“We respectfully ask that Julian Assange be pardoned.” These words open a December 5, 2022 letter to US President Joe Biden co-signed by lawyer and human rights activist and fellow Australian journalist Stella Assange, several members of the European Parliament. Many other civil and human rights organizations including State surveillance. The WikiLeaks founder was arrested by British authorities at the request of the US Department of Justice on April 11, 2019, and is currently being held at Belmarsh Maximum Security Prison in England. On June 17, the former British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, authorized his extradition to the United States, where he will be sentenced to 175 years in prison. Assange is accused of violating the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
However, associations that have been campaigning for Assange’s freedom for years have said, “The release of such information is a cornerstone of press freedom and the right of public opinion to access information of public interest. All these should be protected, not criminalized,” he writes as an example Amnesty International. Also, the founder of WikiLeaks was the first publisher to be indicted under the Espionage Act. If extradited, Assange could face an unfair trial and, if convicted, could be subjected to ill-treatment or prison conditions equivalent to torture (such as lengthy solitary confinement).
Below is the full form of the letter.
We humbly ask that Julian Assange be pardoned
For more than a decade, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been at the forefront of investigative journalism, publishing information that exposes abuses of power and corruption at the highest levels of powerful institutions. Assange was instrumental in establishing a free press, essential to any democracy.
As any serious independent investigative journalist would, Assange obtained authentic documents and evidence. The WikiLeaks revelations exposed some of the most controversial and significant actions of the US government, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo.
The charges against him raise serious concerns about the extent to which a democratic government can criminalize the disclosure of factual information. If these allegations are allowed to stand, they will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the ability of future journalists to report on matters of public interest, undermining the basic principles of a free and open society.
The extreme measures taken to punish Julian Assange for publishing the truth have inadvertently made him an even more powerful symbol of free speech for millions of people around the world.
Nothing is more American than fearlessly speaking truth to power. A brave history of your nation Whistleblowers, journalists and publishers bear witness to this tradition. If this vital activity is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracy will be irreparably damaged.
how Chairman In America, your country’s image and standing in the world is in your hands.
An Assange pardon would demonstrate that America values basic rights, truth, accountability and the protection of those who speak out against injustice.
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