To Defend Democracy, Free Julian Assange!

A de facto death sentence is still hanging over the head of Julian Assange, if he is effectively extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. The Wikileaks founder and former publisher is accused of “espionage” for publishing classified documents on the war crimes committed by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been imprisoned for the past four years in kafkaesque conditions in the high security Belmarsh prison of London.

To draw attention once again to this outrageous violation of freedom of speech, human rights activists held the “Belmarsh Tribunal” on Jan. 20 at the National Press Club in Washington. The guest speaker was former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who demanded that elected officials speak up in support of Assange. “Your silence makes it worse for Julian”, he said. “Your silence makes it worse for democracy as a whole.” He appealed to “elected politicians in the United States: Speak up to defend democracy, speak up against the powers of the Espionage Act, and speak up for Julian Assange, because our human rights are under threat all over the world….

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