Podemos offers to help Julian Assange

Representatives from new leftist party meet embattled journalist at Ecuadorian embassy in London

Podemos representatives with Julian Assange at the embassy of Ecuador.
Podemos representatives with Julian Assange at the embassy of Ecuador.

Podemos, Spain’s new left-wing party, has offered its “political resources” to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Representatives of the grassroots party, which enjoyed surprise success at this year’s European elections, met Assange last Saturday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden and possibly to the United States. The whistle-blowing journalist and former hacker is the target of a criminal investigation over the deliberate release of classified military and diplomatic cables, and could face a US trial for espionage and treason.

Eurodeputy Tania González and party spokesman Íñigo Errejón offered Assange support to “resolve his serious situation” and “legal limbo.”

Help could involve bringing initiatives to the European Parliament, where Podemos holds five seats

Podemos, which received 1.2 million votes from Spaniards at the May 25 elections on a platform of profound change, believes that Assange’s situation “is an attack on freedom of information and an attack on minimum legal safeguards.”

Its representatives also said that it “reveals the fear of governments who are used to working with their backs to the people, and who are afraid that their practices may be publicized.”

The kind of specific help that Podemos has in mind could involve bringing initiatives to the European Parliament, where it holds five seats. Several eurodeputies from several parliamentary groups have expressed an interest in Assange’s situation.

The half-hour meeting was part of a visit to London during which Podemos members participated in a debate co-hosted by film director Ken Loach, writer Owen Jones and sociologist Cristina Flesher Fominaya.

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