Consortium News broadcast the 12th Unity4J online vigil for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange on Friday, hosted by Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria.
Julian Assange is a wanted man because he published classified information that revealed the crimes and corruption of government officials around the world, not just in the United States.
But it is the U.S., the supposed beacon of freedom and democracy (and press freedom) around the world that has indicted him and wants him extradited to the United States for the crime of publishing.
That’s why Julian Assange has been a refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past six years. He knows that the second he steps back onto British territory he will be arrested and sent to the U.S. where he is unlikely to receive a fair trial and would likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Discussing the following headlines from the past week were former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel from Monterrey, California; journalist Cassandra Fairbanks in Washington; Greg Barns, a member of Assange’s legal team speaking from Cape Town, South Africa and former Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Andrew Fowler from Sydney:
1. Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire on Monday nominated JA for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
2. Former Australian ambassador Tony Kevin has reiterated his support for Julian Assange. He tweeted on Dec. 31: “I have always called for #Assange‘s release and his safely escorted return home to Australia in RAAF aircraft. This innocent man is being treated so badly by Ecuador, UK and US govts.”We hope to have Amb. Kevin join us later in the program.
3. Cassandra Fairbanks, a frequent guest on these vigils, visited Julian Assange last Monday and reports that his Living Conditions are More Akin to a Dissident in Stasi-Era Germany Than an Award-Winning Publisher With Asylum
4. On Wednesday, WikiLeaks issued official denial of Trump election contacts, saying that the organization never provided election information to Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone or to Jerome Corsi, a conservative author and conspiracy advocate.
5. Yanis Varoufakis’ DiEM25 on Jan 4 launched a petition calling on governments of Ecuador and the UK to prevent the extradition of Julian Assange to the US.It has more than 8,000 signatures.
6. Greg Barnes a member of the JA’s Australian legal team spoke to the Unity4J vigil yesterday in a pre-recorded interview that was aired at the start of the program.
You can watch the recorded broadcast here. There is a musical break from 00.38 minute mark to 1:12, when the discussion resumes with an interview of Australian journalist Andrew Fowler about the state of the media and its impact on Assange.