Write to your Member of Parliament urging them to sign Early Day Motion #719 – Template Letter

The Official Don’t Extradite Campaign has launched another helpful vehicle to speed up letter writing and lobbying parliamentarians to support Press Freedom, Julian Assange and public-service journalism, Early Day Motion #719. Please visit their page here for a template letter to send to your MP. If you are willing to put a bit more effort in it then note the following:

1. It is important to stress that you write to them on a matter of national importance to avoid the reply that the issue is not relevant to constituency matters. Issues of national importance is relevant to a constituent and their Member of Parliament.

2. Please quote a small part of the Open Letter to the UK government in the main body of your letter urging the MP to read it in its entirety by providing them a valid URL to the Open letter.

3. Make sure you explain what this issue means to you personally explaining your concern and supplying them the correct URL for the Early Day Motion.

4. Don’t fail to mention the need for cross party support and why you think press freedom and the Julian Assange case should be championed by all freedom loving people.

Here is what I wrote to my MP:

I am writing to bring to your attention an issue of national importance. The Crown Prosecution Service says the extradition case of Julian Assange to the USA involves an exceptional and significant international dimension, is likely to give rise to widespread public concern and has serious implications for the future operation of extradition arrangements as well as for diplomatic relations either with the requesting country or more generally, or for the general principles of extradition law. [1]

I am writing to you to express this public concern and in particular the threat that this prosecution poses to press freedom and public-interest journalism. This threat is eloquently expressed in an open letter by over forty press freedom, human rights, and privacy rights organisations including our National Union of Journalists, The International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and Pen International. It is addressed to Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP and says:

On 8 June 2020, responding to a question in the House of Lords about the United Kingdom’s stance regarding the protection of journalists and press freedoms, Minister of State Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said, “Media freedom is vital to open societies. Journalists must be able to investigate and report without undue interference”.

We, the undersigned, agree with this statement and call on the UK government to uphold its commitment to press freedom in its own country. At the time of Lord Ahmad’s remarks, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had been imprisoned on remand in the high-security HMP Belmarsh for more than a year as he faces extradition to the United States on charges of publishing. We call on the UK government to release Mr Assange from prison immediately and to block his extradition to the US.”

I urge you to read this letter, which I append in full, and learn about this threat from those whose professional life is dedicated to informing the British people what is in the public-interest to know, a fundamental cornerstone in safeguarding our precious democracy. [2]

Currently, in the House of Commons Early Day Motion #719 commends this open letter to the house. It has found support from Parliamentarians across parties. I urge you to countersign. [3] When fundamental democratic freedoms are at threat it makes no difference what political party one belongs to or supports, everyone is bonded in tyranny.

I was born in 1970, at the heart of the brutal Greek dictatorship 1967-1974. My mother took a brave stance then in defending democracy, risking so much. Today she is invited to the Presidential palace every fourth of July where the entire political world, parties of every colour and belief remember what it takes to safeguard our precious democracy, a gift we give to ourselves as citizens. It is always with these values in mind that we are called to act in a principled manner that protects civil society. At this historic moment please add your name to defend press freedom and the life of a publisher.

I thank you in advance for your time.

Best wishes

[1]. Freedom of Information Reply by CPS to myself dated 3/7/2020 which you can find publicly available here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/661752/response/1595109/attach/html/3/BUTLIN%209122.doc.html

[2]. Open Letter to the U.K government to free Julian Assange dated 3/7/2020 countersigned by over forty press freedom, human rights, and privacy rights organizations available here:

Open Letter to the U.K government to free Julian Assange

[3]. Early Day motion #719 https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57256/julian-assange-press-freedom-and-publicinterest-journalism

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