Canonbury ward – Islington South and Finsbury Labour Constituency passes #Assange motion

Here is the motion passed by the Islington South and Finsbury Labour Constituency 19th February 2020.

Defend Julian Assange From US Extradition (St Marys)

This branch notes that:

Journalist and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is in prison awaiting extradition to the USA on Espionage Act charges. These charges carry a maximum prison term of 175 years.

We note allegations in Assange’s life. This CLP does not wish to imply it disbelieves people who comeforward as victims of rape or sexual assault. We therefore make no assertion of Assange’s innocence of those particular allegations.

The conspiracy charges against Assange criminalise core journalistic practices and are a frontal assault on the freedom of the press. Over 800 journalists have now signed an open letter condemning the ‘campaign being waged against him for the crime of revealing war crimes’ and demanding his immediate release.

On 31 May, the UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer found that Assange has been subjected to “psychological torture” and unprecedented state persecution, in violation of his fundamental human rights.

Julian Assange is being kept in Belmarsh maximum-security prison. He is suffering a repressive regime of isolation and is being denied his fundamental legal right of access to his lawyers and legal papers that he needs in order to defend himself. Evidence has now emerged showing that extensive video and audio recording of Julian Assange and his visitors was carried out in the Ecuadorian Embassy. The recordings were passed over to the USA. His consultations with his legal team were taped, breaching one of the most fundamental legal rights for defendants. His health has continued seriously to decline in Belmarsh and in November Nils Melzer warned: ‘Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assange’s

continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.’

Over 65 doctors have signed a letter to the British Home Secretary calling for urgent medical assessment and treatment of Julian Assange in hospital. They warned that ‘on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.’

This CLP:

1. Condemns the British government’s complicity with the US persecution of Julian Assange

2. Calls on the British government to refuse to extradite him to the USA

3. Calls on the Labour Party urgently to join with all others involved, to campaign against Assange’s US Extradition, against the prison regime being imposed on him at Belmarsh, and for his immediate release

4. Requests Richard Burgon, as Labour’s shadow Justice Minister, to raise this issue in the House of Commons.

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