Inspired by the famous Martin Niemöller poem about cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group, what the event “First they came for Assange…” wants to stress that we live in a critical time in which everyone opposed to the political and financial powers might soon become a target.
It has been 4 years since a courageous South American nation granted Julian Assange asylum due to his legitimate fears of rendition to the US. After exercising a sovereign right, the UK threatened to attack the London Embassy. Since then, two EU Governments, Sweden and the United Kingdom, consisently refuse to recognise their human rights obligations and grant safe passage to Julian Assange.
In February 2016 the UN declared the detention of the Editor and journalist as illegal and demanded his urgent release and compensation. Over 500 human rights organisations, law professors, former UN office holders and Nobel Prize winners signed a letter urging the governments of Sweden and the UK to respect UN’s decision to free Assange immediately.
More than a hundred days have passed and the situation remains the same, and will remain the same, unless there is an increase in political pressure. We cannot afford inaction. First they came after Julian Assange, then they came after Chelsea Manning, then they came after Edward Snowden… who is next?