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Press Conference: SF Chronicle-End Your Silence On The Jailing And Extradition Of Julian Assange

assange_julian_free.jpeg
Date:
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Time:
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Organizer/Author:
Bay Action To Free Julian Assange
Location Details:
San Francisco Chronicle
5th & Mission St.
San Francisco

9/22 Press Conference: SF Chronicle-End Your Silence On The Jailing And Extradition Of Julian Assange
FREE JULIAN ASSANGE

https://bayaction2freeassange.org/urgent-request-and-press-release/?uuid=54196e78-9016-4243-aeaf-dc1bd8f8ce54


Press Conference/Speak Out at SF Chronicle on
Wednesday September 22, 2022 12:00 Noon.
5th & Misson St. San Francisco

The continued incarceration and possible extradition of Australian journalist and publisher Julian Assange is a threat not only to all journalists in the world but publishers such as the SF Chronicle.

Using the Espionage Act, even though he is not a US citizen, the US government is prosecuting the supposed crime of releasing documents that expose war crimes and atrocities committed by the US war machine in Iraq.

Of course the perpetrators of the US crimes in Iraq have never been proscuted but the whistleblower Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is being prosecuted.

We must raise our voices to defend whistleblowers and independent journalists being censored and persecuted for revealing the truth and reporting on issues that people need to know.

Assange is a member of the Australian journnalist’s union MEAA member since 2007. The Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle, and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have also calld for his freedom. Nearly all journalist unions throughout the world are demanding his freedom.

We urge the San Francisco Chronicle and all news publishers both print and online to join the call for his freedom.

For more information and to endorse contact info(at)ufclp.org
Also if you are a journalist and want to make a solidarity statement send it to us or come and speak out.

When:
Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 12:00 PM
Where:
San Francisco Chronicle
5th & Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

10/8 Worldwide Solidarity Event
Action In San Francisco

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW!
https://bayaction2freeassange.org/worldwide-solidarity-event/

Here in the Bay Area please join us as we participate in this worldwide solidarity event of the Surround Parliament human chain. We will meet at noon on October 8th at Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco. Bring #YellowRibbons4Assange, signs, your family & friends, or just yourself. We will form a human chain of yellow ribbons, come rain or shine. If you can’t make it to San Francisco, create a chain or stand alone in your city and let us and/or @Candles4Assange know about it.


October 8, 2022 - 12:00 pm

Harry Bridges Plaza
Market St. and The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94111



San Francisco Labor Council Resolution For Julian Assange
https://sflaborcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/02-11-19Resolution-in-Support-of-the-Defense-of-WhistleblowerAssange.pdf

IFJ Free Assange: Julian Assange left trial early because of ill health
https://www.ifj.org/media-centre/news/detail/article/free-assange-julian-assange-left-trial-early-because-of-ill-health.html

28 October 2021

On October 27, a gaunt-looking Julian Assange was able to follow only an hour of the hearing that would determine whether he is extradited to the United States. The Australian’s legal team opened the hearing seeking the court’s permissions that their client be allowed not to attend by video link because of ill health, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) reports.


Police officials stand guard as protestors in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hold placards outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London during an appeal hearing by the US government against the UK's refusal to extradite him on October 27, 2021. The United States told a British court Wednesday that Julian Assange would not be held at a federal supermax prison, as it appealed a decision to block his extradition on the grounds he is a serious suicide threat. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
An hour in, the Wikileaks founder did appear before the camera, wearing an untucked white shirt and tie. Looking increasingly like his father, he seemed distracted and has visibly lost weight. White hair straggles to his shoulders and deep lines etch his face. Before sixty minutes had passed Assange appeared to indicate that he could not hear proceedings and requested to leave the video facility. He gathered his papers and left. In the afternoon he appeared to manage fewer than ten minutes on the video link.

This hearing arises from District Judge Vanessa Baraitser's dismissal of the US government application to extradite Assange – handed down last January. She found that conditions in US prisons created a significant risk that Assange would commit suicide. It would be ‘oppressive’ if he were incarcerated there, she ruled.

Yesterday’s hearing was to consider an application by the US to overturn Baraitser’s judgement.

James Lewis QC, acting for the US government told the court that since Judge Baraitser’s ruling the US government had offered significant assurances in respect of Assange’s treatment, should he face US justice. He committed that the Wikileaks founder would not be subject to ‘Special Administrative Measures’ (SAMS), and, if he were convicted, would be sent to his native Australia to see out his sentence.

SAMS is a form of prisoner management that keeps the most serious criminals in solitary confinement, with very limited access to family or lawyers. Lewis told the court that Baraitser’s ruling had been based on the erroneous expectation that Assange would inevitably face such conditions. Given the import that the judge attached to prison conditions, the US had now offered fresh assurances.

Lewis, who spoke for four hours, said that Baraitser had: misinterpreted the Extradition Act; given undue weight to the single psychiatrist who had detected significant suicide risk; and had been swayed by alarmist accounts of the likely length of sentence that Assange might face.

Edward Fitzgerald QC, who heads Assange’s defence, responded saying: “Mr Assange would inevitably be in solitary confinement if he is sent to the US. There is a significant increase in chance of suicide if you have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and there is an increase of the chance of suicide if you are in solitary confinement.”

Most of today’s hearing will be devoted to Fitzgerald’s detailed case for upholding the refusal.

A noisy crowd outside kept up chants throughout the hearing. Julian Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, told supporters that it was ‘unbearable’ sitting in court hearing the American’s representatives picking Julian to pieces.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries
Australian Unions Back Freedoom For Julian Assange
https://mobile.twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1387573071490523137

Troy Labor Council Resolution In Support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
https://unac.notowar.net/2019/05/05/troy-labor-council-resolution-in-support-of-julian-assange-and-wikileaks/
MAY 5, 2019UNAC EDITORFREE SPEECH, LABOR
Troy Labor Council voted on May 17 in favor of the following resolution to support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks:

Whereas, Assange and Wikileaks have released a vast trove of primary source material unlike anything that journalists have ever had such ready access to,

Whereas, Wikileaks releases have made evidence-based journalism more possible than ever before,

Whereas, Julian Assange and WIkileaks have helped expose the role of the US and other governments’ war crimes and violations of international law and,

Whereas, Assange and WikiLeaks have, in the Podesta emails, Vault 7, the Trade in Services Agreement, and many other releases, exposed the collusion between government officials, politicians, oligarchs, and corporations against the public interest, including even the survival of life on earth,

Whereas, the UK government has ripped Julian Assange out of Ecuador’s London Embassy and arrested by Theresa May’s government in the UK government and then most likely extradited to the United States for criminal prosecution and,

Whereas, the US government and the UK government refuse to prosecute any of the war criminals that have been exposed by the whistleblowing of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and,

Whereas, there is a systematic effort by the US government to harass, repress and jail reporters and whistleblowers who exposed corruption and criminal activities by government officials and,

Whereas, US politicians have called for the murder and torture of Julian Assange to silence him and,

Whereas, the Australia Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (MEAA) union made Julian Assange an honorary member for life, waived his fees, and called for the defense of his rights

Whereas, leading intellectuals and whistleblowers including Daniel Ellsberg, John Kiriakou, Ray McGovern, Chris Hedges, Vijay Prashad and Coleen Rowley have called for unity in support of Julian Assange,

Therefore be it resolved that the Troy Area Labor Council calls for the freedom of Julian Assange.

Added to the calendar on Fri, Sep 9, 2022 1:58PM
§Julian Assange's Press Card
by Bay Action To Free Julian Assange
assange_press_card.jpg
Julian Assange's Australian press card
§Journalist Unions Throughout The World Are Demanding Assange's Freedom
by Bay Action To Free Julian Assange
sm_assange_unions_media_freedom.jpg
Journalist unions throughout the world are calling for the freedom of journalist Julian Assange. The attack on him is an attack on all journalists and publishers.

Comments (Hide Comments)
by IFJ
JOURNALISTS SPEAK UP FOR ASSANGE
https://speak-up-for-assange.org/sign/
Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, is currently detained in Belmarsh high-security prison in the United Kingdom and faces extradition to the United States and criminal prosecutionunder the Espionage Act. He risks up to 175 years’ imprisonment for his part in making public the leak of US military documents from Afghanistan and Iraq, and a trove of US State Department cables. The ‘War Diaries’ provided evidence that the US Government misled the public about activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and committed war crimes. WikiLeaks partnered with a wide range of media organizations worldwide that republished the War Diaries and embassy cables. The legal action underway against Mr Assange sets an extremely dangerous precedent for journalists, media organizations and the freedom of the press.

We, journalists and journalistic organizations around the globe, express our grave concern for Mr Assange’s wellbeing, for his continued detention and for the draconian espionage charges.

This case stands at the heart of the principle of free speech. If the US government can prosecute Mr Assange for publishing classified documents, it may clear the way for governments to prosecute journalists anywhere, an alarming precedent for freedom of the press worldwide. Also, the use of espionage charges against people publishing materials provided by whistleblowers is a first and should alarm every journalist and publisher.

In a democracy, journalists can reveal war crimes and cases of torture and abuse without having to go to jail. It is the very role of the press in a democracy. If governments can use espionage laws against journalists and publishers, they are deprived of their most important and traditional defense – of acting in the public interest – which does not apply under the Espionage Act.

Prior to being moved to Belmarsh prison, Mr Assange spent more than a year under house arrest and then seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been granted political asylum. Throughout this time he was subjected to serious violations of his human rights, including having his legally privileged conversations spied on by organizations taking direct instruction from US agencies. Journalists visiting were subjected to pervasive surveillance. He had restricted access to legal defense and medical care and was deprived of exposure to sunlight and exercise. In April 2019, the Moreno government allowed UK law enforcement officers to enter the Ecuador embassy and seize Mr Assange. Since then he has been held in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day and, according to visitors, is “heavily medicated”. His physical and mental health have seriously deteriorated.

As early as 2015 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) determined that Mr Assange was arbitrarily detained and deprived of his liberty, and called for him to be released and paid compensation. In May 2019, the WGAD reiterated its concerns and request for his personal liberty to be restored.

We hold the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ecuador and Sweden accountable for the human rights violations to which Mr Assange has been subjected.

Julian Assange has made an outstanding contribution to public interest journalism, transparency and government accountability around the world. He is being singled out and prosecuted for publishing information that should never have been withheld from the public. His work has been recognized by the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in 2011, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, the Index on Censorship prize, the Economist’s New Media Award, the Amnesty International New Media Award, the 2019 Gavin MacFadyen Award and many others. WikiLeaks has also been nominated for the UN Mandela Prize in 2015 and for the Nobel Peace Prize seven times (2010-2015, 2019).

Mr Assange’s reporting of abuses and crimes is of historic importance, as have been the contributions by whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Reality Winner, who are now in exile or incarcerated. They have all faced relentless smear campaigns waged by their opponents, campaigns that have often led to erroneous media reports and a lack of scrutiny and media coverage of their predicaments. The systematic abuse of Mr Assange’s rights for the past nine years has been understood and protested by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists and leading human rights organisations. But in public discussion there has been an insidious normalising of how he has been treated.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer investigated the case and in June 2019 wrote:

“it finally dawned on me that I had been blinded by propaganda, and that Assange had been systematically slandered to divert attention from the crimes he exposed. Once he had been dehumanized through isolation, ridicule and shame, just like the witches we used to burn at the stake, it was easy to deprive him of his most fundamental rights without provoking public outrage worldwide. And thus, a legal precedent is being set, through the backdoor of our own complacency, which in the future can and will be applied just as well to disclosures by The Guardian, the New York Times and ABC News”.

“By displaying an attitude of complacency at best, and of complicity at worst, Sweden, Ecuador, UK and US governments have created an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr Assange’s uninhibited vilification and abuse. In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

In November 2019, Melzer recommended that Mr Assange’s extradition to US be barred and that he be promptly released. “He continues to be detained under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance, not justified by his detention status (…) Mr Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life”, said Melzer.

In 1898, French writer Émile Zola wrote the open letter J’accuse…! (I accuse) to warn about the wrongful sentencing to life in prison of a military officer named Alfred Dreyfus on espionage charges. Zola’s stance entered history books and still today stands for our duty to fight miscarriages of justice and to hold the powerful to account. This duty is as necessary as ever today, when Julian Assange is being victimized by governments and faces 17 charges[1] under the US Espionage Act, legislation that also dates back over a hundred years.

As journalists and journalists’ organizations that believe in human rights, freedom of information and of the public’s right to know, we demand the immediate release of Julian Assange.

We urge our governments, all national and international agencies and fellow journalists to call for an end to the legal campaign being waged against him for the crime of revealing war crimes.

We urge our fellow journalists to inform the public accurately about this abuse of fundamental rights.


We urge all journalists to speak up in defense of Julian Assange at this critical time.

Dangerous times call for fearless journalism.

[1] There is a further charge under different legislation, making a total of 18 charges.

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Sign international journalist statement in defence of Julian Assange

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