Our Union joins the international campaign in support of the WikiLeaks whistleblower and calls for the reversal of the decision to extradite him to the US. The assault against him is an assault against us all. It is killing freedom of speech and information, instilling fear and muzzling honest, independent and critical journalism.
The UBJ joins the international campaign, supported by the International Federation of Journalists, demanding the release of WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange. On 8 October, our Union will also add its voice to the appeals and actions of numerous journalists' and human rights organisations around the world, who will come out in protest against Assange's extradition to the US, where he faces 175 years in prison for publishing stories exposing US war crimes.
Together with many colleagues and citizens around the world, the UBJ is demanding that the show trial of Assange be stopped immediately. The assault against him is an assault against us all. He is being punished for what is the essence of the mission of journalism - to get the truth out. If Assange is being sued for revealing information about war crimes that is of high public interest, then all journalists around the world are being ostentatiously threatened not to let anything like this happen. Fear is being instilled and honest, independent and critical journalism is being gagged. The aim is openly pursued to keep the public in the dark about what the 'powerful of the day' do not want to be revealed. This is outright murder of freedom of speech, freedom of information, free access to information and, in essence, of democracy itself.
That is why defending Assange today also means defending democracy.
We urge the competent authorities in the United Kingdom to reconsider the decision to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, to release him immediately and to provide him with proper compensation for his years of persecution and harassment, including his traumatic time in Belmarsh prison.
Freedom for Julian Assange!
Governing Board of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists
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