Write to your MP now!
This is a collaborative initiative by WL supporters in pursuit of justice for Julian Assange, the Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks.
Recently there has been much debate about the EAW in political circles and in both Houses of Parliament. On Monday the 10th November 2014 MPs will be asked to vote on whether or not UK should opt out of the European Arrest Warrant. We have drafted the following letter and urge all UK citizens or residents in the UK who are concerned about the legal plight of Julian Assange to rally in support by writing to their MP asking them to raise his case during the debate.
Please take Urgent Action!
You can use the letter template below to email your MP asking them to raise Julian’s case in the Parliamentary debate on the EAW to be held Monday, 10th November 2014. Find your MP’s email address here or use writetothem.com to identify your MP and send them your letter:
Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx MP,
Parliamentary debate on the European Arrest Warrant, 10th Nov 2014 – Julian Assange
I am writing to ask you to raise the case of Julian Assange during the upcoming Parliamentary vote on whether the UK should opt out of the EAW entirely. The cost issue sets Julian Assange’s case apart from other extradition cases and shows how badly wrong things can go when the EAW system is abused. See this website for details: govwaste.co.uk.
The government is trying to hide behind the recent EAW reforms, but they don’t deal with the fundamental problems of the European Arrest Warrant, which leaves British judges little alternative but to rubber-stamp extraditions without any prima facie evidence being presented. Adding that a ‘decision’ to charge has to have been taken does little to prevent misuse when the person issuing the EAW is an official (investigator/prosecutor) rather than a judicial figure (judge/magistrate), as in Sweden’s system. EAWs issued by non-judicial authorities cannot be blindly trusted to be independent and impartial, especially when the issuing authority also has the role of Chief Investigator, as is the case with Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor demanding Mr Assange’s extradition for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct.
The rushed introduction of the EAW into British law has led to the UK having to aid unjust proceedings in other parts of Europe, often at enormous cost. The Assange arrest warrant is a case in point: it has cost UK taxpayers nearly £8 million in just over two years. Since 2012, the UK has spent 20% of its entire EU extradition budget against Assange, the equivalent of 600 extraditions when calculated on the average £13,000 cost per extradition.
Britain has also borne the cost of facilitating Sweden’s misguided use of the EAW to extradite Julian Assange through the UK legal system, when Mutual Legal Assistance protocols could have been used to question him all along. The Assange embassy situation is an absurd consequence of enforcing an arrest warrant where there is no formal accusation. Not only has he not been charged – the Swedish prosecutor won’t even come here to interview him.
The case of Julian Assange provides ample illustration that there are insufficient safeguards in the judicial systems of other European countries and the EAW basically extraterritorialises these, imports them wholesale, makes the UK bear the costs, and obliges it to execute the orders. That is unsatisfactory and should be unacceptable for any parliamentarian concerned about their constituents’ rights as UK citizens or residents.