A woman takes part in a demonstration in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who is facing extradition to the USA in Brussels on April 23, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovThere isn’t a strong chance for Assange’s pardon, given that both Republicans and Democrats prefer to keep mum on his release, Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist based in New York, told Sputnik. Washington-based supporters of Julian Assange will hold a rally later on Wednesday to demand the release of the WikiLeaks founder from the UK’s Belmarsh prison.The action coincides with the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, which is annually commemorated on May 3.
Washington’s "declaration of press freedom is public relations” and “the imprisonment of Julian Assange proves that press ‘freedom’ is allowed, is tolerated, as long as the journalist or editor does not threaten public support or even public awareness of the reality of US foreign policy," Komisar said.
She insisted that “there is no press freedom when that is limited to the government’s supporters or even feeble critics, but not to those who show the public evidence of America’s war crimes as Assange did in videos and reports of US attacks in Iraq.”When asked to comment on the leaders of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina urging US President Joe Biden to drop the charges against Assange, Komisar said that “it is good that they do it, but I don’t think US leaders care.”
"They consider the US the hegemon of the world, so what other countries’ leaders think or say is secondary. On the other hand, this is important as an indication of the Global South’s rejection of Washington’s fake assertion that it believes in a free press. It’s a rejection of the US assertion of its moral superiority," the New York-based investigative journalist stressed.
On the absence of mass media campaigns in support of Assange, she said that “the [US] mainstream media supports the government line and while some make pro-forma statements of support for the WikiLeaks founder, they never make or join a campaign. […] These media and organizations commit not to a free press, but to US government policy.”According to Komisar, on issues related to US foreign policy, American mainstream media “is often lazy at best (‘you dictate, we write it’), corrupt at worst.”The journalist also said she doesn’t think “there’s a strong chance for Assange’s pardon” because “the Democrats and Republicans, even so-called progressives such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (OAC) never mention the WikiLeaks founder, much less call for his release.”Komisar suggested that Assange’s pardon “could only happen if Russian authorities arrested somebody the Americans desperately wanted”, including “several [high profile] spies.”
WikiLeaks was founded by Assange on October 4, 2006, but rose to prominence in 2010 when it began to publish large-scale leaks of classified government information, including leaked papers about US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.Since April 2019, Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London while facing prosecution in the US under the Espionage Act. If convicted, the WikiLeaks founder may get 175 years in prison. In December 2022, he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge his extradition.WorldGlobal Media Coalition Urges US to End Prosecution of WikiLeaks Founder Assange28 November 2022, 16:55 GMT