Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

julian-assange

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks holds up a copy of The Guardian newspaper as he speaks to reporters on July 26, 2010 in London, England. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Progressives to Put US War Crimes on Trial and Demand Freedom for Julian Assange

The second annual Belmarsh Tribunal is "convening parliamentarians, journalists, lawyers, and investigators to fight for truth and justice against Assange's extradition to the United States."

Brett Wilkins

A group of prominent global progressives on Wednesday announced a return of the Belmarsh Tribunal, where participants will put the United States government on informal trial for war crimes and demand freedom for jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"At the Belmarsh Tribunal, we will turn the world the right way up, placing crimes of war, torture, kidnapping, and a litany of other gross human rights abuses on trial."

On October 22, Progressive International's Belmarsh Tribunal, named after the notorious London prison where Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the United States, "will try the U.S. government for its crimes of the 21st century—from atrocities in Iraq to torture at Guantánamo Bay to a surveillance program."

"We are convening parliamentarians, journalists, lawyers, and investigators to fight for truth and justice against Assange's extradition to the United States," said Progressive International, which held a similar tribunal last year. "In doing so, the Belmarsh Tribunal turns the tables in the extradition hearing against Julian Assange... a case that will shape the future of journalism for decades to come."

Britain's High Court has been considering the Biden administration's appeal in the extradition case against Assange, with a full appellate hearing scheduled for October 27 and 28.

"WikiLeaks exposed the reality of the War on Terror," said Progressive International. "It revealed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 300 incidents of torture, and secret killings by the United States armed forces. For exposing the criminality of the War on Terror, the U.S. and its allies have persecuted, imprisoned, and plotted to assassinate Julian Assange."

Last month, Common Dreams reported that in 2017 the Central Intelligence Agency, under then-Director Mike Pompeo, plotted to kidnap—and possibly murder—Assange to avenge WikiLeaks' publication of the "Vault 7" documents exposing CIA cyber warfare and surveillance activities.

The Belmarsh Tribunal is inspired by the Russell Tribunal, a 1966 event organized by philosophers Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre to hold the U.S. accountable for its escalating war crimes in Vietnam.

British historian and activist Tariq Ali, one of the original Belmarsh Tribunal members, will participate in this year's event.

Some of the members of the 2021 Belmarsh Tribunal include German Left Party lawmaker Heike Hänsel; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan spokesperson Selay Ghaffar; Greek lawmaker Yanis Varoufakis; former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa; Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi; ACLU attorney Ben Wizner; and British Labour parliamentarians Apsana Begum, Richard Burgon, Jeremy Corbyn, and John McDonnell.

"At the Belmarsh Tribunal, we will turn the world the right way up," Corbyn tweeted Wednesday, "placing crimes of war, torture, kidnapping, and a litany of other gross human rights abuses on trial."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

AOC Laments How Accused Predator Kavanaugh Ready to Rule on 'Whether to Legalize Forced Birth in the US'

The congresswoman suggested Justice Brett Kavanaugh should recuse himself from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, considering multiple sexual assault allegations against him that the FBI failed to investigate.

Julia Conley ·


Biden Rebuked for Plan to Implement 'Even Worse' Version of Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy

"The Biden administration must stop hiding behind a flawed court order to justify" the abuse of asylum seekers, said one immigrant rights advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressive Coalition to Schumer: No More Cuts to Popular Build Back Better Bill

"Now is the moment to do everything in your power to ensure that we get the best, most inclusive, reconciliation bill possible across the finish line."

Jessica Corbett ·


New Report Urges Biden to Stop Arms Sales Fueling Saudi 'Devastation' of Yemen

"It's time for the Biden administration to cut off this support as a way to change Saudi conduct and relieve the suffering of the Yemeni people caused by Saudi actions."

Brett Wilkins ·


200+ Groups to Democrats in Congress: No Holiday Recess Until You Pass Voting Rights

"Our democracy is under attack across the country, and Senate Democrats must do whatever it takes—right now—to get these critical voting rights bills signed into law."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo