[Picture: Dirk-Martin Heinzelmann @PixelHelper Projektion at US Embassy in Bern]
Freedom for Assange – To protect basic democratic values
Currently, the extradition of Julian Assange is being tried in London. For a long time now, the entire trial is no longer about him as a journalist; rather, a fight has broken out over political values, freedom of the press and human rights: The defense of basic democratic values must be the first priority, with the goal of getting Assange released.
With the resumption of the extradition process, the #FreeAssange network took action (with the support of some major organizations such as the Chaos Computer Club, Digital Society and the Pirate Party) to raise awareness of the case:
- Flashmob in Bern on the Federal Square (Video Download)
- Light projection on the US embassy
- “Walk” in front of the US Embassy
- Light projections onto the SRF building
- Light projections onto the Tamedia building
Assange has not only been persecuted for years, but more and more information about his imprisonment and the inhuman conditions is becoming known. It is hard to imagine how the situation would deteriorate even further if he were really to be extradited to the USA. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, assumes that an unfair trial and detention conditions equivalent to torture or other inhuman treatment or punishment will await him there.
However, Assange rejecteda pardon by Trump, since he should have disclosed his sources for this and thus betrayed the freedom of the press and journalism.
His fiancée Stella Morris and mother of his two children, reports on Twitter about the terrible conditions he is exposed to every day. As a result, he is not able to talk to his lawyers in confidence.
On the ongoing extradition proceedings in London:
As an expert, Christian Grothoff, professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, provided information about who for the first time published the US mailings in a non-journalistic and unanomysed way: namely not Wikileaks. In addition, he explained the technical background to the cryptographic procedure, with which Wikileaks on the contrary even tried to protect sensitive information.
The German citizen Khaled al-Masri, a CIA abduction and torture victim, was heard as a witness. It was the first time ever that such a victim was able to testify in a court of law against the USA. Due to the explosiveness of the case, the American prosecution tried to make al-Masri’s testimony more difficult.
Many facts and testimonies about the ongoing trial are not easily accessible to the public because constant technical problems with the video link for the few admitted journalists since the beginning of the trial make reporting difficult.
Currently 160 incumbent and former political leaders and diplomats worldwide are demanding the release of Julian Assange, as well as over 1500 journalists from about 100 different countries. Christian Mihr of Reporters Without Borders says: “It is no longer just a trial against Assange, it is also a trial against freedom of the press and journalism and an attack on human rights. The public has a right to expect other courageous journalists to report on the case of Assange, not only because a human life is at stake, but because political calculation must not be allowed to endanger or even restrict basic democratic values.
The #FreeAssange Network is supported by:
Chaos Computer Club Switzerland and Germany
Digital Society Switzerland and Germany
Forum Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility
Pirate Party Switzerland
Further details and reports from the process can be found here