Parliamentary debate on the European Arrest Warrant, 10 Nov 2014 and Julian Assange

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I am taking part in a collaborative initiative by WL supporters in pursuit of justice for Julian Assange, the Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks.

Julian_Assange_August_2014Recently there has been much debate about the EAW in political circles and in both Houses of Parliament. On Monday the 10th November 2014 MPs will be asked to vote on whether or not UK should opt out of the European Arrest Warrant. We have drafted the following letter and urge all UK citizens or residents in the UK who are concerned about the legal plight of Julian Assange to rally in support by writing to their MP asking them to raise his case during the debate.


You can use the letter template below to email your MP asking them to raise Julian’s case in the Parliamentary debate on the EAW to be held Monday, 10th November 2014. Find your MP’s email address here or use to identify your MP and send them your letter. Here is my letter to my own MP:

Thursday 6 November 2014

Dear Angela Watkinson, MP

Re: Parliamentary debate on the European Arrest Warrant, 10 Nov 2014
and Julian Assange

I am writing to ask you to raise the case of Julian Assange during the
upcoming Parliamentary vote on whether the UK should opt-out of the EAW
entirely. The cost issue sets Julian Assange’s case apart from other
extradition cases and shows how badly wrong things can go when the EAW
system is abused. See this website for details:

The government is trying to hide behind the recent EAW reforms, but
they don’t deal with the fundamental problems of the European Arrest
Warrant, which leaves British judges little alternative but to
rubberstamp extraditions without any prima facie evidence being
presented. Adding that a ‘decision’ to charge has to have been taken
does little to prevent misuse when the person issuing the EAW is an
official (investigator/prosecutor) rather than a judicial figure
(judge/magistrate), as in Sweden’s system. EAWs issued by non-judicial
authorities cannot be blindly trusted to be independent and impartial,
especially when the issuing authority also has the role of Chief
Investigator, as is the case with Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor
demanding Mr Assange’s extradition for questioning over allegations of
sexual misconduct.

The rushed introduction of the EAW into British law has led to the UK
having to aid unjust proceedings in other parts of Europe, often at
enormous cost. The Assange arrest warrant is a case in point: it has
cost UK taxpayers nearly £8 million in just over two years. Since 2012,
the UK has spent 20% of its entire EU extradition budget against
Assange, the equivalent of 600 extraditions when calculated on the
average £13,000 cost per extradition.

Britain has also borne the cost of facilitating Sweden’s misguided use
of the EAW to extradite Julian Assange through the UK legal system,
when Mutual Legal Assistance protocols could have been used to question
him all along. The Assange embassy situation is an absurd consequence
of enforcing an arrest warrant where there is no formal accusation. Not
only has he not been charged, the Swedish prosecutor won’t even come
here to interview him.

The case of Julian Assange provides ample illustration that there are
insufficient safeguards in the judicial systems of other European
countries and the EAW basically extraterritorialises these, imports
them wholesale, makes the UK bear the costs, and obliges it to execute
the orders. That is unsatisfactory and should be unacceptable for any
parliamentarian concerned about their constituents’ rights as UK
citizens or residents.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Emilia Butlin