Chomsky, Ellsberg and others denounce the extradition of Assange
As supporters of Julian Assange held a press conference Friday at the British Consulate in New York to demand the freedom of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder, a trio of prominent left-wing figures denounced the British government’s approval of the extradition of the sick Australian to the United States.
In a statement released ahead of Friday’s press conference, the three chairs of the Assange Defense Committee – linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker – slammed UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. green light of Assange’s transfer to the United States earlier today. Assange plans to appeal the decision.
“This is a sad day for Western democracy. The UK’s decision to extradite Julian Assange to the nation that plotted to assassinate him – the nation that wants to imprison him for 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest – is an abomination,” he said. said the trio, referring to a alleged 2017 CIA scheme kidnap or kill the founder of WikiLeaks.
“We expect the world’s most despised autocrats to persecute journalists, editors and whistleblowers. We expect totalitarian regimes to enlighten their people and crack down on those who challenge the government,” they continued. “Shouldn’t we expect Western democracies to behave better?
Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and Alice Walker react to Assange’s extradition approval:
“This is a sad day for Western democracy.” https://t.co/oxhiKJjPsA pic.twitter.com/ZKNPCG6BBO
— Assange Defense (@AssangeDefense) June 17, 2022
The statement continued:
The US government argues that its revered Constitution does not protect journalism the government dislikes and that publishing truthful information in the public interest is a subversive criminal act.
This argument is a threat not only to journalism, but to democracy itself. The UK has shown its complicity in this farce, by agreeing to extradite a foreigner on politically motivated charges that crumble at the slightest scrutiny.
Among the speakers at Friday’s event in New York were Assange’s father and progressive German parliamentarian, Sevim Dağdelen, who said that “today is a dark day for press freedom, a dark day for human rights”.
LIVE NOW: The family of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hold a press conference after Assange’s extradition to the US was approved by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday https:/ /t.co/DIMfb7dxk9
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 17, 2022
“Julian Assange is a hero,” she added. “Every decent citizen and journalist is called to stand up.”