With regard to the extradition hearing of Julian Assange, scheduled to begin on February 24, 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court in London, the Party of the European Left declares:
We call for the immediate release of journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the prevention of his extradition to the United States.
From our board meeting taking place in Berlin we send many solidarity greetings to London, where today a large protest march is happening against the extradition of Julian Assange, organised by the “Don’t Extradite Assange” campaign.
If extradited to the US, Assange will face 18 charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and a potential sentence of 175 years in prison for “crimes” that include great pieces of journalism relevant to the whole society since they tell the truth about war, like the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan War Logs, Cablegate and the collateral murder video.
The Assange case is one of the most important press freedom cases of a generation. Its implications for civil liberties and fundamental rights are far-reaching and serious.
We observe with hope that voices and initiatives from all over the world call for Julians release and have been condemning the treatment of him in jail. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, reported after a visit of Assange that he showed “all the symptoms typical of victims of prolonged psychological torture”.
We urge the United Kingdom to release Julian Assange from custody immediately. After Brexit, the UK will still be bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court for Human Rights. They are the last guarantee for Julian Assange’s right to a fair trial and to the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment that are threatened in the ongoing process and would be fundamentally infringed in case of an extradition to the US.