Journalist and film-maker John Pilger has written an open letter on online to appeal to the Ecuadorian government for Julian Assange’s right of freedom of speech.
Pilger joins the list of 27 supporters who request President Lenín Moreno to end the isolation of Julian Assange now.
Titled ‘The Isolation of Julian Assange is the Silencing of Us All’, the letter says the Ecuadorian government has installed an electronic jammer to stop Assange communicating with the outside world via the internet and phone also refusing to allow him to receive visitors.
Pilger writes in his letter “If it was ever clear that the case of Julian Assange was never just a legal case, but a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now.”
The letter goes on to say that two UN rulings describe his detention as unlawful and commanding his immediate release.
Assange has been imprisoned since he was first placed in isolation in Wandsworth prison in London in December 2010 where he has never been charged with a crime.
The Swedish case accusing the WikiLeaks founder of sexual assault by two women collapsed and was withdrawn, while the United States has stepped up efforts to prosecute him.
Under its previous president, the Ecuadorian government granted Assange political asylum as a political refugee. Assange became a citizen in January 2018.
The letter notes Assange’s only “crime” is that of a true journalist — telling the world the truths that people have a right to know.
Pilger writes “This is not just a matter of showing support and solidarity. We are appealing to all who care about basic human rights to call on the government of Ecuador to continue defending the rights of a courageous free speech activist, journalist and whistleblower,”
“We ask that his basic human rights be respected as an Ecuadorian citizen and internationally protected person and that he not be silenced or expelled.
“If there is no freedom of speech for Julian Assange, there is no freedom of speech for any of us — regardless of the disparate opinions we hold.”
The letter encloses with a list of signatories from writers, journalists, film-makers, artists, academics, former intelligence officers and Democrats such as Pamela Anderson, Oliver Stone, Vivienne Westwood and former CIA analyst, Presidential advisor Ray McGovern.