Sending Nils Melzer's book on Assange to UK MPs and others

Good evening,
Please, can people comment on the following idea, earlier posted in the Discord/Dao ideas section, and say if this is something DAO would be willing to help fund:

I would like to send Nils Melzer’s book, “The Trial of Julian Assange”, to UK MPs, preferably before the 18th of May 2022.
(Other prominent people may be ‘targeted’ at a later stage, if Priti Patel doesn’t do the right thing. Like EU Parliament & Commission members; judges of the European Court of Human Rights; US Congress members. I already sent Patel a copy of the book.)

For the UK, we would need 650 books for the House of Commons, and 771 for the House of Lords. Someone suggested sending copies to the Queen and Princes Charles, William and Harry, as well, which would make a total of 1425 books. If we wanted to include some main journalists, too, we could round it off at 1450 copies.

[Further actions to make this a success, would be:

  1. Write an accompanying letter.
  2. Get proper titles, names and addresses for each MP and Lord.
  3. Print letters on good quality paper
  4. Personalise letters with addressees’ names.
  5. Send most of them, but hand over a few in person at the Houses of Parliament, so we can send it round on social media.]

Nils Melzer has put me in contact with the publisher, Verso, in the UK. The latter is willing to sell the £20 book for £10, so 50% off. This means that the total sum for the books would ,be £14,250 or £14.500 (excluding postage).

Verso will check if they can print out the accompanying letter as well, enclose one for every book and send it off (without postage, that would cost around £5 per book & letter, I believe).

Personally I think it would be better if supporters in Londen would hand as many copies as possible over, at the Houses of Parliament – at least for (some) London Councils? – so that we could film conversations with MPs (if we’re lucky) and share it on social media.
But this would demand solving a logistics puzzle urgently and I am not sure there is anyone owning a delivery van, in the London support group.

Of course, the first biggest hurdle is financing it. Would DAO be willing to contribute to this mission and, if so, how much? Do people think it a good plan? Any constructive comment or feedback is welcome!

Many thanks,
Djamila

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@Djam please help me, as a U.S. resident, understand what role the 650 members of the House of Commons (aside from the The Right Honourable Home Secretary Priti Patel), 771 members of the House of Lords, Her Majesty the Queen, and Their Royal Highnesses Princes Charles, William and Harry, play in deciding whether or not the United Kingdom will extradite Julian Assange to the United States. Forgive me for being uninformed about the nuances of the British system.

The goal is to educate as many people as possible, to increase the pressure to free Julian. Easy to understand. Nils Melzer himself was pretty biased, before he decided to take action and investigate in this case. Spreading it, makes sense.

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Firstly - this entails a speedy operation and the DAO is still establishing its foundations (correct me if Im wrong about that everybody). This includes possessing a treasury. It is now in the process of trying to recuperate some funds but in reality it still is conceptualising how funds can be raised for future projects.

It would be faster if Nils sent one of his copies direct to Priti Patel - today. She could make an extradition decision any day now.

Submissions to Priti Patel would have been already sent by his legal team.

This would be easier to email. State Responsibility for the Torture of Julian Assange | by Nils Melzer | Medium

Disclaimer to make this clear: Im not speaking for the DAO, hold no position of authority, this is my own opinion based on observation of current activities and capabilities.

@rave it won’t be “any day now.” According to The New York Times, Assange’s legal team has until May 18 to make submissions to Home Secretary Patel before her final decision on extradition. That deadline is still ten days away, after which she will need several weeks to consider those submissions. I would not expect a ruling until June at the earliest. Under the circumstances, it makes more sense to have Julian’s lawyers include Melzer’s book as part of their formal submissions, rather than having outsiders send it directly to her unbidden. Assange’s solicitors, Birnberg Peirce & Partners, are located at 14 Inverness Street, London NW1 7HJ, and may reached by phone at 020 7911 0166.

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Im paywalled so can’t read it. Interesting though because Amnesty are indicating she will decide by May 18.

The case will now be sent to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will decide whether or not to certify the US request by 18 May.

@rave an April 20, 2022 AP/Reuters story published by ABC News (Australia), reports: “His lawyers have four weeks to make submissions to Ms. Patel.”

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Thanks for the clarification. Assange’s lawyers now have until that date to file their submissions with Patel. If she approves it, he has another chance to appeal.

@rave yes, it’s that latter part that confuses me. Appeal to the High Court, apparently. But didn’t that court already rule against him? I don’t understand why they’d reconsider it merely because Patel certifies extradition.

Agree - just because he has a right to an appeal - does not mean a judge will allow. :grimacing:

Getting back to the book request - if it is not imminent by end of May then the decision re extradition will most likely be later this year.

  • Could the DAO help?

  • Would this exercise work?

Dao doesn’t have much money now. Although I agree to use it for this activity, the 200 eth of Dao is best used to develop Dao. Support for NFT production and tokens. I suggest that Dao apply for this part of the fund from the German foundation. The books were sent out in the name of Dao.

It’s best to extract some important paragraphs, because not everyone will seriously read the book. Of course, for some important people, we can send him a complete book

Hi Rave, I already sent Priti Patel the book, but I will pass on @TomStairtsen 's tip for the legal team to include a copy in their defense dossier. They still have a week to counter the extradition.

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It’s complicated. Assange appealed against October’s High Court’s decision to extradite him, after the US allegedly provided safeguards. But he still has a right to appeal the very first hearings, where he was found guilty of the charges, but would not be extradited because of his health.
For the sake of press freedom, it would be good if this appeal got accepted (and won!). The legal team has already submitted a request, as far as I understand. But only after Priti Patel decides, will the Royal High Court decide on taking the case.

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If not extradited, will Assange be released?

@Djam thanks for the explanation. But, yikes, what an alarming prospect! Consider the timeline of previous developments.

  • 12 Feb 2021: U.S. files appeal of UK District Judge Baraitser’s denial of extradition
  • 10 Dec 2021: High Court overturns Baraitser’s ruling
  • 14 Mar 2022: Supreme Court refuses to consider appeal

That process took 13 months. If a new appeal is lodged at High Court by Assange’s legal team after Patel certifies extradition, Julian would remain confined to HMP Belmarsh for at least another 13 months. It could be longer because there would be more points of law to consider from Baraitser’s January 2021 ruling. (The February 2021 U.S. appeal was limited only to the issue of assurances.) And even longer still should the Supreme Court this time agree to hear the case.

Perhaps, as you contend, it might be good for press freedom if this new appeal got accepted and won. It would, however, certainly be a grueling outlook for Julian and his family.

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@yyqq yours is a capital suggestion! If the Foundation concurs in sending one copy of Nils Melzer’s book to each of 1,424 British luminaries who have no say in deciding Assange’s extradition, such a waste of money is definitely within Wau Holland’s mandate. And of course, with a war chest of £45 million, they have plenty of pounds to squander. Let us hope, however, for the sake of thrift, that WHF can negotiate a deal with Melzer’s publisher for a bulk-purchase discount rather than paying the full list price of £20 apiece (£28,480 total) for hardcover edition. Penny wise instead of pound foolish is the ticket here.

As for how to make it happen, I recommend consulting @GabrielShipton, the only party who has gotten any of Pak’s huge donation back out of Wau Holland Foundation—a hefty £1,491,508.27 brokerage commission fee paid to Gabriel’s Australian association ASSANGE CAMPAIGN INC.

WHS

Yes, very gruelling. But bliss compared to being extradited to the U.S. Don’t forget that the US is vengeful and will want to know stuff, names of whistleblowers, for example. Even if Assange truly doesn’t know who submitted what, they will try to make him speak. At least, that is my personal worry. He must not, not ever, be extradited. At least in Belmarsh, he can still see Stella and the children.

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The publisher has already made us a deal: 50% off. To send them to all UK, US and EU MPs/Congress members, plus EU and UK judges, would add up to a little under 30K books. But, if I understand you correctly, @TomStairtsen , you don’t think sending Melzer’s book to UK MPs is a good idea? Would you think other addressees (like EU officials and/or judges) would be better targeted? Personally, I do think the book is the best thing to send to people who might have any influence, however small. We need to make clear what a colossal lie has been constructed around a man who sought to bring truth. Not all politicians are ill-meaning, but the majority is at the very least ill-informed, perhaps scared and definitely burdened with priorities they deem more important.
Priti Patel is not likely to decide spot on on the 18th of May, so there may be another month or so, to inform MPs. Or others.

@Djam I take it that 50%-off deal is between the publisher and you, one of a small group who organise protests for Assange in The Netherlands but not an authorized representative of AssangeDAO. Please, can you confirm it would likewise apply to a purchase by Wau Holland Foundation? (WHF, unlike AssangeDAO, actually has £300K to buy 30K books at £10 each.)