Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice,
Dear Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
Dear Home Secretary,
We write to you as legal practitioners and legal academics to express our collective concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting.
We call on you to act in accordance with national and international law, human rights and the rule of law by bringing an end to the ongoing extradition proceedings and granting Mr. Assange his long overdue freedom – freedom from torture, arbitrary detention and deprivation of liberty, and political persecution.
A. ILLEGALITY OF POTENTIAL EXTRADITION TO THE UNITED STATES
Extradition of Mr. Assange from the UK to the US would be illegal on the following grounds:
- Risk of being subjected to an unfair trial in the US
Extradition would be unlawful owing to failure to ensure the protection of Mr. Assange’s fundamental trial rights in the US. Mr. Assange faces show trial at the infamous “Espionage court” of the Eastern District of Virginia, before which no national security defendant has ever succeeded. Here, he faces secret proceedings before a jury picked from a population in which most of the individuals eligible for jury selection work for, or are connected to, the CIA, NSA, DOD or DOS.[i]
Furthermore, Mr. Assange’slegal privilege, a right enshrined in Art. 8 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and long recognised under English common law, was grossly violated throughconstant and criminal video and audio surveillance at the Ecuadorian embassy carried out by the Spanish security firm, UC Global. This surveillance was, according to witness testimony, ordered by the CIA and has triggered an investigation into the owner of UC Global, David Morales, by Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional.[ii] The surveillance resulted in all of Mr. Assange’s meetings and conversations being recorded, including those with his lawyers. The Council of Bar and Law Societies of Europe, which represents more than a million European lawyers, has expressed its concerns that these illegal recordings may be used – openly or secretly – in proceedings against Mr.