The United States wants Julian Assange’s extradition because of his role in publicizing crimes, said participants in a live about the case this Thursday (23). The event took place in parallel with the 50th Ordinary Session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council and aimed to denounce the risks created by the British decision to send the WikiLeaks journalist to American soil – where he could be sentenced to spend the rest. of life behind bars.
The journalist’s lawyer and wife, Stella Morris Assange, said that it is not just his partner who is being persecuted, but everything he “stands for”, for his participation in the dissemination of possible war crimes by the United States in its invasions of Afghanistan and in Iraq.
“It is for this responsibility [por crimes de guerra] that he is being punished, for letting the public know the true face of the war, what is behind these war policies in the Middle East,” Stella pointed out. , of enormous public value, including war crimes and the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people, if you can put him in prison for this, then you can go after anyone.”
On June 17, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel authorized Assange to be sent to the US. He has been held in Belmarsh maximum security prison since 2019.
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The event This Thursday was organized by the Articulation for Human Rights (AMDH), the International Assembly of Peoples, the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD), the National Movement for Human Rights (MNDH) and the Maranhense Society for Human Rights (SMDH). It also had the support of the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Article 19 Brazil and South America and Lawyers for Assange.
In his participation, journalist Vijay Prashad, from the International Assembly of Peoples, recalled that an earthquake on Wednesday (22) in Afghanistan killed about a thousand people. Despite the event, there was no great international repercussion of the fact. Prashad pointed out that the lack of coverage demonstrates that there is a division of value in human lives—and Assange struggled with that division.
“There is an international division of humanity, some people’s lives matter, other people’s lives just don’t matter,” Prashad said.
The journalist also recalled that in 2004 the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, stated that the US-promoted war against Iraq was illegal and asked some questions: “If it was an illegal war, why is no one in this war being prosecuted Why isn’t George W. Bush being discussed Why don’t we look at Tony Blair Why isn’t Tony Blair in Belmarsh Prison Those who waged an illegal war are free, those who wage an illegal war are facing nothing “, said Prashad.
Zuliana Lainez, vice president of the International Federation of Journalists, also attended the event and said that Assange is being targeted for revenge for revealing war crimes.
“It’s not just revenge against Assange, it’s also revenge against all journalists around the world. It’s a direct action to send a message to journalists, they shouldn’t show what’s hidden,” Lainez said. “It’s not a crime to be a journalist, it’s not a crime to do journalism.”
In your report to the UN Human Rights Councilattorney Irene Khan noted that the US’ “continued effort” to prosecute Assange “may set a precedent for punishing not only whistleblowers but also journalists, regardless of whether their reporting is in the public interest.”
Editing: Felipe Mendes