Julian Assange was brutally arrested by UK Police today after the Lenin Moreno administration removed his political asylum. The real fight begins now for the those who support the right to publish truthful information and the freedom of Julian Assange.
We gathered outside Westminster Magistrates Court in support of the WikiLeaks publisher.
And demanded his freedom.
Whilst the world’s media awaited statements by Julian Assange’s Lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsson.
Following UK police forcibly removing the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arresting him, Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:
“The NUJ is shocked and concerned by the actions of the authorities today in relation to Julian Assange. His lawyer has confirmed he has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request. The UK should not be acting on behalf of the Trump administration in this case. The NUJ recognises the inherent link between and importance of leaked confidential documents and journalism reporting in the public interest. It should be remembered that in April 2010 WikiLeaks released Collateral Murder, a video showing a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack upon individuals in Baghdad, more than 23 people were killed including two Reuters journalists. The manner in which Assange is treated will be of great significance to the practice of journalism.”
And at Parliament Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary spoke eloquently about the importance of whistleblowers, the contributions of WikiLeaks in revealing war crimes and that her side of the House would be very concerned about a US extradition for Julian Assange.
And Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn backed her words in Parliament with an unequivocal statement of support.
Responding to the arrest of Julian Assange today, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said:
“The decision of the Ecuadorean government to hand over Assange to the UK police is a clear violation of his Ecuadorean citizenship and asylum rights. Ecuador has failed in its duty to protect its citizen.
“Assange’s arrest will put him at risk of extradition to the US, where he will very likely face charges that could see him jailed for 30 or more years. A secret grand jury has been convened to prepare an indictment against Assange and key Trump officials have said that prosecuting Assange is a priority.
“Assange did not leak anything. He published the leaks of Chelsea Manning, as did The Guardian and New York Times. Why is he being signalled out?
“Assange published evidence of American war crimes. He’s a hero, not a criminal.
“The British government should refuse to do the bidding of the Trump administration. It should give public assurances that Assange will not be handed over the US authorities. His extradition to the US is not in the public interest,” said Mr Tatchell.
Our own journey of support continues in the best tradition of solidarity, with a vigil outside Belmarsh Prison where Julian Assange is held. Join us on Saturday 13th of April at 4pm outside Belmarsh prison, Western Way, Thamesmead, London SE28 0EB. For more information e-mail JADC@protonmail.ch
In Solidarity #FreeAssange