On the initiative of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a human chain will surround the British Parliament on October 8, 2022 to demand the release of the imprisoned journalist. In France, a rally will be held at 2 p.m. next to the replica of the Statue of Liberty, on the Ile aux Cygnes, under the Grenelle Bridge, in the 15th arrondissement.
Julian Assange is an Australian journalist in prison for being a journalist. Hunted for 12 years for revealing information of public interest, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been languishing for three and a half years in the high-security Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom, waiting to find out if he will be handed over by London to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison for “espionage.
In addition to the immense injustice done to a man and his family, the persecution of Julian Assange is also an attempt to criminalize investigative journalism. It is the right to inform and to be informed that is under attack. It is a desire to intimidate both the press, especially journalists who might be tempted to draw inspiration from the work of WikiLeaks, and potential whistleblowers.
A human chain
On October 8, a human chain will surround the British Parliament to demand the release of Julian Assange. More than 3,500 people have already signed up to participate. In parallel to this action, many rallies will take place around the world.
In France, the Assange Support Committee and the thirty-seven organizations and media that have signed the “Paris Appeal for Julian Assange” propose to meet at 2:00 pm next to the replica of the Statue of Liberty on the Ile aux Cygnes, under the Pont de Grenelle, in the 15th arrondissement.
US military war crimes
Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006 as a way for whistleblowers to leak documents of public interest. In 2010, with the help of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks did a lot of journalism, including providing evidence of war crimes committed by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Media outlets around the world have used this information. Some have even associated themselves with WikiLeaks.
French journalists and their superiors are being called to account here because too many major media outlets are suspiciously silent about the fate of Julian Assange.
He has been persecuted by the United States for twelve years, with the help of their British ally. Pursued, harassed, sullied in his honor, he has already been deprived of his liberty for more than eleven years in the United Kingdom (one year under house arrest with an electronic bracelet, seven years as a political refugee in the cramped premises of the Ecuadorian embassy in London and for the last three years in the high-security prison of Belmarsh).
He faces up to 175 years in prison
Julian Assange risks being extradited to the United States, which is prosecuting him for “espionage”. There, he faces up to 175 years in prison!
For years, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) with its 190 affiliates representing some 600,000 media members in 150 countries and national unions have been tirelessly pleading his case.
For years, collectives, organizations, media, personalities have been alerting on the persecution of Julian Assange and asking for his release.
Several appeals have been launched. Recently, the Geneva Appeal (*) brought together journalists, editors and directors, publishers and media (Swiss Press Club, 22 June 2022).
On July 3, following a rally at Place de la République in Paris, supported by some twenty organizations and media, on the occasion of Julian Assange’s 51st birthday, a French support committee was created and a new appeal was launched.
This Paris Appeal demands :
- that Julian Assange be released, protected, rehabilitated, given back all his personal and professional rights and compensated ;
- that the French government grant him political asylum.
Julian Assange is nominated (**) in 2022 for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize of the Council of Europe which, each year, rewards a person, a non-governmental organization or an institution working in the defense of human rights. This is already an essential recognition for this political prisoner, victim of Washington’s reason of State.
If he were extradited to the United States, what person in the world (journalist, whistleblower, etc.) would still dare to inform about files that are embarrassing for the American administration?
Julian Assange must be released
France must grant him political asylum
(**) The six sponsors are : Ms. Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of the Republic of Brazil (2003-2010); Ms. Dominique Pradalié, President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ); Mr. Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics; and Mr. Jeremy Corbyn, British MP.
To contact the support committee and/or join the appeal, write to