For anyone who has followed the case of Julian Assange, the largely successful assassination of his character is no secret. The shameful roles played in that process by Swedish prosecutors, police, and mainstream media are also well known, having been documented as early as 2011.
The mistreatment of Julian Assange has now culminated in his captivity at Belmarsh, a top security prison in London, pending a judicial ruling on his extradition to the United States — by a judge who has repeatedly shown blatant hostility toward him.
As he himself has noted, Assange has not been targeted for illegally revealing government secrets, but for exposing government crimes. Should he be extradited, he will almost certainly be sentenced for up to 175 years in prison by a jury selected from the area around CIA headquarters in Virginia. In effect, he would be buried alive for the rest of his days.
But this goes far beyond the violation of one person’s fundamental rights. It also goes beyond the fact that Assange and Chelsea Manning — who supplied WikiLeaks with the classified information about crimes of the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan — are being treated as criminals in order to deter anyone else who might consider blowing the whistle on similar state crimes in the future.
As the renowned German journalist and activist Guenter Wallraff has warned: What is happening before our eyes is an attempt to eradicate all vestiges of international law and the exposure of its violation by a free press. Assange has been targeted to set a precedent and warn others that no one, anywhere in the world, is safe from the long arm of U.S. might.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted after World War II was intended to set limits on the conduct of nation states at home and internationally. Those limits include bans on harm to civilians in the course of war and the use of torture, the right of asylum, and respect for the integrity of citizens of all nations. A central task of Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, is to expose violations of those rights.
The limits imposed by the Declaration of Human Rights are at risk of being wiped out. It has now become that it is not criminal acts by nation states, but rather their exposure that are crimes. Thus, Australian citizen Julian Assange is abandoned by his own government. He is framed as a sex offender by Swedish officials, and monitored round the clock during his asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, by a Spanish security firm in the hire of the CIA. He is held in a prison reserved for Britain’s most dangerous criminals, subjected to a fraudulent extradition hearing, and expected to be handed over to the superpower whose war crimes and crimes against humanity he has exposed.
So, not only for the sake of Julian Assange, his partner and his two small children, but for our own sakes and for the future of humanity, he must be released immediately. He should be publicly rehabilitated and compensated for the physical and psychological abuse to which he has been subjected, as established by expert psychologists and confirmed by the U.N. Rapporteur on Torture.
Along with those in other ”free democracies”, Sweden’s mainstream media have maintained a shameful silence on most of this. It is up to us and the many other supporters of Julian Assange around the world to speak up.
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