As part of the Hamburg literature festival „Reading without nuclear power“, top-class experts discussed the topic „Free Speech – Free Assange“ on the evening of February 12th, 2021. Host Georg Restle (host of the political TV show „Monitor“) spoke with former federal minister of justice Professor Herta Däubler-Gmelin, WikiLeaks-ambassador Joseph Farrell, the high-ranking Swiss UN expert Professor Nils Melzer (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture) and bestselling author Günter Wallraff.
To start of, the actress Mariele Millowitsch presented the text “About the World of the US Empire” by Julian Assange.
“The Empire strikes back, about war crimes and journalistic revelations, about the protection of state secrets but of course and especially about freedom of expression and freedom of the press. We want to talk about it, we have to talk about it”, Georg Restle outlined the evening theme of the Hamburg book festival.
In the beginning, Restle stated that this week US President Biden decided to continue wanting the extradition of Julian Assange. It is no coincidence that Biden remains loyal to his predecessor Donald Trump. The current US President and then Senate leader of the Democrats supported and enabled the war in Iraq.
Assange has exposed the state terrorism of the “US Empire” through countless documents. For this, the journalist is tortured, denounced the Swiss UN expert Prof. Nils Melzer. Assange’s close confidante, WikiLeaks ambassador Joseph Farrell, described Assange’s detention conditions in London’s maximum security prison as “Guantánamo of Great Britain”. A “gangster conspiracy by states is only about breaking the journalist,” Melzer said in clear terms. “With a character assassination campaign and psychological torture launched by the CIA”, it should be achieved that no author dares to do something similar in the future, said bestselling author Günter Wallraff. Great Britain is holding Assange “in captivity for no legal reason,” stated Prof. Däubler-Gmelin. For the ex-Federal Minister of Justice it is “a shame that EU countries do not offer asylum for Assange”. Däubler-Gmelin did not want to go unmentioned that Prof. Melzer was attacked because of his clear words. “As a citizen, I want to know what my governments are doing and whether the power apparatus adheres to the constitution and legislation.”
When asked if Julian knew about his supporters, Joseph Farrell replied: Yes, he knows about the solidarity movement and it always warms his heart. The knowledge of the support keeps him going. It is vital for Julian Assange.