British Veterans call on our government to respect the rights of journalists and whistle-blowers and refuse to extradite Julian Assange to the US.
We oppose the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States and are deeply concerned that journalism and whistleblowing is being criminalised by the US and actively supported by British authorities. The indefinite detention of Chelsea Manning and the persecution of Reality Winner and John Kiriakou have demonstrated that a whistle blower will not receive a fair trial in the US court system. We believe the authorities are seeking a show trial for the purpose of revenge and to intimidate journalists.
The release of the Iraq War Logs and The Afghan War Diaries revealed the true human cost of our wars in the Middle East. Wikileaks acted in the public interest by releasing these documents and Julian Assange, as a journalist, was right to publish in association with newspapers including The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel. Without these documents, the public would have remained ignorant about the true number of civilian casualties and deaths, the torture and abuse of detainees, the killing of two Reuters journalists by US military personnel in helicopter gunships, the killing of Iraqi soldiers trying to surrender, and the abuses and civilian deaths caused by private military contractors.
VFP UK feel that the personal insults the judge made at Westminster Magistrates Court about Assange highlight a lack of fair and unbiased treatment.
We call on our government to refuse the extradition of Julian Assange to the US, and to respect the rights of whistle blowers and journalists.
Statement made and issued Fri 12 April 2019.