New Avaaz petition for WikiLeaks, Assange and whistleblowers

Appeal by Avaaz: Don’t Shoot the Messenger

See also French language version.

Dear friends,

The US and its allies are strangling WikiLeaks, setting a precedent that threatens all transparency activists. But a massive global outcry can persuade the UK and Sweden to guarantee that Julian Assange won’t be shipped off to the US, where he could face persecution and even torture. Let’s stand up to protect those who bravely risk everything to expose corruption and wrongdoing! Click below to sign and tell everyone:

Sign the petition

The US and its allies are trying to strangle WikiLeaks and declaring open season on whistleblowers who risk everything to make democracies transparent – only an unstoppable surge of global public opinion can end the crackdown!

After secretly gathering evidence, the Obama administration could push for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently in London, to be extradited to the US any day – where he could face the same inhumane treatment as alleged informant Bradley Manning. Assange is prepared to travel to Sweden for questioning over sex allegations, but it’s crucial that Sweden and the UK guarantee they won’t bundle him off to the US. This would set a chilling global precedent against those who bravely unveil corruption and human rights violations.

Whatever we think of Assange as a person, WikiLeaks has been a critical tool in exposing massive government and corporate wrongdoing. Let´s join together now to ensure the powerful can’t silence dissenting voices that strengthen our democracies. Sign now to stop the global crackdown and call for Swedish and UK guarantees not to extradite Assange to the US, and then share this email – we will deliver our voices through a human chain of whistleblowers to the Swedish embassy in London, when we reach 1 million signatures.

Whistleblowers have exposed state secrets for years, but after WikiLeaks released secret US military documents, a dangerous, oppressive and undemocratic counterattack has been launched – leading to the arrest of Bradley Manning, who has spent over 820 days behind bars without a trial, enduring what the UN rapporteur on torture called “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” – and there’s every reason to believe Assange would suffer similarly.

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden – charges have still not been brought – on sexual violence allegations that are being pursued with such zeal that even his critics have said they are politically motivated. Assange has repeatedly offered to be questioned, and the law should run its course if there are legitimate accusations against him, but only on the condition of non-extradition guarantees to the US first. Sweden and the UK both have strong ties with the US and have shown themselves to be susceptible to pressure.

Whistleblowers are watching this case closely to see what precedent the UK, Sweden and the US set – governments eager to suppress transparency and preserve impunity too. If the treatment of Assange is harsh and extradition is granted, it would provide cover for severe treatment of dissidents worldwide.

If it weren’t for whistleblowers, we would never have known about shocking corruption scandals in Russia, murders of environmental activists in South America, pesticide spills, tax evasion, or even the futility and atrocity of the Vietnam War. Whistleblowing can protect us from powerful interests, and when the chips are down, we can stand up to protect them – add your voice now:

Sign the petition

Avaaz members called loudly for an end to the crackdown on WikiLeaks, and pressure from hundreds of thousands of Avaaz members helped stop the torture of Bradley Manning. We’ve backed brave activists and whistleblowers from Bahrain to Russia, and together we can band together to end these politically motivated attacks.

With hope and determination,

Stephanie, Pascal, Ari, Luis, Ricken, Wen-Hua, Emma, Giulia and the rest of the Avaaz team

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