Your Majesty, (Charles III, King of England),
I would like to express my condolences for the tragic loss in your family and I wish you strength for all that lies ahead. In the past, you have often stood up for human rights and made unorthodox decisions for a prince. That is why I am addressing you with an unusual request that requires a truly wise king.
You have no doubt heard of Julian Assange. His attitude toward freedom of the press as well as his conscience have got him into an English prison for a transitional period. The national and international press would be a different one today had he not ensured with his publications that many rumors have been substantiated by word, sound and image. In doing so, he has changed my view of the world. To what extent he has influenced your point of view, I can only guess. There is still a lot to report about him, among other things he has uncovered the war crimes of his accusers (the USA) and thus challenged our views on what types of information may be secret and should be secret. Many imitators around the world have followed his example and in their own ways have moved the world. Most of them have had to pay a price. What price Assange will still have to pay is in the hands of people whose understanding of the law is not mine. Future generations will look back on us and will ask why we were so limited in our scope of action – it would have been so easy.
I wish that a king, by the power vested in him, would break the silence surrounding Assange and pardon him – as a royal gesture of generosity. But these times are probably long gone, even in England. Still, as a sign of personal solidarity, a simple "I am Julian Assange" would be absolutely justified. I would see this as a sign of the values to which a king is committed. That he values truth above all else and follows his conscience, no matter how uncomfortable that may seem at times. Values to which I am committed and which have put millions of politically persecuted people in prison. In these times of political turmoil, this would be a small, courageous and above all peaceful gesture; a gesture that could have a great impact if it came from the right person. Almost like a magic spell that spreads in waves, influencing the future of generations.
A truly royal gesture, otherwise known only from movies or fairy tales, feared by some, longed for by many and recognized as directing the way forward. For my part, I would see it as a glimmer of hope in a world that could use a little more hope, courage and honesty today.
Assuming that this letter finds you well and that you will do the right thing in due course, I remain, waiting for the tremor of hope that Your Royal Highness might unleash with these words.
Yours respectfully, Jan Juhnke, Hamburg, Germany
Anyone who sees the press world as an additional pillar of democracy should be interested in the fundamental rights of Julian Assange, and the King of England should abandon his neutrality in this case.
We have also published this petition in German.
Picture of Julian Assange from David G. Silvers, Cancillería del Ecuador