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Since the middle of February, DiEM25 members have been considering a statement of support for DiEM25's Advisory Panel member Julian Assange proposed by the Greek National Collective, as well as opposing views - which range from a reluctance explicitly to support Julian to outright hostility to his politics. Documents: initial proposal of support by Greek NC, forum discussion, open letter by Leipzig DSC, proposal of reluctant support by Jack and Jean Franco, statement of support by Belgian NC, interview with Stefania Maurizi.
More recently our internal debate was overtaken by events in Ecuador and within the Ecuadorian Embassy (where Julian has spent the last six years, in the view of the UN, under conditions of ‘arbitrary detention’).
At first, Julian’s access to the outside world was cut off completely – prompting CC Members Yanis Varoufakis and Brian Eno to begin a petition demanding that Julian’s access to the outside world (e.g. visitors and internet connection) be restored and his isolation ended. (Their petition gathered more than 75,000 signatures.)
Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that Ecuador, under immense pressure from US and UK authorities, is preparing to deliver him to British Police while the Trump administration is preparing an extradition request on spying charges – that will most certainly lead him, if his extradition proceeds, into the type of pre-trial incarceration and inhuman treatment Chelsea Manning was subjected to. It is also clear that any trial in the US will be political, sending him to a maximum-security jail for decades, as USA did in the past with other political prisoners.
With these developments in progress, it is incumbent upon DiEM25 to take a clear position and conclude our internal deliberation by means of an all-member vote.
Members are, therefore, asked to vote between the following two options:
OPTION A – DiEM25 issues, on behalf of its members, the following statement:
DiEM25 expresses its solidarity with Julian Assange and Wikileaks and calls upon all progressives to support his bid for life and liberty. Whatever differences of opinion one may have with Julian on particular issues (e.g. his support for Brexit, which DiEM25 opposed), we are proud to have one of the greatest champions of transparency on our Advisory Panel. Wikileaks has played a magnificent role in turning the spotlight onto Big Brother and allowing all of us to understand abuses and crimes perpetrated in our name. We shall not sit idly by while Julian Assange is persecuted for this and while he is facing the prospect of disappearing into the type of ‘justice’ system that Chelsea Manning came to know well.
OPTION B – DiEM25 does not issue any public statement on Julian Assange presently but continues the internal discussion leading to a further vote in favour of removing him from DiEM25’s Advisory Panel