journalists are essential building blocks of our democratic societies.”

DiEM25 continues to show that democracy is one of its core beliefs by not only covering Julian Assange’s extradition trial and pointing out the case’s implications for our democracies, but also taking a stand in the streets against this latest attack on the free press by the Trump administration.

As former Brazil President Lula notes, Assange’s only crime was exposing war crimes committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“No one who believes in democracy can allow someone who provided such an important contribution to the cause of liberty to be punished for doing so. Assange, I repeat, is a champion of democracy and should be released immediately.”

John Shipton, Assange’s father, spoke about the terrible conditions his son has had to endure during his detention in a recent interview published by the Progressive International; a joint initiative between DiEM25 and the Sanders Institute to form a coalition progressive forces around the world.

In a show of solidarity, our local group in Bonn, Germany organized a protest demanding the protection of our freedom of the press, a vital requisite in any functional democracy.

The protest took part in front of the city’s famous Beethoven monument at noon where multiple people approached our members to find about this attack on the freedom of the press, what has been the response from our governments, and what they could do to help fight this injustice.

One passerby who expressed her support for the release of Julian Assange said she contacted local groups about the extradition trial but was disappointed when she found out they were not taking any actions. After a short discussion with our members, she decided to join us in solidarity (shown in the picture wearing a hat).

One of the organizers of the event, Yunus Arikan, said the following:

“Brave whistleblowers and investigative journalists are essential building blocks of our democratic societies. Julian Assange in the world and Müyesser Yıldız along with OdaTV in Turkey are the best of their classes. And yet, they are both threatened to death, which should be slammed and resisted by all progressives. As the members of the transnational movement DiEM25, I am proud to stand with my comrades in Bonn to call for freedom of Julian Assange, Müyesser Yıldız and under their name, of all brave whistleblowers and investigative journalists around the world.”

As Noam Chomsky correctly points out, should we let our governments decide what journalists can or can’t publish?

Although Julian Assange’s trial is a high-profile one with some coverage in the mainstream media, other journalists suffering the same faith barely get any attention. Such is the case of Müyesser Yıldız, a Turkish journalist, who is currently imprisoned for her investigative work.

If you, like us, believe journalists should be protected to do their jobs without state censorship we invite you to stand in solidarity with us by talking about these injustices with your family and friends and by signing this petition. Thank you.

#FreeAssange

In solidarity,

DSC Bonn

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