15 December 2022
A letter from Stella Assange and members of the European Parliament, co-signed by a number of other individuals and human rights organisations, including Statewatch, calls on Joe Biden to grant a pardon to Julian Assange to "demonstrate that the United States values fundamental rights, truth, accountability, and the protection of those who speak out against injustice."
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The letter is available in PDF format here.
Dear Mr. President,
We, the undersigned, respectfully call on you to pardon Julian Assange.
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. In doing so, he has been part of the institution of a free press essential to any democracy.
Mr. Assange obtained authentic documents and sources in the same way as any other serious and independent investigative journalist would. The WikiLeaks disclosures bring to light some of the most controversial and significant acts of the United States government, including the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
The charges against him raise serious concerns about the extent to which a democratic government can criminalize the publication of truthful information. If allowed to stand, these charges will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the ability of future journalists to report on matters of public interest, undermining the fundamental principles of a free and open society.
The extreme measures that are undertaken today to punish Julian Assange for publishing the truth have inadvertently transformed him into an even more powerful symbol of freedom of speech for millions around the world.
There is arguably nothing more American than fearlessly speaking truth to power. Your nation's rich history of courageous whistleblowers, journalists, and publishers is testament to this honorable tradition.
If that quintessential function is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies will be damaged irreparably.
As the leader of the United States, the image and standing of your country in the world is in your hands.
A pardon for Mr. Assange would demonstrate that the United States values fundamental rights, truth, accountability, and the protection of those who speak out against injustice.
Marcel Kolaja, MEP and Quaestor Stella Assange
Markéta Gregorová, MEP
Mikuláš Peksa, MEP
Patrick Breyer, MEP
Fabio Massimo Castaldo, MEP
Clare Daly, MEP
Mick Wallace, MEP
Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, MEP
Rosa D´Amato, MEP
Rob Roos, MEP
Anne-Sophie Pelletier, MEP
Sabrina Pignedoli, MEP
Francisco Guerreiro, MEP
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, MEP
Erik Marquardt, MEP
Özlem Demirel, MEP
Saskia Bricmont, MEP
Piernicola Pedicini, MEP
Dietmar Köster, MEP
Emmanuel Maurel, MEP
Carles Puigdemont, MEP
Antoni Comín, MEP
Clara Ponsatí, MEP
Emmanouil Fragkos, MEP
Tiziana Beghin, MEP
Rob Rooken, MEP
Diana Riba I Giner, MEP
Ana Miranda, MEP
Mounir Satouri, MEP
Marisa Matias, MEP
José Gusmão, MEP
Statys Jakeliunas, MEP
Damien Careme, MEP
Milan Brglez, MEP
Monika Beňova, MEP
Dina Giarrusso, MEP
Ignazio Corraro, MEP
Robert Biedroń, MEP
Tineke Strik, MEP
Engin Eroglu, MEP
Kostas Arvanitis, MEP
Marc Botenga, MEP
Jordi Solé, MEP
Kateřina Konečná, MEP
Martina Michels, MEP
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Big Brother Watch
Tuuli Sauren - Inspirit Creatives, Germany
Forum Computer Professionals for Peace and Societal Responsibility (FlfF) e. V.
Elektronisk Forpost Norge
Dr. Gerhard Weck
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus-Peter Löhr
German PEN Centre
Anne Herpertz - Chairperson German Pirate Party
John Dada - Association for Progressive Communications
Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz e.V. (DVD)
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