As jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces an extradition hearing Wednesday in London, supporters gathered Friday for the Belmarsh Tribunal, named for the Belmarsh maximum security prison where Assange is being held. The mock trial highlighted major WikiLeaks revelations of U.S. war crimes and demanded Assange’s freedom.
Assange faces up to 175 years in prison in the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. Though a British judge blocked his extradition in January, the U.S. appealed the decision.
Speakers from the tribunal include writer Tariq Ali, Afghan political activist Selay Ghaffar, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“Julian, far from being indicted, should actually be a hero,” said Ali. “He should never have been kept in prison for bail. He should not be in prison now awaiting a trial for extradition. He should be released.” We also hear from Srećko Horvat, philosopher and Belmarsh Tribunal chair; Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist; and Stella Morris, partner of Julian Assange.