Free Julian Assange, Mexican president, Australian say

This 4 January 2020 video, in Spanish, is about the Mexican president demanding freedom for Julian Assange.

Another, 3 January 2020, video used to say about itself:

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday (January 3) called for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be released from prison in London, urging an end to what he described as his “torture” in detention.

Assange is also battling U.S. attempts to extradite him over Wikileaks’ publication of vast caches of leaked military documents and diplomatic cables. He faces a lengthy prison term if extradited to the United States.

A U.N. human rights investigator last year said Assange has suffered psychological torture from a defamation campaign and should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a “politicized show trial”.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist who has close ties with Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, expressed his solidarity with Assange and said he hoped the former hacker and activist is “forgiven and released” from prison.

“Hopefully consideration will be given to this, and he’s released and won’t continue to be tortured.”

Assange’s presence in London, holed up in Ecuador’s embassy and then in jail, has been a diplomatic irritation for Britain, affecting domestic politics and relations with several countries.

Corbyn, who was a guest of honor at Lopez Obrador’s inauguration in December 2018, said Assange should not be extradited to the United States “for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

By Kevin Reed:

Mexican president calls for Julian Assange’s freedom

4 January 2020

Speaking at a press conference in Mexico City on Friday morning, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be “pardoned and freed” from prison in Britain. Lopez Obrador called for an end to the “torture” of Assange.

In response to a question from a reporter about Assange during a scheduled government media briefing conference, the Mexican president said the secret US cables published by WikiLeaks about unlawful US interventions in Mexico were “accurate.”

“There are cables that came to light from when we were in opposition and they spoke about our struggle and I can corroborate that they are true, that is to say what is in them was accurate. They revealed illegal relationships, illegitimate acts, violations of sovereignty, contrary to democracy, against freedoms. This is what is in there.”

Speaking of Assange, Obrador stated: “I don’t know whether he has recognized that his actions were confrontational to norms or to the political system, but what the cables demonstrated is the workings of the global system and its authoritarian nature. These are like state secrets that have become known thanks to this investigation, thanks to these cables, and I hope that this is taken into consideration and he is freed and he is no longer tortured.”

Assange is currently being held in a UK prison outside London awaiting a hearing, scheduled for February 24, on an extradition request from the US that the WikiLeaks founder be handed over to face violations of the Espionage Act. Assange has been charged with 18 offenses that carry a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.

Assange is guilty of nothing other than acting as a courageous journalist. He published extensive information that had been concealed from the public about the criminal practices of the US military and American corporations in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.

Lopez Obrador’s reference to WikiLeaks’ publication of “the cables”, i.e. the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and the “Cablegate” files, as exposing the “workings of the global system” and “its authoritarian nature” are significant. There have been reports of public support in Mexico for the freedom of Assange.

In 2012, for example, a report was published in the Economic Times saying that a group of Mexican citizens had organized a vigil in defense of Assange in front of the US embassy. Dozens of people were involved in the campaign, which also included multiple embassies in Mexico.

The WikiLeaks founder was arrested on April 11 by British police following his forced eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been in asylum for seven years. The regime of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno illegally terminated Assange’s asylum status and invited the British police into the embassy to assault and carry him off to Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh on the basis of a purported bail violation.

Acting as a vassal of the Trump administration, the Moreno government participated—along with that of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and then Boris Johnson—in the violation of Assange’s rights, one after another. Among these was the installation of illegal 24/7 video surveillance throughout the Ecuadorian embassy. Everything that Assange did and everyone he met with—including his lawyers and doctors—was monitored and observed by the CIA via live video link.

Lopez Obrador’s reference to torture is also important. Over the past year, Assange’s family, friends and supporters have grown increasingly alarmed that the courageous journalist is being slowly tortured to death by the combined assault on his rights by the British and American governments.

On November 4, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer issued a warning that Assange was being mentally and physically tortured in Belmarsh prison and was in imminent danger of dying behind bars. Others, such as British rock musician Roger Waters, have stated that the UK and US governments are trying to kill Assange while he is in prison.

The international campaign to demand the freedom of Julian Assange must be stepped up now. If Assange is extradited to the US in February, he will not get a fair trial or face an impartial judge or jury. He will be framed and railroaded straight into a US federal prison.

The fact that the president of Mexico is calling for Assange to be released indicates that the popular demand for his freedom is continuing to reach a wider audience. The struggle for freedom of the press, in defense of journalists from state repression and all fundamental democratic rights, is the task of the international working class.

This 19 November 2019 video says about itself:

#Justice4Assange – EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP GUE/NGL hosts meeting with Nils Melzer, Bob Carr

Clare Daly talks about the Assange Landmark Case | Journalism is not a crime – the Assange extradition case (c) European Parliamentary Group GUE/NGL – copy uploaded to youtube

Sign a Petition to the Australian Government (200k+ Supporters)

GUE/NGL is the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left which brings together left-wing MEPs in the European Parliament.

1- Mick Wallace (MEP)
2- Luke Ming Flanagan (MEP)

1- Clare Daly
2- David Greene
3- Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
4- Bob Carr, Former Foreign Minister of Australia (via video link)
5- John Shipton (Julian Assange’s Father)

Since April this year, Julian Assange has been in Belmarsh high-security prison in London. He has been charged by US prosecutors with 17 counts under the US Espionage Act of 1917. The charges relate solely to the 2010 publication of US government documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and from the US Department of State. Topics include possible war crimes, government collusion with the private sector and diplomatic interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

Assange is now fighting extradition to the United States, where he will face up to 175 years in prison.

By Mike Head in Australia:

In a revealing intervention, former Foreign Minister Bob Carr has urged the Australian government to ask the Trump administration to drop its extradition proceedings against imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, for fear of further eroding public support for the US military and intelligence alliance.

Carr’s call, published today as an opinion column in Nine (previously Fairfax) Media newspapers, is expressed in the most deferential language. Canberra is a “good ally” to Washington, he emphasises, to the point of dispatching a warship to the Persian Gulf, risking a conflict with Iran, and hosting “two communications bases that probably make Australian territory a nuclear target

“All said, we are entitled to one modest request: that in the spirit with which Barack Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning, and given President Trump’s own objection to ‘endless wars’ in desert sands, it would be better if the extradition of Assange were quietly dropped.”

In Defence of Julian Assange, edited by Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler: here.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution last Tuesday which demands the “prompt release” of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and warns that his threatened extradition from Britain to the US, for lawful publishing activities, “sets a dangerous precedent” for all journalists. PACE is the parliamentary wing of the Council of Europe, an international assembly with 47 nation-members that was established in 1949. The organisation, which oversees the work of the European Court of Human Rights, states that its role is to serve as “Europe’s guardian of human rights and democracy”: here.

Further detailed evidence has been produced in a Spanish court that the CIA systematically and illegally recorded conversations between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his lawyers, and all other visitors, while he was trapped inside Ecuador’s London embassy before he was dragged out and arrested last April to face extradition to the US: here.

Assange would be held in “darkest corner of the prison system” if extradited to the US: here.

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