So-called ‘human rights lawyer’ has said nothing to defend persecuted journalist set to be extradited despite collapse of US case – but former Labour leader who has campaigned for Assange’s release is speaking to European body today
Despite his supposed credentials as a former human rights lawyer – frequently regurgitated by his supporters as they attempt to justify his collusion in assaults on human rights in this country – Labour leader Keir Starmer has been invisible and silent on the UK’s plan to extradite Julian Assange to the US, a country that reportedly tried to assassinate him in exile.
The US wants to jail Assange for several lifetimes for the ‘crime’ of exposing its war crimes and the UK courts and the Tory government have colluded with the Americans’ extradition request, despite the collapse of the US case when it’s main witness against Assange admitted he had lied. Despite the obvious sick farce of the situation and the obvious attack on journalistic freedom and the democratic rights of the public to know what governments get up to, neither Starmer nor his front bench defended Assange or even questioned the process. Starmer’s critics point out that as Director of Public Prosecutions he was eager to extradite autistic hacker Gary McKinnon to the US and mortified when then-Home Secretary Theresa May vetoed the extradition after Starmer had promised his US contacts to deliver McKinnon to them. The UK media have been equally silent on the wrongs and consequences of the Assange extradition and Priti Patel’s eagerness to hand him over.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, by contrast, has been both vocal and highly visible in defending Assange and condemning the extradition, both in person at Belmarsh prison where Assange is being held and at the courts – and on Corbyn’s social media. And this afternoon, during a debate on the at the Council of Europe on refugees and the media, Corbyn will raise the issue of Assange and the war governments are waging on him.
The debate begins at 2.30pm, though there is no set schedule for when Corbyn will speak. Watch live on the Council website here. Skwawkbox will publish video of Corbyn’s contribution after the debate ends.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.