Members of UK Parliament Request Urgent Meeting With Julian Assange, Cite Concerns About Press Freedom, Political Extradition

UK Parliamentarians are requesting an urgent meeting with Julian Assange, citing the implications that his case will have on the future of a free press and the US-UK Extradition Treaty that bans extradition for political offenses.

The letter sent to Assange, published on Twitter by WikiLeaks, says that they recently met with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, who has previously warned that Assange may be executed if he is extradited to the US.

“We are writing to request that provision be made to hold an online video discussion between Julian Assange and a cross-party group of UK parliamentarians,” the letter begins. “As you will be aware, Julian Assange is currently on remand in HMP Belmarsh. He faces extradition to the USA for his journalistic work with WikiLeaks, including information exposing US war atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the US, Julian Assange faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years, meaning he could spend the rest of his life in jail.”

The letter goes on to say that “this case has important implications for press and publishing freedoms in the UK, for the US-UK Extradition Treaty including its ban on extradition for political offences and for wider human rights.”

They note that Amnesty International has expressed concern about the implications of the case on press freedom, stating that “prosecuting Julian Assange on these charges could have a chilling effect on the right to freedom of expression.”

They also discuss meeting with Melzer, who has concluded that Assange’s rights are being clearly violated.

Last year, Meltzer put out a damning report on the way Assange has been tortured over the last decade — and what could happen if he is extradited.

“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Melzer.

“I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” Melzer continued.

The group of parliamentarians stated that they would like to discuss the case with Assange prior to the extradition decision scheduled for January 4.

On Tuesday, Assange formally requested a pardon from President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Project Veritas released shocking never before heard audio of Assange reaching out to the US State Department in 2011 asking them to work with him to minimize harm from the leaks, and warning that a suspended former employee was going to leak them without the redactions that WikiLeaks had been working to impliment.


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