Following confirmation that the U.S. Department of Justice does have a sealed complaint against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange—seemingly based on his work exposing the classified secrets of high-level U.S. government institutions and officials—NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Friday afternoon spoke out against any arrest or prosecution of the journalist, saying that one “cannot support the prosecution of a publisher for publishing without narrowing the basic rights every newspaper relies on.” Snowden’s comments echoed those of other defenders of press freedoms, but carries special weight as someone, like Assange, who has sacrificed his freedom in the name of exposing the secrets of the world’s powerful.
12 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, WikiLeaks began publishing government secrets that the world public might otherwise never have known.
What it has revealed about state duplicity, human rights abuses and corruption goes beyond anything published in the world’s mainstream media.
If ‘Dirty Dossier’ author Christopher Steele deserves protection under the 1st Amendment but WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange doesn’t, then the concept of a free press is merely a distant memory.
There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum.
GREAT IDEAS in publishing are rare, but in 2006 Julian Assange came up with one.
Assange reasoned that the key structure that generated bad governance was conspiracy. To fight the conspiracies behind corrupt governments, he advocated a strategy to expose the conspirators and the conspiracies through a systematic use of leaks.
His subversive proposal was to build a website for whistleblowers where they could upload their information in safety and from where it could be collectively analysed by citizen journalists. The name he gave his whistleblower-enabling website was WikiLeaks.
What does all this mean? Over two years have passed without any further comment about the WGAD’s findings by the Turnbull Government. Now the Government is paying lip service to the existence and role of the WGAD – as it must as a conscientious member of the United Nations – but refusing publicly to accept or even acknowledge its findings in relation to Mr Assange’s detention, let alone in any way trying to address them.
Given our Government’s demonstrated capacity, when it puts its mind to it, to effect the early release of Australian citizens from curial processes and prisons in other countries – and given that the foundational proceedings against Assange by Sweden have now evaporated – it surely has an obligation to act on the findings of the WGAD and negotiate the safe repatriation of Mr Assange from England back to Australia.
We call on the Government of Ecuador to allow Julian Assange his right of freedom of speech.
If it was ever clear that the case of Julian Assange was never just a legal case, but a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now.
(MINTPRESS) Speaking from Ecuador’s embassy in London, Julian Assange revealed that the United States planned to overthrow the Syrian government as far back as 2006, several years before the start of the current crisis. The founder of WikiLeaks took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador …
Britain has announced plans to challenge Ecuador’s decision to provide asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy, saying the $18 million price tag for policing the Ecuadorean Embassy during Assange’s residency is “unacceptable” to the British taxpayer. In response, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying it is saddened Assange’s confinement has lasted so long, adding that its government had offered “31 times” to facilitate an “open judicial process” in Sweden. This comes just a day after Swedish prosecutors dropped part of their sexual assault inquiry against Assange, but the most serious part of the probe remains in place even though he has never been formally charged. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years, where he’s received political asylum. He fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution for his role at WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy. We are joined by Carey Shenkman, a First Amendment and human rights lawyer. He, along with Michael Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights, is representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
In an hourlong discussion on “Democracy Now!” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the NSA can continue to spy on Americans in spite of legislation coming out of Congress and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about corporate control.
Assange also discusses the security lapses revealed by a British nuclear submariner, Europe’s secret plan for refugee boats from Libya and the U.S. case against him.