An open letter to President Joe R Biden

No! to Criminalization of journalism

Julian Assange is not a Political Prisoner, but a Political Hostage who should be set free.

In Brief

  • From June 19, 2012, Julian Assange remained a hostage of the most powerful nation in the world.
  • Some small latin American country called Ecuador stood her grounds and for human rights.
  • The pretext of some sex crimes were soon to be forgotten as Washington threw out smiles and informed London to do what they had wanted all along; to have him extradited.
  • The new arms' race shouldn't be on who could hold the most hostages.
  • Washington has always wanted to teach Julian a lesson. Hasn't he been punished enough? 

Mr President, I write not to influence your Administration's policy but to let you know that we are all watching. This is evidently the easiest letter to write. It’s been long overdue though. With the fiasco and circus from your Congress, there is something that you could however do with the stroke of your pen. The question is whether you are willing to do it. I hope you may.

There is a quinquagenarian whose life has been in limbo for over a decade. Yes, I am talking about Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. To be quite clear I am not a representative of Julian/Wikileaks. As a matter of fact, the first and last time I ever spoke with Julian was sometime in early 2014 before the launching of uSpiked. He was then held up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London; I volunteer this information because I suspect your, and British intelligence services must have been monitoring his calls during that period and details of which must be archived somewhere.

No matter how we look at his case, Julian is at best a journalist and at worst a publisher, two statuses that should not be criminalized by any government. Your Department of Justice’s decision to continue with his prosecution and persecution is not only cruel but unjustifiable.

Well, it’s not debatable whether Wikileaks published materials that contravened your 1917  Espionage Act. But lets for a moment assume that Julian did contravene that particular law, isn’t that what we, as publishers, do all the time? bringing light to those inconvenient facts! If your Administration goes ahead and punishes Julian for publishing the said materials, which publisher/journalist would be next? Would your DoJ target Washington Post, the New York Times or uSpiked?

Mr President, I believe you are busy, but allow me to quote you, to you, “…You feel like there’s a black hole in your chest you’re being sucked into and you’re suffocating, unable to breathe.” Though Julian is not dead as yet, to his family and loved ones, the black hole is there.

Similarly and not long ago, there was once a hostage called Brittney Griner. When your administration successfully negotiated her release from Russia, you said, She will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along…” Don't Julian's loved ones deserve to embrasse him?

Julian’s case doesn’t require a prisoners-swap [He is a political hostage]. You could grant a pardon with a declaration that publishers shouldn’t be prosecuted for whatever materials they publish. But if you need a swap, there is that former guy whose name we undertook never to mention on our pages again. Unlike Julian, he’s surely not a publisher [oh he tried blogging and not trying to own a social media knock-off]… pardon both of them at the same time specifically for crimes alleged under the Espionage Act (1917). Julian/Wikileaks remain your hostage just like Bellingcat has remained Moscow's hostage.

And while at it, please may you kindly declassify all communication between the US States Department and the Swedish Prosecutions Authority regarding Julian Assange and the alleged sex crime. The declassification would help us understand Julian’s decision to seek refuge with the Ecuadorians.

Joey, Keep the faith.