The following email reminds us all that it's been years, over a decade, that journalist Julian Assange has been effectively locked up, in situations described as torturous by independent observers:
It's beyond time that presidents from Obama to Trump to Biden finally dropped all charges and/or pardoned Assange for the crime of reporting news (yes, I know he's accused of conspiring to hack information, but even if one accepts the tenuous highly flawed argument that he actually did that, the man has suffered enough by now, and may be permanently crippled in mind and body. He is the country's most famous political prisoner, and he's not even in America or an American at all, making the additional crime of espionage especially ridiculous).
friends and colleagues,
First and foremost, we wanted to say thank you and welcome to those of you who've recently signed our statement expressing our strong opposition as journalists to the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.
This is, as you'll be well aware, a critical period for Julian, but all of freedom of the press in general. With that strongly in mind, we thought this would be a good time to share with you some of the efforts we've been undertaking to hopefully move the needle in the right direction.
S ome of you may have seen our recent full-page ad in the Guardian newspaper in Britain, published on May 24 and no doubt how some of you arrived to us. This required a fair amount of coordination on our parts, but we were glad to get it published.
We've also worked to send a letter to the office of Home Secretary Priti Patel attaching a copy of our full statement in addition to a list of you who've signed with us. We've tried to include as many newcomers as possible, but if you've joined in the last few days that may not be the case as a decision is imminent and our priority was getting the letter sent.
With the much-appreciated help of Marc Meillassoux, a signatory here, we've also updated our short video in which some of you kindly appeared. The text now reads "Over 1,800 journalists to reflect our latest numbers, but in truth there are now upwards of 1,900 of us here. Our aim is to quickly to grow that figure upwards of 2,000, but ideally far beyond as we seek to apply pressure in the coming days and weeks.
With that in mind and given this vital stage, we're asking for your help in 3 areas:
1. Rais e awareness of this initiative on social media with the hashtag #JournalistsSpeakUpForAssange, asking journalists in your network to read and sign our statement here: https://speak-up-for-assange.org/sign/
We're including a link to download our video here (also available on YouTube ) and we're also attaching a photo should you wish to use these alongside your posts. Please see this great tweet from Tayyab Baloch should you need inspiration.
2. Speak to your colleagues at work or from various journalism unions which you are members of about this initative in the context of Julian's case. If each person here can get two people to sign, we will have tripled our numbers almost instantly.
3. Most importantly, continue to publish critical articles and video reports on the case for your respective institutions.
For those who missed the news, you may wish to know ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo and William Evanina (a former US national security official) have been asked to testify in Spain [original Spanish source; English report] in the investigation of UC Global founder David Morales with respect to the Yahoo! News report that the CIA drew up sketches to assassinate or kidnap Julian. You may find this report from John Kiriakou useful in this context.
As always, please do share your reports with us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we enjoy shar ing them with everyone here. With that in mind, please see this piece from Peter Oborne, also a signatory here, in the Guardian recently.
Lastly , we wanted to share with you that after working together on this project in the virtual world for over two years, we finally had the opportunity to meet in person. Nicky (typically in New Zealand) was this year's keynote speaker at the Dataharvest conference just outside of Brussels so we thought it would be good for Serena (Switzerland) and Tareq (UK) to make the journey down.
addition to strengthening our relationship ,
we were able to connect with other attendees of
the conference and
raise the importance of Julian's case. We're
continue building on this progress and these
we hope t o
keep doing important work in the coming
any of you feel you want to be more involved and
have something to
offer, please get in touch at the email above.