A sculpture featuring life-sized bronze figures of whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Assange and Chelsea Manning will be on display in Parliament Square.
A protest outside Parliament is being organised to call for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Campaigners and supporters will march through central London on June 24 as Assange faces extradition to the United States, where he fears being imprisoned for the rest of his life.
He has been held in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison for over four years as he fights extradition.
Among the speakers at the Parliament Square event will be Assange’s wife, Stella, alongside a sculpture called Anything To Say, which features life-sized bronze figures of whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Assange and Chelsea Manning, each standing on their own individual chair.
Adjacent to them is an empty chair, representing the general population, encouraging everyone to “stand up instead of sit like the others”.
The sculpture has been displayed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Serbia, and Australia.
Author and broadcaster Charles Glass conceived the idea, and it was brought to life by Italian artist Davide Dormino, who said: “As an artist, I feel I have a duty to defend freedom of speech and the right to know. That is why I have created an empty chair, which allows us to stand taller and raise ourselves.
“It changes our perspective and prompts us to look beyond what we are shown and what is hidden.”
Julian Assange has lost his latest attempt to fight extradition to the U.S., according to a Friday order from London’s High Court.
Assange, 51, is wanted on 18 criminal charges related to Wikileaks publishing thousands of confidential U.S. government documents. He faces 175 years in maximum security prison should he be convicted. His legal team plans a new appeal as early as next week, according to Reuters.
Assange has been jailed in London since he was physically removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2019, where he had been holed up seeking asylum for years. Assange was fighting a separate extradition request by Swedish authorities at the time over an investigation into an alleged rape. Those charges were dropped after nine years when the statute of limitations ran out.
The ruling out of London puts Assange “dangerously close” to being extradited to the U.S., his supporters told The Guardian.
His wife, Stella Assange, said his team is “optimistic” that their attempts to keep him out of the U.S. will eventually prevail.
She has been calling on the Australian government to pressure Washington to stop its years-long pursuit of her husband, arguing that it puts press freedom at risk around the world. Assange is an Australian citizen.
“If Julian is extradited, he will be buried in the deepest, darkest hole of the US prison system, isolated forever,” Stella Assange told Australia’s National Press Club last month.
/ WikiLeaks Korea= Evening Standard