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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/12/20

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Politicians Call on UK to Release Assange

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Julian Assange.
Julian Assange.
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The text of the letter signed by former British MP Chris Williamson, former U.S. Mike Gravel and former Congressman Ron Paul among other political leaders:

June 1, 2020

FAO The Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP
Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice

CC The Hon Bob Neill MP
UK Commons Justice Committee Chair

Dear Sir,

REQUEST FOR COMPASSIONATE RELEASE OF JULIAN ASSANGE

As current and former elected representatives in democracies committed to human rights, the presumption of innocence and the rule of law, we wish to support the urgent appeal sent to you by Australian MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen, who wrote:

"We ask that you urgently reconsider providing Mr. Assange with release from Belmarsh Prison to monitored home detention, as he fits all of the grounds noted for such early release by leading organizations as the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the UK Prison Officers Association. These organizations have been unanimous in calling for the release of all non-violent COVID-19 prisoners, and we ask that you give compassionate consideration to the following:

  • Mr. Assange is a non-violent remand prisoner with no history of harm to the community. He is not convicted and is thus entitled to the presumption of innocence.

  • Doctors of Mr. Assange warn he is at high risk from dying if he contracts COVID-19 as he has a pre-existing chronic lung condition.

  • We are advised that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout UK prisons, and that there are infections [and at least one death] at Belmarsh Prison.

  • We understand that the prison is short staffed and normal activity regimes are suspended.

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