The Belmarsh Tribunal For Julian Assange: March 4

By Neenah Payne

In the video Anti-War Activist Infighting Reaches Boiling Point; Evidence US Assassinated Haiti PM To Stop China,  Kim Iversen listed the 10 demands of the Rage Against The War Machine rally which was held in Washington, DC on February 19. The last demand was “Free Julian Assange”. In the video, Kim interviews Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton about the status of Julian’s case.

Julian’s Brother Provides Update on His Case

Gabriel explained that although Julian has committed no crimes, on April 11 he will have been in the maximum-security Belmarsh Prison in London for four years on the request of the US Department of Justice pending its request to extradite him for publishing truths about the War on Terror. Julian is charged with 17 counts under the US Espionage Act.

Julian has one more avenue of appeal in the British courts which he has submitted. However, the UK courts have not yet given him a written response. However, they could hear anytime now.

See Julian Assange: The Trial of The Century.

Night Carnival For Julian Assange: February 11

On Saturday, February 11, the Night Carnival for Julian Assange took place beginning at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (nearest tube Holborn) at 4pm — then marched to the Emmanuel Centre (just around the corner from Parliament), where a rally was held. Speakers included Stella Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson, and more.  The Night Carnival included giant puppets, street performers, sound systems, and bands.

More details here:

Julian’s team says:

The latest expression of support for Assange was the 2,000 strong Night Carnival protest in London. The carnival was led by Lady Justice followed by artists and campaigners dressed in costumes carrying lanterns, placards, flags including samba bands marching along the crowd.

Symbolically it began at Lincoln’s Inn Field. Famously, this is the place where Charles Dickens novel Bleak House pictured the legal fog which kept cases going for years being at its thickest and most lethal.

The carnival aimed to shine a lot through this fog and illuminate Julian Assange’s case. Its slogan was Light into Darkness’, using the age-old subversive nature of carnival to shine a light on this very dark corner of the political and legal system.

The carnival concluded with an indoor rally at the Emanuel Centre with various speakers supporting Assange.

Julian Assange Requests Leave For Funeral of Dame Vivienne Westwood shows that Assange requested leave from the Belmarsh prison to attend the funeral of his friend and avid supporter Vivienne Westwood. She is shown below in a cage, demonstrating that Julian is like the canary in the coal mine.

The photo below shows Ben Westwood, son of Vivienne Westwood, who opened the rally expressing the importance of facts for a functioning democracy with words “The world needs Julian.” Ben brought a scarf made by Vivienne, the text bullet points the violations and injustices against Julian.

Jeremy Corbyn spoke second at the rally, explaining the work and importance of campaigning for Assange: “Julian spoke out for the innocent victims all around the world of unaccountable military power.”

Julian’s team continued:

“It’s a reminder that in the midst of all that cruelty, there is a world of kindness that does believe in justice.” We heard an incredibly moving story from Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was reunited with her family after six years in detention in Iranian jail.

Kristinn Hrafnsson was one of the many speakers at The Emmanuel Centre where people rallied together in defense of the freedom of Julian Assange.

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange ended the rally speaking about the unjust imprisonment and incarceration of her husband: “Julian’s imprisonment is an attempt to punish the messenger for uncomfortable truths”

Andrew Cockburn has written a feature piece Alternative Facts stating how the media ignored or misrepresented “key information about Julian Assange’s plight”. You can read the article in Harpers.

The Belmarsh Tribunal: March 4 In Sydney, Australia

The Belmarsh Tribunal will convene in Sydney, Australia on 4 March with range of expert witnesses – from constitutional lawyers, to acclaimed journalists, parliamentarians, and human rights defenders. The Sydney chapter of the Tribunal will add a uniquely Australian voice to the global demand to free Julian Assange. Some of appearing will include Stella Assange, John Kiriakou, Jennifer Robinson, Yanis Varoufakis, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Mary Kostakidis and many more hosted by the Progressive International.

To find out more follow this link:

Saturday March 4 —  6:30 arrival for a 7pm start
Sydney University, The Great Hall

On March 4, Australia will host the fifth sitting of the Belmarsh Tribunal.

Julian Assange, the Australian publisher who founded WikiLeaks, faces 175 years in prison if extradited from the Belmarsh Prison where he is currently held in the United Kingdom. Assange’s case is the first time in history that a publisher has been indicted under the US Espionage Act.

Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the Vietnam War, the Belmarsh Tribunal brings together a range of expert witnesses — from lawyers to journalists to parliamentarians, union officials, whistleblowers and human rights defenders — to present evidence of this attack on publishers, to seek justice for the crimes they expose, and to demand the Biden Administration cease this prosecution.

Since its launch in 2020, the Progressive International has hosted four Belmarsh Tribunals:

  1. Convening parliamentarians and public figures in a virtual tribunal (2020)
  2. At Church House at Westminster (2021)
  3. In New York City (2022)
  4. In Washington DC (2023)

We have taken expert testimony from members such as Brasilian President Lula da Silva, whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

The Sydney chapter of the Tribunal will add a uniquely Australian voice to the global demand to free Julian Assange. On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to the United States, there has never been a more important time to raise our voice in union.

Julian Assange has spent nearly four years in the UK’s highest-security prison. Now he must be freed.

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

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