Assange Campaign petition to Caroline Kennedy The Kennedy family maintain a solid and long term tradition of support for a Press Freedom Short url for twitter Paper Version Supporters are encouraged to download the paper version and collect signaturesPage 1 is the cover page with full petition Page 2 allows for more signatures and can … Continue reading “Petition To the US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy”
Assange Campaign petition to Caroline Kennedy The Kennedy family maintain a solid and long term tradition of support for a Press Freedom
Reported on the 26th August 2022, a meeting with Michelle Bachelet, UN Human Rights Commissioner English Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, met with Julian Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, and Mr. Assange’s Spanish lawyers, Baltasar Garzón and Aitor Martínez, at the Palais Wilson in Geneva. At the meeting, the High … Continue reading “Assange Team Meet with UN Human Rights Commissioner”
Reported on the 26th August 2022, a meeting with Michelle Bachelet, UN Human Rights Commissioner
Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, met with Julian Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, and Mr. Assange’s Spanish lawyers, Baltasar Garzón and Aitor Martínez, at the Palais Wilson in Geneva.
At the meeting, the High Commissioner was informed about the human rights violations against Julian Assange, the risk to his life if he is extradited to the United States, and the implications for freedom of the press and the right of citizens to the truth.
The meeting lasted a little over an hour. Mr. Assange’s lawyers, Baltasar Garzón and Aitor Martínez, explained Mr. Assange’s current situation in the context of the United Kingdom’s extradition proceedings. The High Commissioner was informed that there are currently two pending appeals before the British High Court. The first, against the decision of the Home Office to agree to hand over Julian Assange to the United States; and the second, the cross appeal brought by the WikiLeaks founder against the arguments that district judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected in the lower court’s ruling.
Mr. Assange’s lawyers explained in detail to High Commissioner Michel Bachelet the grounds that are before the High Court of the United Kingdom. Some of these grounds represent a very serious attack, not only on the rights of Mr. Assange, but also on freedom of the press globally. They discussed how, by criminally prosecuting a journalist for publishing truthful information related to serious international crimes committed by the United States Army, the United States’ case against Mr. Assange is also an aggression on the freedom of the press globally and on the right of access to information.
Similarly, the absence of dual criminality was discussed, since the Espionage Law of 1917 is being invoked to prosecute a journalist for exercising his profession, a rule that would not apply in Europe under the criminal standards of the continent.
In addition, his lawyers discussed how this case violates the principle of proportionality, as Julian Assange faces a potential prison sentence of 175 years, a de facto life sentence, simply for publishing information related to international crimes, which are crimes that the international community is under an obligation to prosecute. The lawyers also exposed the abusive extraterritoriality deployed by the United States in persecuting a foreign journalist who published abroad and who has no ties to the US jurisdiction.
Along with other arguments, the criminal cases opened by Spain to investigate the security company UC GLOBAL (which provided security services to the Embassy of Ecuador in London in apparent collaboration with US intelligence services to systematically spy on Mr. Assange, his lawyers and other visitors in Ecuador’s diplomatic mission for years), recently caused the Spanish Audiencia Nacional (aquivalent to the High Court) to issue a summons to take statements from Mike Pompeo, former director of the CIA, and William Evanina, former chief of US counterintelligence. Finally, the High Commissioner was informed of a recent investigation revealing that Mike Pompeo’s Central Intelligence Agency instructed its agents to develop plans to kidnap Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy and even to draw up ‘sketches and options’ for his assassination.
His lawyers argued that minimal international human rights standards ought to have prevented the authorization to extradite of him to the country that has planned his assassination.
Furthermore, Mr. Assange’s lawyers discussed all the limitations suffered by Mr. Assange to his right to mount a defense, as well as the ways in which his political asylum was breached in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
For her part, Stella Assange, the wife of Julian Assange, focused on the frail state of Mr. Assange’s health. She invoked various medical reports that confirmed the risk of Mr Assange dying in prison including that extradition could drive him to take his own life, a risk corroborated by specialists’ reports before the British courts. In addition, she highlighted the fact that the Special Rapporteur against Torture, Nils Melzer, visited her husband in Belmarsh prison with specialized doctors and concluded, in a very harsh report sent to the Human Rights Council, that Julian Assange was being subjected to a situation of torture. Regarding the medical situation, she recalled that her husband recently suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), and she expressed a profound and serious concern for his life.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michel Bachelet, together with members of her team, received the information provided at the meeting and had a very productive exchange with the lawyers for Mr. Assange and his wife.
Hoy, la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Michelle Bachelet, se reunió con la esposa de Julian Assange, Stella Assange, y los abogados españoles del Sr. Assange, Baltasar Garzón y Aitor Martínez, en el Palais Wilson de Ginebra.
En la reunión se le informó sobre las violaciones a los derechos humanos contra Julian Assange, el riesgo para su vida si es extraditado a Estados Unidos y las implicaciones para la libertad de prensa y el derecho de los ciudadanos a la verdad.
La reunión duró algo más de una hora. En la misma, los abogados del Sr. Assange, Baltasar Garzón y Aitor Martínez, expusieron la situación actual del Sr. Assange en el marco de la extradición que se está dilucidando en Reino Unido. En este sentido se comunicó a la Alta Comisionada que actualmente existen dos apelaciones pendientes que serán solventadas por la High Court británica. La primera, contra la decisión del Home Office de acordar la entrega de Julian Assange a Estados Unidos; y la segunda, la “cross appeal” de la defensa del fundador de WikiLeaks contra aquellos aspectos denegados en la primera decisión por parte de la jueza de distrito, Vanessa Baraitser.
En relación a esta segunda apelación, el equipo jurídico expuso con todo detalle a la Alta Comisionada, Michel Bachelet, los elementos que van a ser valorados por la High Court en Reino Unido. Algunos de esos elementos suponen un gravísimo atentado, no sólo a los derechos del Sr. Assange, sino a la libertad de prensa en el mundo. Para ello se expuso la agresión que la causa abierta en Estados Unidos significa para la libertad de prensa en el mundo y el derecho de acceso a la información, toda vez que se persigue penalmente a un periodista por publicar información veraz relativa a graves crímenes internacionales cometidos por el ejército de Estados Unidos. De igual forma, se expuso la falta de doble incriminación, ya que se está invocando la Ley de Espionaje, de 1917, para perseguir a un periodista por ejercer su profesión, una norma que no tendría aplicación en Europa bajo los estándares penales del continente. Además, se recordó la violación que esta causa supone al principio de proporcionalidad, al enfrentar Julian Assange potenciales penas de 175 años de cárcel, una cadena perpetua de facto, simplemente por publicar información relativa a crímenes internacionales, sobre los cuales existe una obligación de persecución por parte de la comunidad internacional. También se expuso la extraterritorialidad abusiva desplegada por Estados Unidos, persiguiendo a un periodista extranjero que publicó en el extranjero y que no tiene vínculos con su jurisdicción. Junto a otros argumentos, igualmente se expuso lo relativo a las causas penales abiertas en España para investigar a la empresa de seguridad UC GLOBAL, la cual proveía servicios de seguridad a la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres y habría colaborado con los servicios de inteligencia norteamericanos para espiar en forma masiva al Sr. Assange, sus abogados y demás visitantes en la misión diplomática por años, lo que ha motivado que recientemente la Audiencia Nacional española haya pedido tomar declaración a Mike Pompeo, ex director de la CIA, y a William Evanina, ex jefe de contrainteligencia. Por último, se puso al tanto a la Alta Comisionada que recientemente se reveló en Estados Unidos por parte de agentes de la CIA que se llegó a planear el secuestro de Julian Assange, incluso proyectándose su asesinato en la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres, contexto que impide bajo los mínimos estándares internacionales de derechos humanos que se puede autorizar la entrega a la jurisdicción que proyectó su asesinato. Así mismo se compartió todas las limitaciones que se han venido sufriendo en el ejercicio del derecho de defensa por parte del señor Assange, y el incumplimiento de las condiciones del asilo en la embajada de Ecuador en Londres.
Por su parte, Stella Assange, la esposa de Julian Assange, se centró en el delicado estado de salud que atraviesa el Sr. Assange. Recordó los diversos informes médicos que confirmaron el riesgo de morir en prisión o de que cometiera suicidio en caso de ser entregado, tal y como se informó por parte de diversos especialistas a la justicia británica. Además, resaltó el hecho de que el Relator Especial contra la Tortura, Nils Melzer, visitó a su esposo en la prisión de Belmarsh con médicos especializados y concluyó, en un durísimo informe remitido al Consejo de Derechos Humanos, que Julian Assange estaba siendo sometido a una situación de tortura. En relación a la situación médica, recordó que su esposo recientemente sufrió un derrame cerebral, mostrando una profunda y seria preocupación por su vida.
La Alta Comisionada para los Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas, Michel Bachelet, junto a miembros de su equipo, recibió la información aportada en el referido encuentro y mantuvo un intercambio muy productivo con la defensa del Sr. Assange y su esposa.
On the 21st May 2022, the Federal Election win for the Australian Labor Party has raised a Storm on Twitter calling from Anthony Albanese to make good on Labor’s commitment to Bring Julian Home to Australia Statement on Support of Press Freedom ArtWork if you want to post support I hope one of the first … Continue reading “Twitter Calls Anthony Albanese to Bring Julian Home”
On the 21st May 2022, the Federal Election win for the Australian Labor Party has raised a Storm on Twitter calling from Anthony Albanese to make good on Labor’s commitment to Bring Julian Home to Australia
Statement on Support of Press Freedom
ArtWork if you want to post support
I hope one of the first acts of our new Cabinet will be to speak up for our fellow citizen and demand the US Government drop the shameful prosecution of Julian Assange. Loudly and clearly, no weasel words. #auspol#FreeAssange
On the 14th August 2020 Lawyers for Assange wrote to the UK Government. Release of information embargoed until 17th August. The Press release reads:
Authorities Violating Law in Julian Assange’s Case, Legal Experts Warn UK Government Ahead of Extradition Hearing Next Month
On the day of Julian Assange’s final administrative hearing before his substantive extradition hearings scheduled for 7 September, 152 legal experts and 15 lawyers’ associations have written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accusing government authorities of violating “national and international law” in the Australian WikiLeaks founder’s case.
The international group of legal practitioners, professors, judges, doctors of law and eminent jurists has called upon the UK government to bring an end to Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings, and grant his “long overdue freedom”, on legal grounds.
Among the signatories are Lord Hendy QC, a leading expert in UK labour law, prominent Australian barrister Julian Burnside AO QC, and 15 lawyers’ associations, including the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the Association of American Lawyers (AAL), both of which have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the highest UN status granted to NGOs.
In a 10-page letter (attached), translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish, the legal experts charge the UK government with breaching several legal acts and treaties, citing the prima facie illegality of the US extradition request, serious violations of human rights and due process, and denial of a fair trial, including “judicial conflicts of interest”.
“Senior District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) Emma Arbuthnot, who as Chief Magistrate oversees Mr. Assange’s extradition proceedings, has been shown to have financial links to institutions and individuals whose wrongdoings have been exposed by WikiLeaks”, the letter states. Her vested interest in the case violates the right to “a fair and public hearing before an impartial tribunal”, a “cornerstone of democracy”, the legal experts warn.
The signatories allege that Assange’s legal privilege has been “grossly violated” through illegal seizure of privileged legal documents, and “constant and criminal” audiovisual surveillance of “meetings and conversations” with his lawyers inside the Ecuadorian embassy.
They add that, despite the case’s complexity, “prison authorities have failed to ensure that Mr. Assange can properly consult with his legal team and prepare for his defence, by severely restricting both the frequency and duration of his legal visits.”
Lawyers for Assange member Dr. Polona Florijančič commented on Friday’s hearing: “Today we observed a further breach of the right to a public trial, with journalists and the public unable to follow the proceedings through the court’s dial-in system. Meanwhile, Assange was allowed a short video conference with his lawyers before the hearing, the first time this has been possible for several months. It is no surprise that the continuing breaches of due process rights and Assange’s continued unlawful detention have led to a further deterioration in his psychological health, as per a new psychiatric report submitted by his lawyers.”
AAL General Secretary Luís Carlos Moro: “The extradition of Mr. Assange sets a risky precedent for the entire democratic world, because it represents, rather than due process of law, an undue process of political persecution.”
Former National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Greg Barns SC: “One of the most dangerous features of the Assange case is the idea that the US can seek to extradite any person, anywhere in the world, if they upset US interests. This extraterritorial reach is contrary to the rule of law and a dangerous attempt to undermine freedom of speech, a right all of us should cherish.”
Slovenian law Professor Andraž Teršek: “The case of Julian Assange is about political transparency, democratic legitimacy, free journalism and public media, which no individual should ever give up, and which no political institution, power or government should deny, prevent or punish. The trial’s implications are of great importance in modern society.”
The final administrative hearing before extradition proceedings resume was held Friday 14 August, in Westminster Magistrate’s Court at 10am BST.
Despite no new information and no new charges, 24 hours prior to Friday’s hearing the US Department of Justice (DoJ) lodged a superseding indictment with the court, to replace the existing indictment against Assange, 14 months after the UK court deadline of 14 June, 2019. The defence argued that accepting the new indictment, lodged just three weeks prior to extradition proceedings, constitutes ‘an abuse of legal process.’ The defence has until August 19 to apply for postponement of the main hearings. Since this is now an entirely new extradition request Assange will have to be re-arrested at some point in the future.
The second phase of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is scheduled to be held in the Old Bailey in central London for three weeks from September 7th, with a possible further week at a later date.
Today on behalf of 491,368 signatories I delivered a request for a preliminary investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into the psychological torturing of Julian Assange. Psychological torture is a “crime against humanity” as per the 1997 Rome Convention of the ICC.
On the 1st June 2020, Arne Ruth submitted a petition to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The petition is available at https://setjulianfree.org The covering letter reads: Mehedeby June 1, 2020 Ann LindeMinister of Foreign AffairsSwedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stockholm Your Excellency, I am now addressing you in my capacity as speaker for the … Continue reading “Swedish Petition submitted”
On the 1st June 2020, Arne Ruth submitted a petition to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ann Linde Minister of Foreign Affairs Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stockholm
I am now addressing you in my capacity as speaker for the more than 3000 international signatories of the appeal “Set Julian Free”. The appeal, which asks for clarification on questions relating to Swedish responsibility in the case of Julian Assange, was sent to ambassador Elinor Hammarskjö ld at the Foreign Ministry on May 17 2020. Up until now there has been no response.
According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Nils Melzer, Sweden is co-responsible with Britain, the United States as well as Ecuador for the conditions affecting Mr. Assange since 2012. The Swedish Foreign Office has refused to respond to this and other claims presented by Mr. Melzer in his letter of 12 September 2019. Sweden also shares responsibility for the pain currently inflicted upon Assange in the Belmarsh prison even though it is caused by actions taken outside Swedish territory.
In your capacity as Foreign Minister you are in charge of Sweden’s relationship with other countries in general and the upholding of international law in particular. In the appeal “Set Julian Free,” the signatories demand that Sweden respect the authority of the United Nations by fulfilling its obligations to inter alia the following international treaties, of which it is a signatory state:
The convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAST, ratified 1986).
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR, ratified 1971).
Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. (The International Law Commission, ratified 2001).
A crucial aspect of these treaties is freedom of speech – the right of any individual to raise objections whenever she or he discovers violations of such rules.
In your letter to Mr. Melzer of 12 July 2019 your office claims that “according to the Swedish Instrument of Government (1974:152) the Swedish Government may not interfere in an ongoing case handled by a Swedish authority. The Government is constitutionally prevented from commenting on or influencing the independent decisions of the Swedish Prosecution Authority.” It is worth noting that the word “ongoing” in the Assange case refers to a judicial process which has lasted for almost ten years.
The UN Rapporteur reminded your office of the fact that his office is mandated to let all communication with countries go through the signatory states’ governments (section 2, 12 Sept. 2019 letter):
“The fact that, as a matter of diplomatic protocol, my communications are to be addressed to the minister of foreign affairs, does not prevent the government from transmitting my observations, queries and recommendations to other relevant branches of government, including the judiciary and prosecution, and from seeking their responses and from transmitting them back to my office”.
Hence it is the role of the government to bring the Rapporteur’s queries to the particular bodies, including the Ministry of Justice. In the Assange case the charges made are directed to the handling of Assange by the police and courts. It follows from this that it is the obligation of the Swedish government to ask for reactions from such entities to the charges made against them and then, without changes, forward the result to the Rapporteur. This does in no way threaten the independence of the judicial system in Sweden. The role of the government in transmitting the queries to relevant bodies is an intrinsic consequence of the logic of international treaties and conventions.
It fact, the logic of your office’s response would render all international cooperation impotent and irrelevant, in particular issues relating to the United Nations and its bodies. This would result in an undermining of the great legacy of former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjö ld: a commonality of nations upholding a shared definition of legal rights.
The abstention by Sweden, a member state of the ultimate regulator of international affairs, namely the United Nations, from responding to grave allegations presented by this body, has in several European countries been interpreted as an arrogant behaviour. If upheld, this would undoubtedly have an effect on Sweden’s stature in the World Organisation.
It is worth noting that the renowned Swiss newspaper “Neue Zü rcher Zeitung” on 4 February 2020 stated that “Sweden’s investigation into the case of Assange gives no reason for pride for this Nordic country”.
The former head of the Swedish Lawyer’s Association, Anne Ramberg, has reminded us of the fact that the Swedish constitution and the European Convention do secure everyone a “fair judicial process within reasonable time.” Ramberg has stated that “the way Assange has been treated has affected the credibility of the Swedish judicial system.” In her view the Assange case “is all about freedom of speech and the rule of law. It is essentially about the right and moral obligation to disclose crimes of war. This is what Assange and WikiLeaks did.”
Let me reiterate the concluding appeal from the UN Rapporteur in his letter of 12 September 2019:
“I therefore respectfully request your Excellency’s government to render its good services with a view to ensuring that my queries are received and responded to by the appropriate authorities”.
Let me, Arne Ruth, finally remind the Minister of the fact that the principal message of the attached Appeal is the threatened health and life of a human being, Julian Assange, whom the UN Rapporteur strongly alleges has been done harm to by Swedish authorities. The matter is increasingly one of life and death.
Madam Minister. You are in a position to make a difference to the fate of Julian Assange.
Arne Ruth Co-author and initiator of Set Julian Free-appeal Jaktvä gen 2, Mehedeby 815 93 Tierp
Appeal “Set Julian Assange Free” List of initial supporters Portraits of a number of initial supporters
On the 27th May 2020, The Australian Assange Campaign received an email requests assistance promoting a petition to the Swedish Government Dear administrator of the JA Australian web campaign, In Scandinavia we have focused on UN rapporteur Melzer’s work indisclosing the atrocious acts committed on behalf of official Sweden. Weare therefore bringing together international voices … Continue reading “A petition regarding atrocious acts committed on behalf of official Sweden”
On the 27th May 2020, The Australian Assange Campaign received an email requests assistance promoting a petition to the Swedish Government
Dear administrator of the JA Australian web campaign,
In Scandinavia we have focused on UN rapporteur Melzer’s work in disclosing the atrocious acts committed on behalf of official Sweden. We are therefore bringing together international voices to put pressure on the Swedish government to rectify the mess they have created. Together with whistleblower supporters in the US based Roots Action we intend to pressure the Swedish government to live up to its obligations as signatories to the Torture Convention.
We think the Swedes hold the key to Julians freedom. And international voices are important in this.
I hope you would consider adding to this pressure by informing your citizenship about the campaign and invite them to sign. Before we have really started there are 2500 base signatories triggered by the first 80 names that took the initiative.
Please have a look at the Petition, those first 80 names and the Greetings presented on the web-page www.setjulianfree.org. I attach some of this.
Priti Patel Home Office Secretary must release Julian Assange before the coronavirus spreads through the prison population.
As a vulnerable prisoner whose health is already in jeopardy further isolation would be damaging in itself, let alone the threat that the virus breaks out inside the prison. The increased health risk means he should be released immediately.
There is a high possibility that the prisons will cancel all visits which means even harder access to his family and friends. Releasing him and other vulnerable prisoners would reduce the risk of outbreak of the virus inside the prison.
Julian Assange should be with his family during this time where he can prepare his defense against his extradition hearing. He has been charged by the Trump Administration under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful information and he could face up to 175 years in US prison.
Following the outstanding work by the team at Australians For Assange of which I am also a member. Amelia RyanDesmond McMillan and Mills (Malcolm Sturrock) and Walter Mellado All who drove from Melbourne to Canberra. (I was not there), we are on the cuff of a big advancement. I have been in communication with Andrew Wilkie MP today and I directly delivered the petition to him via his Aust.Parliament House email portal. He has confirmed receipt and will now move to enter the petition into the Australian Parliamentary House of Representatives hansard on Monday Feb. 10, 2020 TBC for tabling.
This unprecedented advancement of a petition that Peter Whish-Wilson Senator tabled in the Upper House of the Australian Parliament (Aust. Senate Tabling on Nov. 12, 2019) as the last petition tabling of 2019. I believe now this attempted tabling in the Lower House of the Australian Parliament (House of Representatives), by Andrew Wilkie MP will be the first petition tabled for 2020.
This petition which is now the 4th largest to ever have been successfully tabled in the history of the Australian Parliament (since 1901) and continues to grow.
This petition to Free Julian Assange will reach unprecedented levels of international significance. Being tabled across both houses of the Australian parliament is an outstanding and powerful message to every single parliamentarian across the Western World, that we must all focus and ensure Julian Assange is Freed and no USA extradition precedent for journalists outside the USA is established.
The team at Australians For Assange Walter Mellado, Mills (Malcolm Sturrock), Desmond McMillan and Amelia Ryan need to be commended on an outstanding initiative and along with everyone in the Assange campaigns around world, who all together represent the every essence of how and why we are an unstoppable force to save Julian Assange and our democratic existence. See some of the members of the Bring Assange Home Parliamentary Group that were together with the team from Australians For Assange outside the Australian Parliament this week with a great artistic representation of the Free Julian Assange, before it’s too late Petition.
Parliamentarians present were Peter Whish Wilson, Helen Haines. Steve Georganas, Rebekha Sharkle, Julian Hill. Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen.
Today I have also delivered the Royal Prerogative Power of Mercy request to Andrew Wilkie MP as both him and George Christensen MP (they are joint chairs of the Bring Assange Home parliamentary Group), will be leaving for London after this tabling week to visits Assange in Belmarsh to check on his condition etc. Feb. 16 I believe they are scheduled to enter Belmarsh.