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EU: Sanction those who persecute Assange!


Monday 11 October 2021, by siawi3


EU: Sanction those who persecute Assange!

Patrick Boylan a lancé cette pétition adressée à Ursula von der Leyen (European Commission)

versione in ITALIANO

PHOTO: Delivering the letter to the EU in Rome, 2021/09/28

Letter and petition by:
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italiani per Assange, DiEM25 in Italy, Rete NoWar - Roma, Peacelink

For over ten years, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have constantly violated the human rights of the Australian journalist Julian Assange.

These two countries have, in fact, worked together to arbitrarily detain Assange, torture him psychologically, and infringe on his Freedom of Expression as exercised through his web site Wikileaks. These are the self-same abuses that the European Union has judged worthy of sanctions in the past, when they have been perpetrated by authoritarian regimes.

On September 28th, 2021, the UNESCO-designated day of Universal Access to Information and for the Right to Know, we wrote to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reminding her that the values that the U.N. honors are those that Julian Assange has constantly fought for. Yet for having put those values into practice, he has been imprisoned in the United Kingdom and risks being imprisoned perpetually in the United States, if extradition is granted this October 27th.

We urged President von der Leyen to dissuade the U.K. and the U.S. from continuing to persecute Assange and to enjoin them to free him immediately, by raising the prospect, in case of non compliance, of precisely those sanctions which European Union regulations provide for, in cases like this.

You can find our letter here:
and below.

We are asking you to co-sign it, by adding your signature to this petition.


This letter was signed initially by the five Italian associations promoting it as well as: Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Paul Jay (, Michael Albert (Znet), Dr Derek Summerfield (former chief psychiatrist at Freedom from Torture), Andrew Feinstein (ANC MP in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet), Margaret Kunstler (New York civil rights attorney), David McBride (ADF whistleblower), Peter Cronau (journalist, ABC Australia) and a long list of Italian signatories — associations and individuals — appearing separately below.


Letter to the European Union ’s President von der Leyen

Rome, September 28, 2021

Dear President von der Leyen,

As you know, today, September 28th, is the UNESCO Day for the Right of Access to Information (hashtag: #RightToKnow).1

We, U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice2, Italiani per Assange3 and DiEM25 in Italy4, together with other activists5 and supported by eminent personalities such as Noam Chomsky, are writing to you on this important occasion to ask you to take action in favor of a journalist who is being unjustly persecuted, a true champion of our Right to AccessInformation and a true defender of our Right to Know – specifically, our right to know the war crimes and the other illegalities committed by our governments and which our governments seek to hide from public scrutiny by abusively classifying as secret any document attesting the wrongdoing.

We are referring to Julian Assange, the Australian creator of the web site Wikileaks. This is a site which offers a safe haven for whistleblowers everywhere to reveal the government wrongdoing they come across in their activities. They do so by “leaking” abusively classified documents to Assange’s site for publication.Thus, through his site, Julian Assange actively guarantees our Right of Access to Information – precisely the value that we are celebrating today.

You recognized this value in your Sept. 15th State of the European Union address, when you spoke of the great public service that investigative journalists render. And you went on to say that this implies that “we must curb those who threaten media freedom [in persecuting and criminalizing investigative journalists] because, by defending the freedom of our media, we also defend our democracy."

In the case of Julian Assange and the web site Wikileaks, we therefore ask you to curb those who are currently threatening media freedom:
●by detaining Assange arbitrarily – for 7 years, Assange was de facto deprived of his liberty in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and for the past two years has been jailed in Belmarsh Prison, London, in spite of the fact that a U.N. Working Group has declared both detentions to be arbitrary6;
●by inflicting on Assange continual abuses, the cumulative effect of which constitutes psychological torture, according to the testimony of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture7
●and by actively conspiring, over the past eleven years, to silence him and to keep him from continuing to reveal government misdeeds, a clear infringement on his Liberty of Expression as guaranteed by article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights8.

Who has committed these violations?
There can be no doubt: the culprits are the UnitedStates of America and the United Kingdom who, together, for the past ten years, have planned and executed the systematic persecution of Julian Assange – as well as of investigative journalism itself. We therefore feel that these two countries qualify for sanctions as per EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999 of 7 December 2020 9, designed to punish precisely the violations of human rights just listed: arbitrary detention,torture, infringement on Liberty of Expression.

It should not, we believe, be necessary for you to actually enforce sanctions against the United States and the United Kingdom. It should be enough that you demand the immediate liberation of Julian Assange, the rejection of the request for extradition, and the withdrawal of all charges by the U.S. Department of Justice, threatening sanctions in case of non compliance.

Will you start taking steps to do so, President von der Leyen, and thereby honor the spirit and the meaning of this day designated by UNESCO as the Day of Universal Access to Information and of our Right to Know?


U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice – Rome, mail peaceandjustice.itItaliani per Assange, italianiperassange gmail.comDiEM25 in Italy, info italia.diem25.orgRete NoWar–Roma, nowar gmx.comPeacelink, info peacelink.itAlso signed by these eminent jurists, academics, journalists, activists and public figures:Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Paul Jay(, Michael Albert (Znet), Dr Derek Summerfield (former chiefpsychiatrist at Freedom from Torture), Andrew Feinstein (ANC MP in Nelson Mandela’scabinet), Margaret Kunstler (New York civil rights attorney), David McBride (ADFwhistleblower), Peter Cronau (journalist, ABC Australia), Andrew Fowler (investigative journalist)

The list of Italian endorsers appears here.

(2.) Website: email: mail
(3.) email: italianiperassange
(5.) of which NoWar–Roma, PeaceLink and other activist groups in Italy.
(6.) The UN WGADalso cited violations of Universal Declaration on Human Rights (Art 9/10) and International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (Art. 7, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, 10, 14). European Court of Human Rights recognizes WGAD.
(8.) EU sanctions regulation: “This Regulation shall apply to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention, violations or abuses of freedom of opinion and expression.” For specific cases, see For the norm see: