Note | Ramola D | May 3, 2023
In welcome recognition of the importance of press freedom and needed protection for journalists worldwide at a time when journalists continue to be unlawfully targeted and detained, Assange Defense Committee reports that today’s 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day is being marked in Boston with a phone bank to call for Assange’s freedom as well as protection for all journalists and those who speak truth to power.
May 3 at 12 pm EDT: All who care about press freedoms and the importance of preserving our human rights and civil liberties can call in to Massachusetts senators and the Department of Justice or send an email to express their minds:
“World Press Freedom Day was created by the UN to act as both a reminder and a reflection on the freedoms of the press and of speech that we all hold dear. With the continued prosecution of Assange and the recent imprisonment of WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich, these freedoms are under attack daily.”—Assange Defense Committee
Evan Gershkovich is the Wall Street Journal reporter recently detained in Russia on supposed “espionage” charges while he was reporting on the ground on repercussions of Russia’s war with Ukraine, and examining the effects of information warfare on locals in the border regions there.
“This action comes amidst renewed pressure from national and world leaders, as well as major publications, calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange.”–Assange Defense
Assange Defense Committee, a coalition of well-known advocates and activists inclusive of writers, philosophers, whistleblowers Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Daniel Ellsberg, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake and many others advocating for Julian Assange is organizing events across the USA to try to stop his extradition to the US.
Decline in Press Freedom and the Ability to Practice Journalism Meanwhile
What’s faintly reassuring is that the current White House Administration has started to (if only selectively) echo the extant awareness of all practicing journalists and intelligent readers on the subject of press freedoms. At the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29, President Joe Biden called for Evan Gershkovich’s immediate release “along with every other journalist held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.”
Biden: “Journalism is not a crime”/Politico, 4/30/2023
The troubled state of journalism today around the world and the targeted attacks on journalists in many countries including the USA has been noted this week by many observers worldwide, as also in this Washington Post editorial and this Republic World article. Unlawful retaliation on journalists, activists, government and agency whistleblowers has often been covered at this site, and one can only hope the entire world wakes soon to the need to honor and celebrate journalists rather than incarcerate or marginalize or disappear them.
In the words of Noam Chomsky, “Julian Assange shouldn’t be the subject of a grand jury hearing, he should be given a medal. He’s contributing to democracy.”
From 8/15/2022: Livestream of Julian Assange’s Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign | Week 1 of the Assange Case…
Follow Julian Assange’s case:
Assange Defense Committee: News and Coverage
Reporters Without Borders: News
Speak Up for Assange:
International Journalists’ Statement in Defense of Julian Assange,