Cross party group of UK parliamentarians call on President Biden to drop the charges against Assange
Jun 12, 2021 —
Cross party group of UK parliamentarians call on President Biden to drop the charges against Julian Assange ahead of G7 Summit in Cornwall
A coalition of UK members of parliament from 5 different parties have appealed in an open letter to US President Joe Biden to drop the politically motivated charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. The letter states: "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 letter continues, "Our countries are also 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."
On Thursday, during a parliamentary discussion on World Press Freedom and safety of journalists, UK MP and former Justice Secretary Richard Burgon appealed to President Biden to drop the charges and bring an end to extradition proceedings.
"I appeal to President Joe Biden, now in a country for the G7, to drop the charges so the extradition is called off." Burgon continued, "President Biden was Vice President when President Obama took the decision not to prosecute Julian Assange because of the huge damage it would have done to press freedom."
John McDonnell MP who was present at the debate via video link added his concern about Assange's current state inside a British prison: "It's a continuing stain on the reputation of this country that Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh prison. There are no justifiable grounds for keeping imprisoned a journalist who had the courage to expose war crimes and abuse of human rights."
Two weeks ago, during the Press Freedom debate in parliament, several politicians were concerned about Julian Assange's situation. "The US Government must drop the prosecution and the British Government must halt the" extradition. "A free press is essential for a public life but sadly much of our press isn't free."
Read full letter here.
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