Some news from Free Assange January Newsletter
In the past month Julian has lost one of his great friends and supporters, the indefatigable John Pilger. John spent much of his time in later years campaigning for Julian’s release and we convey our heartfelt sympathy to his family. Universally celebrated as one of the great journalists of our time, John’s passing at the age of 84 is not just a great loss to Julian Assange but all those who knew him, as well as a severe loss to journalism itself. John Pilger once said “It is only when journalists understand the role they play in propaganda, it’s only when they realise they can’t be both independent, honest journalists and agents of power, that things will begin to change.”
John Pilger also noted that Julian was “brave in starting a project that he knew would get him in trouble, the best kind of trouble. The kind of trouble that informs people, that respects their right to know about those who govern them, those that make war in their name…when Julian started WikiLeaks Julian knew it would be a rocky road…it was about seeking justice through letting people know what was going on“. Pilger understood the significance of Julian Assange‘s WikiLeaks project and the dangers he faced in championing the public’s right to know.
Julian faces pivotal court hearings which are to be held at 8:30am on February 20 and 21 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. A new Julian Assange interactive map showcases Julian Assange’s awards for Journalism (more than 35) as well as regional and municipal honours and awards he has been granted.
The UK Conservative MP David Davis has spoken of his opposition to extradition saying “The successful extradition of Julian Assange would effectively criminalise investigative journalism as espionage. It would set a legal precedent allowing the prosecution of anyone who breaks the duty of silence on classified American information and state sponsored crime.’ Julian’s wife, Stella, told a public meeting that Julian‘s incarceration and torture are a “deliberate signal to prevent scrutiny of authoritarian regimes“.
In her ‘In Conversation’ interview series Stella Assange had a wide reaching discussion with former UK Ambassador Craig Murray. Murray talked of the “flagrant abuse and persecution of Julian as an individual that makes him an extremely powerful symbol of freedom.“
There are two parts to the interview – Part one is titled ‘Demystifying Diplomacy and Espionage‘ and Part Two: ‘Foreign Office and intelligence agencies in Practice‘.