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All of these people have worked with Fair Trials International on EAW reform. If you send your email to anyone else either adapt or delete the first paragraph in [ ] brackets. MATERIAL Note: You can Google any of these names for a postal address if you prefer to send a letter. ELECTRONIC MAIL: Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP - email@example.com Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP – firstname.lastname@example.org Sir Graham Watson MEP - email@example.com Judith Sargentini MEP - firstname.lastname@example.org Birgit Sippel MEP - email@example.com Timothy Kirkhope MEP - firstname.lastname@example.org Gerard Batten MEP – email@example.com POSTAL MAIL: Rt Hon Lord Mackay of ClashFern QC - House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC - House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. Lord Goodhart QC - House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts - House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. If you are considering sending your letter to the above, please begin your letter with 'Dear Lord ___________' Dear _____________, [Thank you for your work with Fair Trials International on urgently needed reform of the European Arrest Warrant system.] On 2 November the UK High Court ruled that Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden to face allegations – not charges – brought under the European Arrest Warrant system. An appeal against this decision can only be allowed on a matter of “national public importance”. Julian Assange has not been charged with any offence and this is therefore a matter of “national public importance” – to me and to every other member of the public. I believe this ruling sets a very dangerous precedent allowing any UK citizen – and possibly any European citizen – to be extradited without charge. Mr Assange’s case shows that the EAW can be used in a totally disproportionate way without using other less draconian methods of completing police investigations, such as Mutual Legal Assistance. The EAW system does not allow judges to properly examine the merits of a case. The Swedish police case file against Julian Assange has leaked onto the internet. Millions of people across Europe and around the world have read it. We have seen for ourselves that the case against him is incredibly weak, as well as other troubling aspects of the investigation: the illegal leaking of Mr Assange’s name to the press at the outset; interviews that were not properly recorded, against standard police procedure; the lack of DNA on evidence presented by one of the
complainants; and the withholding of other exculpatory evidence by the prosecutor. Now we learn that Julian Assange is to be extradited despite all this – without charge, to be held in indefinite incommunicado detention until an investigation is completed and the prosecutor is able to decide whether to go ahead with a trial. Should Kate and Gerry McCann, who lost their daughter in appalling circumstances, have suffered the same fate and been forcibly extradited to Portugal because they had been labelled “arguidos” by a mishandled police investigation? No, of course not. Was the alleged crime in that case – child abduction – somehow less serious than the strongest allegation against Julian Assange – consensual sex without a condom with a “half-asleep” woman with whom he had just spent the night? Julian Assange’s situation has highlighted how the EAW system is fundamentally flawed – following his case has been like reading Kafka’s The Trial – and we can now all see that the EAW is no longer simply a fast-track way of dealing with terrorist plots. It is all too easy for anyone to be extradited, to have their lives disrupted and to lose their freedom, on the mere suspicion that they may have committed an offence – often ridiculously minor – in another country. Unless this latest High Court ruling is overturned anyone in the UK can now be extradited without charge. How can this not be of national – indeed Europe-wide – public importance? This is not a justice system with the proper checks and balances, or one that safeguards the rights of the individual. This is not the modern European justice system we all wanted. We need a justice system we can believe in, and trust, knowing that people will be treated in a fair and proper way. There have been calls for Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights to make a third-party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights about this extradition, as he is mandated to do so. Please add your voice to these calls. I am also concerned that, if Julian’s extradition from the UK goes ahead, Sweden will use a temporary surrender mechanism for onward transfer to the USA in order to circumvent the safeguards of a formal extradition. See here for details:http://www.swedenversusassange.com/US-Extradition.html. Political pressure must be applied to ensure this does not happen. It is not acceptable for individuals to be transferred from one jurisdiction to another without any judicial oversight or due legal process. I therefore ask you as a member of [Parliament/the European Parliament/the House of Lords] to speak out on behalf of Julian Assange to help bring this political pressure to bear. Yours sincerely, ___________________________