June 25, 2024
Release of Julian Assange a hard-fought victory for press freedom – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan has said that the release of Julian Assange late last night represented “a hard-fought victory for press freedom, and a testament to the power of the world-wide campaign for his release.”

He was responding after it was confirmed that Assange had been freed from high security Belmarsh prison in Britain, where he had been incarcerated for five years, and is travelling home to Australia.

Senator Gavan paid tribute to the Wikileaks founder who helped to expose numerous war crimes on the part of US occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator Gavan said:

“Julian has been a courageous publisher of deeply uncomfortable truths about illegal wars of occupation by western powers, and horrendous war crimes.

“For this reason, he was targeted and singled out for appaling treatment tantamount to torture for well over a decade.

“This was to send a warning message to all journalists and the consequences of speaking truth to power and has had a chilling effect on press freedom.

“The campaign for Julian, led by his wife Stella, has been magnificent, unrelenting, and inspirational.

“Have no doubt that without the participation of hundreds of thousands of people across the world Julian would still be in jail.

“For my part, I was one of many Sinn Fein representatives who spoke up as often as we could both in our national parliament and within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“This is a great and hard-fought victory for press freedom, and a testament to the power of the worldwide campaign for his release.”

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