UK rapper MIA gave Tuesday night a concert in front of the Home Office in London to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been detained since 11 April in the United Kingdom and threatened with extradition to the United States. 'accused of espionage.
"He should not be the one who pays the price," "just because he is not part of the media that make millions of dollars peddling + fake news +", launched the singer, who has interpreted several titles under London drizzle.
Several hundred people gathered to attend the concert and demand the release of the 48-year-old Australian.
"A decision: no extradition!", Chanted the crowd several times, armed with light sticks stretched towards the sky, alternating with "shame on you!" addressed to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Interior Minister Priti Patel or US President Donald Trump.
Wearing a face mask from Wikileaks' far-fetched founder, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has denounced "government corruption and the death of justice" in the gallery. "Julian Assange will die if we do not release him," she continued, describing him as a "political prisoner".
"Journalism is not a crime", "journalist tortured for the pleasure of his majesty", could one read on banners brandished in the public.
In 2012, Julian Assange, who was being prosecuted in Sweden for rape, had fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden or the United States because of the publication of secret documents on the activities of the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After seven years in diplomatic representation, he was dislodged by the British police on April 11, with the agreement of Quito.
He was immediately detained and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on 1 May for violating the conditions of his provisional release.
Since then, the conditions of the whistleblower's detention have been sharply criticized: UN Torture Rapporteur Nils Melzer recently expressed his "concern over the continued deterioration" of his health, saying that "his life was now in danger".
At a court hearing in London on 21 October, Assange appeared confused and stammering. The hearing on the extradition request is to be held in February.
© 2019 AFP