Solidarity With Julian Assange

Julian Assange is having an appeal hearing today and tomorrow 20 and 21 February in London. He has been held for over 5 years in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, ‘the British version of Guantanamo Bay’ for exposing crimes committed by the US Military as a journalist.

The persecution of Julian Assange is wrong and violates the rights of journalists to expose wrong doing by the state. People Before Profit’s members in trade unions across the island stand in solidarity with Assange and back the statements and reports issued by the Global Solidarity Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, National Union of Journalists as well as the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists.

Assange’s case shows the extent of cooperation by states to undermine a critical free press. It is important to point out this is how empire works against the press and recalls the 88 journalists killed covering the war on Gaza since the beginning of the genocide there. Individuals and rights mean little to liberal governments when they interfere with the state. Assange’s courage and perseverance are exemplary. His family and defense teams and supporters have our solidarity.

We encourage our supporters north and south and anyone who stands for a free press to back his campaign.

See extract from press release but IPSC’s Global Solidarity Committee:

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) the ongoing prosecution of Julian Assange jeopardises media freedom everywhere in the world. This was part of a joint statement withthe EFJ ahead of his appeal hearing in London on 20 and 21 February. The IFJ and EFJ, which represent nearly 200 journalists’ unions and associations, have opposed Assange’s extradition since the publication of the US incitements under the US Espionage Act.

The charges relate to Wikileaks publication in 2010 of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. These provided an extraordinarily detailed account of US military actions between 2004 and 2009. The logs included episodes such as that now known as the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, in which US soldiers in a helicopter gunned unarmed civilians, killing 12. The US accuses Assange of obtaining this footage by means that violate the Espionage Act – and others. Dominique Pradalié, IFJ president has twice met with Julian Assange in Belmarsh and states that: “it is clear to me that he has suffered grievously for far too long. In April he will have spent five years in a British prison despite having been convicted of nothing. The actions for which the US is seeking prosecution are clearly journalistic. The conviction of Julian Assange would threaten us all”.