On Wednesday 11th of April 2018 a group of supporters visited the London City Hall and delivered a letter for the London Mayor Sadiq Khan in support of JUlian Assange and asked him to intervene in resolving this diplomatic and political impasse at a time when police resources employed in detaining him can be re-directed for the safety and security of the people of London.
Long time pacifist and peace activist Ciaron O’Reilly addressed the delegation:
This is the letter we handed in to City Hall for the London Mayor:
Dear Mr Khan
We write in relation to your role as the Police and Crime Commissioner for London. Today 11th of April 2018 at 3pm you will be attending an informal meeting with The Police and Crime Committee which examines the work of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which oversees the Metropolitan Police. You will discuss serious crime as the capital’s murder rate rose above 50 so far, this year and no doubt allocating resources to keep London streets safe will be high in the agenda and rightly so.
Over the last five and a half years a considerable amount of London taxpayer’s money have been expended in holding Julian Assange, the publisher of media organisation WikiLeaks, trapped inside the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been granted political asylum by the government of Ecuador. This asylum recognised the real risk of US persecution relating to his organisation’s publishing work. First a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Swedish Prosecution Authority demanded his detention by the Metropolitan Police. This warrant was rescinded in May 2017. Now a different Arrest Warrant demands that Metropolitan Police continues to detain him over potential Bail breach conditions. Metropolitan Police has spent millions of pounds in the covert and overt operation to detain him for the last five and a half years. We think this has been a very poor use of police resources, in particular when other areas of invaluable police work can be resourced to keep the people of London safe.
Whilst the cost of the overt operation has been reported to be a scandalous £11 million (your answer in Question to the Mayor 2016/2912), the cost of the covert operation has always remained secret throughout. Furthermore, since the overt operation ended in October 2015, we have had no information what so ever about the resources spent on detaining Julian Assange.
The UK government does not recognise his political asylum, neither does it recognise the learned ruling of the United Nations Working Group of Arbitrary Detention that Julian Assange is arbitrarily detained, that he should be freed and compensated by the UK government for the suffering he has endured by conditions imposed by them. As a police and crime commissioner for London, as a London Mayor, you have in the past absconded from exercising any role in assisting with the resolution of this diplomatic and political impasse that costs Londoners millions and costs Julian Assange, his health, freedom and right to family life.
We now appeal to you that you take the initiative to resolve the situation saving millions of pounds from the police budget to re-direct them in saving lives in the streets of London.
On behalf of Julian Assange Defence Committee .
(Grassroots solidarity for the WikiLeaks Founder)