WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He fears that if he is surrendered to the Swedish authorities for investigations related to sexual relations he had with Swedish women in Stockholm in 2010, Sweden will deliver him to the USA to face charges related to leaked documents published on WikiLeaks.
The USA is busy investigating WikiLeaks because of the on-line publications of a large number of leaked diplomatic cables, which are said to have embarrassed several governments and international businesses.
In this regard, they have arrested Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst in the American army who served in Iraq, and who is accused of leaking classified US government cables to WikiLeaks. Manning will soon face a court martial in the USA, and that could result in a death sentence.
Assange is afraid that the same fate awaits him if he is extradited to the USA. That’s right! The US of A is persecuting whistle-blowers! Ecuador has formally granted political asylum to Assange, yet the UK government has blatantly refused to recognize such asylum, and has threatened to arrest Assange if he decides to leave the country.
In fact, the UK government has threatened to enter the Ecuadorian embassy by force to arrest Assange – so to hell with diplomatic immunity!
Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy after his bid to reopen his appeal against extradition was dismissed in the UK Supreme Court, and he was given a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings could start.
Last Sunday, Assange spoke from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, and called for the release of Manning. He is of the opinion that the USA has launched a “war on whistleblowers”, and he challenged the USA to vow that it will not seek to prosecute WikiLeaks staff or their supporters.
He challenged the USA to “….pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful…the United States was facing a choice between re-affirming the revolutionary values it was founded on or dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark”.
Assange revealed that British police officers came to the embassy, “Inside this embassy after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through its internal fire escape. But I knew there would be witnesses and that is because of you. If the UK did not throw away the Vienna Conventions the other night it is because the world was watching and the world was watching because you were watching.”
To ensure that Assange doesn’t escape, the police are posted at both the front and back of the Ecuadorean embassy! Can you believe it?
Experts say that it is an established international convention that local police and security forces are not permitted to enter an embassy, unless they have the express permission of the ambassador.
British police are thus risking violating conventions in order to arrest someone who has not even been proven guilty of any offence.
With due respect to my female comrades, I need to say that Western governments are using Sweden’s “pro-women” legislation to punish Assange using his special love for women as an excuse. Assange claims that his sexual encounters with the two Swedish women were consensual, and there is no evidence to the contrary.
American filmmakers, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, have issued a hard-hitting statement in support of Assange: “Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador’s action more than the British government’s threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange....Swedish authorities have travelled to other countries to conduct interrogations when needed, and the WikiLeaks founder has made clear his willingness to be questioned in London.”
I was quite impressed with the statement by these two famous filmmakers, so please forgive me for quoting them at length.
They continued by saying that “If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws. The setting of such a precedent should deeply concern everyone, admirers of WikiLeaks or not.”
The main question for me is: why don’t the British and/or Swedish governments give Assange and Ecuador the guarantees that they want, namely that he won’t face onward extradition to the US? Has their dirty little secret been exposed? And why does Sweden not come to London to question Assange?
WikiLeaks is an important medium for democratising information. The mainstream media are in cahoots with the powerful forces who want to subdue the whole world by any means necessary. People like Assange are very important in our modern world where the mighty dollar has silenced the voices of conscience.
Why should there be classified information in a democratic society anyway? Do the citizens of the world not have the inalienable right to freedom of information? So, why should someone be persecuted with such vigour just for telling the truth?
Let us beware about this western sham-ocracy, which has now replaced good old democracy. It does appear that democracy has now become a swear word in the self-proclaimed bastions of free speech. If they can do that to their own kith and kin, how much worse can they do to the rest of us?
Irrespective of the human weaknesses that Assange may have, we should support his noble ideals of unrestricted access to the information that matters to our survival as a human race. Forget about the mumbo jumbo that we get fed on a daily basis by the disguised mouthpieces of imperialism.
Don’t give up the fight, Comrade Assange.