On World Press Freedom Day, today 3 May, we in LALIT, call for Julian Assange to walk free. His father is marching today in Australia where Julian is from, calling for him to be freed. In LALIT we stand with his father and with the hundreds of thousands of people calling via petitions for his freedom.
Julian Assange is a 21st Century’s hero of press freedom. He, together with Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks and, in conjunction with newspapers like The Guardian and the New York Times, published secret USA documents that prove war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
And all Julian Assange got was a plot by the USA, UK and Swedish state apparatuses to lock him up for 10 years. The UK is now trying to extradite him to the USA, to face charges that could result in 175 years’ prison. Only in the USA, could you get threatened with 175 years’ prison. Here is what the UN Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer said, as published on the site of the UN Human Rights Office of the Commissioner: “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”
We call on the Mauritian State to support the immediate and unconditional release of Julian Assange, a hero of press freedom.
At the same time, we call for the Mauritian Government, instead of the Amendments proposed by ICTA to the ICT law, to set up a Select Committee of Parliament that has the job of, within 6 weeks producing a “Freedom of Information Act” to guarantee press freedom and the freedom of everyone in Mauritius to access any official information.
Typo corrected 5:09 pm on 2 May, 2021