In the English capital, the founder of Wikileaks has been locked up for 3 years and 7 months without trial
“Buy your tickets for the screening of the documentary film ‘ithaka’, tonight at 7pm at the Chelsea Theater in London.” Thus reads the promotional poster for the show held – in a very central and very exclusive London district – on the man who, meanwhile, while the images will scroll on the screen, is still locked up in a harsh prison regime, for three years and seven months , in the maximum security prison of Belmarsh, another district of London, a little less elegant. He is awaiting trial and risks a 175-year sentence for 18 counts if extradited to the US. A strident confrontation that is at the limit of what is possible “in a West that likes to define itself as democratic” as his supporters point out.
The co-founder of the WikiLeaks site, in fact, is the world’s most famous political prisoner. While for a decade no one (or almost) had ever heard of him, now everyone knows his name from Australia, his birthplace, to civilized Sweden, where he was accused and later acquitted for an act of alleged violence sexual. His crime? Being “a spy” for having made known to the world, by making them public through the Wikileaks site, numerous documents of war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan by American soldiers, and therefore classified by the United States.
The film is a moving and intimate portrait of a father’s struggle to save his son and exposes the reality of the arduous campaign to free Julian Assange, which has become the emblem of an international judicial tug of war against the freedom of the press, the corruption of governments and war crimes go unpunished. The Australian journalist now faces a 175-year sentence if extradited to the United States.
His family members say they are “faced with the prospect of losing Julian forever to the abyss of the US justice system. This fight between David and Goliath is personal and, with Julian’s health declining in a British maximum security prison time is running out.” John Shipton, his biological father, and his wife, the lawyer Stella Assange, therefore try to join forces “to defend him in this international odyssey”. A worldwide network of supporters and politicians, meanwhile, “enter the glare of the media and are forced to confront the events that have made Julian a global flashpoint”. (Rossella Guadagnini)