Julian Assange facing conspiracy charges

 

Sir, – British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that “Assange is no hero” and “No one is above the law”. He is wrong on both counts. Julian Assange is a hero. He may not be a perfect person, and may even be flawed is several respects, but his contribution to human rights, transparency and exposing the truth have been immense (Front page, April 12th).

It is worth citing the First Amendment of the US constitution, passed in 1791. “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; . . .”. Assange, using freedom of speech and access to various press and media, has made a huge contribution to exposing the truth concerning very serious war crimes by US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even on issues such as CIA use of Shannon Airport. His arrest in London on April 11th is more likely to damage the reputation of the US, UK and Ecuadorean governments than to enhance the rule of law as Jeremy Hunt implies when he falsely claims that “No one is above the law”.

The wars of aggression waged by the US and its allies in the Middle East, and especially the conflict in Syria (in which four permanent members of the UN Security Council, US, UK, France and Russia, participated without UN Security Council approval in breach of the UN Charter) clearly show that these four countries and their political leaders are above the rule of international law; and in the cases of the US and UK in particular have been in gross breach of the rule of international laws.

Assange is being punished for being a genuine whistleblower and for exposing these breaches of the rule of law. Humanity urgently needs more courageous whistle-blowers like Assange and less cowardly politicians who enable war crimes. – Yours, etc,

Dr EDWARD HORGAN,

Castletroy, Limerick.

Sir, – Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy on June 19th, 2012 and applied for political asylum, seeking protection from US political persecution and attempts to imprison him over his work as the publisher of WikiLeaks.

If extradited to the US there is a real danger he could face human rights violations, including detention conditions that could involve torture and other ill-treatment and an unfair trial, simply due to his work with WikiLeaks. Mr Assange deserves respect and protection as a person inspired by the defence of human rights and committed to exposing abuses as a whistle-blower and as a publisher. He has already suffered detention for seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy simply for his own safety. Unless he is formally charged with a crime, he should be released immediately and unconditionally in accordance with article 9 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. – Yours, etc,

RICHARD COFFEY,

Terenure, Dublin 6W.

Sir, – “They deem him their worst enemy, who tells them the truth.” Plato, The Republic, circa 380 BC. – Yours, etc,

DAMIEN FLINTER,

Headford, Co Galway.

Sir, – I wonder where would Julian Assange be sleeping tonight if he had leaked the secrets of North Korea? – Yours, etc,

ANDREW LAWLOR,

Delvin, Co Westmeath.