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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Get Assange out alive!

by New Worker correspondent

JEREMY CORBYN is demanding a meeting with Julian Assange amidst growing fears in the Assange camp that the jailed WikiLeaks founder will never leave prison alive. The former Labour leader went to Belmarsh jail this week to call on the governor to allow the meeting to take place.

Jeremy Corbyn and two other Labour MPs, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgeon, joined his son Max and his former lawyer Stella Moris to deliver a letter signed by 20 MPs demanding to exercise their rights as parliamentarians to visit Julian Assange in the high-security prison in south-east London that is often used to hold terrorist suspects.

Assange has spent two years in jail since he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 and has had bail requests denied three times. His supporters are concerned at his deteriorating physical condition and some fear that Assange could even be driven to suicidal despair if he is held any longer in the COVID-ridden London prison. Some friends even fear that the man who exposed US war-crimes in Iraq could be silenced forever by the sinister hands of imperialist intelligence.

Retired United Nations official Alfred-Maurice de Zayas told the Russian media this week that he did not think that Assange would ever commit suicide: “Admittedly, it has been five years since I met Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy…the man impressed me by his sharp intellect, courage and resilience. I know that he is a fighter by nature. Besides, he is the father of two young boys and intends to marry Stella Moris, the mother of his children.

“ He has no reason whatever to commit suicide. He is certainly not on the verge of despair – but the mainstream media is creating the ‘narrative’ so that if he is ‘whacked’ we in civil society meekly accept it, instead of demanding an international commission to investigate.

“If Assange were to be found dead at the Belmarsh prison, I would suspect an extrajudicial execution for which the CIA is well known and experienced. Perhaps not as ‘nasty’ a murder as that of Khashoggi by Saudi thugs, but just as certain as the elimination of Jeffrey Epstein and John McAfee, both of whom knew too much,” de Zayas told Sputnik news.

Richard Burgon, the left Labour MP who co-ordinated the cross-party letter, said: “Julian Assange’s case has huge implications for press freedom in the UK and for the US–UK extradition treaty.

“It’s in the public interest that British parliamentarians are able to discuss these issues with Julian Assange. That the authorities have repeatedly stopped an online meeting going ahead speaks volumes. The Justice Secretary and prison governor must now put a stop to their intransigence and allow it to go ahead without further delay.”

Assange is being held in Belmarsh prison whilst awaiting hearings that could lead to his extradition to the USA where he faces life imprisonment on bogus espionage charges.

The WikiLeaks founder, an Australian citizen living in Sweden, came to Britain in 2010 following rape allegations that he strenuously denied. Assange was avoiding an arrest that he feared would lead to his deportation to the USA, where he faces charges following WikiLeaks exposure of US war crimes in Iraq. In 2012 the then progressive government of Ecuador offered him asylum and Assange fled to their embassy in London when the British government moved to send him to America. But Assange was denied free passage to leave the country.

Seven years later reactionary forces in the pay of US imperialism seized power in Ecuador. Assange was handed over to the police in exchange for around $4.2 billion worth of IMF loans and aid