Sri Lankan action committee to hold a public meeting in defence of Julian Assange

The Action Committee for the Defence of Freedom of Art and Expression (ACDAE) in Sri Lanka will hold an online public meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday February 24 Sri Lankan (Indian Standard) time, as part of the global campaign to release WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in danger of being extradited the US on bogus charges.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange greets supporters from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on May 19, 2017 [AP Photo/Frank Augstein]

Assange’s alleged crime was to publish documents exposing the war crimes, mass surveillance and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies. The Australian citizen has been the victim of a vicious decade-long witch hunt by the US, UK, Swedish and Australian governments.

Although Assange in January won the right to a UK Supreme Court appeal against his extradition case, the experiences of the past three years of the award-winning journalist’s detention by the British state, demonstrate that no faith can be placed in the judiciary.

The World Socialist Web Site condemned the UK December 10 court ruling against Assange as a pseudo-legal travesty to justify his ongoing persecution. If Assange is extradited to the US, he will face espionage charges that carry an effective life sentence and possibly the death penalty.

Amid rising US-led provocations against Russia over Ukraine and the rising danger of a nuclear world war, the fight to free Assange, who exposed the brutal nature of the US imperialism and its warmongering allies, is a crucial issue for the international working class.

The ACDAE has organised this meeting in full support of the principled struggle waged by the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). Assange’s freedom and an end to his persecution depend on the building of an independent political movement of the working class.

The ACDAE aims to mobilise workers and the oppressed in Sri Lanka, as well as in India, on socialist policies to defend Assange. The Rajapakse government in Sri Lanka, like the Modi government in India, has pursued harsh dictatorial policies, suppressing working class struggles and attacking democratic rights. Two days ago, President Rajapakse, in a direct attack on basic democratic rights, imposed essential service orders banning struggles by health and power sector workers.

The fight to defend Assange is inseparable from the struggle against these attacks by capitalist governments. We urge workers, young people, students, and intellectuals to actively participate in this meeting and join the fight to free Julian Assange and defend all democratic rights. Register for the meeting here.