European lawmakers say ‘no’ to Assange’s extradition

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with Assange attractive The hearing, which will begin on October 27, will be held by three European lawmakers who are also delegates in the Parliamentary Assembly. Council of Europe (STEP UP) Discussed with Independent AAustralia the relationship between the action of this body and the fate of similar media freedom cases.

To be the leading institution in the field of human rights in the continent and also to be a European Court of Human Rights The Council of Europe is a reference point among its bodies in all matters affecting fundamental freedoms. member states27 of them are also members. European union.

The German Deputy also took part in the meeting held in Strasbourg, France. Andrej Hunko with Italian MPs. Gianni Marilotti and Roberto Rampi, who tied the urgency to release WikiLeaks He called for the protection of the publisher’s right to information and also for the charges to be dropped by the President of the United States. Joe Biden.

Hunko and Marilotti are already the protagonists of initiatives that support their freedom. Julian AssangeIt may seem quite natural for them to oppose the return. But it turned out that saying “no” to the latter was not the exclusive view of the parliamentarians who supported the WikiLeaks case.

We contacted a member from the UK to give him an idea of ​​how far the extradition opposers group goes beyond this subset. House of Lords Not known for his particular sympathy for Assange in London – Lord George Foulkes. As the video shows, the objection to the extradition of the Australian journalist to the US is also voiced by a figure who is not enthusiastic about WikiLeaks’ work and is also an authoritative voice on the protection of media workers. .

Lord Foulkes, who also represents his country at the PACE, was a former rapporteur of the Committee on Media Freedom and one of the signatories in 2020. solution The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council called for the immediate release of the publisher WikiLeaks, promoted by Hunko and Marilotti.

He told us:

I’m not the biggest fan of Julian Assange so I don’t want to get into reasons but some of his past is not something anyone should be proud of. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be given a fair trial and treated appropriately, and that’s why I signed the motion to have him not extradited and released. The British Government should respond positively to this. I’m not at the forefront, but a few colleagues will follow suit.

In other words, what Lord Foulkes, Mr Hunko, Mr Marilotti and Mr Rampi share, peer He said the extradition of Assange would allow parliamentarians working on issues of paramount importance to the Council of Europe to focus, as always, on human rights.

Aware of this, Mr. Hunko, together with other German MPs, organized initiatives to raise awareness about the Assange situation in his country, and even held a meeting in 2020. hearing with Assange’s father in the German Parliament, John Shiptonand other key voices of the Assange campaign.

JOHN PILGER: A day in the death of British justice

asked recently investigation by Yahoo News Reporting on the statements of former CIA officials about the project to assassinate Assange has apparently been discussed at high levels. embers The administration said Mr. Hunko and his colleagues will take action to encourage the German public to ask more questions about what is going on with the American secret service plans. And above all, Hunko emphasized PACE’s role in working for Assange’s liberation.

He said:

I think the institution here is very important, because ultimately, and this is what Julian conveyed to us, that after the British trials in Strasbourg, his case could be decided by the European Court of Human Rights. This is about our Assembly. We are now voting for the judges for this course. But what we’re saying here in our judgments is what the Human Rights Commissioner says has an impact on the court as well.

While the focus is on continuing to work in Strasbourg, the MPs’ activities as international observers at the Assange hearings signal to the UK Government that Europe is watching.

Mr Marilotti, who has formed a cross-party committee in the Italian Parliament to monitor the case, told The Independent AIt will also follow the appeals hearing in Australia and motivate the reasons for the interest in the Assange case:

“We want justice because Assange is not a hacker or a spy. He is a journalist who has done his job with his revelations in all the newspapers around the world. It brought to light important otherwise unknown aspects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Bloody conspiracy against Julian Assange

When asked who could take action to change the course of the case, both Italian lawmakers agreed that Joe Biden should:

“I think President of the United States Joe Biden can do that. Since democracy does not simply mean ‘a government made by the citizens’, it may take a serious investigation to determine exactly whether all procedures and all individual and collective rights are respected. It also refers to an act of government carried out ‘together’ with citizens.”

Mr Rampi stressed that, in line with his colleague, Biden is not “just another president”:

“He is the President who came after the Trump era. His role is to rebuild democracy and I think dropping the charges in the Assange case is part of that.”

The future will show whether Biden will play the critical role our European parliamentarians hope to give him.

US Government continues to fight to extradite Julian Assange

Sara Chessa He is an independent journalist based in the UK. You can follow Sara on Twitter @sarachessa1.

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