By Aaron Kesel
Recently, WikiLeaks highlighted it has now been 9 years since its founder and former editor Julian Assange has been imprisoned in arbitrary detention without charge despite two UN rulings stating he should be allowed to walk free.
Today, Julian Assange’s mother Christine and WikiLeaks are calling on activists in New York City to flood the streets of Times Square — #BootsOnTheGround4Julian — in protest for her son on New Year’s Eve to highlight Assange’s current situation in the Ecuadorian embassy and “celebrate press freedom.”
New Years Eve #TimesSquare
Press Freedom Protest!
Please retweet/share madly
Many thanks! pic.twitter.com/Uqn7F3SBMW
— #Unity4J (@Unity4J) December 31, 2018
ATTENTION New York WIKILEAKS supporters!
New Years Eve#TimesSquare
Press Freedom Protest!
Can you go with FREE ASSANGE Signs/Cheers?#BootsOnTheGround4Julian
Many thanks https://t.co/okPlY8449Q
— Mrs. Christine Assange (@AssangeMrs) December 30, 2018
In November of this year, 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 now 9-year detainment (2 years of virtual house arrest, 7 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy) without charge as determined by the UN.
For the past 7 years in the embassy, the UK government has refused Assange’s 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 doctors recently examined him as the mainstream press is too busy pushing salacious and baseless lies pushed by the Guardian (likely linked to CIA intelligence) that conform to the “Russia hacked the election” narrative about Assange meeting with Paul Manafort.
Many so-called journalists are too busy to care about their colleague, which now Democrats are using the lies printed by the Guardian to demand Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressure Ecuador to hand over logs of all Assange’s personal, legal and other visitors to the embassy, as WikiLeaks noted.
The Guardian publish a completely fictitious story about Manafort meeting Assange and now mass surveillance loving Senate Democrats are relying on it to demand Pompeo pressure Ecuador to hand over the log of all Assange’s personal, legal and other visitors https://t.co/l9StLC1jzF
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 13, 2018
A lawyer for Assange stated he did not know the results of the medical tests, while further calling on Ecuador to produce documentation proving that the UK would not extradite him to any country where his life would be at risk. Most notably, an at-risk country would be the United States, which WikiLeaks noted just tortured a former CIA agent and suspected alleged WikiLeaks Vault 7 leaker Joshua Schulte by bolting him to the floor, video-monitoring and strip-searching him. Which, if we are being honest, if they got their hands on Assange, would probably do much of the same except 100x worse to the WikiLeaks founder for exposing numerous crimes by the U.S. government through various releases over the years.
US government says alleged CIA whistleblower currently in pre-trial detention can only prepare his discovery defense while bolted to the floor, video-monitored and strip-searched when done. https://t.co/RGHtQCTtKm https://t.co/RGHtQCTtKm pic.twitter.com/SuXdvtjqf5
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 13, 2018
“We insist that they show us the letter from the United Kingdom,” Assange’s lawyer, Carlos Poveda said. Adding, “the protocol is meant to set the rules of his living situation, but it seems more like a penitentiary regime.”
Allegations against Assange in Sweden have long 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.
Assange’s health isn’t the only topic Christine touched on; she also detailed at 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 presumably face charges under the Espionage Act — the federal law often used to punish whistleblowers. This is due to the fact that under the Ecuadorian constitution extradition is forbidden.
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
Although, Lenín Moreno made comments on a radio interview stating 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.
Moreno 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 debt relief loans, as WikiLeaks tweeted.
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
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
In October, lawyers for Julian Assange — specifically, Baltasar Garzón, a lawyer for WikiLeaks — also sued Ecuador, accusing the government of violating Assange’s “fundamental rights and freedoms.”
WikiLeaks claims Assange’s access to the outside world has been “summarily cut off” and stated Ecuador has threatened to remove all protection given to his person that he has been granted when he was accepted into a political asylum if he doesn’t abide by Orwellian guidelines.
Lawyers for Assange have said they will also challenge the legality of the Ecuador government’s “special protocols,” which make his political asylum contingent upon “censoring” his own freedom of opinion, speech, and association, as well as violate Assange’s property and his visitors without any just warrant.
Britain is far from providing “sufficient guarantees.” In fact, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, dared Assange to walk out of the Ecuadorian 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.
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.
In June 2018, a letter to UK Home office Member of Parliament Zac Goldsmith revealed that the government would not confirm whether it has received an extradition request from the U.S. until Assange is arrested in relation to that request according to Assange Legal.
As a matter of policy, UK will not reveal whether it has received an extradition request from the US until Assange is arrested in relation to that request.
Home office letter to Member of Parliament Zac Goldsmith 13 June 2018https://t.co/aNBybexDkN pic.twitter.com/oOuElEBfrI
— Hanna Jonasson (@AssangeLegal) December 14, 2018
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.
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 his conditions to stay at the embassy are looking more and more like solitary confinement. Which Assange has been barred from visitors and prevented internet access for almost a year, while he has never been allowed to exit the embassy for some sunshine.
Ecuador continues to threaten WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange saying if he speaks “there will be consequences”, claiming that refugees do not have speech rights, citing a defunct convention from 1929. https://t.co/0W1gM2QL1D
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 7, 2018
— Assange Defence (@AssangeDefence) September 30, 2018
STAND UP FOR JULIAN ASSANGE ON NEW YEARS CELEBRATE PRESS FREEDOM!
Now more than ever we must all stand up for Julian Assange’s rights as a publisher and his human rights, if you are out in NYC please bring a sign like one WikiLeaks Supporter is planning to do elsewhere in Boston and bring attention to the imprisonment of arguably one of the world’s best journalists and commemorate Freedom of The Press.
Christine I am attending an anti-war/Yemen action that day w/ my #MarchOnPentagon ppl in Boston….I will carry my double sided ‘NO WAR’ ‘FreeAssange’ sign#Unity4J#NoWarMachine#JournalismIsNotaCrime pic.twitter.com/yUUAlBA91L
— Plucille (@Plucille54) December 30, 2018
It’s important to note that as this protest will be happening, an event celebrating
@pressfreedom will also be taking place, inviting well-known journalists on stage at midnight. #celebratepressfreedom
Throughout the years, #TimesSquare has been a place for people to witness breaking news and react to major global and national events. This year, Times Square NYE will be celebrating @pressfreedom, inviting well known journalists on stage at midnight. #celebratepressfreedom pic.twitter.com/EmCtnCfgii
— Times Square (@TimesSquareNYC) December 28, 2018
Looking forward to seeing all the journalists celebrating the importance of journalists holding power to account chanting FREE JULIAN ASSANGE
My journalist son now detained 8 yrs WITHOUT charge, smeared & badly mistreated for doing exactly that!
— Mrs. Christine Assange (@AssangeMrs) December 31, 2018
Hell, 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. We must band together to call for “Safe Passage” for Julian Assange to another embassy where at least he can walk outside and see his friends and family. This is a long fight into next year, and this is far from over!
WikiLeaks as a whole 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 9 years now since Assange was arrested and detained under one form or another, with 2 years of virtual house arrest, 7 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. Stand up and be a part of history!
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 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.
Join Unity4J’s historic vigils, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST every Friday, 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 — @AssangeLegal the editor of Justice 4 Assange. The website Unity4J will be up to date with information, live streams, and places where protests will be held in support of Julian Assange.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 21, 2018
To support WikiLeaks; efforts for the crusade for truth and justice you can donate through the Tweet above.
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.