We condemn the arrest in London this week of the WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange and call for his release.
Julian Assange has been effectively incarcerated in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner noted in 2016, that his “Arbitrary Detention should be brought to an end”. He is a multi-award winning investigative journalist who has, since 2010, been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
If he is extradited to the US, he could be jailed for espionage for up to 45 years. Some US politicians have in the past even called for him to be assassinated. His extradition, if it happens, will also weaken the right of journalists to investigate and expose war crimes.
Julian Assange has greatly served the cause of anti-war activism and the struggle for world peace by releasing footage and documents exposing some of the horrific atrocities carried out by the US military and others in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that were illegal, immoral and that caused untold sufferings to millions of people in those countries.
Along with Chelsea Manning and others, he stands in that great anti-war tradition of whistleblowing on the machinations of warmongering governments and a secretive, egregious and profiteering military industrial complex. The Irish Government should not support his extradition to the US and should speak out for the right of journalists to investigate and expose the kind of facts that Wikileaks brought to light.
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,