Assange’s extradition is a shame for democracies and a threat to us all

Freedom of information is one of the fundamental rights on which our Western values ​​are based. But who defines the terms? When someone establishes what can be talked about, what can be informed and what not, is it still information? Is there still freedom?

The Assange story cannot fail to lead to questioning about all this. Also because the condemnation of him constitutes a dangerous precedent for all professionals of the trade. It establishes, once and for all, that the truth can only be told if the strong powers, the governments that decide the fate of the world, admit its legitimacy. Otherwise you risk life imprisonment, if not the death penalty. The same Amnesty warns against this possibility, that is “the drift undertaken by the US to try those who publish information for espionage”, which passes through the claim that “States, such as the United Kingdom in this case, extradite people who have disclosed confidential information of interest public ”, a factor that represents“ a dangerous precedent that must be rejected ”.

Conditions inside US prisons have long raised concerns. The assurances that Assange will not suffer torture internally are, for the deputy director of research on Europe Julie Hall, “Completely unfounded”. “Prolonged solitary confinement is a major feature of the lives of many inmates in US high-security prisons. For international law it is equivalent to torture. The prohibition of torture is absolute and the vain promises of a fair treatment of Assange by the US constitute a threat to this prohibition ”. It’s the same Amnestyon the other hand, which defined the trial against Assange a “parody of justice”.

US assurances are waste paper especially in the face of what emerged from the investigation which showed how the United States planned to ban Assange’s activities at any cost, including through kidnapping and murder, even by poisoning, when he was in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Julian Assange is an Australian journalist who in 2006, together with other activists, founded the site WikiLeakswhere they are collected documents proving the criminal and unethical activities of governments. The activity of the site spares no one, documenting the corruption of the powerful from Yemen to China, from the Arab world to Africa. However, when the US government is targeted, the wind suddenly changes. On April 5, 2010, a video appeared on the site, which later became known as Collateral Murder, which reports the massacre of dozens of civilians in the suburb of New Baghdad, Iraq. Among the victims are also two journalists from the news agency Reuters. The images cause quite a stir and WikiLeaks it suddenly becomes known all over the world. A few months later, Chelsea Manning, a former US soldier and informant of WikiLeaks, is arrested for the dissemination of classified material made public by the site. From there will begin the persecution of Assange, a long history of persistence and “parody of justice”, which is unprecedented in the history of information.

For this reason, the news of his definitive extradition cannot fail to arouse deep concern. The fury against him constitutes a direct attack on all the values ​​of which the same governments that imprisoned him raise the flag, revealing its hypocrisy and falsehood. The Assange story affects us all personally. Remaining silent in the face of what has happened means dressing in complicit indifference.

[di Valeria Casolaro]

Assange’s extradition is a shame for democracies and a threat to us all