Speakers will include renowned journalist and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman; Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist Chris Hedges; Julian Assange’s US defense lawyer Carey Shenkman; acclaimed civil rights attorney Margaret Ratner; and Julian Assange, live from London via videoconference. There will also be important video messages (exclusive to this event) from Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and other leading friends and supporters of Julian Assange.
This is a Global event that includes special productions in 8 European cities (Berlin, Brussels, Belgrade, Naples, Madrid, Paris + Milano Fashion Show / Vivienne Westwood / and Sarajevo / live-stream/) as part of “Assange week” that will also take place in New York, Quito (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay).
On February 5, 2016 the United Nations found that JA had been illegally detained without charges for more than 5 years and ordered his immediate release. The UK and Sweden have defied the ruling, forcing him to remain for over four years at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he received political asylum but has been unable to fully enjoy his rights by traveling to Ecuador without risking detention by UK authorities. The lengthy and difficult process to achieve his freedom continues. Especially after the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released the finding that Assange is arbitrarily detained, it is more important now to stress that he is spending his fourth year confined at the Embassy already, unable to leave without facing a clearly dangerous arrest and extradition to the US, where a secret indictment has been filed against him. This has affected his health and severely violated his fundamental human rights.
This event will also focus on threats whistleblowers face around the world, and the importance of investigative journalism and transparency in today’s world of mass surveillance, hidden agendas and covert wars. The struggle to protect journalists, whistleblowers and others, who with courage and determination expose the truths essential to ensuring strong and durable democratic societies, has become a forefront of the international human rights movement and the global fight for peace and justice.