|Formation||2 October 2020|
|Membership||• Tariq Ali|
• Renata Ávila
• Apsana Begum
• Richard Burgon
• Jeremy Corbyn
• Rafael Correa
• Özlem Demirel
• Deepa Govindarajan Driver
• Daniel Ellsberg
• Selay Ghaffar
• Heike Hänsel
• Srećko Horvat
• Annie Machon
• Stefania Maurizi
• John McDonnell
• Edward Snowden
• Yanis Varoufakis
• Ben Wizner
• Eyal Weizman
On 13 November 1966 – at the height of resistance to the war in Vietnam – Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre convened a people's tribunal to hold the US government accountable for its escalating war crimes:
- “The tribunal has no clear historical precedent”, Russell said. It represented no state power; it had no capacity to sentence the accused. “I believe that these apparent limitations are, in fact, virtues. We are free to conduct a solemn and historic investigation”, said Russell, “presented to the conscience of mankind.”
Today, Friday 2 October 2020, marks the first day of the Belmarsh Tribunal, named after Belmarsh Prison where Julian Assange has been kept in permanent confinement for daring to publish documents that detail torture, violence, and illegal spying by the US government.
From Belmarsh, Assange now faces extradition to the United States – the first time in history that a publisher has been indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917. Today’s tribunal takes its name from this site of complicity in the crimes that have been revealed by Assange, and the crimes that have been committed against him, in turn.
|Belmarsh Tribunal: The War On Terror is Put on Trial|
The Morning Star of 14 October 2021 reported:
The second round of hearings of the Belmarsh Tribunal will see left-wing figures including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, veteran anti-war activist Tariq Ali and Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa “hold the US accountable for its war crimes.”
Tribunal members, who will convene for the first time physically on October 22 at the Convocation Hall, Church House, Westminster, argue that it should be the US government that is put on trial and not Mr Assange.
“The perpetrators of these crimes walk free, often still prominent public figures in the US, UK and elsewhere. They should be held accountable for the lives they destroyed and the futures they stole.”
The tribunal’s latest session comes ahead of the Wikileaks founder’s extradition hearing at the High Court in London at the end of the month.
The court will hear the US government’s appeal against last year’s decision by a judge to refuse extradition.
Belmarsh Tribunal founder Srećko Horvat said: “After the revelations about the murderous CIA plans to kill a publisher and journalist on British soil, not only the current US government but also the UK government must be held responsible for still keeping Assange in prison.
“In a society in which telling the truth becomes a crime, we are all accomplices of crime as long as Assange is in prison.”
The tribunal will also be joined by renowned whistleblowers Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers revealing US involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967, and Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer.
Release Julian Assange
|Post-Tribunal, Farhaan Ahmed spoke to Jeremy Corbyn, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Richard Burgon MP|
Tariq Ali ended the Belmarsh Tribunal session on 22 October 2021 by asking the MPs present to put a Bill to Parliament demanding the release of Julian Assange following the US appeal to have him extradited. Jeremy Corbyn promised that subject to sub judice rules this will be done.
Going Underground's Social Media Producer Farhaan Ahmed spoke to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Richard Burgon MP at the conclusion of today's Belmarsh Tribunal session.