Julian Assange has just been awarded the European Parliament’s
2019 GUE/NGL Award for Journalists, Whistleblowers & Defenders of the Right to Information. The award, started last year in honor of slain Maltese journalist Daphne Galizia, was accepted on Julian’s behalf by Mairead Maguire, the Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner. As reported by Australia’s Herald Sun on April 16th:
The award is given to individuals “uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public” and to honour “individuals or groups who have been intimidated and/or persecuted for uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public”.
Also on April 16th, Shadowproof’s Kevin Gozstola published an analysis of an FBI affidavit against Assange showing that the Justice Department is, in fact, trying to criminalize journalism with respect to its case against the Wikileaks founder:
An affidavit from the United States Justice Department’s prosecution of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange shows prosecutors are focused on criminalizing the publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs.
The focus on the publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs is baselessly linked to an alleged “password cracking agreement” that prosecutors believe existed between Assange and Pfc. Chelsea Manning, who disclosed over a half million documents to WikiLeaks.
….FBI Special Agent Megan Brown, who was assigned to the “counterespionage squad” at the Washington Field Office in the District of Columbia, was tasked with sifting through information to compile the “basis” for a case against Assange.
Using language derived from the Espionage Act, which has been wielded by the Justice Department to aggressively crack down on whistleblowers, Brown contended, “Manning and Assange had reason to believe that public disclosures of the Afghanistan War reports and Iraq War reports would cause injury to the United States.”
Read the full article here.
It is also being reported that additional charges are likely to be added by the U.S. government – which is predictably keeping the legal process under wraps as much as possible, stating that documents filed will be redacted. This is expected by many to lengthen the extradition process in the UK which is theoretically opposed to the adding of charges after the initial request by the country seeking extradition. However, a recent article by Reese Ehrlich reveals a few different factors that could complicate the process, some of which could favor Assange and some of which would not.
If the extradition is not carried out by the time of elections for prime minister in the UK, then a Jeremy Corbyn victory might very well see a blocking of the extradition. However, if Assange is ordered to be extradited, no one in the executive branch blocks it, and the UK leaves the EU before his appeal could be brought before the European Court of Human Rights, then the UK would not be bound by any favorable decision that could arise from that court. Legal experts that Ehrlich spoke to for his article were split on what kind of chance Assange had of getting a fair legal shake in either the UK or the U.S.
Read Ehrlich’s complete article here.
Meanwhile, Julian’s mother Christine, has tweeted the following message to let Julian’s supporters know what he has requested be done to help him right now:
Letters to Julian
As Julians life is at risk he requests you send:
A SHORT personal NOTE
Attatched to: A copy of an ACTION youve taken to protect him (See my pinned tweet)
Thank you for respecting his wishes