“We are in a continent that has withstood 500 years of humiliation through colonialism, apartheid, and neo-colonialism”

 

 

By The Bulrushes

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) on Thursday said it has joined “all progressive voices across the globe in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom”.

“Assange is a journalist who is a friend to all peace-loving people in the world,” said Irvin Jim, NUMSA general secretary.

The Australian editor and self-confessed computer hacker faces possible extradition from The United Kingdom to the United States, where he is wanted on 17 charges of violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified military information.

On Christmas Eve, lawyers asked Britain’s Supreme Court for permission to appeal the high court’s ruling that Assange can be extradited to the US.

 

 

Assange shot to fame in April 2010 after his WikiLeaks website released a 39-minute video of a US military Apache helicopter firing over and killing more than a dozen Iraqis, including two Reuters journalists.

Last week on Friday lawyers argued that the US government’s pledge that the founder of the whistleblowing website would not be subjected to extreme conditions in prison was conditional and could be changed at the authority’s discretion.

The 50-year-old Assange has been confined in Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London since April 2019.

Before that Assange was a resident of the embassy of Ecuador, London, for seven years after entering it on 19 June 2012 to claim diplomatic asylum after being wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning over four alleged sexual offences.

Assange said he feared the authorities in Sweden would hand him over to the Americans.

Now the powerful South African union – NUMSA – has added its voice to those calling for Assange’s unconditional release.

 

 

“WikiLeaks and Assange have provided the world with indisputable evidence of the impunity with which the United States is willing to pursue an imperialist agenda in the interests of a small capitalist class,” said Jim.

“Assange has consistently denounced the current system that allows the 22 richest men in the world to be wealthier than all the women in Africa.”

Jim said Assange continues to stand against imperialist wars which leave only illiteracy, hunger, homelessness, and suffering in their wake.

“As NUMSA we are familiar with the racist aggression suffered at the hands of Western imperialists, that Assange and others continue to expose,” said Jim

“We are in a continent that has withstood 500 years of humiliation through colonialism, apartheid, and neo-colonialism.

“The racist, colonial logic which seeks to sustain Africa as the continent of the poorest people on the wealthiest land is the same logic that the principled journalism of Assange has consistently exposed and denounced.

“Hands off Julian Assange. Hands off! Aluta continua! The struggle continues.” – The Bulrushes.Com

 

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