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Assange must be freed immediately: free information is not a crime

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Assange must be freed immediately: free information is not a crime

Today I discussed in the Chamber the urgent question to the Foreign Minister on the case of Julian Assange. This shamefully unjust affair involves a journalist who has allowed us to learn, not after decades but in real time, with documented evidence, of the crimes committed by governments – such as torture in Guantanamo, the toxic waste poured into our seas, the true faces of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, propaganda to tame public opinion in favor of military escalation, diplomatic letters between the United States and Italy in which our subjection to the USA is evident.

On April 5, 2010 Julian Assange published a secret video entitled Collateral Murder, in which an American Apache helicopter was seen exterminating defenseless civilians in Baghdad, while the crew laughed. The video dated back to July 12, 2007 and was a file from Pentagon. The footage was taken in real time from one of the two Apache helicopters that flew over the city that day in search of rebels and documented the massacre without filters or censorship. About fifteen civilians, including a esteemed twenty-two-year-old war photographer and his forty-year-old assistant and driver, who both worked for the international news agency Reuters, were blown to pieces by 30 millimeter caliber bullets supplied to the Apache , while two Iraqi children were seriously injured very serious.

Their father, driving a van, had stopped to help the driver of the Reuters photographer who was lying seriously injured on the ground, but the helicopter peppered him with bullets and finished off the survivor. Only the two little ones, aged five and ten, who sat in the back of the vehicle, they were saved by a miraclebut suffered very serious injuries.

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Apparently, the whole show must have caused satisfaction among the crew, given the conversations captured on video. “All right – said one of them laughing – I hit them”. And again: “Look at those dead bastards.” American authorities initially said those killed were guerrillas and then that the attack occurred as part of a combat operation with hostile forces. Then it turned out that it was all of them lies.

In June 2010 the American magazine Wired revealed that, in Iraq, an American boy aged just twenty-two had been arrested after saying in chat that he was the one who had switched to WikiLeaks the Collateral Murder video and hundreds of thousands more secret documents of the US government. The twenty-two year old was called Bradley Manning and he was an intelligence analyst for the United States Army on a mission in Iraq, who paid dearly for this act of conscience and justice. Again thanks to Assange we know the Afghan War Logs, published on 25 July 2010, which sent the Pentagon into a rage. These were 76,910 secret reports on the war in Afghanistan compiled by American soldiers in the field between January 2004 and December 2009, an unprecedented glimpse into that distant and ignored conflict.

These files remain the only public source which allows us to reconstruct attacks, deaths and extrajudicial assassinations that occurred in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2009. Julian Assange has dismantled the machine of lies of wars which do not export democracies or protection for human rights, but serve to finance the industrial military sector, the business of weapons and money laundering, l’escalation militare. An invisible level of power that does not want the light but wants to operate in the darkness so as to have its hands free.

As Assange told us, the objective of the war, with reference for example to Afghanistan, is not to win it, the objective is a lasting war because the harder it is, the more money coming from the taxes of European and American citizens will come out of our pockets to finance the military industrial sector, the weapons factories and all the business of money and power that revolves around it.

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And we too know this well, in Italy, where that level of power has never been touched and where the instigators, the organizers and the financiers of the massacres that have bloodied the country and hindered and sidetracked truth and justice until till today.

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Julian Assange had the courage to challenge that power and to put him in the sunlight and for this reason he hasn’t walked for 14 years free man on the streets, his life was destroyed and now, if he is extradited, he faces up to 175 years in prison in the United States. In that same country where the CIA, the most powerful Intelligence Agency in the world had prepared a plan to kill him. How can anyone think that he could be extradited there? What due process is this? The State cannot and must not have secrets and those who commit war crimes should end up in prison, not those who oppose them through information.

Free information is not a crime, revealing crimes is not a crime and good people know this, given the many demonstrations in the streets for Assange, the associations that keep the attention on him high, such as Free Assange Italia, the journalists who denounce the dangers of what is happening, such as Stefania Maurizi, the Italian municipalities that granted honorary citizenship to the founder of Wikileaks.

Julian Assange is a journalist, not a criminal: must be freed.
Freedom for Julian Assange.

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