UK decision to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is black day for press freedom, liberty and democracy

By Khalid Amayreh in Jerusalem

18 June 2022

The UK decision to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, to stand trial on spurious spying charges is undoubtedly a shameful act of betrayal and perfidy. It is a stab in the back of a man who sought safe haven in the UK, the homeland of the Magna Karta and Areopagítica, thinking the long tentacles of the American octopus wouldn’t reach him.

The WikiLeaks founder committed no crime, hurt no none, and certainly did nothing so nefarious that would justify the determined witch-hunt chase after him which seems to have ended with consigning him the wild wale’s belly.

We, who care about human rights, liberty and justice everywhere, have no choice but to identify with this brave man since he chose honesty over safety,  truth over mendacity and rectitude over situational ethics. Our identification with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange emanates from our strong conviction that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Indeed, this I the reason we raise our voices aloud to protest and condemn the acts of oppression, repression and aggression in such places as Palestine-Israel, India, Myanmar, and East Turkistan, where nothing helps and encourages the oppressors like the silence and indifference of free and honest men and women around the world.

Predictably, the Johnson government is expected to doggedly defend it folly.

  British Home Secretary Priti Patel has already signed the extradition order which followed an earlier  British court ruling that Assange could be sent to the U.S. over WikiLeaks’ publications. In a statement,  the Home office said “the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange.”

Never the less, such and other similar statements by the Jonson Administration’s official are ethically worthless, even though they might be interpreted differently, legally speaking.

A true justice system wouldn’t indict a man for doing what is morally right even if it happened to be legally problematic.

In the final analysis, Assange is an innocent man, Who did what he did based on his conscientious and moral convictions. And as his wife said, he did nothing wrong, he has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job.”

Assange Extradition is a Disturbing Trend

The decision to extradite Assange portends a disturbing trend in the overall conduct of the Johnson government.

The recent decision to deport refugees to Rwanda is particularly uncivilized and contains strong elements of betrayal, deception, and punishment.  Racism, even ugly racism, stands at the top of the real considerations that made the decision-makers in London embark on this repulsive feat. I and the public know that had there been a small group of White people or Jews among the would-be deportees, the British government wouldn’t even have considered the harsh, draconian measure in the first place.

Similarly, we have seen that the British government is quite reticent and shamefully silent with regard to the human rights massacre in India, where an openly-fascist regime is hell-bent on tormenting and narrowing the horizons of over one-fifth of India’s population,  simply because they are monotheists, not polytheists.

The British government could have voiced its revulsion at the Modi’s regime savagery against India’s Muslims, including the demolition of people’s homes for merely taking part in a peaceful demonstration. Unfortunately, it is probably naïve to count on the UK to be a leading voice and advocate for liberty, justice and human rights. After all, it was the government of his/her majesty that gave Palestine on a silver platter to rapacious Zionist- Jews who massacred Palestinians, destroyed their homes, stole their land and then expelled them all over the world.

Khaled Amayreh
Khalid Amayreh (Arabic: خالد عمايرة‎‎, b. 1957 Hebron) is a Palestinian journalist based in Dura, near Hebron, West Bank. He is an award-winning reporter who has contributed hundreds of articles to the Al-Jazeera English website from the Occupied West Bank. His field includes, inter alia, strategic studies with emphasis on the Arab world, Iran after the Shah, the Arab-Israeli conflict, contemporary Islamic movements, religious Zionism, comparative religion. Shiite Islam and failure of democratization in the Arab world. He received most of his formal education in the US where he obtained two degrees in journalism, a BA from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's degree in the same field from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has published numerous studies and articles on a variety of subjects in both English and Arabic. He has also written five books. The title of his MA thesis in the US was “the religious Press in America and the Palestinian question from 1967-1983. Amayreh has worked for the following media: Middle East International, London, al-Jazeera English, Ahram Weekly (Cairo), UAE TV, and several other Arabic publications. Amayreh's sole agenda is to spread and disseminate the truth about the enduring Palestinian/Israeli conflict which seems to defy all peace efforts. Honesty are rectitude are paramount for him. Per him, unfortunately, this conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future or even during our lifetime.

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