Ασάνζ και τέχνη

Η τέχνη δεν μπορεί να σε κάνει καλύτερο άνθρωπο, μπορεί να σε κάνει μόνο χειρότερο. Το μόνο που μπορεί να σε κάνει καλύτερο είναι η πραγματικότητα, αν την κοιτάζεις κατάματα.

Από τις 11 Μαΐου 2020 η γκαλερί Sala Fontana του Palazzo delle Esposizioni θα φιλοξενήσει την έκθεση «The Assange Condition» που δεν θα δέχεται επισκέπτες, ακόμα και αν οι γκαλερί επιτραπεί να ανοίξουν τις πόρτες τους για το κοινό. Θα περιέχει μια σειρά από σαράντα περίπου πορτρέτα του Ασάνζ ζωγραφισμένα από τον Μίλτο Μανέτα στο διάστημα από τον Φεβρουάριο μέχρι το Μάιο φέτος

” Ο Διογένης, κάποτε που στην Κόρινθο ετοιμάζονταν όλοι για μια πολιορκία, κύλησε το πιθάρι του και το τσουλούσε πάνω κάτω. Τον ρώτησαν «γιατί;». «Για να βοηθήσω κι εγώ στον κοινό αγώνα» απάντησε. Έτσι κι εγώ αποφάσισα να ζωγραφίζω ένα πορτρέτο του Ασάνζ για κάθε μέρα που περνάει στη φυλακή: Μέχρι τώρα 480 ημέρες. Όχι, δηλαδή, ότι η τέχνη μπορεί να βοηθήσει τον Ασάνζ ‒ μόνο το να αλλάξουμε τον κόσμο μπορεί να τον βοηθήσει. Ζωγραφίζοντάς τον, όμως, αισθάνομαι μια σχέση μαζί του που τη λέω #AssangePower. Αισθάνομαι σαν ο δικός μου αγώνας ‒πολύ διαφορετικός, βέβαια, από τον δικό του‒ να συναντιέται μαζί του! Και επειδή όλα τα πορτρέτα που κάνω τα δίνω δωρεάν σε όποιον μου τα ζητάει στα social media, αισθάνομαι πως ο Αγώνας Μας γίνεται και Αγώνας Τους, τουλάχιστον αυτών των λίγων που με παρακολουθούν στο Διαδίκτυο.

Το Palazzo delle Esposizioni στη Ρώμη αποφάσισε μέσα σε δύο μέρες να κάνει έκθεση. Συνήθως παίρνει δύο χρόνια να την οργανώσουν, αυτήν τη φορά πήρε δύο μέρες! Η έκθεση ανοίγει στις 11 Μαΐου. Τα έργα έφυγαν σήμερα. Σαράντα+ πίνακες. Πάνε εκεί και τα βάζουν στον τοίχο, αλλά το Palazzo είναι κλειστό λόγω Covid-19. Τα εγκαίνια τα κάνουμε στο Instagram στον λογαριασμό CondizioneAssange. Γύρω στις 18 Μαΐου το μουσείο θα ξανανοίξει, αλλά η έκθεση, που λέγεται «Κατάσταση Ασάνζ», θα παραμείνει κλειστή. Γιατί τον Ασάνζ δεν μπορείς να τον δεις. Αν γίνει κάποιο θαύμα και βγει από τη φυλακή, θα ανοίξει η έκθεση στο κοινό. Ή, αν τον δολοφονήσουν με Covid-19, που είναι πολύ πιθανό. Η έκθεση είναι ‒έγινε εκ των πραγμάτων‒ εμβληματική για την κατάσταση που ζούμε όλοι μας του τελευταίους μήνες. Έγκλειστοι.”

Assange and Art

Art can’t make you a better person, it can only make you worse. The only thing that can make you better is reality, if you look it in the eye.

From May 11, 2020, the Sala Fotana Gallery of Palazzo Delle Esposizioni will host the exhibition “The Assange Condition”, which will not accept visitors, even if the galleries are allowed to open their doors to the public. It will contain a series of about forty portraits of Assange painted by Miltos Manettas in the period between February and May this year

”Diogenis, once when in Corinth everyone was preparing for a siege, rolled his jar, pushing it backwards and forwards. They asked him why. “To help in the common struggle,” he replied. This made me decide also to paint a portrait of Assange for every day he spent in prison: so far 480 days. Not that art can help Assange – only changing the world can help him. Painting him, though, I feel a relationship with him which I call #assangepower. I feel as if my own struggle – very different, of course, from his – is meeting with his! And because all the portraits I do I give for free to anyone who asks me on social media, I feel as if Our Struggle is also Their Struggle, at least for those few who are watching me online.

The Palazzo Delle Esposizioni in Rome decided within two days to hold an exhibition. It usually takes two years to organize one. This time it took two days! The exhibition opens on May 11th. The works left today. Forty and more paintings. They go there and put them on the wall, but the Palazzo is closed due to COVID-19. The opening will be on Instagram and on the CondizioneAssange account. Around May 18 the museum will reopen, but the exhibition, called “Situation Assange”, will remain closed. Because you can’t see Assange. If a miracle occurs and he gets out of jail, the exhibition will open to the public. Or if they murder him with COVID19, which seems quite possible, the exhibition will become – it already is de facto – iconic for the situation we have been living through in recent months. Inmates.”

Why Julian Assange must urgently be freed

SOURCE

The life of my partner, Julian Assange, is at severe risk. He is on remand at HMP Belmarsh, and Covid-19 is spreading within its walls.

Julian and I have two little boys. Since becoming a mother, I have been reflecting on my own childhood.

My parents are European, but when I was little we lived in Botswana, five miles from the border with Apartheid South Africa. Many of my parents’ friends came from across the border: writers, painters, conscientious objectors. It was an unlikely centre for artistic creativity and intellectual exchange.

The history books describe Apartheid as institutional segregation, but it was much more than that. Segregation occurred in broad daylight. The abductions, torture and killings occurred at night.

The foundations of the Apartheid system were precarious, so the regime met ideas of political reform with live ammunition. In June 1985, South African assassination squads crossed the border armed with machine guns, mortars and grenades. As soon as gunfire burst into the night, my parents wrapped me in a blanket. I slept as my parents raced the car to safety. The sound of explosions carried through the capital for the hour and a half that it took to kill twelve people.

The first person to be killed was a very close family friend, an exceptional painter. South Africa claimed the raid had targeted the armed wing of the ANC, but in reality most of the victims were innocent civilians and children killed as they lay sleeping in bed. We left Botswana within days.

I have absorbed my parents’ vivid memories of the raid. If that terrible night shaped my perspective of the world, the incarceration of the father of my children will surely mark theirs.

Forming a family with Julian under the circumstances was always going to be difficult, but our hopes eclipsed our fears. Initially, Julian and I managed to carve out a space for a private life. Our firstborn visited with the help of a friend. But when Gabriel was six months old, an embassy security contractor confessed to me that he had been told to steal the baby’s DNA through a nappy. Failing that they would take the baby’s pacifier. The whistleblower warned me Gabriel should not come into the embassy anymore. It was not safe. I realised that all the precautions I had taken, from piling layers on to disguise my bump to changing my name, would not protect us. We were totally exposed. These forces operated in a legal and ethical vacuum that engulfed us.

I could write volumes about what happened in the months that followed. By the time I was pregnant with Max the pressure and harassment had become unbearable and I feared that my pregnancy was at risk. When I was six months pregnant Julian and I decided I should stop going into the embassy. The next time I saw him was in Belmarsh prison.

The image of Julian being carried out of the embassy shocked many. It struck a blow to my chest, but it did not shock me. What happened that morning was an extension of what had been going on inside the embassy over an eighteen-month period.

After Julian was arrested a year ago, Spain’s High Court opened an investigation into the security company that had been operating inside the embassy. Several whistleblowers came forward and have informed law enforcement of unlawful activities against Julian and his lawyers, both inside and outside the embassy. They are cooperating with law enforcement and have provided investigators with large amounts of data.

The investigation has revealed that the company had been moonlighting for a US company closely associated with the current US administration and US intelligence agencies and that the increasingly disturbing instructions, such as following my mother or the baby DNA directive, had come from their US client, not Ecuador. Around the same time that I had been approached about the targeting of our baby, the company was thrashing out even more sinister plans concerning Julian’s life. Their alleged plots to poison or abduct Julian have been raised in UK extradition proceedings. A police raid at the security company director’s home turned up two handguns with their serial numbers filed off.

None of this information is surprising to me but as a parent I ponder how to manage it.

I want our children to grow up with the clarity of conviction that I had as a little girl. Peril lay beyond the South African border. I want them to believe that inequitable treatment is not tolerated in mature democracies. At university in Oxford, I was proud to be at the intellectual heart of the most mature democracy of them all.

It is not just our family who suffers from the infringement of Julian’s rights. If our family and Julian’s lawyers are not off-limits, then nothing is. The person responsible for allegedly ordering the theft of Gabriel’s DNA is Mike Pompeo, who last month threatened the family members of lawyers working at the International Criminal Court. Why? Because the court had had the temerity to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan. The same crimes that Julian exposed through WikiLeaks, and which the US wants to imprison him over.

Julian needs to be released now. For him, for our family, and for the society we all want our children to grow up in.

Stella Moris is a lawyer and the sentimental partner of Julian Assange.

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

SOURCE: Caitlin Johnstone

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge. I’ve been guilty of this as well; I’ll be letting myself get bogged down in some old, obsolete debate with someone about some obscure aspect of the Swedish case or something, not realizing that none of that matters anymore. All the narrative manipulations that were used to get Assange to this point are impotent, irrelevant expenditures of energy compared to the fact that we now have undeniable evidence that the US government is working to set a precedent which will allow it to jail any journalist who exposes its misdeeds, and we can now force Assange’s smearers to confront this reality.

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Now we play offense: “Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

Demand an answer. Call attention to them and demand that they answer. Dig them out of their hidey holes and make them answer this. Drag them out into the light and make them answer this question in front of everyone. Because that is all this is about now.

Don’t get sidetracked. Don’t get tricked into debating defensively. Force the issue: the US government is trying to establish and normalize the practice of extraditing and imprisoning journalists for exposing its misdeeds. That is the issue to focus on.

You will find that anyone who dares to stick their head above the parapet and smear Assange now gets very, very squirmy if you pin them down and force them to address this issue. Because they cannot answer without admitting that they are wrong. And that they’ve been wrong this entire time. It’s a completely unassailable argument.

We now have two and a half months to prepare for the second half of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing: all of March, all of April, and half of May. We’re going to need all that time to seize control of the narrative and make it very, very clear to the world that a very important decision is about to be made by the powerful on our behalf, if we don’t make that decision for them.

This really is do or die time, humans. If we allow them to extradite and imprison Julian Assange for practicing journalism, that’s it. It’s over. We might as well all stop caring what happens to the world and sit on our hands while the oligarchs drive us to ecological disaster, nuclear annihilation or authoritarian dystopia. It’s impossible to hold power accountable if you’re not even allowed to see what it’s doing.

If we, the many, don’t have the spine to stand up against the few and say “No, we get to find out facts about you bastards and use it to inform our worldview, you don’t get to criminalize that,” then we certainly won’t have the spine it will take to wrest control of this world away from the hands of sociopathic plutocrats and take our fate into our own hands. We are deciding, right now, what we are made of. And what we want to become.

This is it. This is the part of the movie where we collectively choose the red pill or the blue pill. We are collectively being asked a question here, and our answer to that question will determine the entire course we will take as a species.

So what’s it going to be, humanity?

Truth, or lies?

Light, or darkness?

A world where we can hold power to account with the light of truth, or a world where power decides what’s true for us?

A world with free speech and a free press, or a world where journalists are imprisoned whenever they expose the evils of the most powerful institutions on this planet?

A world where we all actively fight to free Assange and get the job done, or a giant, irreversible leap toward the end of humanity as we know it?

Do we free Assange?

Or do we sit complacent with our Netflix and our KFC and trust the authority figures to do what’s best?

Do we take the red pill?

Or do we take the blue one?

Choose your path, humans.

Choose wisely.

Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen in London to visit Julian Assange, as Jeremy Corbyn says UK view on extradition is shifting

SOURCE: ABC NEWS

Two grey-haired men both wearing suits and glasses chat to each other in an office.PHOTO: Andrew Wilkie (left) met with the British Opposition Leader ahead of visiting Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison.

British Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is surprised over what he sees as a shift in the British Government’s position on Julian Assange and the UK’s “unbalanced” extradition relationship with the United States.

Key points:

  • Australian MPs have arrived in London ahead of prison meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
  • Andrew Wilkie has met with UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn
  • Mr Corbyn believes the UK Government’s view on its “unbalanced” extradition treaty with the US has shifted

Mr Corbyn made the comments after a meeting with Australian independent MP Andrew Wilkie, who is in London on a privately funded trip to visit the WikiLeaks founder in prison.

The Labour leader told the ABC that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s answers to House of Commons questions about the extradition deal the UK had with the US last Wednesday (local time) were unexpected.

“He accepted that it is an unbalanced treaty and it is not a fair one, therefore I think that is a big change by the British Government,” Mr Corbyn said.

In the House, Mr Corbyn had argued that the UK had a “one-sided extradition treaty” with the US and asked Mr Johnson to commit to an “equal and balanced” future relationship.

“I do think that there are elements of that relationship that are unbalanced and I certainly think it is worth looking at,” Mr Johnson replied.

Mr Corbyn said he thought this could be partly linked to a high-profile battle underway between the US and UK after Washington rejected a request for the extradition of an American citizen who fled Britain after allegedly causing the death of a teenage motorcyclist.

He said it was also unexpected that Mr Johnson did not argue against him when he questioned whether it was right that someone should be deported for exposing the truth.

“The Prime Minister did not challenge my assertions on this, but seems to me to understand that there is a principle here that somebody who opens up and tells the truth, as Julian Assange has done, should not face deportation to the United States,” Mr Corbyn said.

Assange ‘abandoned by Australian Government’

Mr Wilkie plans to visit Assange in Belmarsh Prison on Tuesday afternoon (local time), along with Queensland federal MP George Christensen, who is also in London.

“I want to convey a message to Julian that although he has been abandoned by the Australian Government, although he seems to have no support from the British Government or the US Government, he does in fact have a lot of support from millions of people right around the world,” Mr Wilkie told the ABC.

Mr Wilkie described the case against Assange as scandalous.

“Let’s not forget the substantive issue here, and that’s that an Australian citizen has publicised a range of important information in the public interest, including hard evidence of US war crimes, and his reward for doing that is facing extradition,” he said.

Ahead of the visit to the prison, Mr Christensen said he wanted to check on Assange’s welfare to inform the Government back home.

“For me to be a bit parochial, he’s a North Queenslander, he is someone who is facing potentially the rest of his life behind bars for simply wanting to publish and publishing the truth,” Mr Christensen said.

“That is wrong, that is morally and ethically wrong, and you’ve got to be in these fights if you believe in free speech and free press.”

‘Family is everything’

Assange’s father John Shipton will facilitate the meeting at the high-security Belmarsh Prison in south-west London.

Mr Shipton moved to London three months ago to be closer to his son and to support and lobby on behalf of the 48-year-old.

There is a strong resemblance between the 75-year old and his son.

Mr Shipton told the ABC he brought his four-year-old daughter to London because he wanted to show the world Assange was surrounded by family.

“I brought her to see Julian,” he said.

“I think the family gathering together and coming to see Julian will help him through this crisis and show people that Julian is not isolated, to show that family is everything.

“Without family you can’t defend yourself against the oppressions or winds of fate blowing in the wrong direction.”

Mr Shipton said he believed his son would not survive if he was jailed in the US.

“They didn’t go through 10 years of persecution to take him over there and put him in a feather bed,” he said.

Crunch time approaching for Assange

In less than a week’s time, Assange will face the legal might of the United States Government, which will argue for his extradition in a court near Belmarsh Prison, where he has been incarcerated since last year.

His own legal team say if the Americans succeed, he will not receive a fair trial and will be jailed for up to 175 years.

The WikiLeaks founder is facing 18 charges — 17 under the espionage act — for conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified information.

Much of the information related to the US prosecution of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Who can forget that shocking image of American attack helicopters gunning down Iraqi civilians and journalists in the streets in Iraq?” Mr Wilkie said.

“This stuff matters. We should not be persecuting Julian Assange.”

Conservative British MP Bob Seely disagreed. He argued publishing the information was a crime.

“If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime,” he told the ABC outside the UK Parliament in Westminster.

Mr Seely’s grievance also relates to the alleged manipulation of the 2016 US presidential election.

In that year, WikiLeaks obtained and released emails and other documents from the Clinton presidential campaign.

“It was pretty obvious reading the indictments put down by [former special counsel for the US Department of Justice] Robert Mueller that WikiLeaks was used wittingly or unwittingly, knowingly or not, as a vehicle by which the Russians hacked into the Democratic Congress servers and stole lots of information,” Mr Seely said.

“I think Assange has been a useful idiot for people to attack liberal democracies.”

The extradition hearing will last a month in total, but the trial will be split, with one week to begin on January 24 and the remaining proceedings taking place in May.

Defence lawyers for Assange have told preliminary hearings most of the witnesses they wish to call will give evidence anonymously, although the US counsel has already indicated they will argue to have them struck off.

For now, Mr Shipton will continue to call London home.

“Julian’s circumstance is dire,” he said.

“It’s very awkward to speak about it. It just upsets me.”

“The best thing is to take each day as it comes and work as well and as hard as you can on ensuring that your children aren’t oppressed and aren’t persecuted to death.”

Australian politicians to travel to the U.K to lobby the British Government for release of Julian Assange

SOURCE: ABC

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh prison in London awaiting for his extradition case to the United States to be heard later this month.

U.S authorities have indicted Assange on 18 charges,17 under the Espionage Act for conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified diplomatic and military documents.

This weekend two Australian politicians will travel to the U.K at their own expense to visit Julian Assange and lobby the British Government for his release.

Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen are co-chairs of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group. Andrew Wilkie speaks with ABC NewsRadio’s Laura Tchilinguirian.

Julian Assange is us

SOURCE: ABC

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Journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, recently visited Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison, where he is being held ahead of a hearing on 24th February, to fight his extradition to the US. Pilger discusses the injustice of this case, where he could face up to 174 years in jail if extradited.

Duration: 16min 4sec

Broadcast: 
Guests

BRITAIN’S GOT A SUPREME COURT SCANDAL: NEW DAMNING EMAILS SHOW UK CORRUPTION IN THE CASE AGAINST JULIAN ASSANGE

Julian Assange

SOURCE: POPULARRESISTANCE.ORG

Assange came awfully close to death in December. He is not out of the woods. He is currently locked up under maximum security in a British prison and ill, injured and enduring torture. He was taken from his legal refuge in Ecuador’s embassy on April 11, 2019 and whisked into solitary confinement for 10 months. He has days before a crucial US Extradition case on Feb. 24th, 2020 but he is virtually in a legal, technological and communication straightjacket along with his legal team. Assange has been forced to remain in UK for 10 years under the ruse that the UK was obliged to enforce a disproportionate, now obsolete, European Arrest Warrant (EAW) from Sweden. The outcome has been a catastrophic deprivation of Assange’s fundamental human rights.

He is facing a death sentence in the United States, anyway you measure it. He will never see Australian soil alive; he will be repatriated to Australia in a coffin if he first winds up in U.S. custody. There is no possibility of a fair trial there. My blog from Sept. 2018 outlines the judicial corruption in both Sweden and the UK. Since then, my hypothesis has been verified by emails publicly available on the UK’s Governmental site here.

Do new emails unmask political interference and collusion up to the highest levels of UK courts, including the UK Supreme Court in the Assange matter? Yes. Is the UK Supreme Court independent of political perversion from UK authorities all the way up to the Prime Minister, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Ministry of Justice and beyond? No. The UK tipped the scales of justice against him with prejudice and overt discrimination. He is not equal under the law in the UK. There is ample evidence for a Judicial Review should Assange’s legal team wish to pursue accountability from UK and Swedish authorities. Otherwise, Assange and his lawyers can expect more injustice, more prejudice and more corruption in order to streamline his illegal exit from the UK to the eager US authorities who have entrapped him extrajudicially over the past decade.

Redux: Assange challenged the proportionality of the extradition law, then the old disproportionate law was revoked and replaced. While that challenge was in court, the CPS held a large back log of cases in abeyance, then let those persons benefit from the revised law but not Assange. The revised law was not applicable retrospectively. It is no coincidence that Assange was the only case that fell outside the benefits of the revised law. He was excluded.

Britain’s Supreme Court was weaponized to incapacitate Julian Assange. The political interference in the UK Judiciary is the direct cause of his current torture, lack of legal access and due process. The UK’s CPS accelerated Assange’s EAW Swedish case and deliberately created a backlog of other EAW cases whose outcome depended on his matter being resolved negatively. The CPS manipulated the timing and order of Assange’s EAW case to dispense with him while it adjourned other cases so he would not be afforded protections under the revisions. This served the purpose of punishing Assange before any charges were laid or a guilt ascertained and circumventing his access to legally entitled protections. The “Assange exclusion clause” insertion is a problem for UK lofty ethical legal standards. The legal standards for him were uniquely inconsistent, unfair and disproportionate. When standard operating procedures don’t operate consistently the reason is political.

Such tactics must have been orchestrated at the highest level of government. When a law changed in Assange’s favour it did not apply to him; only to the other EAW cases that were adjourned pending the outcome of his case.This email authenticates the @UN’s decision that Assange’s detention was arbitrary. There is absolute certainty that the UK and Sweden conspired to hold scores of extraditions in abeyance pending Assange case, then denied him benefits.

“I should mention that the certified legal point has potentially far reaching consequences for scores of pending cases from, in particular, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Belgium and Greece.” (pg. 223) ~ CPS, UK.

The CPS rigged the case, stacked the deck, held a score of other extradition cases in abeyance while Assange’s legal challenge to UK extradition laws was in play. The CPS rigged the queue of extraditions to leave him behind, then wrote an exclusion clause which prejudicially targeted Assange. His name was not on the clause, but it is in that email.

The UK and Sweden colluded in a strategic campaign to detain then extradite Julian Assange, deny him due process and sabotage his chances of freedom. As a result, Assange and his legal team have faced one gross injustice after another. The UK has not acted impartially and thus robbed Assange of years of presumed innocence, health, freedom of movement, ability to communicate with the world and time with his children and family. His reputation was obliterated and his support base was severely restricted.

It is astonishing that Assange is trapped inside a maximum security prison, under extreme conditions which deprive him of his human and legal rights, because a supposed democracy refuses to allow safe passage out or provide assurances he won’t be extradited to the US.

It’s clear that Assange’s arbitrary detention has nothing to do with laws, habeas corpus, guilt or innocence or due process but has everything to do with the UK’s subversion of justice. For anyone to say that his incarceration has been self-imposed or that “he could walk out at any time” to “face justice” in light of these emails would be nothing short of delusional. He was kettled by police using a tactic that surrounds and threatens him but publicly claims that he is free to leave. Why is Assange being incarcerated without charge in conditions that amount to torture and why did the UK insist on arresting him if he leaves the embassy? Here is what Judge Lady Arbuthnot said:

“62. Having weighed up the factors for and against and considered Mr Summers’ arguments I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years. Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices. He should have the courage to do so too.”

But that has been the UK government’s carefully constructed narrative all along. The UK portrays Assange as evading justice when in fact it thwarted every effort to advance the case; not only for him but for the two Swedish complainants. Why is he detained without charge for 10 suffocating years based on a nullified EAW and associated bail conditions?

BACKGROUND

UK Prosecutors admitted to destroying documents in this case. Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi summarized her FOIA investigation here.

These emails confirm the UK intentionally undermined Assange’s legal and human rights, specifically targeting him for political revenge. For the better part of a decade he has suffered conditions of torture, lost income for his publishing and public speaking work, lost friends to death but not been allowed to attend funerals, lost precious years with his children who have grown up without him and denied access to urgent medical care. The UK should be held responsible. His losses are immense. He is the only Western journalist held as a political hostage in a supposedly democratic country. ~Jude Fleming

FINDINGS FROM FOIA TRIBUNAL:

a. Wikileaks is a “media organization”.
b. There were no more documents to disclose. The emails associated with lawyer Paul Close, CPS account were deleted as the Guardian reported. c. The ICO argued that it was not in the public’s interest to disclose more material with the concern it might compromise relations with other nations, then withheld valuable information which we can partially see now. In fact it is in the public’s interest to find out what went on behind the scenes and reveal a perverse cover-up.

SALIENT POINTS FROM SWEDISH FOIA EMAIL ARCHIVE

The debate over the application of the Assange EAW had “gone into hyperspace” precisely because there were other pending EAW cases which would be affected by the outcome. As shown above, the CPS was piling up unresolved extradition cases pending the outcome of Assange’s challenge to the proportionality of his case in Sweden.

Of specific concern, the CPS deliberately excluded Julian Assange from benefitting when the UK revised its extradition laws (2014) wherein Britain no longer enforces EAW’s against persons who have not been formally charged with a criminal offence. The law was revised to be proportionate based on presumed innocence concerning an EAW suspect. If a person was not formally charged with an offense they could not be extradited to another country. The Assange case was pivotal in bringing about this legal revision yet he was prejudicially excluded. If the revised legal precedent were to have been applied to his case it would have allowed him to leave the UK but an exclusion clause was applied retrospectively. The UK actually delayed other EAW cases until the Assange matter was (pre-)determined then engineered a phrase to prevent Assange from benefitting. The Assange Exclusion clause limited the application of the revised law to ongoing or pending EAW cases and not those which had concluded/deemed “valid”. Had his case been addressed impartially his EAW case would have been determined based on the new legal precedent which considered proportionality (ie. UK will not extradite an un-charged person to another country especially when other methods of interview are available through Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) European protocols).

“The SC (Supreme Court) will know that the outcome will have an impact on numerous current pending EAW cases, no matter what. Cases are being adjourned regularly pending the outcome in Assange.” (Paul Close, CPS)

CONCLUSIONS

If the US had its way, Assange would have been extradited by UK authorities and transferred to US custody by now. But so far that hasn’t happened. Assange is now in a maximum security prison without the tools and access to persons to defend himself. He is among murderers, rapists, frauds and violent offenders. He is a nerd: a publisher, author, commentator, researcher and global teacher. The truth is Assange is not a fugitive. He is a mouse in a mouse trap; skilfully designed and set by UK and US authorities. He is a caged person, being held in inhumane, tortuous conditions like an exotic pet or a political trophy.

The UK contorted due process, rewrote laws, denied FOIA disclosures and prevented Assange from defending himself in Sweden or benefitting from revised laws in the the UK. Legal remedies for his case were exhausted but were done in such a manner as to undermine his access to justice. Therefore, the case is a political, not simply legal. Assange is a political prisoner. He is not a “fugitive of justice“, he is a victim of UK abuse of power. Assange had “reasonable cause” to enter Ecuador’s embassy as an asylee because he sought protection from inevitable extradition to the United States with a stop-over in Sweden.

“Assange has been kept like a caged exotic pet by the UK, likely on behalf of the US.” ~ Jude Fleming

The original EAW concerning him should have been dismissed as a political extradition, based on Section 13 of the UK Extradition Act which outlines conditions barring extradition of a person based on political opinions, but it was not. The United Nations condemned both Sweden and the UK for Assange’s prolonged arbitrary detention. The UK rejected the UN’s ruling, continues to flout his human rights and due process and insulted the UN’s expert panel. It conflated a minor bail infraction, he served a 50 week sentence and should have been released on bail September 2019.

Conflating bail breach is in keeping with the underhanded methods to strategically incapacitate Assange for an EAW which is no longer in effect for a non existent charge. Arbuthnot’s ruling juxtaposes a bail infraction with a man’s reasonable cause to fear for his life and liberty. Seeking asylum is not a crime. It was an inconvenience for the CPS. Arbuthnot’s ruling was an effort to reactivate an EAW that was formally withdrawn by Swedenyears ago.

In the words of Vivienne Westwood, the UK has abused its judicial powers in a “Mis-Rule of Law”, whereby the UK bent the normal application of law in order to exclude him from justice.

Assange was and is being given “special treatment” in the eyes of UK law which was adaptable and as fluid as a UK justice system would permit. Previous emails retrieved by Maurizi show that nothing about the case was/is typical and everything has been “done at break neck speed”. The UK has not applied law equally, fairly or without bias.

Assange is withstanding exponentially disproportionate punishment for allegations(s) which produced no charges or convictions. If this were a board game, it could be called:

Mis-Rule of Law, the Assange Edition.

It’s like playing a board game with a compulsive cheater who makes up the rules, subject to change on a whim, without notice but always in the favour of the cheater-liar. The UK’s consistent tactical approach has been to undermine Assange’s legal and human rights, wage a public relations campaign that put its conduct in a noble light and brands Assange as a cowardly criminal. Its histrionic disregard of the United Nations ruling is unpacked in full by Liora Lazarus.

IMPLICATIONS: Legal and Human Rights

Britain’s Supreme Court was weaponized to incapacitate Julian Assange. The political interference in the UK Judiciary is the direct cause of his current torture, lack of legal access and due process. Any condemnation or damage that arises from scrutiny of these emails is well-deserved. The UK’s international reputation and that of Her Majesty’s Government, (HMG) should not be more important than the life of a publisher and servant of the Global Public.

The UK has been caught in unethical and prejudicial behaviour toward Assange by pre-empting his extradition case resolution then excluding him from legal protections. Emails from Paul Close demonstrate the strategy for forcing Assange to stay in the UK. Delay the case. Prolong detention. Confuse the story. Coordinate press release with Sweden to advance a libellous version of events. Modify and improvise laws on an as-needed basis. Deny Assange any benefits that would logically apply to him after a law is revised. Every legal effort to challenge prejudicial treatment was sabotaged right up to the UK Supreme Court. Look again. Paul Close was quoting a source from higher up in the UK government below:

FURTHER QUESTIONS

Who was involved in the steering of the UK Supreme Court decision? Look at the email addresses in the above email. It was a “whole of government” effort to subvert justice: SOCA, Metropolitan Police in London, and FCO.

How intact is UK justice system? Can anyone trust UK justice now? Certainly not Assange nor his legal team. How far does UK CPS have to deviate from usual application of justice before it is glaringly obvious that it is no longer a legal deadlock but a political one requiring a political solution? It should also signal a pressing need for the UK to return to rule of law, due process, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence and restoration of Assange’s fundamental human rights.

Should the UK face criminal charges under the Conventions Against Torture which are litigated on an international basis? Yes.

In the battle for information, or control over it, Assange is a prime target for governments who want to restrict the public’s access. The culture of secrecy serves as an invisibility cloak for more abuse of power and corruption. Governments who oppose increased access to information have intentionally and strategically incapacitated Julian Assange for 10 years.

ASSESSING PRESENT DANGER

Assange’s greatest adversary is the US who wants to prosecute him for revealing materials which serve the public good but compromise official secrecy (of governments, corporations and persons). His work as a journalist, publisher, author and public speaker functions to empower those who need protection and challenge those with too much power who then abuse it. Consequently he is at the apex of US revenge operations. The US is a dangerous place for him. There is no limit to its appetite for power and dominance. US revenge fantasies would not be fulfilled were Assange to be killed; in order to exact the concentrated revenge the US Empire wants, it must comprehensively destroy him, his associates and his legacy. It must keep him alive so he can suffer under the full weight and strength of US “justice”. Assange had asylum in Ecuador’s embassy to protect him from being extradited to the US where it is certain his human and legal rights will be abused. The UK’s abuse of power thus far is but a mild foreshadow of what awaits him should he ever be extradited for prosecution in the US.

It is possible that the United States is exerting pressure on countries to cooperate with its goal to get him into custody to face US extradition and prosecution on US soil. The US may claim the “right to hot pursuit” with respect to Assange as a high priority target and coerce nations to manipulate their legal conduct to advance this goal. Based on the information in CPS / SPA emails it is possible that UK is exacting political revenge either independently or in concert with the US. It will go to almost any length to incapacitate Assange despite the fact that he had not been charged with any offence in any country up until May 2019. Let’s not forget the UK almost stormed the embassy to apprehend Assange. It was an overblown reaction given that he absconded bail, it was a police matter and should not have compromised the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic premises.

Given the UK’s treatment of the 2010 EAW against him it’s highly probable the US extradition proceedings would escalate to the Supreme Court and he would lose. Neither he, nor his legal team, nor global citizens can reasonably hope that any US extradition proceedings would be handled impartially. He has no basis to trust UK justice. He would eventually be extradited to the US based on a repeated version of “Misrule of Law”. He wouldn’t have a hope in hell: hellish incarceration, hellish torture and hellish US version of hellish corruption all delivered with hellish might.

The US Version of “Misrule of Law, Assange edition” would outshine the UK version with the power and polish of a seasoned, sociopathic military dictator.

NEXT STEPS FOR ENSURING JUSTICE FOR ASSANGE

  1. The UK must drop the extradition case against Assange. It is not obliged to enforce a politically motivated disproportionate legal request from the US which would certainly result in his death either in Belmarsh, on UK soil or in the U.S.. Assange must be released and granted safe passage. At the very least he must able to be granted bail with unimpeded legal and computer access.UK Courts must review earlier legal decisions and correct the record. No one is above the law, including UK Prime Ministers.

2. ASSANGE MUST BE AFFORDED THE COMPENSATION HE DESERVES.

UK and Swedish compensation must extend to: a. Assange’s family, who have suffered financially, physically and psychologically and b.Wikileaks as a media entity and not-for-profit public service publisher.

3. Initiate a Parliamentary Inquiry into the “Assange-exclusion clause” of the revised 2014 extradition law. The UK Supreme Court must review its final judgment and deem the EAW as invalid. Even though Sweden withdrew it, the historical record must be corrected at the highest level.

4. UK must issue a public and formal apology acknowledging misconduct and the tortuous harm it has caused. Without a public admission of fault, the reputation of the UK’s justice system will suffer more damage. A judicial review is in order and MP’s of UK Parliament might consider launching an inquiry to expose the abuses of power. It could also probe the waste of the public purse/taxpayer money spent to guard, investigate, litigate and harass Assange.

5. Assange might consider taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The appeal to UK’s Supreme Court had to do with the validity and legal standing of the EAW. Based on the evidence presented above, Assange could have the record corrected and be freed today.

6. File formal complaints to professional bodies that oversee the ethics and conduct of its members. Specifically, Paul Close needs to be disbarred from the legal profession. His role in the Assange case should be comprehensively studied and the UK Law Society should have an opportunity to assess the degree of malfeasance in his conduct.

7. Oversight: a. The UK’s FOIA needs serious scrutiny. The ICO must be compelled to release more documents pertaining to this case, particularly communications between the UK and the U.S.. If the UK’s Information Commission Office is not challenged then the FOIA process is degraded which is counterproductive to its professional purpose. Public authorities are habituating a reflex response of denying access to information which is contrary to genuine public interest. Reputation management concerns should not supersede citizens’ right to access material which is of public concern. b. The UK Supreme Court needs more oversight. Evidence hints that SC decisions were influenced by CPS misconduct, political and foreign influence. c. The UK CPS needs more oversight and persons responsible for unethical behaviour must face criminal consequences.

8. Australia should be actively executing his safe passage and repatriation now under protection, where he can receive urgent medical attention and spend time with family. It would be tragic if the only way that Assange could return to his homeland is in a coffin. He deserves a hero’s return.

“To waste another’s lifespan is the worst larceny.” ~ Jude Fleming

FINALLY

Britain has a Supreme Court scandal on its hands. How will it handle it? Thus far, the Information Commissioner’s Office has covered it up, withheld the truth and instrumentalized secrecy to detain and now torture Julian Assange. This must end immediately.

There is no doubt that Assange is a political hostage of the UK and the U.S. Global condemnation of the UK’s misconduct must be unified and unequivocal. Media organizations, journalism affiliates/committees, Amnesty, RSF, HRW and other human rights groups must increase awareness of this case in order to prevent it from happening to other journalists, publishers and activists. The world must condemn the targeted and protracted attack on Assange and Wikileaks. The only thing worse than the current situation would be if this information did not get the public and parliamentary scrutiny it deserves and Assange were extradited to the US predicated on blatant perversion of justice. Hit the streets in front of the UK Government offices and Belmarsh prison to demand that the UK free Assange immediately. His time has come.