Tag Archives: freedom of speech

‘Behind These Prison Walls’: David Rovics Records New Music Video Outside The Prison Where Assange Is Being Kept

Julian Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006 as an highly innovative journalism project that stays truer than most to the un-biased, watchdog rules of journalism ethics – no matter how much so many poser journalists disagree.

In 2010 Wikileaks published several leaks revealing the war crimes and horrible international offenses made by the United States army and government starting with the Collateral Murder video.

After these revelations the hard oppression began against Assange and Wikileaks and from 2012 and for roughly seven years Assange remained in political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Today Julian Assange is being kept in the HM Prison Belmarsh in London. The United States government is fiercely trying to extradite him to the U.S. where he would most likely be imprisoned for the rest of his life. For his journalist work.

Veteran protest music singer David Rovics tried to visit Assange on while on tour in England recently but as he told me the Belmarsh makes that harder than other prisons in the country: “You need a visitor order to visit prisoners at Belmarsh, unlike other prisons in England, where you just need to show up during visiting hours.”

When I asked David what message he has for the UK and US governments he said: “I’m not sure what message I have for these governments, because they are not interested in anything people like me have to say.

They know what they’re doing. They’re trying to hide the truth, that these governments are run by war criminals, imperialists, bankers stealing our collective wealth and leaving most of us in poverty. It’s completely intentional.

My message is for those who might actually be listening, among the populations of the US, the UK, and elsewhere. It is up to us, the task of changing our corrupt systems. And we do have the power, if we organize collectively on a massive scale and exercise it. If we don’t, no one else will.”

For six consecutive years Wikileaks has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and won a great deal of awards for its journalist work.

It is the responsibility of the journalist to let citizens know if the people in power are misusing their powers. No one can argue against that. That, and only that, is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks have consistently done.

If Assange gets extradited to and imprisoned in the U.S. precedent will have been set and every single honest journalist on this planet will be in danger.

Forced To Seek Asylum Because Of Her Music: Video Of The Day

In Iran the Islamic government restricts women from performing their music alone on stage. For one musician, Farzane Zamen, this drove her out of her home country and eventually forced her to seek asylum in Scotland.

Today she is a working musician in that foreign place. Time will only tell if she will be safe to travel back to Iran but until then she will continue to make her music.

Video Of The Day Resulted In Artists Being Imprisoned

When in 2018 Egyptian musician Ramy Essam published the music video to his single “Balaha”, Egyptian authorities arrested the poet behind the lyrics, the music video director and Essam’s former social media manager.

Essam is well known for his participation in the protests of 2011 after writing the song “Irhal” which became an anthem for the revolution. During the protests he was arrested and tortured by Egyptian authorities.

Currently his creative collaborators remain in prison and Essam himself in exile in Sweden. Essam launched the Balaha Case campaign in order to raise awareness and fight for the release of his friends and collaborators.

Sources:
https://www.dw.com/en/when-making-music-means-torture-and-exile/a-50469721
https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-01-10/egyptian-musicians-passport-was-revoked-his-political-songs-he-still-cant-wait-go
https://www.ramyessammusic.com/balaha