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Day X 24 hr Vigil for Assange at UK Consulate, 20 Feb

January 27, 2024 IN WIP
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A public hearing in the extradition trial of Wikileaks editor, publisher, and founder Julian Assange, initiated by the US authorities in 2019, will occur on 20-21 February 2024. The two-day hearing will convene before a panel of two judges reviewing a prior High Court decision made by a single judge in June 2023, which denied Assange permission to appeal. This will determine whether Assange will have further chances to present his case in UK courts or will have exhausted all appeals, leading to the commencement of the extradition process. An application before the European Court of Human Rights remains a possibility. If extradited, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison for exposing human rights abuses perpetrated by the US army during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In Melbourne a 24 hour vigil is being held, starting at 5pm on the 20th Feb, at the UK Consulate, 90 Collins Street, Melbourne. If you intend on staying overnight, you will need your own swag. Otherwise, come and support for as long as you wish. Musicians are being encouraged to attend to provide entertainment.

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We are pleased to share PEN International’s video in support of Assange, featuring our spokesperson Sabrina Tucci, which is being promoted by the Free Assange campaign and on our social media channels: https://twitter.com/FreeAssangeNews/status/1752746659723800886 We would be grateful if you could kindly amplify in the lead up to the hearing.

Josephine Scicluna & Zara Gudnason

Writers in Prison Co-convenors

Melbourne Centre of PEN International

www.penmelbourne.org

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International