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13 presidents past & present urge UK government to halt Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings and grant his immediate freedom

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

As Julian Assange fights US extradition at the Old Bailey in London, over one hundred eminent political figures, including 13 past and present heads of state, numerous ministers, members of parliament and diplomats, have today denounced the illegality of the proceedings and appealed for Assange’s immediate release.

The politicians from 27 different countries and from across the political spectrum have joined 189 independent international lawyers, judges, legal academics and lawyers’ associations by endorsing their open letter to the UK Government warning that the US extradition request and extradition proceedings violate national and international law, breach fair trial rights and other human rights, and threaten press freedom and democracy.

Politicians endorsing the call to free Julian Assange include Jeremy Corbyn, former Prime Minister of Spain, Luis Zapatero, several members of the European Parliament, former presidents of Brazil, Lula da Silva and Dilma Roussef, and Australian parliamentarians from the cross-party parliamentary group to free Assange.

Kenneth MacAskill, Member of UK Parliament, former Justice Secretary of Scotland, and lawyer, commented, “This is a political crucifixion not legal process and is about seeking to bury truth and those exposing it.”

The unprecedented appeal to the UK government by the international political community follows concerns raised by Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, The American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and numerous other rights organisations regarding the chilling effect Assange’s prosecution will have on press freedom. Amnesty International’s petition calling for the US Government to drop its charges against Assange has garnered over 400,000 signatures.

Today marks the beginning of the third week of the extradition hearings, which have drawn wide criticism for failing to uphold the principle of open justice by preventing independent observers including from Amnesty International, PEN Norway and others from monitoring the trial.

The Trump administration is seeking Mr Assange’s extradition from the UK to prosecute him under the Espionage Act for his work as a journalist and publisher. The 2010 publications, on which the US government’s attempted prosecution is based, brought to light a range of public interest information, including evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last week during the hearing the court heard that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks undertook careful redaction processes to protect informants, that no informants are known to have been harmed by their publications, and that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were not responsible for publishing un-redacted cables. Nevertheless, the prosecution asserted the right of the US to prosecute all journalists and all media who publish classified information.


Luiz InácioLula da Silva,President of Brazil (2003-2010), Honorary citizen of the City of Paris (2020), Nobel Prize Nominee (2018):“If the democrats of the planet Earth, including all journalists, all lawyers, all unionists and all politicians, have no courage to express themselves in defence of Assange, so that he is not extradited, it means we have a lot democrats out there who are liars. Assange should be perceived as a hero of democracy.He does not deserve to be punished. I hope the people of the UK, the people of France, the people of the United States will not allow this atrocity. As was the knee of a policeman killing a black man, this will be the knees of millions of governors from around the world suffocating Assange so that he dies. And we do not have the right to allow that.”
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Clark and Co-Chair of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group: “Julian Assange is being politically persecuted for publishing information that was in the public interest, including hard evidence of US war crimes. That the perpetrator of those war crimes, America, is now seeking to extradite Mr Assange is unjust in the extreme and arguably illegal under British law. If it goes ahead, not only would Mr Assange face 175 years in prison, but the precedent would be set for all Australians, and particularly journalists, that they are at risk of being extradited to any country they offend.”
Mikuláš Peksa, Member of European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy: “Freedom of speech remains a crucial value in the beginning of the 21st century. Despite it sometimes revealing inconvenient truths, we shall do our best to protect it.”

Open Letter

Political endorsements(LIVE ONCE EMBARGO LIFTS):

Legal signatories



Heads of State

1.             Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina (2019), lawyer, Professor of Criminal Law (University of Buenos Aires), former Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, adviser to Deliberative Council of Buenos Aires and the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, deputy director of Legal Affairs of the Economy Ministry, Argentina

2.             Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia (2016 – 2018), former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, former Senator, Member of Parliament, Commonwealth of Australia, Australia

3.             Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,Vice President of Argentina (2019), President of Argentina (2007-2015), lawyer, Argentina

4.             Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil (2011-2016),economist, former Minister of Energy and former Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic, Brazil

5.             Ernesto Samper, President of Colombia (1994-1998), lawyer, economist, former Secretary General of UNASUR, Senator of the Republic and Minister of Economic Development, Ambassador of Colombia in Spain, Colombia

6.             Evo Morales Ayma, President of Bolivia (2006-2019), trade unionist, activist and Bolivian leader of Aymara descent, President of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, Former President pro tempore of UNASUR and CELAC, Bolivia

7.             Fernando Lugo,President of Paraguay (2008-2012)Senator, Roman Catholic priest and bishop, Paraguay

8.             José Luis Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain (2004-2011), lawyer, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of León, former Deputy in General Courts by Madrid, deputy in General Courts of Spain, president of the Council of the European Union, Spain

9.             José (Pepe) Mujica, President of Uruguay (2010-2015)Former Deputy, Senator and Minister of Livestock Agriculture and Fisheries, Uruguay

10.          Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic (1996-2012), lawyer,president of the EU–LAC Foundation, president of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Professor at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) and Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

11.          Luiz InácioLula da Silva,President of Brazil (2003-2010), Honorary citizen of the City of Paris (2020), Nobel Prize Nominee (2018),Brazil

12.          Martín Torrijos,President of the Republic of Panama (2004-2009), political scientist and economist, Panama

13.          Nicolas Maduro Moros,President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Venezuela

14.          Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador (2007-2017), former Minister for the Economy, Professor of Economics,Ecuador


15.          Álvaro García Linera,Vice President of Bolivia (2006-2019), mathematician, academic,Bolivia

Ministers, Diplomats and Other Politicians

16.          Jeremy Corbyn,Labour Member of Parliament (since 1983), Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition (2015-2020), United Kingdom

17.          John McDonnell,Member of Parliament (since 1997), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2015-2020), UnitedKingdom


18.          Andrew Wilkie, MP,Independent Federal Member for Clark, Australia

19.          Julian Hill,Member of Federal Parliament, Commonwealth of Australia, Australia


20.          Gregor Golobič, philosopher, former Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, former Secretary General of Liberal Democracy party, former president of Zares party, advisor to former President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, Slovenia

21.          Arthur Chesterfield-EvansM.B.,B,S., F.R.C.S.(Eng.), M.Appl.Sci. (OHS), M.Pol.Sci. Ex-Member of Legislative Council New South Wales Parliament, Australia


22.          Ögmundur Jónasson, former Icelandic Minister of Interior, Iceland

23.          Ron Paul, Former U.S. Congressman from Texas, United States of America

24.          Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens, Senator for Tasmania, Australia

25.          Jožef Školč, political scientist, former Minister of Culture, former State Secretary for Culture, first president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS), former head of Liberal Democracy, former President of the National Assembly, Slovenia 

26.          Prof.Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, sociologist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, theologian, politician and cultural critic, author, former member of the Liberal Democratic Party and its candidate for the presidency of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia (1990), Slovenia

27.          Carlo Sommaruga, lawyer, Member of Swiss Parliament, Conseiller aux Etats, Switzerland
28.          Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Germany

29.          Marketa Gregorova, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, Czech Republic

30.          Mikuláš Peksa, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, biophysicist, Czech Republic

31.          Yanis Varoufakis, Member of the Hellenic Parliament for Athens B, Minister of Finance (2015), former Secretary-General of MeRA25, economist, academic, philosopher, Greece

32.          Spomenka Hribar, author, philosopher, sociologist, politician, columnist, public intellectual, co-founder of the Slovenian Democratic Union (1989), former prominent member of the Democratic opposition of Slovenia (Demos), and key figure in the efforts for the independence and democratization of Slovenia, Slovenia
33.          George Christensen, Member of the House of Representatives, journalist, Australia
34.          Jean-Luc Lagleize, Member of the French National Assembly, Member of the Committee on Economic Affairs, computer scientist, France
35.          Nick McKim, Senator, Australia

36.          Cédric Wermuth,Congressman of the Nationalrat des Schweizerischen Parlaments, Vice President of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, Switzerland

37.          Enrique Fernando Santiago Romero,Congressman, Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), lawyer,Spain

38.          Clare Daly, Member of the European Parliament, Republic ofIreland


39.          Kenneth Wright MacAskill, Member of Parliament, Shadow SNP Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice (2007-2014), United Kingdom


40.          Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Member of the European Parliament, former Senator, Spain 


41.          Eric Bertinat, Conseiller municipal et chef de groupe UDC Ville de Genève, Président de la commission du lodgement, Ancien président du Conseil municipal, Switzerland

42.          Joti Brar,Deputy Leader of the Workers Party of Britain, United Kingdom

43.          Gregor Gysi, Member of Parliament of the German Bundestag,lawyer, author, moderator, Germany

44.          Guillaume Long, former Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Organization,former Minister of Foreign Affairs,Minister of Culture and Heritage, Coordinating Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent, former advisor to the National Secretariat of Planning and Development of Ecuador,France / Ecuador

45.          Matthew Robson, former Minister for Courts, Minister of Corrections and Disarmament, Minister for Land Information, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), New Zealand

46.          Michel Larive,Member of the French National Assembly, Member of the Committee for Cultural Affairs and Education, France

47.          Mike Gravel,United States Senator (1969-1981), who officially released the Pentagon Papers, former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, presidential candidate (2020), United States of America

48.          Mirella Liuzzi,Member of Parliament of Italy, Italy

49.          Txema Guijarro García, Member of the Congress of Deputies, Chair of the Congress’ Committee on Budget, economist, Spain

50.          George Galloway, leader of the Workers Party of Britain, former Member of Parliament (1987-2009 and 2013-2015), former general secretary of War on Want, writer, broadcaster, United Kingdom

51.          ProfJadranka Šturm Kocjan, retired Professor of pedagogy and psychology, Member of Parliament (1992-1996), Ambassador in Bucharest (2010-2015), Ambassador in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay (2015-2019), Slovenia
52.          Franco Juri, geographer, journalist, publicist, author, Member of Parliament (1990-93, 2008-11), vice-president of the Zares Party (2011), Ambassador in Spain and Cuba (1993-1997), state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-2000), Slovenia53.          Scott Ludlam,Senator (2008-2017), former deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, Australia

54.          Adriana SalvatierraSenator and President of the Senate of Bolivia,Bolivia

55.          Alberto Rodríguez Saá, Governor of San Luis Province, lawyer, Argentina

56.          Alejandro Navarro,Senator, Professor of Philosophy, Chile

57.          Alexandre Padilha,Senator, Minister of Institutional Relations in the Lula administration and Minister of Health under Dilma Rousseff, physician, Brazil

58.          Alicia Castro, Argentina’s Ambassador in Russia, former Argentina’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2012- 2016), former Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Argentina / Venezuela

59.          Aloizio Mercadante,former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Minister of Educatio, former Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic, former Deputy and Senator, Brazil

60.          Andréia de Jesus Silva, State Congresswoman of Minas Gerais State, lawyer, Brazil

61.          Áurea Carolina, Federal Congressman of Minas Gerais State, political scientist, Brazil

62.          Beatriz Paredes,Senator,former Ambassador of Mexico in Cuba and in Brazil, former Congresswoman and former Governor of the state of Tlaxcala, former President of the Congress of the Union, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate,Mexico

63.          Camilo Lagos,National President of the Progressive Party of Chile and of the Progresa Foundation,Chile

64.          Carlos Alfonso Tomada, Legislator of the City of Buenos Aires, lawyer, former Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security, Director of the Centre for Labour and Development Studies of the National University of San Martín, Argentina

65.          Carlos Ominami,former Minister of Economy, former Senator, economist, Order of the Rising Sun award-winner (Japan), Chile

66.          Carlos Sotelo García,former Senator, former Undersecretary of Political Development, Secretary of Image and Propaganda Organization, Government Exercise and Electoral Action,Mexico

67.          CelsoNunez Amorim,former Brazilian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, former Minister of Foreign Relations and former Minister of Defence, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Brazil

68.          Chris Williamson, former Member of Parliament and former Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, UK

69.          Clara López Obregón, former Minister of Labour,former Mayor of Bogotá and former Auditor General of the Republic, lawyer, economist, Professor at the Universidad del Rosario and Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

70.          Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas,former Senator for the state of Michoacán and former Head of Government of Mexico City,Mexico

71.          Daniel Martínez,former Senator of the Republic and Mayor of Montevideo,former Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Uruguay

72.          David Choquehuanca,former Foreign Minister of Bolivia,Bolivia

73.          David Miranda,Federal Congressman of Rio de Janeiro State, named by named by Time magazine one of the world’s next generation of new leaders (2019), Brazil

74.          Edmilson Rodrigues,Federal Congressman of Pará State, former Mayor of Belém, architect, Brazil

75.          Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, Minister of Women, Genders and Diversity, lawyer, Professor, Member of Consejo de la Internacional Progresista, Argentina

76.          Esperanza Martínez,Senator, former Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare, Paraguay

77.          Fabiana Rios, Congresswoman, former Governor of the province of Tierra del Fuego,Argentina

78.          Felipe Solá,Congressman, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

79.          Fernanda Melchionna, Federal Congressman of Rio Grande do Sul State, Leader of PSOL in the Federal Chamber of Deputies,Brazil

80.          Fernanda Vallejos, Congresswoman, economist, Argentina

81.          Fernando Haddad, former Minister of Education, former Mayor of São Paulo, former Chief of staff to the Finance and Economic Development Secretary of the Municipality of São Paulo and Special advisor to the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, presidential candidate (2018), lawyer, academic, Professor of Political Science, department of the University of São Paulo, Brazil

82.          Ivan Valente, Federal Congressman of São Paulo State, engineer, Brazil

83.          Fernando Solanas,Argentine Ambassador to UNESCO, former National Senator, film director, screenwriter, special Honorary Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival prize winner, Argentina

84.          Fidel Ernesto Naváez, former Ecuadorian Consul and First Secretary in the United Kingdom, Ecuador

85.          Florencia Juana Saintout, Congresswoman of Buenos Aires Province, former dean of the Facultad de Periodismo y Cominicación Social (UNLP) (2010-2018), Argentina

86.          Francisco Durañona,Senator, former Mayor of San Antonio de Areco, Argentina

87.          Gabriel Mariotto, former vice Buenos Aires Governor, journalist,Argentina

88.          Gabriela Rivadeneira,former President of the National Assembly of Ecuador, former Governor of Imbabura, Ecuador

89.          Glauber Braga, Federal Congressman of Rio de Janeiro State, lawyer, Brazil

90.          Horacio Chique, Councillor of Moreno FDT, Buenos Aires district, Argentina

91.          Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Venezuela

92.          Jorge Enrique Taiana,Congressman,former Ambassador of Argentina in Guatemala,former Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Legislator of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

93.          José Eduardo Cardozo, former Minister of Justice, former Attorney General and Federal Deputy, lawyer,Brazil

94.          José Miguel Insulza, Senator, former Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Home office Secretary, former Secretary General of the Presidency, former Minister of the Interior, lawyer and Professor of Political Theory at the University of Chile and of Political Science at the Catholic University, Chile


95.          Karol Cariola,Congresswoman,doctor in medicine, Chile


96.          Luiza Erundina, Federal Congresswoman of São Paulo State, former Mayor of São Paulo, sociologist, Brazil

97.          Marcelo Brignoni,Chief of Staff of Advisors to the Presidency of MERCOSUR Parliament, former Congressman, Argentina

98.          Marcelo Freixo, Federal Congresswoman of Rio de Janeiro State,. Chairman of the Defence of Human Rights and Citizenship Commission on the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly, broadcaster and Professor, Brazil

99.          Marco Enríquez-Ominami, former Congressman, founder and former president of Fundación Progresa, filmmaker, France / Chile

100.       María Cristina Perceval,former Senator, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations (2012), Professor of Advanced Epistemology at UNCuyo, Argentina

101.       María José Lubertino, former National Congresswoman, President of the Asociación Ciudadana por los Derechos humanos, lawyer, Argentina

102.       María Rachid, Congresswoman for the constituency of Buenos Aires, Head of the Instituto contra la Discriminación de la Defensoría del Pueblo de Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (CABA), vice-president of the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism,Argentina.

103.       Maximiliano Reyes,Undersecretary for Latin America and Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former Congressman, Mexico

104.       Mónica Xavier,Senator, doctor in medicine, Uruguay

105.       Oscar Alberto Laborde, Congressman, President of Mercorsur Parliament (Palasur),Argentina

106.       Pablo Bergel,former Congressman for the constituency of Buenos Aires, environmentalist,Argentina

107.       Paulo Pimenta,State Congressman of Rio Grande so Sul State, journalist, Brazil


108.       Sâmia Bomfim,Federal Congresswoman of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil


109.       Talíria Petrone, Federal Congresswoman of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

110.       Tarso Genro,former Minister for Justice, International Relations and Education political adviser to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of Brazil, former Governor of Rio Grande do Sul, former mayor of Porto Alegre, lawyer, Brazil

111.       Tereza Campello, former Minister of Social Development and Fight against Hunger,economist, international consultant on social development and social protection, visiting fellow at University of Nottingham (UK), Professor and research associate at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Brazil

112.       Verónika Mendoza,former Congresswoman, former Vice Presidency of the Committee on Culture and Cultural Heritage, Member of the Commission of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, Environment and Ecology, shift coordinator of the Parliamentary Representation of Cusco, president of the Decentralization Commission, Peru

113.       Wadih Damous, Congressman, former President of the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB) in Rio de Janeiro, lawyer,Brazil

114.       Zoé Robledo Aburto,former Secretary of Human Rights, former Senator and Deputy, Director of the Mexican Social Security Institute, Mexico

Political Parties

Pirate Party SloveniaSlovenia


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

What do you think?

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September 28, 2020

Where to start, understanding how the “truth” can be so toxic to certain entities within the human race?

Perhaps this virtual space may be useful:

September 28, 2020

Bless you The Duran for publishing this

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  variya
September 28, 2020

And also bless all of the “eminent political figures, including 13 past and present heads of state, numerous ministers, members of parliament and diplomats” who have denounced the illegality of the proceedings and appealed for Assange’s immediate release. I hope this will encourage many others to add their names to the list. As well as being immediately released, he should be well compensated for the illegal way he has been treated over the past decade.

September 28, 2020

A broader view of current events in the UK:

“UK Column News – 28th September 2020”

September 28, 2020

The problem is that even Julian’s country has done very little for him as its too busy kissing US shoes. The Australian Prime Minister could do a lot by talking to Trump, but he will not and the Opposition is not much better as its silent on the subject. Now to make it look as if “something” is being done, they have a cross bench parliamentary group “seeking” his release. We are run by self-serving politicians that have no interest in the country itself only in their interests. They will do anything to please the US and retire very rich… Read more »

Reply to  ptd
September 28, 2020
Reply to  ptd
September 29, 2020

Yes all the way with the US of A. It’s pathetic. Anyway, a surprising candidate on that list is Barnaby Joyce!!

Courtenay Barnett
Courtenay Barnett
Reply to  ptd
September 29, 2020

Here is another cogent article by Courtenay Barnett, a well thought out and stated overview and assessment of the Julian Assange case, one of the most crucial cases of our time, in which at issue is whether the UK and the US are already functioning fascist states joined at the hip or still have some hope as independent democracies.


September 30, 2020

Whilst I welcome Jeremy Corbyn’s name being on the list, I don’t recall where he ever once said a word about Julian Assange whilst he was leader of the Opposition Labour Party. He never once visited the Ecuadorian Embassy to help those outside who were protesting against his outrageous detention. Had he done so, it would not have been possible for the UK government to continue its criminal complicity in the illegal detention of Julian at the Embassy. If Jeremy had any backbone, he could have just walked in to the Embassy, taken Julian’s hand escorted him to Heathrow Airport… Read more »

October 25, 2020

What a surprise! Scott Morrison isn’t there? You know. The PM of his Home Country.

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