A new campaign was launched on Monday calling for justice for Julian Assange who is currently being held in solitary confinement at top security Belmarsh prison awaiting possible extradition to the US.

Brian Eno was joined outside the Home Office in London with organisers from the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign, as well as visitors from Code Pink – the US-based peace campaign group.

The new campaign is calling for people to flood the Home Office with emails and physical postcards (which can be ordered online) before 19th December which is the date of the next court appearance for Mr Assange.

Ann Wright, an ex-US Army General and Deputy Ambassador, who resigned over the illegality of the Iraq War, told the small crowd that she was here as an American citizen calling for the UK government to free Assange.

Medea Benjamin, who co-founded Code Pink, pointed out that the person who exposed the invasions, the murder of civilians and the use of torture, was the one behind bars, and that this said a lot about the US and UK “justice system”.

Brian Eno, the pioneering musician, spoke about the systematic state torture of a journalist, and reminded us that Assange has been in isolation for many years, and is currently in Belmarsh, for jumping bail – a crime for which he might receive a small fine.

Remember that all this began in 2010 when Chelsea Manning leaked a film to WikiLeaks of US helicopters targeting and killing journalists in Iraq. None of those responsible were held to account, but she was imprisoned for seven years, then released, but is now back in prison for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks.

The rape claims against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were all dropped earlier this year. He was never ever charged with such a crime, and the allegations weren’t properly investigated, so the women involved certainly didn’t receive justice if there were indeed any case. A lawyer acting for the Crown Prosecution Service even wrote in 2010 and 2011 to his Swedish counterparts asking them not to come to the UK to interview, although he had agreed to speak with them if they came to the Ecuadorian Embassy. The CPS later admitted deleting the emails, adding to the mountain of abuse of process surrounding Assange’s detention.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, visited Assange in Belmarsh in May, and wrote:

Mr Assange has been deliberately exposed for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.”

 Supporters who saw Assange in court just weeks ago fear for his life, describing his mental and physical condition as desperate. Although the sentence for his bail breach ended in September and the Swedish charges were dropped, a Judge has ruled he will remain in Belmarsh until an extradition hearing in February, and with the inevitable appeals and further court process, well beyond that. He continues to be denied the means to prepare a legal defence, and his medical condition is deteriorating daily.

John Pilger has said:

“The treatment and persecution of Julian Assange is the way that dictatorships treat a political prisoner.”

Noam Chomsky pointed out:

He has committed the grave crime of exposing power to sunlight.”

Brian Eno says:

This is important not just for Assange but for the future of journalism, and the future of holding governments to account for what they do.”

If you want to help fight for justice, there’s more info on this current campaign at:
https://dontextraditeassange.com/christmas-card/