A group of 24 members of the UK Parliament have written to President Joe Biden, who is at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, asking him to drop the U.S. prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
Twenty-four members of Parliament have called on President Joe Biden to drop the U.S. pursuit of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
A letter from the MPs was sent to Biden on Friday as the president attends the G-7 summit in Cornwall.
It takes aim at Biden’s predecessor for indicting Assange and calls on the president “to drop this prosecution.”
“We hope that your administration will become a staunch ally of all those working to roll back the shadow of criminalisation against journalists,” the letter says, citing the U.S. First Amendment.
The letter points out that as vice president in 2011 Biden opposed Assange’s prosecution. “You, like us, must have been disappointed when your predecessor launched a prosecution carrying a 175-year sentence against a globally renowned publisher,” the MPs wrote.
They told Biden Assange’s case “weakens the right to publish.”
“Our countries are … increasingly confronted with the contradiction of advocating for press freedom abroad while holding Mr. Assange for years in the UK’s most notorious prison at the request of the US government,” the letter says. “We appeal to you to drop this prosecution, an act that would be a clarion call for freedom that would echo around the globe.”
The text of the letter: