Above Photo: The Trump administration had sought to have the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange extradited to the United States to face a trial on potentially precedent-setting Espionage Act charges. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)
Politicians around the world are sending a message to US President Biden to drop the charges against Julian Assange ahead of his 50th birthday. Julian Assange, an unconvicted, remand prisoner who hasn’t been charged in Britain is spending 3rd birthday inside high-security Belmarsh prison despite winning his extradition case last January. A cross party group of UK parliamentarians took the opportunity of Biden’s visit during G7 summit in Cornwall and appealed to President in an open letter saying: “The effect of your predecessor’s decision to take a criminal case against a member of the press working in our country is to restrict the scope of permissible press activities here, and set a precedent that others will no doubt exploit. We appeal to you to drop this prosecution, an act that would be a clarion call for freedom that would echo around the globe.”
Last Wednesday, a coalition of Australian parliamentarians from across the political spectrum urged the US Government to revoke its appeal of the UK judgement against extradition. In the video they pronounce: “We are elected to defend our citizens’ rights. Voters expect us to hold accountable those who commit wrongdoing, not to punish those who expose it, such as Julian Assange. Citizens expect us to protect journalists and publishers, not to imprison them for their work.”Members of Italian Parliament have also voiced their concern and presented a motion to recognize Assange the status of political refugee.
Members of German Bundestag joined the call yesterday demanding the US President to end the extradition proceedings against Julian Assange. “We call upon the new US administration under President Joe Biden to end the extradition proceedings started by the previous administration led by Donald Trump one and for all and to stop the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder.”