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“Free the Truth”: The Belmarsh Tribunal on Julian Assange & Defending Press Freedom

In a New Year’s Day special broadcast, we air highlights from the Belmarsh Tribunal held last month in Washington, D.C., where journalists, lawyers, activists and other expert witnesses made the case to free Julian Assange from prison in…

Tribunal speakers

In a New Year’s Day special broadcast, we air highlights from the Belmarsh Tribunal held last month in Washington, D.C., where journalists, lawyers, activists and other expert witnesses made the case to free Julian Assange from prison in the United Kingdom. The WikiLeaks founder has been jailed at London’s Belmarsh prison since 2019, awaiting possible extradition to the United States on espionage charges for publishing documents that revealed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rights groups say the charges threaten freedom of the press and put a chilling effect on the work of investigative journalists who expose government secrets.

The Belmarsh Tribunal, inspired by the Russell-Sartre Tribunals of the Vietnam War, has been convened several times in the U.S., Europe and beyond to press for Assange’s release. The December proceedings were co-chaired by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.

Members of the tribunal included:

Ewen MacAskill, journalist and intelligence correspondent (formerly with The Guardian)

*John Kiriakou, former intelligence officer for the CIA

Lina Attalah, co-founder and chief editor of Mada Masr

Abby Martin, journalist and host of The Empire Files

Mark Feldstein, veteran investigative reporter and journalism historian at the University of Maryland

Ben Wizner, lawyer and civil liberties advocate with the ACLU

Trevor Timm, journalist and co-founder of Freedom of the Press Foundation

Rebecca Vincent, director of campaigns, Reporters Without Borders


This content originally appeared on Democracy Now! and was authored by Democracy Now!.


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