The war is on to stop the extradition of Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon face eviction from the London embassy that has sheltered him for the last six years “any day now” according to reports there are ongoing discussions about the matter.
Ecuador and Britain are in high-level discussions over Assange’s fate, the Sunday Times of London reported.
Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are in discussions over the fate of Assange’s asylum.
The new Ecuadorean president Lenín Moreno – who has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” – has dismissed him as a problem he inherited from his predecessor.
Assange has been arbitrarily detained according to the UN for nearly 6 years in the Ecuadorian embassy. Now Ecuador has expanded that arbitrary detainment to solitary confinement by forbidding Assange from any human contact including visitations, phone calls and barring his Internet usage — all without Assange ever being convicted of a crime besides publishing documents exposing corruption and shedding light on the truth.
In March, Ecuador and its leader Lenín Moreno pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s Internet connection. Then, Ecuador further demanded Assange remove a specific tweet referencing a foreign political prisoner Carles Puigdemont. The irony here is that Ecuador accused Assange of “interfering in a state” for mentioning another political prisoner and Assange himself had more of his own rights taken away.
“In 1940 the elected president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was captured by the Gestapo, at the request of Spain, delivered to them and executed. Today, German police have arrested the elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, at the request of Spain, to be extradited,” Assange tweeted.
Ecuador has clarified its position on Julian Assange’s asylum by drafting new rules limiting his communications according to WikiLeaks.
The cut of Assange’s Internet is due to an alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs. WikiLeaks has stated that Assange was never under a gag agreement, calling the allegations “entirely false.”
The action, according to Ecuador, was taken following Assange’s breach of a written agreement signed with the Ecuadorian government at the end of 2017, in which he vowed “not to send messages interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states,” the government said in a statement. “The Executive remains open to the possibility of further sanctions in cases of future breaches of the agreements by Assange.”
WikiLeaks believes that the fact their editor is being censored for what Ecuador is stating is “interfering in a state” is a huge step in the direction of “setting a precedent that would outlaw millions of Twitter users, all journalists and more human rights workers.”
Last year, Moreno vowed to stop Assange from revealing further corruption about the United States for the duration of his stay at the embassy, stating he would “gag Assange from revealing further corruption about the U.S.”
Although Moreno claims to support Assange’s asylum, he previously said that he would ask him to “be very delicate when he addresses international politics, especially regarding countries with which we have good relations,” reported Latin American news outlet teleSUR.
It’s interesting to note the former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who gave Assange asylum is now being threatened with extradition from his current country in Belgium for an unrelated matter dealing with the alleged brief kidnapping of opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda in 2012.
Ecuador requested an Interpol red notice for the former President demanding his extradition, DW reported. The former President Correa calls it a political witch hunt by his rival. The demands were made shortly after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made a trip to Ecuador. While media are reporting that Ecuador and Britain are in talks to end Assange’s asylum, Pence’s presence can’t be ignored and brushed off as a coincidence.
WikiLeaks has recently faced increased pressure from authorities. Last year, the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would classify WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” bundled as part of the 2018 Intelligence Authorization Act. Presumably, that classification would authorize the use of force against WikiLeaks.
Then in late December of last year the Head Legal Office in Madrid of former judge and WikiLeaks’ chief counsel, Baltasar Garzón was raided by masked men dressed in all black and the security cameras were taped. Despite the break-in, nothing was taken and the operation was referred to as being “professionally done” by police.
The WikiLeaks founder has been in refuge since 2012.
The U.S. has been on a relentless crusade against WikiLeaks since May 2010 and considers Julian Assange’s arrest a priority, while several politicians have threatened Assange’s life. It has been almost 8 years now since Assange was arrested and detained under one form or another, with 2 years of virtual house arrest, 6 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy and now he can add unjustified solitary confinement to the long laundry list.
Earlier this month, Julian Assange celebrated his 47th birthday, detained without charge. Assange has been detained illegally now for 2,779 days, in violation of two UN rulings.
The other issue is Assange’s health. His doctor, Sean Love, recently stated in an opinion piece that depriving Assange of medical care is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It is time for Australia to intervene.”
As journalist and Internet Party NZ President Suzie Dawson recently questioned in her “Being Julian Assange” mega-article on Assange’s situation and WikiLeaks’ history, we need to ask ourselves whether we are we watching Assange die before our very eyes.
As a result of the silencing of Julian Assange’s outside communication, Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom and Dawson have announced a campaign called #Unity4J to push the Ecuadorian embassy to give Assange back his communication rights.
You can do your own part by bringing awareness to Julian Assange’s situation, signing petitions and calling/writing your elected representatives demanding they respect the human rights of a publisher.
WikiLeaks is facing a second blockade with its U.S. tax-deductible status being threatened after its Vault 7 and Vault 8 disclosures exposing the CIA’s spying and hacking techniques. Assange has recommended that WikiLeaks supporters use cryptocurrency to donate to the organization in order to circumvent the blockade.