On July 1 four German parliamentarians from four political parties addressed the following open letter to President Biden. They include Sevim Dagdelen of Die Linke (The Left), Bijan Djir-Sarai of the FDP (Free Democratic Party), Frank Heinrich of CDU (Christian Democratic Union), Frank Schwabe of the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and Margit Stumpp of the Bundnis 90/Die Grunen (Alliance 90/The Greens). All parties in the parliament are thus represented, with the exception of the extreme right (Alternative for Germany). What follows is my translation. The original German is here, and it was published as an "open letter" (see here). The "recent revelations" refer to the confession of Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson that was published on Monday June 26 in English on a major Icelandic news site, but has been completely blacked out by mainstream media in both Germany and the United States (see here).
Berlin, July 1, 2021
President Biden, end the persecution of the journalist Julian Assange.
On the occasion of Julian Assange's 50th birthday on July 3, 2021, and the continued persecution of the imprisoned journalist and Wikileaks founder by the government of U.S. President Joe Biden, the members of the parliamentary working group "Freedom for Julian Assange" Sevim Dagdelen (DIE LINKE), Bijan Djir-Sarai (FDP), Frank Heinrich (CDU), Frank Schwabe (SPD) and Margit Stumpp (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen) state the following.
The recent revelations about trumped-up hacking allegations by a key witness cooperating with the FBI show once again that the allegations against the journalist Julian Assange are contrived and baseless. We call on the new U.S. administration under President Joe Biden to end once and for all the extradition process started by the previous administration and stop the prosecution of the Wikileaks founder. Julian Assange has been held for more than two years under torture-like conditions in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, where he is celebrating his 50th birthday in solitary confinement despite being in critically poor health.
We call on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to speak out during the upcoming visit with U.S. President Biden in Washington and urge him to end to the persecution of Julian Assange and to insist on respect for freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Sevim Dagdelen (DIE LINKE): "For eleven years, Julian Assange has been deprived of his freedom at the instigation of the U.S. leadership because he published information about war crimes committed by the USA. The German government must finally stand up for the freedom of the journalist and an end to this political persecution, especially now that important parts of the accusations on which the U.S. indictment is based have been shown to be fabricated."
Bijan Djir-Sarai (FDP): "The refusal to release Julian Assange on bail is a violation of the rule of law and human rights and in view of the detention conditions a constitutional and humanitarian scandal. If only to protect his life and his compromised health, Julian Assange must be released immediately from the maximum-security Belmarsh prison."
Frank Heinrich (CDU): "The U.S. administration of President Biden should use the opportunity to put the Trump era behind it entirely on this point as well and withdraw the extradition request against Julian Assange in the spirit of protecting freedom of the press and freedom of expression."
Frank Schwabe (SPD): "The way Julian Assange is being handled is in no way compatible with the principles of the rule of law. In view of his poor state of health, this spectacle must be brought to an end immediately."
Margit Stumpp (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen): "If the U.S. and the Western community of states want to credibly stand up for the protection of press freedom and the rule of law, they must stop using Julian Assange as an example for the persecution of journalists they do not like. The criminalization of investigative journalism that, in the case of Wikileaks, has exposed horrific war crimes, torture and corruption scandals, not only weakens democracy and the rule of law but also undermines people's trust in public institutions."
Sevim Dagdelen, Bijan Djir-Sarai, Frank Heinrich, Frank Schwabe, Margit Stumpp
Deutscher Bundestag, Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin