I’m near to a meandering attempt to write about the increasing suppression of views opposing the voices of the powerful. As I prevaricate Priti Patel approves the extradition of Julian Assange. Indeed it is a dark day for freedom of thought, expression and interpretation. As for British democracy, it is revealed yet again as no more than at best a liberal oligarchy with no genuine accountability to its citizens.’
Don’t extradite Julian Assange
This is a dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy. Anyone in this country who cares about freedom of expression should be deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination.
Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job.
It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead, she will forever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.
Foreign laws now determine the limits of press freedom in this country and the journalism that won the industry’s most prestigious prizes has been deemed an extraditable offence and worthy of a life sentence.
The path to Julian’s freedom is long and tortuous. Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the High Court. We will fight louder and shout harder on the streets, we will organise and we will make Julian’s story known to all.
Make no mistake, this has always been a political case. Julian published evidence that the country trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; tortured and rendered; bribed foreign officials; and corrupted judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. Their revenge is to try to disappear him into the darkest recesses of their prison system for the rest of his life to deter others from holding governments to account.
We will not let that happen. Julian’s freedom is coupled to all our freedoms. We will fight to return Julian to his family and to regain freedom of expression for us all.
Politician, DiEM25, Greece
“The game is up. Years of lies exposed. It was never about Sweden, Putin, Trump or Hillary. Assange was persecuted for exposing war crimes. Will those duped so far now stand with us in opposing his disappearance after a fake trial where his lawyers will not even know the charges?”
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
“Years from now people will say: Oh, if only I had known what we were losing when they abused this decent and courageous man!
I would have done something! But now, what can I do, since these days I don’t dare express what I know and think! Regret is too often the fruit of silence.”
Nobel Peace Prize winner
“Julian Assange and his colleagues in Wikileaks have shown on numerous occasions that they are one of the last outlets of true democracy and their work for our freedom and speech”
Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe
“Allowing Mr Assange’s extradition… would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.”