Statement from the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity

The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity expresses its most comradely support to journalist Julian Assange, a prominent member of the Network, who has dedicated his life to the defense of human rights, the freedom of expression and the access to information in the public interest. For his extraordinary contributions he has received awards, from among others, The Economist, Amnesty International UK, Ars Electronics Prize, Sam Adams Prize, the Gold Medal from Sydney Foundation for Peace – for his exceptional courage and initiative in the defense of human rights -, and he was chosen by the readers of TIME magazine as the personality of the year 2010.

We express our deep concern about the behavior of the Ecuadorian government that, violating the institution of political asylum, has handed Julian Assange to the British government, with a very high risk of extradition to the United States where his life is in danger. Moreover, we reject the pretexts used by the government of Ecuador to justify the withdrawal of diplomatic asylum, such as, the accusation of having “intervened in the internal affairs of other states” and even of an alleged “attempt to destabilize Ecuador” by Wikileaks.

We are concerned that Lenín Moreno’s government claims of national protection, “to prevent the country from becoming a center of computer crimes,” creates a harmful precedent.  In 2018 Moreno himself issued a Special Protocol on visits to Assange, restrictions on his communications and medical care. This amounted to a violation of his fundamental freedoms including access to information and expression of free speech.

We recall that the 7 years of political persecution and imprisonment inflicted on Julian Assange constitutes a reprisal for the dissemination of materials, which Wikileaks released and distributed, under the protection of transparency of information, with information and data on international policy and geopolitics, which exposed war crimes and interventionist practices of the governments of several countries and power groups, primarily of the United States, a country that is plotting for  an early extradition and trial.

The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, a global organization that defends human rights and the Right to Information and Freedom of Expression, calls vigorously on the government of the United Kingdom to maintain a thorough observance of the principles and instruments of human rights, which in the case include a ‘special protection’, as stipulated in the Report of the United Nations on Assange (Opinion No.54 / 2015 concerning Julian Assange) and the Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This protection must exclude any scenario of extradition to the United States, since Scotland Yard has recognized that the detention is due to a request for that purpose, formulated by that country.

We call on the United Nations, its General Assembly and all mechanisms for the defense of Human Rights to enforce the protection referred to in its ‘Special Reports’ -A / HRC / WGAD / 2015 / 54- and to protect the life of the journalist Julian Assange, who is being politically persecuted. He deserves humanitarian treatment, with strict and unconditional adherence to international law.

We call on journalist guilds, organizations that defend freedom of expression and the right to communication, social and popular movements, human rights organizations and other organizations to mobilize to demand to the United Kingdom the freedom of Assange, because the accusations against him were already dropped and there is no sustained accusation.

April 11, 2019

Executive Secretariat,

The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity

Immediate Freedom for Julián Assange!!