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Thread: Massie to host brother of Julian Assange at SOTU

  1. #1

    Massie to host brother of Julian Assange at SOTU

    https://twitter.com/RepThomasMassie/...42062163112306


    Rep. Thomas Massie bringing brother of WikiLeaks founder Assange to State of the Union
    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...n/72842707007/
    {Hannah Pinski | 05 March 2024}

    U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie has invited Gabriel Shipton, the brother of imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as his guest for this week's State of the Union address.

    The Kentucky Republican decided to bring Shipton as part of his message that the U.S. should drop Assange's criminal charges and stop seeking his extradition.

    "The U.S. government’s ongoing effort to prosecute Julian Assange threatens the First Amendment rights of Americans and should be opposed," Massie said in a statement to The Courier Journal.

    "During his term in office, I asked President Trump to pardon Mr. Assange, and I was disappointed by his failure to do so. President Biden should stop seeking Assange’s extradition and should instead drop the criminal charges currently being pursued by the Department of Justice."

    Biden's State of the Union Address will be delivered to a joint session of Congress on Thursday evening at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

    Each representative and senator is allowed to bring one guest to the event.

    Assange, who is originally from Australia, started Wikileaks in 2006. The website published classified documents in 2010 from U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, including documents about Iran's backing of militants in Iraq and video footage of a U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians.

    In May 2019, the U.S. Justice Department announced a federal grand jury indicted Assange on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse.

    Assange has been held in London's Belmarsh Prison for five years, after he was arrested for skipping bail. Previously, Assange spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    The U.S. wants Assange, 52, sent to the U.S. to face his charges, but Assange's lawyers are trying to stop him from being sent. This month would be the earliest when Assange could find out whether he can challenge extradition.

    Shipton has advocated for his brother's release, including visiting Washington, D.C., to lobby on Assange's behalf. He is the chair of the Assange Campaign, which was organized to support and protect Assange and has previously said that Assange's charges have driven a wedge between the U.S. and Australia.

    "I am honored to be Rep. Massie's guest at the State of the Union address," Shipton said in a statement released by Massie's office. "The prosecution of Julian Assange is a direct attack on the 1st amendment and the freedom of the press to publish information in the public interest.

    "Rep. Massie is a fierce defender of these rights having introduced legislation that would protect my brother Julian and put an end to the espionage act being weaponised against publishers. I hope President Biden can take a new look at the indictment and see it for the threat to democracy that it is."

    Last year, Massie sent a bipartisan letter to Biden, urging him to drop the prosecution of Assange. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also signed the letter.

    Shipton is also a film producer and produced "Ithaka" in 2021, which highlights their father's journey and fight to free Assange.

    Who is the rest of Kentucky's congressional delegation bringing?

    Paul previously announced he will bring Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg as his guest to the annual address.

    This will be Biden's third annual address to Congress and his last before the 2024 presidential election.

    Democrat Rep. Morgan McGarvey will be bringing a family member, said spokesperson Gabriella Salazar. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who recently announced he will step down from leadership in November, did not specify who he would be bringing.

    Republican Reps. James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr did not respond for comment regarding their State of the Union choice of guests.
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    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
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  3. #2
    For Immediate Release
    March 5, 2024
    Rep. Thomas Massie Invites Julian Assange's Brother, Gabriel Shipton, to Attend State of the Union Address



    Washington, D.C.- Representative Thomas Massie announces that Mr. Gabriel Shipton, brother of imprisoned journalist Julian Assange, will be attending the State of the Union Address as his guest. Mr. Shipton is a prominent advocate for Mr. Assange's release.


    "The U.S. government’s ongoing effort to prosecute Julian Assange threatens the First Amendment rights of Americans and should be opposed," said Rep. Thomas Massie. "During his term in office, I asked President Trump to pardon Mr. Assange, and I was disappointed by his failure to do so. President Biden should drop the criminal charges currently being pursued by the Department of Justice. I am pleased Mr. Shipton has accepted my invitation to join me at the State of the Union."


    "I am honored to be Representative Massie's guest at the State of the Union address," said Mr. Gabriel Shipton. "The prosecution of Julian Assange is a direct attack on the 1st amendment and the freedom of the press to publish information in the public interest. Rep. Massie is a fierce defender of these rights having introduced legislation that would protect my brother Julian and put an end to the espionage act being weaponised against publishers. I hope President Biden, can take a new look at the indictment and see it for the threat to democracy that it is."


    Mr. Shipton's appearance at the State of the Union will bring additional attention to a bipartisan letter Rep. Massie and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) previously sent to President Biden on Mr. Assange's behalf. The letter asks President Biden to "halt all prosecutorial proceedings" against Julian Assange "as soon as possible." The letter may be read in its entirety at this link. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is among the signatories.


    The State of the Union Address is scheduled to be delivered by President Joe Biden on Thursday, March 7 at 9:00 PM.
    ###


    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  4. #3

    other invites to State of Union:

    Biden invited Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalanya, but she’s unable to attend.

    Speaker Mike Johnson invited Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, parents of Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia on espionage charges.

    Someone needs to invite Gonzolo Lira’s father.

    Navalny's widow invited to Biden's State of Union speech but not able to attend: White House
    AFP |
    Mar 06, 2024 03:28 AM IST

    The US President had personally invited Yulia Navalanya, spouse of late Putin critic Alexei Navalny, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told press.

    US President Joe Biden invited the widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to attend his State of the Union speech on Thursday but she cannot attend, the White House said.

    Russia will be a key theme for guests at the annual primetime address to Congress, with Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson hosting the parents of detained US reporter Evan Gershkovich...

    ...House Speaker Johnson, who is blocking US military aid for Ukraine in Congress, said separately that he was "honored" to host Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich for the speech.

    He said the invitation would shine a "spotlight on the unjust detention of their son," Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested by Russia nearly a year ago on espionage charges.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world...674690999.html
    Last edited by Valli6; 03-06-2024 at 09:41 AM.



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