The letter writing campaign continues strong and many supporters are prolific writers in support of Julian Assange, educating Members of Parliament and lobbying for the release of WikiLeaks publisher. The easiest way to write a letter to your MP is to use the automatic form put together by the WikiLeaks Official Don’t Extradite Campaign. Alternatively, you can write your own.
Reply by Bell Ribeiro-Addy Member of Parliament for Streatham
Thank you for writing to me regarding the treatment of Julian Assange. I am sorry for the delay in responding to you. After years of underfunding, our prisons are overcrowded and unsafe at the best of times. I believe that the likelihood of coronavirus outbreaks in prisons therefore makes it irresponsible to keep any but the most dangerous offenders locked up. I am calling on the government to release as many non-violent offenders and immigration detainees as possible as a public health necessity. The detention of Mr Assange has appeared highly political for some time, rather than having any basis in public safety. I therefore sympathise with calls for his immediate release.
I take very seriously the allegations of sexual assault from women in Sweden against Mr Assange. However, since these charges have been dropped by the Swedish state, it appears the only grounds to continue his detention in the UK is to facilitate extradition to the United States – a country which has time and again failed to provide a fair trial for whistle-blowers.
I therefore see no legal argument for his imprisonment, let alone in the ultra-high security Belmarsh. I will continue to call for fair treatment of whistle-blowers and journalists.
In Parliament I will hold the government to account for its repeated failures to stand up for truth, transparency and the rule of law. Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue. If you would like to learn more about the work I do in Parliament, please feel free to visit http://www.bellribeiroaddy.com.