On her way to the White House, the German chancellor has a received a letter from Bundestag members, journalists and artists telling her to bring up Assange with the U.S. president.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is headed to Washington on Thursday for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and a group of 120 Bundestag members, German journalists, writers and artists have sent her a letter telling her to ask Biden to “save face” and release imprisoned journalist Julian Assange on humanitarian grounds.
“We sincerely ask you to help build bridges in the Julian Assange case,” says the letter, dated July 11, according to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa). Merkel was told “how important it is in the interests of defending freedom of the press to drop the lawsuit against the Wikileaks founder so that he can recover freely with his family.”
Merkel was urged to find “a humanitarian solution for Assange and a face-saving solution for the U.S. President,” the letter said. “It would be a strong, lasting humanitarian gesture at the end of your term of office and for President Joe Biden, finally, an opportunity to leave the Donald Trump era behind completely in the interests of protecting freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”
Merkel is leaving office later this year and this will be her last trip to Washington. Days after Assange’s 2019 arrest, a spokesperson for Merkel’s office said his case “is a matter which doesn’t concern Germany and is in the hands of British justice.”
The letter said the prosecution of Assange is “incompatible with the rule of law, and the dire conditions of detention are a humanitarian scandal.” The Chancellor was told that “in view of the threatening health condition of Assange, there is an urgent need for action. It is in the hands of Biden to end the legal proceedings initiated by his predecessor against Assange and to drop the charges.”
The letter was initiated by well-known investigative journalist Günter Wallraff and was signed by cross-party Bundestag members from from Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democrats (SPD), Free Democrats (FDP), die Linke (theLeft) and the Greens.
Several ex-government ministers also signed it, including Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), Gerhart Baum (FDP), Oskar Lafontaine (Left), the writer Elfriede Jelinek and Alice Schwarzer, editor of the magazine Emma. Last year, a group of German parliamentarians visited Assange in Belmarsh prison, where he has been held since April 2019. His extradition was denied in January but he is awaiting the outcome of a U.S. appeal.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe
J’ai toujours su que Angela Merkel était plus sage que les autres .
Elle a pris soin des Allemands malgré des erreurs
Et aujourd’hui, mes respects Mme Merkel’
Please, please! Freedom for Assange
Mostrar la Verdad de los hechos puede doler, incomodar pero sigue siendo Verdad. Asumirla engrandece, NO asumirla es responsabilizarse de todo lo que generó y genera.
How this deranged Merkel continues winning elections is a mystery considering all the damage she has done to Germany, particularly through immigration.
My guess is it’s because heads of state are selected, not elected. I think it’s part and parcel of this sham of ‘democracy’ that we live in.
POEM FOR JULIAN ASSANGE
I came to know some people on line
We fight for the same mighty guy
To free an imprisoned hero we know
He’s not free yet but still we all try
To release him to do his great work
Of exposing American crimes
The murder of inocent civilians
These sure are horrible times
You exit your house in afganistan
Or Syria Vietnam or Iraq
The last you see is your children destroyed
In a sensless firery attack
A drone as big as a school bus
Had spied you from 2 miles away
By an operator who didnt know who you were
Who is based in a house in L.A.
A film they took is for training
By an American computer team
But Julian seeks them out for Wiki
Then shows us the film in a meme
These criminals seem to have the idea
They can, if they want, take control
Of every small situation they see
Like an IDF murdering soldiers roll.
But no the world will not take it
We facebook, we shout and we scream
And our man Assange is the man we need
To turn a nightmare into a dream
Where children can play on a street or a beach
Without getting shot from the sky
Where good men can gather and chat
Without looking up to ask why
Why is that drone in our cloudless skys
What have we done to the states
That a man in a room in Los Angeles
Has a grudge with a man who sells dates
Well Julian we really need you my friend
So we hope you go free as the birds
So you can fly round this troubled old world
And stop all this carnage with words
The kidnapping murders and shootings
of inocent people like us
Who want to live life as it should be
In peace and love with no fuss
So come on Julian you lovely young man
Jump up and down in your cell
And tell us all what you want us to do
To release you from that bloody hell.
Belmarsh the prison is hell on earth
Where an inocent man’s in the can
We take on the judges and shout out the truth
Till you’re free you wonderful man..
RE: John Smith
July 12, 2021 at 11:00
“There is no “face saving” to be done when one commits crimes”
You are mistaken.
The half-live of “face saving” is short and only facilitated on the bases of real-politik, not by conflating the rule of man with the “rule of law” as apparently some in the Budestag realise, hence some of the register of their letter.
The half-live of the perception of some tends to be shorter than the half-live of “face saving” and when it is not that is not a particular problem given the immersive nature of ideology and the wish of spectators to believe/emote.
One potential problem is the ideology of the would-be-decider including immersion in notions of making an offer others can’t refuse, hence some of the register of the letter since the hubris of others is often a useful vector.
Artificial insemination is quite prevalent nowadays, but previous perceptions may be more apt including “If you want to have babies, virginity is not an option, unless you steal the babies”.
“in the hands of British justice.” but ordered by the USA, like the latest command to the EU not to punish the poor humanitarian tech giants by making them pay any tax.
If this is true and it has an effect, it will be wonderful, especially since the rest of the “EU” is spineless about Julian Assange.
Again, absent from Corporate State Friendly Media like all other important info on this Man in The Iron Mask trial. He’s doomed
Sorry – I suppose Merkel is much more likely to bring up Russia’s imprisonment of the fraudster Navalny, and join Biden in condemning China snd Russia for prosecuting journalists.
I hope I am wrong.
There is no “face saving” to be done when one commits crimes. The U.S. government has done so repeatedly, and must cease its persecution and incarceration of Assange immediately whether it wants to or not.