Julian Assange, the Australian publisher who founded WikiLeaks, now faces 175 years in prison if extradited from the Belmarsh Prison where he is currently held in the United Kingdom. Assange’s case is the first time in history that a publisher has been indicted under the US Espionage Act.
Inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the Vietnam War, the Belmarsh Tribunal brings together a range of expert witnesses — from lawyers to journalists to parliamentarians, union officials, whistleblowers and human rights defenders — to present evidence of this attack on publishers, to seek justice for the crimes they expose, and to demand the Biden Administration cease this prosecution.
Since its launch in 2020, the Progressive International has hosted four Belmarsh Tribunals, convening parliamentarians and public figures in a virtual tribunal (2020), at Church House at Westminster (2021), at the People’s Forum in New York City (2022) and at the National Press Club in Washington DC (2023).
We have taken expert testimony from members such as Brasilian President Lula da Silva, whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi.
The Sydney chapter of the Tribunal will add a uniquely Australian voice to the global demand to free Julian Assange. On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to the United States, there has never been a more important time to raise our voice in union. Julian Assange has spent nearly four years in the UK’s highest security prison. Now he must be freed.