Businessman and activist Joe Corré had been trying to organise a meeting with an invited audience to openly debate Julian Assange’s probable extradition to the United States. His plan was to hold the event at Chatham House where people could speak freely, and he approached establishment figures as well as campaigners so that all views could be heard in a balanced and fair way.
But the organisers say that in the week before the event was due to happen, despite a booking and deposit made last November, Chatham House cancelled the reservation without discussion. As a result, the meeting was hastily relocated to The Frontline Club in Paddington, but at the last minute the former head of MI6, Richard Dearlove, also pulled out.
The only establishment figure remaining, former foreign diplomat Claire Smith, wished to maintain Chatham House rules and requested her views were not shared, but the rest of the panel have all given their permission and this exclusive Real Media film presents highlights from their contributions along with interviews with the organiser, and Julian Assange’s biological father, John Shipton.
James Goodale, the former vice-president and general counsel at the New York Times (who won a court case the US administration over publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971) spoke via Skype from America. Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, spoke alongside former political commentator at The Telegraph, Peter Oborne, and former director at Reprieve, eminent human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith OBE.
‘Assange Would Only Get 40 Years For Genocide, But 175 Years For Leaking The Truth About American War Crimes’ – UN Special Rapporteur On Torture, Nils Melzer
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