Open letters in defense of Julian Assange – Defend WikiLeaks

open-letters-in-defense-of-julian-assange-–-defend-wikileaks

18-08-20 06:38:00,

Lawyers for Assange | August 2020

169 lawyers and legal groups join calls for Julian Assange extradition to halt

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel, 169 individuals and international legal organisations called for the Government to intervene.

If extradited, campaigners said the 49-year-old will face a “show trial”
in the US.

They added he has been subject to surveillance which violates his right
to a fair trial.

From the letter:

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.

See the letter here
See the list of signatories here

Press Freedom Groups | July 2020

Press freedom groups sign joint letter calling for immediate release of Julian Assange

Press freedom groups and journalist organisations are among 40 groups to today call for the British Government to release Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on his 49th birthday.

The International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Pen International and the National Union of Journalists are among those to sign the letter.
…
Executive director of PEN International Carles Torner said:  “This indictment effectively opens the door to criminalising activities that are vital to many investigative journalists who write about national security matters.

“Beyond the case itself, we are concerned that the mere fact that Assange now risks extradition and potentially decades behind bars if convicted in the USA has a chilling effect on critical journalism, which is essential for exposing the truth about crimes committed by governments.”

Rebecca Vincent, director of international campaigns for Reporters Rebecca Vincent said: “Mr Assange has clearly been targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting. All charges against him should be dropped and he should be released without further delay.”

From the letter:

The charges against Mr Assange carry a potential maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

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Now Even Major Defense Firms Are Pushing For COVID Stimulus Money

now-even-major-defense-firms-are-pushing-for-covid-stimulus-money

08-07-20 07:03:00,

Major defense firms which have for years especially since the post-9/11 so-called war on terror raked in billions in lucrative (and very often wasteful) government contracts are begging the federal government for more COVID-related stimulus. 

Ultra-wealthy CEOs of the these major defense contractors are citing the potential for record job loss among their massive work force, though it’s likely few among the American public will sympathize with the idea of bailouts and taxpayer handouts to names like Lockheed Martin or Raytheon.

Brazen and unbelievable as it sounds, Bloomberg reports Wednesday that “CEOs of major defense companies, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing and Raytheon, urge the Pentagon’s acquisitions chief and the White House’s acting budget director to press for stimulus money as the Senate is poised to consider another rescue package to ease damage caused by coronavirus pandemic.”

The Pentagon, AFP file image.

Without the stimulus, the defense firm execs say, the end result will be “significant job losses in pivotal states just as we are trying to recover from the pandemic,” Bloomberg continues. 

The July 7 letter also detailed there would be a serious setback in development of cutting edge technologies, also given continuing layoffs, making it “of the highest urgency”. Additionally a letter was send to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord urging action, after Lord estimated pandemic disruptions could see up to a $10 billion setback.

A little over two weeks ago, the Pentagon acquisitions chief announced what she described as a devastating “three-month slowdown to all programs due to COVID-19.”

She said the hardest hit defense areas beset by delays include aviation, shipbuilding and small space launch sectors.

Other major names like the execs of Huntington Ingalls, Textron Inc., L3Harris Technologies and BAE Systems are also lobbying for stimulus.

“I won’t discuss any programs specifically, but we have seen inefficiencies across most programs. COVID-19 is shutting down defense manufacturing facilities and production lines, disrupting supply chains and distressing the financial stability of the companies DoD relies on to protect the nation,” Lord said during her June comments.

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How ‘Defense’ Contractors Lobbied for War in Yemen and Reaped the Profits from Death and Destruction – Global Research

how-‘defense’-contractors-lobbied-for-war-in-yemen-and-reaped-the-profits-from-death-and-destruction-–-global-research

25-03-20 08:50:00,

Lobbying firms like the McKeon Group, headed by lobbyist Buck McKeon (who was the former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the US Congress), represent both US defense contractors and countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are ruthlessly bombing Yemen with US made weapons. Through lobbying firms like the McKeon Group and American Defense International, defense contractors such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin spent millions to effectively pressure Congress members. Lobbying efforts focus on key members of committees, such as the aforementioned Armed Services Committee. This incentivizes Congress to approve legislation to sell arms to countries like Saudi Arabia and block any legislation that challenges the unethical arms sales.

On August 9th, 2018, Saudi Arabia used a laser guided MK-82 bomb, manufactured by America’s lead defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, to intentionally blow up a school bus in Yemen. The bombing killed 44 Yemeni kids. MK-82s are general purpose bombs, but they were sold to Saudi Arabia in conjunction with precision-guided technology that made the MK-82 bomb act as a precision-guided munition (PGM).

The Obama administration outlawed the sale of PGMs to Saudi Arabia earlier in March 2016 after Saudi Arabia bombed an open-air market in Yemen and killed 97 civilians. In that bombing, Saudi used a precision-guided MK-84, manufactured by General Dynamics, another top American defense contractor. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s previous sales of PGMs to Saudi Arabia led to other incidents that same year, such as the October 2016 bombing of a funeral home in Sana’a. 155 people died, all of whom were civilians. A MK-82, similar to the model used in the 2018 bus bombing, was used in this bombing. This laser-guided bomb was also manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

As a side note, the Obama administration should not be heaped with praise for simply outlawing the sale of PGMs to Saudi Arabia. They still proceeded to sell Saudi Arabia other weapons that were used to slaughter Yemenis, they refueled Saudi bombers twice per day, and they gave logistical support and intelligence to the Saudis via the Joint Planning Cell.

Those caveats aside, the Obama administration did outlaw the sale of PGMs to Saudi Arabia in March 2016.

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US Defense Secretary Esper Says Trump Lied to Justify Killing Soleimani

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13-01-20 08:54:00,

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper - Trump ConferenceMark Esper is the guy with the red circle around his head to the left

Mark Esper, the former US Secretary of Defense (it’s a matter of time now) said that his chief Donald Trump lied to the US citizens about the justification to carry out the most heinous murder crimes against two top commanders who fought ISIS and saved US and European lives, including the soldiers from the USA and Europe.

That’s how I read the ‘breaking news’ I received from The New York Times in my inbox. Other info about this is nothing but useless details, especially to those who are concerned.

New York Times Mark EsperScreenshot of The New York Times ‘breaking news’ email notification

This might be breaking news to ignorant people, but there was no planned attack against any US interest in the region or elsewhere by the murdered commanders Iranian IRGC’s top General Qasim Soleimani and Iraqi top security force commander and Deputy Head of the PMU Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

BREAKING: The USA Killed Iranian IRGC Commander Qasem Soleimani

Trump killed these two top commanders based on his own lies by the orders of the Israeli embattled Netanyahu to save the necks of both of them

It was totally the contrary, the Iranian General Soleimani was on a PEACE Mission to defuse tensions between Iran and Saudi carrying a reply message from Iran to the Saudis through the Iraqi mediator Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and what drove the Iranians and the Iraqi officials further mad at the US President Trump and the US Army is that Trump knew about the mission of General Soleimani and when he was arriving from the Iraqi PM by a phone call the same day.

This is what Mr. Abdul-Mahdi told the Iraqi Parliament during the historic session which voted to expel the US forces out of the country.

Everything else you heard of from the western mainstream media propagandists is full of their usual Pentagon propaganda, but wait, maybe the Pentagon itself is not happy about what happened like what its chief has come out to tell.

Mark Esper spilled out what could be his last statement as the Defense Secretary of the US,

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Assange’s Defense Outlines Extradition Arguments – Defend WikiLeaks

assange’s-defense-outlines-extradition-arguments-–-defend-wikileaks

19-12-19 06:43:00,

Assange’s Defense Outlines Extradition Arguments

Image by Niels Ladefoged

A case management hearing was held this morning in London for imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who appeared via video link Belmarsh prison. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser confirmed that Assange’s full extradition hearing will begin on 24 February 2020, but it will now take place over three or four weeks rather than the initially scheduled five days.

Assange’s defense team outlined the main arguments it will make and witnesses it will call at the full hearing in February. Lawyers announced they will argue that the US-UK Extradition Treaty should not allow Assange’s extradition because it includes an exemption for political offenses.

“We say that there is in the treaty a ban on being extradited for a political offence and these offences as framed and in substance are political offences,” Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told the court.

The defense will also include evidence of prejudicial statements from US government officials against Assange, along with information resulting from Chelsea Manning’s US court martial.

Barry Pollack, representing Assange in the United States, said,

“Mr. Assange’s legal team today previewed the powerful reasons he should not be extradited to the United States to face prosecution under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful, newsworthy information that exposed wrongdoing by the United States government.”

Assange’s legal team will present evidence medical evidence as well. Assange’s deteriorating health conditions, particularly since entering solitary confinement on the health ward at Belmarsh, have been of ongoing concern. Following a medical visit in May, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer wrote that Assange was suffering from psychological torture. Last month, more than 60 doctors signed an open letter calling on Belmarsh to release Assange to receive proper medical care immediately, warning he could die in prison without adequate treatment.

Finally, Assange’s defense will include evidence from the Spanish investigation into the surveillance of UC Global, a private security company which spied on Assange’s legal, medical, and personal visits in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and sent recorded material to the CIA.

UC Global director David Morales has been arrested in Spain in connection with the illegal surveillance,

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