Pending the verdict of the trial of his potential extradition to the United States, Julian Assange is locked in a British high security prison. MEPs overwhelmingly rejected an amendment referring to his case.
Like the faltering mobilization of the journalistic world in favor of Julian Assange, the initiatives aimed at obtaining his release (press releases, forums, petitions …) remain unsuccessful for the time being. Likewise, the political supporters of the founder of WikiLeaks often face indifference from their peers regarding the arbitrary detention of the one who participated in making possible the most massive information leaks of general interest of the 21st century.
Painful indifference for the defenders of freedom to inform, as evidenced by the cry of anger from Clare Daly, an Irish MEP who shared a recent episode on this subject in the European Parliament …
MEPs oppose amendment mentioning Assange
As Clare Daly wrote on Twitter on November 25, the overwhelming majority of MEPs rejected an amendment referring to the Assange affair, which she had proposed to include in a report dedicated to the situation of fundamental rights within the EU over the period 2018-2019.
“191 votes in favor, 408 against and 93 abstentions,” said the MEP who belongs to the group of MEPs of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL).
While it emphasized the fundamental role of whistleblowers, the amendment in question also pointed to the recurring pressures that journalists and media could face on the Old Continent, based precisely on “the detention and criminal prosecution of Julian Assange “. This proposed amendment referred to a resolution adopted on 28 January 2020 by the Council of Europe on “threats to media freedom and the safety of journalists in Europe”. As a reminder, the Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization distinct from the EU, whose creation dates back to 1949 and which today has 47 member states.
“Yesterday I offered a choice: to procrastinate on the surface on fundamental rights or to implement the European charter [des droits fondamentaux]. The position of the European Parliament is now clear, ”commented the Irish MEP. Notable fact, among other parliamentarians who, according to the list published by Clare Daly, opposed his amendment, includes Nathalie Loiseau, head of the list of the Macronist list in the last European elections.
Julian Assange, still in lockdown
At the time of writing, Julian Assange has been imprisoned for 596 days in Belmarsh Prison, a British high-security establishment located on the outskirts of East London, which is dependent on His Majesty’s Prison Service.
The last series of hearings in the trial on his potential extradition to the United States ended on October 1, 2020, after four weeks of debates where it was about his ethics, freedom of the press but also the danger that he incurs in the event of extradition. While the verdict is scheduled for January 4, 2021, many observers continue to denounce the arbitrary detention of the Australian journalist and call for his release.
But, sad irony of fate for the Australian national in prison, among those who once praised him and who would today be in a position to put an end to the ordeal he has been going through for almost a decade, some are now proving deafening silence. We think first of all of Donald Trump who, during his presidential campaign in 2016, claimed to “love WikiLeaks”. However, during his tenure, the tenant of the White House clearly failed to demonstrate a commitment to the height of his worship …
In France, the current Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti has preferred to ignore those who recently reminded him of his involvement in the case. And in fact, last February, the star of the French bar announced his intention to request an audience with Emmanuel Macron in order to study the possibilities of granting asylum to Julian Assange.
Certainly, cohabitation seems difficult between the thirst for justice for Julian Assange displayed by some, and their accession to the highest spheres of political power …