Political personalities in Brazil are part of the Committee for the Freedom of Julian Assange, an initiative created this week in view of the increasingly concrete possibility of the journalist’s extradition to the United States. The founder of Wikileaks has been imprisoned for over four years in London, UK.
In 2010, he published approximately 250,000 files, including photos, videos and Pentagon documents, which revealed war crimes committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as torture against detainees at Guantánamo prison, a US military base in Cuba. .
Now, Assange awaits possible extradition and could be sentenced to up to 175 years. He is charged with 18 crimes related to espionage. The support group created in Brazil was launched after an online conference attended by the activist’s wife, lawyer Stella Assange.
The meeting was attended by former Brazilian ministers, including Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Paulo Vannuchi and Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira and personalities who fight for human rights and democracy, as well as Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks since 2010.
Faced with the prospect of extradition in the coming weeks, the online meeting served as a space to discuss tactics that could reverse the scenario.
According to Stella Assange, the journalist could be transferred to a maximum security prison. “We have our last line of defense ahead of us. We need to increase pressure on countries to speak out in relation to this case, which is a scandal full of illegalities”.
She pointed out that, as a foreigner, the husband will not have the protection of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which determines total freedom of expression. He was framed under the espionage law, despite being a journalist who was in the exercise of his duties. “They set a perfect trap for him,” said the lawyer.
The Committee for the Freedom of Julian Assange, will act in the legal and institutional scope. The group will also try to establish new channels of dialogue with national and international authorities, political and diplomatic leaders. The main objective is to prevent extradition.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho