Julian Assange: What we know
|Viktor Dedaj 20/12/2019|
We know that: Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. The publishing company he co-founded (Sunshine Press) is based in Iceland and their Wikileaks site is hosted… uh… somewhere.
Tradotto da Fausto Giudice
We know that Assange hasn’t broken any laws in any jurisdiction that he was under. Not one. He never did. We do know that he has never been accused of rape in Sweden (if you think otherwise, please deal with your favourite source of information). So, we understand that a Swedish prosecutor’s lengthy “preliminary investigation” was never anything more than an operation to put down bushmeat Assange into the US trap.
We also know that Julian Assange has never been under US jurisdiction. And therefore that an “extradition” of Julian Assange to the United States will not be a court decision in application of I don’t know what law, but rather the result of an operation of kidnapping by the United States of a foreign journalist, a kidnapping decided and prepared for a long time and under the cover of a “right” that has been flouted from beginning to end in this case. We therefore know that what is being prepared against him is not an “extradition” but a kidnapping, an “extraordinary rendition”.
We know that the United States is nevertheless claiming to impose 175 years in prison on him in the name of a law (the Espionage Act of 1917) and within the framework of a grand jury that prohibits the accused from invoking his motives and that reduces the rights of defence to zero.
We now know that his every move and those of his visitors to the embassy were spied on and that his client/lawyer and patient/doctor privileges were violated and that all this data – as well as all his personal belongings – was communicated to the USA .
We know that Assange is not currently serving any sentence (yes, you read that right*) but is in “preventive detention”, that he is being held in solitary confinement in a high-security prison. We also know that he is seriously ill and is not being treated. We therefore know that Assange is being deliberately ill-treated by the British authorities, a treatment that the UN Special Rapporteur – after a medical examination of the prisoner by specialists in the field – considers to be torture. We know that his life is literally in danger.
We know that the prison administration gives him very little contact with his lawyers, very few visits, no contact with other prisoners, and that he has no access to the “evidence” presented against him and no material means of preparing a semblance of a defence.
We have seen in surrealistic hearings that he is so ill that he can barely pronounce his name and date of birth, and where Judge Vanessa Baraitser openly displays her contempt for him and his lawyers and takes – in full view of everyone – her instructions from the US representatives present in the room. We even saw a clerk ask the prisoner to confirm his … Swedish citizenship (to give you an idea of the seriousness with which this case is being conducted).
We know that Assange is one of the most award-winning journalists of the 21st century. We know that he still received 3 more journalistic awards while he was in prison. We know that he has been nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize. We know that the head of the International Federation of Journalists (which claims to represent 600,000 professionals in the branch) has taken a stand in favour of Assange. We know that the three main French journalists’ unions have written an open letter to Macron about Assange. We know that several hundred journalists around the world have signed a recent petition for his release, etc.
We also know that Amnesty International must have shit in front of its eyes for not recognising a tortured political prisoner in the heart of London. We have known for a long time that Reporters Without Borders covers its eyes, ears and mouth every time the USA is involved.
We have understood that the social networks (Facebook and Twitter) exercise discreet censorship over any communication related to Assange and/or Wikileaks, drastically limiting its circulation.
And we know that you won’t know anything about this.
Because we know that the “big” media have decided to limit their coverage of the “Assange Affair” as much as possible and only let the information pass by in dribs and drabs…
We know, for example, that a big (“liberal”) British daily newspaper like The Guardian can publish an article against Assange, which is fabricated from scratch. We have noticed that the other “big” media do not hold it against their colleagues (Well, finally, solidarity within the profession does exist!).
We know that a journalist from Le Monde can look you straight in the eye and unscrupulously say something like “Assange got what he deserved because he made Hillary Clinton lose”. That’s the dumbest argument ever made. By a journalist. Perfect horror show. Hair standing on end guaranteed.
In short, we now know that the “big” media are overwhelmingly driven by what must be called bastards.
We know that the so-called alternative media – incredible but true – that mobilize for Assange (and WikiLeaks) are still too rare. The others probably think they can ignore or not be concerned by the affair – or are still (ironically) under the influence of mainstream propaganda.
But we also know that the years of slander and lies poured out on him and his organisation are beginning to fade and that the rise of solidarity with Julian Assange has been growing rapidly in recent months. Only yesterday, the appeals and interventions on his behalf – journalists, doctors, personalities, politicians, UN – numbered in the dozens, and today they number in the hundreds, in the thousands. The media silence has not yet been broken, but it is beginning to crack. This fight started from too far to not to give us any reason for hope, so let us not give up. With this fight, and the rest, 2020 could well be a good year for justice.
* After his abduction from the Ecuadorian embassy on 11 April 2019, J. Assange was immediately convicted of “violating the conditions of his release under house arrest” (an ankle bracelet and daily reporting to a police station) – a violation committed when he applied for political asylum in Ecuador in June 2012 (a decision contested by lawyers as seeking asylum is a fundamental right – and it is not as if one does not know where he is). He was sentenced to the maximum penalty for such a crime (which was not really a crime) which usually results in a fine in the UK. JA was releasable at half the sentence but the judge refused his release and decided to remand him in custody until the “extradition” trial. All this in a high-security prison, without contact or medical care.