More Than 130 Personalities In Germany Demand The Immediate Release Of Assange

More than 130 politicians, artists and journalists demanded today the “immediate release” of Julian Assange “for humanitarian reasons and compliance with the principles of a rule of law,” while underlining the need to preserve press freedom. At a press conference in Berlin, the promoter of this initiative, the undercover investigative journalist Günter Walraff, said that the founder of WikiLeaks “cannot wait for a trial in the United States or an extradition process in the United Kingdom according to a State of right”. He added that he is being hampered in his defense preparations and recalled that United Nations special rapporteur Nils Melzer had confirmed that Assange showed signs of having been subjected to psychological torture. The former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared, for his part, that according to his parameters the United Kingdom and the United States are states of law, but that “for political reasons” in this case “there is apparently no guarantee of a process” that respects the principles elementals He added that it is not about whether Assange committed a crime, but that “under the current conditions he cannot make use of the elementary rights of any accused,” that is, “he cannot prepare physically and mentally and with the help of his lawyers. an adequate defense “and for that, he said,” must be released. ” On the other hand, Walraff said that the objective is to make people understand that they are not talking only about the defense of Assange himself, but also about the defense of freedom of opinion and of the press and, consequently, also about the democracy itself. ” He warned that “if by uncovering state crimes, journalists, whistleblowers and the media have to fear persecution, imprisonment or even for their lives in the future, the fourth power is more than in danger.” Among the signatories of the call for the release of Assange are ten former ministers, including three from Justice, Walraff said, representatives of political parties, writers such as Elfride Jelinek, Eva Menasse and Eugen Ruge, and journalists, as well as four organizations. Assange is awaiting the outcome of the extradition trial to the United States in a London high security prison, where he has been imprisoned since last April, after being removed by the British police from the embassy of Ecuador where he had received asylum for seven years .