This meeting resolves:
- To call for the immediate release of Julian Assange and to campaign to stop his extradition to the US.
- Ask members toi write their MP, To write to the Home Secretary, the Shadow Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary and the Shadow Justice Secretary on this issue.
- Agrees that Unite Branch will investigate how to request this is urgently raised in the House of Commons or to the relevant appropriate public body
Motion to Defend Julian Assange from US extradition
This meeting of Unite notes that:
- From 2010, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks published millions of secret leaked government documents revealing human rights violations including war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan – the murder of civilians, torture, rendition and death squads.
- He has been isolated in Belmarsh maximum security prison for over four and a half years awaiting extradition to the USA on Espionage Act charges which solely relate to the publication of these leaks. These charges carry a prison term of 175 years. This is an unprecedented attack on a journalist and publisher.
- He has already suffered 13 years of loss of liberty and arbitrary detention. 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. His mental and physical health has seriously deteriorated as a result. His legal rights have been consistently denied most seriously by the bugging and surveillance by US intelligence inside the Ecuadorian Embassy where his lawyers’ meetings were recorded. In a Spanish Court a case brought against the owner of the security company David Morales has unearthed evidence that the video and audio footage was passed on the CIA.
- A September ’21 Yahoo! News investigation which interviewed 30 former US government and intelligence insiders revealed that the US government/ CIA had sketched plans to kidnap Julian from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had been granted asylum, to render him to the USA and even assassinate him.
- A large coalition of international press freedom organisations led by ACLU has said that: ‘the criminal case against him poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad. …The proceedings against Mr. Assange jeopardize journalism that is crucial to democracy. In our view, a precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be used against publishers and journalists alike, chilling their work and undermining freedom of the press.’
- The NUJ and the International Federation of Journalists have demanded that the charges be dropped and Assange released. Amnesty International has said “The US government’s unrelenting pursuit of Julian Assange makes it clear that this prosecution is a punitive measure, but the case involves concerns which go far beyond the fate of one man and put media freedom and freedom of expression in peril.’
- The General Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders and Whistleblowers, and on Political Prisoners, of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Emanuelis Zingeris and Sunna Ævarsdóttir, have warned against the extradition to the United States of Julian Assange.
- With the 10 December ’21 High Court decision to allow his extradition to the US Julian Assange’s life is in greater peril than ever. Reporters without Borders condemned this decision saying: ‘It is time to put a stop to this more than decade-long persecution once and for all. It is time to free Assange,” Legal efforts to appeal this decision have been rejected by the High Court.
This motion which was passed unanimously on Wednesday 19th of July 2023 was organised by a member of the #FreeAssange activists in Liverpool. You can find them on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/FreeJALiverpool