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UK: EMERGENCY - RELEASE ASSANGE AND OTHER LOW RISK PRISONERS FROM UK PRISONS!

Tuesday 24 March 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://www.change.org/p/uk-minister-of-state-for-prisons-and-probation-urgent-call-allow-julian-assange-to-prepare-his-defence-move-him-out-of-belmarsh-now/u/26088361?cs_tk=ApplLMIxqQZ0Juy2fV4AAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvJS0SJ6dtIAD-xXITSm6fgM%3D&utm_campaign=fabe690fe5e44802adbc7b1d6c518d48&utm_content=initial_v0_4_0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_term=cs

EMERGENCY - RELEASE ASSANGE AND OTHER LOW RISK PRISONERS FROM UK PRISONS!

Davey Heller
Melbourne, Australie

24 mars 2020 —

The callousness of the British class is on full display with its decision to keep Julian Assange and other low risk prisoners locked up during the growth of the Corona virus epidemic. Julian is being held on remand at the maximum security Belmarsh prison.

Julian’s mental and physical health have already been severely compromised by his seven years in isolation in the Ecuadorian Embassy, and his now almost twelve months of isolation and torturous conditions in Belmarsh.

Although this is a virus that can affect every human no matter how rich or poor, like any other “natural” disaster, it is the most vulnerable who face the most danger. The poor, refugees and also people in prisons. This has already become an explosive issue in a number of countries with deadly prison riots in Sri Lanka and Italy. Iran has released tens of thousands of political and low risk prisoners. Even in the United States with the world’s largest prison population, over a dozen states are releasing low risk prisoners.

At least two prisoners have already tested positive to the Corona virus in UK prisons and there are estimates of up to eight hundred deaths in UK prisons as the pandemic escalates in the next few months in the UK. The prison reform law practice “Appeal” has explained why Corona is such a threat in UK prisons in this Twitter thread here. The wsws.org article “Growing demands for Assange’s release as first coronavirus case confirmed in British prisons” also provides good background on the issue.

Christine Assange has stated : “My journalist son Julian Assange is detained in the UK’s Belmarsh Prison without charge….weak from chronic ill health. He must be released too to save his life.”

It is in this context Julian Assange must be immediately released from Belmarsh Prison on bail to receive medical attention under the care of his family. Julian is an unconvicted, non-violent political prisoner with compromised health. Other low risk prisoners in UK prisons must also be released to protect their lives during this crisis.

In breaking news Wikileaks has announced that Julian’s lawyers will apply for bail for Julian at the case management hearing on March 25th on the grounds that he is at risk from the Corona virus. If you can please take the actions below in the next few hours before Julian’s bail application is heard!

TAKE ACTION!

SIGN THE PETITION here
The Don’t Extradite Assange campaign has started a change.org petition to UK Home Office Secretary Priti Patel “Release Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison before COVID-19 spreads” which has now been signed by over 14,000l. Add your name and share!

SEND A LETTER TO THE UK PRISON GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION
The Australian Assange Campaign has set up this online email form for people to send an email to the UK Prison Governors Assocation and other politicians demanding Julian’s release. It can be found at this link.

This has always been a campaign to defend the democratic rights of the entire working class and also a campaign to defend the life of one brave journalist. At this point in time the struggle to save Julian’s life is paramount. I ask all 39,000 people have signed this petition calling for the transfer of Julian from Belmarsh so he can defend himself to also take at least the above two suggested actions.

UPCOMING EXTRADITION HEARING ON MAY 18TH

Julian’s extradition hearing is set to begin again on May 18th and last for three weeks. A call out was made for direct action on May 18th under the banner “Shut Down the Show Trial”. Whilst this demand remains as vital and urgent as ever, in light of the Corona Virus globally, we will have to use our collective creativity and determination to find methods to advance this slogan without necessarily protesting in person. Whilst we deal with this awful crisis, it does not change the necessity for a unified international working class struggle to defend democratic rights and freedom for Julian Assange!