In April, Julian Assange was illegally evicted from his asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. This violated many international laws and his brutal arrest by Metro Police was seen by the world. The U.S. government held a secret grand jury to indict Assange under the Espionage Act and denied the existence of an extradition warrant until the day of his arrest.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice reinstated capital punishment of “extreme” offenders. The problem with this is it does not define what an extreme federal offense is. There is evidence that Assange will be tried as a terrorist. Mike Pompeo declared Wikileaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service.” This basically calls Wikileaks and Assange terrorists. This statement means he may very well receive the death penalty.
In the UK Extradition law it says the following:
Under section 94 of theExtradition Act 2003, it is unlawful for an extradition of an individual to take place if the individual is accused of a capital crime, unless the Home Secretary has received assurances that the death penalty would not be applied in that case.
Though they have assured he will not get the death penalty or be tortured, we cannot be sure that this is not just a play on words to get him extradited. After extradition he will be sentenced to an unreasonable amount of time where he will be treated as the enemy. Case in point is the torture and mistreatment of Manning who was paraded naked in front of his peers.
Assange is simply a publisher and journalist who exposed criminal activity like any real journalist. His techniques are now used by many media organizations. If he is extradited and sentenced, it is a direct violation of free press rights which have consistently been under attack since his arrest. It sets a precedent worldwide that any newsperson reporting on war crimes can be imprisoned for publishing facts in the public interest.
You recently stated regarding the Darroch cables: “A prosecution on this basis would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate.”
Based on this statement, if you truly believe in free press and free speech, you cannot extradite Assange to the U.S. without looking like a fool. I ask you to please take a look at the facts in this case and not the media smears.
Assange simply wanted people to know the injustices committed in both the Afghanistan campaign and the Iraq War. Many innocent civilians were tortured and murdered during these campaigns. People should have the right to know when crimes like these are committed. Without organizations like Wikileaks, we lose our right to know.
If Assange is extradited he faces a kangaroo court that will inevitably be more like a circus than anything that seeks justice. The espionage judge has never found anyone not guilty. Julian faces 175 years for simply practicing real journalism. Are we not all sick of the fake journalists who spread lies and smears and never truly release the facts?
If prosecuted,Assange will face more torture that will further deteriorate his already compromised psychological condition due to the treatment received over the past 6 years. You have the ability to end this travesty. You can stand up for human rights, free press, and stand for two UN rulings that demand his release. You can show the world you are about justice and individual rights. You can be the hero.
I ask that you immediately free Assange from prison. I plead with you to not destroy a man who only published the truth and stood up against the evil of war. In the name of all that is just and true, please do what is right.
10 Downing Street