None of us are free until Julian Assange is free

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Source/Author: BHJA

BH journalists work to preserve the reputation and dignity of the journalistic profession, improve the rights and responsibilities of journalists, and respect the public’s right to information. It is for this reason that we fully support the journalist Julian Assange, whose extradition is sought by the United States of America (USA).

It will soon be five years since Julian Assange was jailed and tortured in Belmarsh Prison in London for releasing a large trove of classified US military records and diplomatic cables that Washington said put American lives at risk.

Julian Assange’s case is at a critical stage – his final appeal against extradition to the US will be before the UK’s High Court, with a hearing scheduled for February 20 and 21, 2024.

If he is extradited to the US, he faces extended solitary confinement in the Eastern District of Virginia, where he will be tried for “Espionage” for publishing information of public interest within the legal provisions that prohibit the defense of the public interest. If he is extradited to the USA, he faces a prison sentence of at least 175 years.

The campaign against the extradition of Julian Assange is supported by all human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ACLU, Reporters Without Borders, NUJ, IFJ, EFJ and Pen International. Their position is that the only fair outcome of this case would be to not extradite at all, since punishing Assange in an illegal manner would criminalize journalism and the publication of secret documents in the public interest. In general, the imprisonment of Julian Assange five years ago led to the restriction of media freedom around the world and the imprisonment of journalists in many countries.

As a sign of solidarity with Julian Assange, BH journalists declared him an honorary member of this association. BH journalists have also joined the social campaign against Assange’s extradition, and are calling on the US Government to drop all charges and allow him to return home to his wife and children.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) invites you to a webinar tomorrow, February 14, at 10:00 and 16:00 CET, to discuss the relevant facts, court events and legal arguments in this case.

If you want to participate, please register by sending an email to mc@juscogens.be.

Awards for journalism: Almudena Grandes Special Prize for the Defense of the Right to Information 2022, Amnesty International Prize for New Media 2009 and Anticor Ethics Prize 2022.