By Aaron Kesel
Ecuador’s President, Lenín Moreno, is continuing to try and force WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the embassy where he has stayed now for 9 years in arbitrary detention without charge despite two UN rulings stating he should be freed. Meanwhile, activists are planning to honor Assange in a specially planned live stream of Unity4J, echoing calls for his freedom and safe passage.
Today marks the start of the ninth year of @WikiLeaks publisher Julian #Assange's arbitrary detention without charge in the UK. The UN's arbitrary detention tribunal twice ruled his detention in the UK to be unlawful. https://t.co/jFzuiRUaYo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 7, 2018
Moreno made comments on a radio interview this week that “Britain had provided sufficient guarantees that the WikiLeaks founder won’t be extradited to face the death penalty abroad in the U.S.” Associated Press reported.
He further added that a deal had been reached between London and Quito to allow Assange to leave. “The way has been cleared for Assange to take the decision to leave in near-liberty,” Moreno said, failing to expand on what exactly “near-liberty” means in context. One can only speculate what that means for Assange … and it’s not good news.
Assange has denied the agreement through his lawyer, Barry Pollack, who told The Telegraph that the “deal was not acceptable.”
The facts are contrary to what Moreno stated; the real truth is that Ecuador is trying to sell out Assange in a “deal” with the U.S. for loans, as WikiLeaks tweeted.
The only deal is between Ecuador and the United States–to sell Assange for loans. The UK is repeating, as it always has, the standard EU policy of asking the US for life in prison instead of death. That's no deal. Ecuador fabricates the claim to lay the ground for expulsion.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 7, 2018
Ecuador's immediately former president responds to New York Times report that his successor offered to sell WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange's to the U.S. government in exchange for debt relief. Subsequently Ecuador received $1.1 billion from US controlled banks. https://t.co/vhJnvDeE1n
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 5, 2018
Britain is far from providing “sufficient guarantees.” In fact, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, dared Assange to walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy earlier this year. He further let comments slip alluding to an active investigation when he said that Assange was facing “serious charges.” That article was then deleted and absent from News.com.au’s website and others, Activist Post reported.
Allegations against Assange in Sweden have been dropped, and he is facing only a minor infraction in the UK for failing to turn up to a court hearing, a police bail warrant. The warrant issued in question arose 12 days after Julian entered the Ecuador Embassy seeking asylum from U.S. threats against his life and liberty. So that warrant should never have been issued in the first place, as Asylum/international law overrides domestic (UK) law.
Instead, the allegations should have been dropped after Sweden dropped its preliminary investigation and Julian wasn’t charged as the warrant was attached to the European Arrest Warrant on that case.
However, the U.S. government can’t serve a subpoena until its “target” is first in its custody. Only then would they then drop the bail warrant as they know its legally defunct.
So, it is unknown what “serious charges” Hunt was referring to unless they are connected to “sealed charges” from the WikiLeaks Grand Jury. This may be why the article was taken down at the time without notice, displaying a 404 error. It’s worth noting this is exactly what happened when Tommy Robinson stories were demanded to be deleted.
In November the U.S. accidentally revealed sealed charges it had against Assange, so it’s a far-fetched lie to state “Assange won’t be extradited to face the death penalty.” The truth is no one knows what the U.S. has planned for Assange if somehow they got their hands on him in a U.S. court. Who knows what the sentencing would be. What’s for certain is that they would surely try to make an example out of him.
UK foreign minister taunts political refugee to give up asylum
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 20, 2018
Also occurring last month, Christine Assange used Unity4J to urge officials to allow access to medical attention for her son, and for the UK and Ecuador to end Assange’s illegal 8-year detainment (2 years of virtual house arrest, 6 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy) without charge as determined by the UN.
For the past 6 years in the embassy, the UK government has refused his request for access to basic health needs: fresh air, exercise, sunshine for vitamin D and access to proper medical and dental care according to Christine Assange and Julian Assange’s lawyer, Greg Barns.
As a result, his health has seriously deteriorated; and his examining doctors warn these detention conditions are life-threatening.
“The slow and cruel assassination is taking place before our very eyes in the embassy in London,” Christine expressed.
Assange’s doctor, Sean Love, has previously stated in an opinion piece that depriving him of medical care is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” Adding, “It is time for Australia to intervene.”
Other doctors who examined Assange, Sondra Crosby, an associate professor at Boston University’s school of medicine and public health, and Brock Chisholm, a clinical psychologist in London have stated much the same.
All three called on safe passage for Assange to a hospital. In an article for the Guardian, they wrote:
While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.
The above health concerns are coupled with surveillance technology that was a requirement for Assange to remain in the embassy, including signal jammers and all of the additional technology that is emitting various electromagnetic waves.
What are the effects of refugee publisher @JulianAssange being exposed to eighteen signal jammers (3 clusters, six antennas per cluster) in a confined space 24/7 for seven months? This paper offers a glimpse https://t.co/f8uubSNCyY
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 2, 2018
Assange’s health isn’t the only topic Christine touched on; she also detailed as a recent press release by WikiLeaks which noted that Ecuador’s former President, Rafael Correa (whose administration granted Assange political asylum), said that the current U.S. Trump administration is “trying to break him psychologically” and that a deal had been struck during Pence’s visit to Ecuador earlier this year.
This news comes as Ecuador is being pressured to end Assange’s asylum and citizenship so he can be arrested by British police and extradited to the U.S. to face charges under the Espionage Act — the federal law often used to punish whistleblowers.
As such, the Trump administration is threatening to step over a never-crossed line – applying the secret documents provision of the Espionage Act to journalistic practices, according to the EFF, which last year condemned the threats of prosecution against WikiLeaks and Assange.
After US pressure, moves accelerate to strip WikiLeaks' publisher @JulianAssange of Ecuadorian citizenship. His citizenship status is a barrier to rendering him to another state as article 79 of Ecuador's constitution forbids extradition of citizens. https://t.co/mZxzLTtAuo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 18, 2018
Spanish newswire EFE quotes Ecuador's Attorney General on a plan to go with UK to binding international arbitration, then to "lose" in order to be "forced" to hand over Julian Assange–in order to avoid being prosecuted for an illegal extradition https://t.co/tUPMFeHcHo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 4, 2018
In November lawyers representing Assange sued Ecuador, accusing the government of violating Assange’s “fundamental rights and freedoms.” While Ecuador has further threatened Julian Assange that if he speaks “there will be consequences,” claiming that refugees do not have speech rights, citing a defunct convention from 1929.
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 clarified its position on Julian Assange’s asylum at the time by drafting new rules limiting his communications, according to WikiLeaks.
The original cut-off of Assange’s Internet was due to an alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs.
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 has previously stated that Assange was never under a gag agreement, calling the allegations “entirely false.”
WikiLeaks believes that the fact their founder 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.”
Even if his rights are given back, Assange is not safe and is still facing a threat of extradition, which the war is on to stop as Activist Post previously reported.
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 and presumably its supporters.
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 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.
In this case, many fear where Julian Assange would be sent most likely Guantanamo Bay if the U.S. were to get a hold of him.
WikiLeaks also highlighted in October that U.S. congressmen wrote an open letter to Ecuador President Lenín Moreno stating that in order to advance “crucial matters… from economic co-operation to counternarcotics assistance, to the possible return of a USAID mission to Ecuador, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange.”
NEW: Ahead of midterms, ranking Democrat, but not Republican, of House Foreign Relations Committee pressures Ecuador's president @Lenin to hand over @WikiLeaks' publisher @JulianAssange "A dangerous criminal and a threat to global security"
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2018
If the UK or Ecuador does decide to illegally hand over Julian Assange to the U.S. in violation of two UN rulings, then it’s inevitable that we see a rain of leaks that the world has never seen. That will undoubtedly rock society as WikiLeaks has consistently for 11 years.
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.
However, his behavior since and recent statements seem to show differently.
As journalist and Internet Party NZ President Suzie Dawson previously posed the question 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?”
Assange’s situation is getting worse with each passing day between his health and the isolation without charge, which according to Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner is looking more and more like solitary confinement.
— Assange Defence (@AssangeDefence) September 30, 2018
If you sense the calling and feel your conscience won’t let you live with the death of a journalist, please come join the Unity4J/WikiBees Discord where you can network and organize with other like-minded individuals for on-the-streets actions and legal actions (petitions and protests) in support of Julian Assange.
Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. EST to 11 EST, for a special broadcast of Unity4J with surprise special guests speaking in support of Julian Assange. Join Unity4J’s historic vigils, stand in solidarity with Julian Assange and help make and shape history.
It’s important to note as all this unfolds that WikiLeaks recently announced that one of Assange’s longtime associates, Kristin Hrafnsson, took over for him as WikiLeaks editor in chief.
For up-to-date accurate information on Julian Assange’s plight, see @Wikileaks, @AssangeMrs, and @Unity4J and Assange’s lawyer Twitter accounts. The website Unity4J will be up to date with information, live streams, and places where protests will be held in support of Julian Assange.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.