More than 1,000 postcards, addressed to the British home secretary, calling for extradition charges against Julian Assange to be dropped, have been signed by Galwegians.
The signatures have been collected over the past number of months by the Galway Alliance Against War on Shop Street, where, at its regular stall, it has sought to explain the Assange case.
Assange, the journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, is before the courts in London opposing his extradition to the US on espionage charges. If extradited he will be tried under the US Espionage Act of 1917 and faces a 175 year prison sentence.
“Assange’s 'crime' is that as a result of his journalistic work with WikiLeaks US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been revealed to the world," said a GAAW spokesperson: "The video, Collateral Murder, is footage and the recording from a US Apache helicopter as 18 civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters war correspondents were wantonly gunned down.
"Presenting this information to the world is not a crime but the truth about the horrors of the US war crimes. This is what journalism should be about. Assange is not a spy. Spies work in the interests of governments. Nobody has died or been killed because of his revelations.”
The GAAW spokesperson said there has been little information surrounding Assange’s extradition case as he was accused of rape by women in Sweden, which he denies. To avoid an extradition order to Sweden he skipped bail, believing a US extradition request would be unstoppable from Sweden. The Swedish state prosecutor has subsequently dropped the investigation into Assange for the third time.