The Belmarsh Tribunal, bringing together some of the world’s leading activists, artists, politicians, dissidents, human rights lawyers and leaders. and progressive whistleblowers, calls for the release of Julian Assange. He also spoke in defense of WikiLeaks.
The Belmarsh Court is similar to the Russell-Sartre Tribunal on the Vietnam War, convened in 1966 by philosophers Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre. It was convened by the Progressive International, a global pro-democracy coalition. Since 2020, it has held four casusus.
“We are witnessing a travesty of justice, a violation of human rights, the denial of freedom to someone who bravely risked so that we all know that innocent people died in Abu Ghraib, that innocent people died in Afghanistan, that innocent people are dying in the Mediterranean and that innocent people are dying all over the world, when the powers that be acting without any supervision and not being held accountable for his actions decide that it is timely and expedient to kill the people who stand in the way of his grand plans. We say “no”. That’s why we demand justice for Julian Assange.” said British Member of Parliament and former Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, before Belmarsh Tribunal.
The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, El País and Der Spiegel – the major newspapers that have published articles based on the leaked Assange documents – have joined Corbyn’s call. “Publishing is not a crime,” they declared in an open letter.
Never before has a journalist been indicted under the US Espionage Act. The trial of Assange poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. President Biden – currently involved in his own scandal over the mishandling of confidential documents – knows this well and must immediately drop the charges against Julian Assange.
“The drive by the US government to control information and manipulate the public into supporting war runs deep, writes the news agency Presence. The last twenty years, dominated by the so-called “war on terror”, are no exception. Sophisticated public relations campaigns, a compliant media, and the ever-present Pentagon propaganda machine all work together to “build consensus.” This is how the famous academic Noam Chomsky and the late professor Ed Herman define it in the title of their innovative book “The Guardians of Liberty”, in which they borrow this phrase from Walter Lippman, considered the father of public relations.
One outlet that has consistently challenged the warmongering narrative promoted by the US government under both Republican and Democratic presidents has been the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks gained international attention in 2010 after it released a series of leaked documents containing classified US military material. These documents included numerous reports of civilian assassinations and other war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a shocking video showing the massacre by a US helicopter gunship of a dozen civilians on a Baghdad city street. , including a Reuters news agency cameraman and his chauffeur. WikiLeaks titled that video “Collateral Murder”.
The New York Times and other newspapers have partnered with the whistleblowing website to publish stories based on the leaks. This has further increased the focus on WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief, Julian Assange. In December 2010, two months after the “Collateral Murder” video was released, then-Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with NBC News that Assange was “closer to high-tech terrorism than the Pentagon Papers.” Biden was referring to the series of classified documents released by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, which exposed the lies the Pentagon had been spreading for many years about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
With the formation of a secret grand jury in the state of Virginia, Julian Assange, then in London, began to fear that he would be arrested and extradited to the United States. Ecuador granted political asylum to the founder of WikiLeaks and he, unable to travel to Latin America, sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange lived inside the small apartment-sized embassy for almost seven years. In April 2019, when Assange’s asylum was revoked by the new Ecuadorian president, British authorities arrested him and put him in London’s notorious high-security Belmarsh prison, often referred to as “the Guantánamo of the United Kingdom”. The informant has been held there in harsh conditions and in poor health for nearly four years as the US government tries to extradite him to prosecute him for espionage and other crimes. If extradited to the United States and found guilty, Assange faces up to 175 years in a maximum security prison.”
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The “Belmarsh Court” demands the release of Julian Assange • PRESSKIT