By Aaron Kesel
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been disconnected entirely from the Internet at the Ecuadorian embassy where he is arbitrarily detained, and has been forbidden visitations by the order of Ecuador’s new president Lenin Moreno. “He cannot tweet, speak to the press, receive visitors or make telephone calls,” WikiLeaks tweeted out.
Wikileaks editor @julianassange has been gagged and isolated by order of Ecuador's new president @Lenin Moreno. He cannot tweet, speak to the press, recieve visitors or make telephone calls. Ecuador demanded that he remove the following Tweet: https://t.co/uaDAEBKtwR
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 28, 2018
The account further noted that Ecuador demanded Assange remove a specific tweet referencing a foreign political prisoner Carles Puigdemont.
“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.
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.”
Claims made by Ecuador's public affairs office that @wikileaks editor @julianassange, arguably the world's best known free speech avtivist, is under a gag agreement, are, perhaps unsurpringly, entirely false.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 28, 2018
The action 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 Wednesday. “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.”
A well known editor, publisher and journalist tweeting about a foreign political prisoner is not "interfering in a state"–such a conception risks setting a precedent that would outlaw millions of Twitter users, all jounalists and most human rights workers.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 28, 2018
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.”
Ecuadorian front runner tells Russia Today that he plans to gag Assange from revealing futher corruption about US https://t.co/QaKD06RLei
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 20, 2017
It appears now that plan is being carried out; and the first thing on the list would be disconnecting the prolific WikiLeaks founder from his fans and friends, not only silencing Assange’s voice but attempting to stifle the transparency given to governments by the Wikileaks organization as a whole and threatening future publications.
“We granted Assange political asylum because his life was in danger. We don’t have the death penalty in Ecuador. We saw that a citizen of the world – it doesn’t matter who he is – was in danger. That’s why we granted him asylum and it was by and large preserved. I say ‘by and large,’ because it all could have been done more competently by the country on which territory he is now. One thing that is clear is that Assange will have to reduce meddling in the policies of the nations we have friendly relations with,” Moreno said in an exclusive interview with RT Spanish last year.
“And one of the conditions will be to not meddle into the policies of the countries we are friends with. The same as we do not meddle in their policies. Every country has the right to self-determination and sovereignty,” Moreno added.
If the WikiLeaks co-founder and editor fails to comply with those conditions, Moreno said previously there may be changes to the status of Assange’s future asylum.
Although Moreno supports 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.
This comes amid WikiLeaks’ release of the CIA’s Vault 7 and 8 series of documents detailing and exposing various spying and hacking techniques of the agency, including files that show the CIA wrote code to impersonate Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky.
In 2016 Ecuador cut Assange’s Internet after the release of damaging material against Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks noted that this was shortly after its publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches.
We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2016
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.
As CIA threats against @WikiLeaks heat up, at least three masked men dressed in black have broken into @WikiLeaks chief counsel Baltasar Garzón's legal office, blinding security cameras with tape, in a "very professional" operation say police. https://t.co/ao3nD3bk2c
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 19, 2017
Notably, WikiLeaks has also faced a number of suspicious circumstances happening to its organization; so much so they have released ominous tweets highlighting that none of the organization’s employees or volunteers have any psychological health problems or drug problems that could lead to sudden death.
NOTE: No present WikiLeaks staff, including our editor, have medical, psychological or drug conditions which could lead to sudden death.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 13, 2017
Not to mention that WikiLeaks – the recently recognized institution of journalism by a UK tribunal – had an incident in 2016 where someone tried to break into the embassy where its founder Julian Assange has been held for the past near 6 years illegally.
19 mins ago at 2:47am an unknown man scaled the side wall+window of the Ecuadorian embassy in London; fled after being caught by security.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 22, 2016
Shortly before that, WikiLeaks did actually have two strange deaths of lawyers who represented Julian Assange within less than a month of each other: John Jones who died on April 18th 2016; and Michael Ratner who died May 11, 2016. Jones was found dead on the train tracks at West Hampstead Thameslink station. Ratner was said by the New York Times to have died of “complications of cancer.”
The official narrative being pushed on Jones’ death was a suicide. However, the publication has seemed to hint there was potential “foul play” involved, tweeting out a ruling by a court last year shortly after the unknown man tried to climb in Assange’s balcony. The inquest found that the death of Jones was not a ‘suicide’, which opens door to lawsuits.
Inquest rules that death of Julian Assange's lawyer, John Jones QC, was not 'suicide', opening door to law suits https://t.co/WRJZLvT4S9
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 21, 2016
As journalist and Internet Party NZ candidate Suzie Dawson recently questioned in her “Being Julian Assange” mega-article on Julian Assange his 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 to push the Ecuadorian embassy to give Assange back his communication rights.
Suzie Dawson and I are about to launch an online vigil for Julian Assange supporters from around the world. Let’s join together and demand the immediate restoration of Julian's human right to communication.
We will be using the hashtag #ReconnectJulian
Stay tuned for details!
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 28, 2018
Will we all allow the Ecuadorian embassy to systematically bury Julian Assange before our very eyes? Taking away a human rights leader’s voice and his last outlet to reaching the outside world and any type of human interaction, or allow him to be isolated from society entirely and become just a memory?
We demand that Julian Assange’s isolation ends now. Sign the petition and use the hashtag #ReconnectJulian in solidarity to send a message that we won’t allow the silencing of Julian Assange. Dotcom and Dawson are calling on all WikiLeaks supporters in London to protest Assange’s communication cut by rallying outside of the embassy in support of their campaign to reconnect Julian Assange.
What’s more, what does that mean for the data Wikileaks holds as an insurance policy for its founder Julian Assange? As Kim Dotcom said in the live stream in support of Assange “Once again those in power are making a grave mistake.”
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 WikiLeaks supporters to use cryptocurrency to donate to the organization in order to circumvent the blockade.