A large crowd gathered in Plaça Universitat square in the centre of Barcelona, where Catalan civil society organisations and political parties rejected Julian Assange’s extradition and defended the right to freedom of expression and the right to a free press.
On Monday, February 24, the Catalan National Assembly organized and promoted a protest in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces extradition to the United States. The Trump administration is asking for a sentence of 175 years in prison.
The demonstration, which gathered a crowd of 600 according to the local authorities, as well as representatives civil society organisations and political parties, was organized in coordination with mobilizations taking place in over 20 cities in a dozen countries around the world, under the slogan “Journalism is not a crime”.
The president of the Catalan National Assembly, Elisenda Paluzie, welcomed Julian Assange’s support for the Catalan Independence movement, especially during the independence referendum in October 2017. Assange denounced the police abuse, injustice and behaviour of the Spanish government, which he considered “authoritarian”.
Ms. Paluzie commended Julian Assange’s bravery in standing up against human rights violations, abuses of power and war crimes committed by the US military all over the world; defended the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and demanded Assange’s release.
The choice of location in Barcelona was not a coincidence. During the fall of 2017, Mr. Assange appeared via video conference to support the Catalan self-determination process during a rally organized by the Universities for the Republic group, composed of the main organizations of Catalan university students, including the ANJI, the youth branch of the Catalan National Assembly.