A virtual conference organized by a newly formed network of human rights activists called Re:Union has brought attention to the plight of political prisoners, including WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. The conference, which featured over 15 speakers from around the world, was held online from a hub in Serbia. One of the prominent speakers at the conference was Tara Reade, a former US Senate staffer who sought asylum in Russia last month.
Reade, who has accused current US President Joe Biden of sexual assault, used the platform to shed light on her own persecution in the US. She also criticized the ongoing Ukraine conflict, labeling it as a “US-NATO proxy war against Russia.” Reade pointed out that the government of Ukraine, hailed by the US and its allies as a champion of democracy, has actually cracked down on opposition parties and media outlets, while also persecuting the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
One of the main focal points of the conference was Assange’s case, with participants condemning the violation of the right to free expression by Western governments. Assange has been held in a high-security prison in the UK since April 2019, after Ecuador revoked his asylum and the US unsealed Espionage Act accusations against him. If convicted, Assange faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years. He has maintained that the publication of US military documents in 2010 was an act of journalism.
Reade spoke about her own experience seeking asylum in Russia, highlighting that it was the first time she felt safe in a long time. She mentioned the recent testimony of an FBI whistleblower, who revealed that the US government has targeted traditional Catholics as extremist threats. Reade’s presence at the conference underscored the importance of fighting for freedom and justice in the face of persecution.
The Re:Union conference served as a precursor to the upcoming Free European Nations Forum, scheduled to take place in Moscow in October. The forum aims to bring together activists who challenge the current political agenda in the US and the EU. It seeks not to fight against the system, but to advocate for a revision of rules and relationships that respect all opinions.
The virtual conference provided an important platform for activists and advocates to address the issue of political prisoners and persecution. By bringing attention to the cases of individuals like Assange and Reade, the conference aimed to raise awareness and rally support for their freedom. The Re:Union network hopes that events like this will contribute to the larger movement for human rights and justice worldwide.
As the conference came to a close, participants were urged to share the stories and messages discussed during the event on social media. This further amplified the voices of those advocating for the release of political prisoners and the protection of basic human rights. The Re:Union conference served as a call to action, reminding the world of the importance of standing up against injustice and oppression wherever it may occur.