August 8, 2021
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gaval addresses Hiroshima-Nagasaki peace event in Galway

Senator Paul Gavan will deliver the keynote address at the annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Event in Galway this weekend. The event will take place this Sunday at 1.30pm in Eyre Square, Galway.

For the past decade the city’s local peace group Galway Alliance Against War has commemorated the anniversaries of the US nuclear attacks on these two Japanese cities in August 1945, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

The atrocities of war are closely linked to this year’s political theme.  The main focus will be the persecution for more than a decade of the journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. His crime is that he exposed the barbarism of the 21st century’s “never-ending wars”.

Despite never being convicted of any crime he is into his third year of solitary confinement in a high security British prison.  If extradited to the US he will face 175 years in jail under spurious charges based on the US Espionage Act 1917. 

His powerful enemies in Washington and London have silenced any criticism internationally in the media and in the EU.

However, in the Oireachtas members of the opposition have rallied to Assange’s defence. One of the driving forces behind the Free Assange campaign is Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan and he will address the peace rally on Sunday.

As a rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the  “Council of Europe” – the human rights body for all of Europe – Sen. Gavan has highlighted the significance of the persecution of Assange: “The politically-motivated charges represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know – seeking to criminalize basic journalistic activity.”

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