Strasbourg 15/12/2022 – Today, four Pirate Party Members of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and Stella Assange address US President Joe Biden in an open letter co-signed by 41 EU lawmakers, NGOs, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and many more, asking him to pardon Julian Assange. WikiLeaks co-founder Assange is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom and waiting for extradition to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and computer misuse.
For over a decade, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been at the forefront of investigative journalism, publishing information that has revealed significant abuses of power and corruption at the highest levels of powerful institutions. The charges against him raise serious concerns about the extent to which a democratic government can criminalize the publication of truthful information.
Among the signatories are the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the worldwide association of writers PEN International and many of their national sub-organizations, and several human rights NGOs, such as Big Brother Watch or Statewatch.
This week, Julian Assange’s wife Stella represents her husband, a nominee for the Sakharov Prize 2022 for Freedom of Thought, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Together with her and all undersigned, the European Pirates respectfully call on US President Joe Biden to pardon Julian Assange.
Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament for the Czech Pirate Party, comments:
“Julian Assange revealed information of significant importance to the public while performing the work of an investigative journalist. His imprisonment is in direct contradiction with American core values, such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press. His persecution for publishing the truth must stop.”
Markéta Gregorová, Member of the European Parliament for the Czech Pirate Party, comments:
“Assange should not be the model case for how whistleblowers are treated. On the contrary, we should protect him, so they are not afraid to keep publishing truthful information in the public interest. Without Julian Assange, we would have never found out about cases like the war crimes of the American soldiers against civilians in Iraq. Therefore, I believe he deserves a full presidential pardon with the immediate release from prison.”
Mikuláš Peksa, MEP and Chairperson of the European Pirate Party, comments:
“I spoke with Stella Assange about the great importance of defending freedom of expression and about the right to seek and share the truth. As a Member of the European Parliament and the Pirate Party, I stand with Stella and Julian in their fight for justice. I am fundamentally against the persecution of whistleblowers and journalists. We cannot let governments silence the ones, who are exposing their wrongdoings.”
Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, comments:
“The detention and prosecution of Assange set an extremely dangerous precedent for all journalists, media actors, and freedom of the press. No journalist should be prosecuted for publishing ‘state secrets’ of public interest because this is their job. The public has a right to know about state crimes committed by those in power, to be able to stop them and bring them to justice. Julian Assange has changed the world we live in for the better, bringing in an era where injustice can no longer be swept under the carpet.”
Nikolaus Riss (EN/DE)
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Tomáš Polák (EN/CZ)
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