Note: We are in no way whatsoever linked with Julian Assange, Wikileaks or any of their affiliates. This campaign is the sole initiative of our nonprofit organization. We aim to encourage people to join our movement, as we believe that this is the last chance to change the bleak fate of Julian Assange.
A year ago the U.S. and Swedish governments declared war on the people's right to hear the truth about what is being done on their behalf - with active complicity by the Australian and UK governments and with the passive complicity of the European Union. The aforementioned war was declared the moment a Swedish prosecutor used an EU tool, the European Arrest Warrant, against Julian Assange, the founder and leader of Wikileaks. Wikileaks is a not-for-profit organization that publishes documents from whistleblowers after carefully verifying their authenticity and predetermining their impact.
Since then Assange has been subjected to distasteful forms of character assassination and smear campaigns. Furthermore, he has endured calls for legal and extra-legal assassination, judicial harassment and detention. He is required to wear an electronic bracelet around his ankle for 24 hours a day and appear at precise time each morning at a police station several miles away from the site of his house arrest. This can be interpreted as a form of harassment or humiliation attempt.
Frequent condemnation appears not to have deterred those who wish to keep the crimes that Wikileaks are exposing secret from the world audience. These people enjoy, for the most part, impunity and the priviliges of high rank in U.S. political and corporate spheres. Denouncement and disavowal of these people have come from all sides – most notably in the from a Nobel nomination, to the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. Both of which served to recognize the efforts and achievements of Julian Assange.
As Assange himself said, if the U.S. administration opposes Wikileaks' work in exposing its wrongdoings and crimes, it shouldn't have perpetrated those crimes in the first place.
If no deterrance is afforded, the fate of Assange is clear: extradition to Sweden, where – regarding the close ties its political elite appear to maintain with the worst of U.S. political and military/industrial strongmen, in addition to the legal and basic human rights violations that have rigged his case so far – Assange cannot expect much in terms of fair trial. Sweden already wants him tried behind closed doors.
Virtually all legal options have been explored. The few left,such as an appeal to the British High Court which will be reviewed by the same judges who have rejected a previous appeal. This calls to mind the words of one of the world's greatest pacifists, Mahatma Gandhi. He said, "Civil disobedience is the assertion of a right which law should give, but which it denies."
We believe in the freedom of expression and the right to access information of public interest. For reasons cited here and in order to defend digital freedom at its most fundamental level, we are starting a peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that will work towards the goal of freeing Assange, and he and his team be freed from prosecution and persecution of any kind by any political or corporate entity.
We call on Wikileaks' and Julian Assange's supporters, as well as our own, to join our campaign. Furthermore, we hope to inspire the support of all those who felt shock, disbelief, shame and sadness at Assange's treatment during this last year.
March 28 2013, 01:20 p.m.: As we have said earlier, the truth will eventually come out, and time works against liars and shady proceedings.
After four years of a case that has gone nowhere, Eva Joly, the MEP, former investigative judge (most powerful position in France), and former presidential candidate, decided to publicly and strongly speak in defense of Assange whose human rights are beeing violated by the pending case in Sweden that has forced him to seek asylum and refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Yesterday Eva Joly held a press conference in Sweden, after she tried to meet the Justice Minister, the Head Prosecutor, and the prosecutor in charge of Assange's case Marianne Ny. All have declined to meet her, which, if you ask us, reveal a lot about their knowledge of the illegitimacy of the whole charade.
Below is the audio recording of the press conference.
A French translation of the press conference will also follow in the next hours.
And below is US Senator Dianne Feinstein's speech on how the CIA and other US agencies have gone rogue. How can you trust a country for holding fair trials of sensitive cases when its intelligence agencies work like states withing the state?
July 3 2013, 10:30 p.m.: We wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Julian Assange, who's unfortunately spending his second birthday inside the Ecuadorian embassy, and his third birthday in detention (he was in a virtual house arrest before getting in the embassy).
Despite his limited freedom he remains very active in among other things defending alleged Wikileaks source Bradley Manning and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Our friend and talented artist Basicregisters has made the following drawing to remind everyone to continue to See the world through the Wikiglasses:
July 1 2013, 08:30 p.m.: The PRISM scandal (about which Assange warned in his book Cypherpunks published in late 2012) is the perfect occasion to put the record straight and ask the EU Commission and EU governments (which have been targeted by the NSA's espionage) to profoundly review the EU's relationship with the US superpower.
To this end we have put online a petition, also demanding that the EU back-tracks from US-motivated or inspired engagements such as the European Arrest Warrant, which saw the light of the day in the wake of 9/11 and the US War On Terror propaganda campaign, and ended up persecuting innocents and petty thieves, and worse, journalists and freedom of speech activist like Assange. We also ask that the EU publicly condemns Bradley Manning's torture and unjust trial, and provides asylum to PRISM scandal whistleblower Edward Snowden.
June 30 2013, 10:15 p.m.: Watch Assange's latest interview, with ABC News' This Week show. Notice the hypocritical comment of Secretary of State John Kerry, who repeats the same scaremongering allegations (that proved unfounded) as the ones made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two and a half years ago.
June 23 2013, 09:00 p.m.: On the occasion of the first anniversary of Julian Assange's refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, our president Mehdi Taïleb has given a short interview to Voice of Russia's UK bureau. Read more.
June 16 2013, 08:00 p.m.: We're back after a long silence having been busy on another campaign, however our support to Assange and our intention to do everything so that he gets his freedom back have not waned the slightest! ;-)
Assange has found protection at the Ecuadorian embassy in London a year ago. A gathering is taking place outside the embassy to reaffirm support to him.
Unfortunately the lack of sun exposure seems to have induced in him vitamin D deficiency, which can be life-threatening as reminds us his mother Christine.
Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino has planned a visit to discuss again with the British foreign secrectary Assange's case in the hope of reaching an agreement.
December 18 2012, 11:45 p.m.: This week Wikileaks whistleblower and hero Bradley Manning celebrates his 25th birthday in a 939-day-and-counting detention while awaiting trial (legal maximum is 120 days!).
Our friend and talented artist Basicregisters made this art to remember how much Bradley has already sacrificed from his life-time for us to get indisputable proof of the crimes of the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also to learn the true face of US diplomacy:
December 18 2012, 11:25 p.m.: Playwright, novelist, feminist, and internet activist Meltem Arikan writes an open letter to Julian Assange (initially published on her website):
Be sure that Wikileaks has shown that all types of governments, whatever their political system, whether developed or underdeveloped, are corrupted. In Tunisia, Egypt and Libya with the help of published Wikileaks cables the people have crossed the border of fear and overthrew their dictators who were sometimes elected by their people in the name of democracy.
Never lose sight of the fact that Wikileaks' US Embassy cables published since November 2010 showed that there are contradictions between the public persona of the Western countries and what was spoken behind closed doors. If the governments, who get their powers from so-called democracy, hide truths from people, then we have the right to ask: “How can we trust and accept the concept of democracy anymore?”
During this transition period to the digital world, all these acts against Wikileaks and Julian Assange are, in a way, generated by the same mentality as the one that has been burning women as witches in the Middle Ages and Colonial America.
Julian Assange, I will always stand by you and support you and Wikileaks.
December 13 2012, 12:00 p.m.: For his sixth month's anniversary inside the Ecuadorian embassy, from which he is avoiding and fighting an illegitimate and politically motivated extradition request from Sweden, Assange will give a Christmas speech. It is important to show up en-masse! Bring ALL your friends! Details here.
October 12 2012, 11:45 p.m.: The publication by Wikileaks of US classified crimes and the resulting persecution of Assange and other Wikileaks-related individuals has exposed the deeply entranched and bold corruption of several governments worldwide, the most prominent being the Australian, the Swedish, and the British ones. We're going to explore over the next weeks cases other than Assange's showing how these governments have been versing into unacceptable violations of human rights, including of their own citizens, for the sole purpose of defending their private interests and those of the lobbies behind them, like the US superpower's foreign policy empire-building machinery.
We start today with the case of Australian citizen Shapelle Corby, who has received a twenty-year prison sentence in Indonesia while being clearly innocent, this in order to protect political interests of the Australian government. Watch the documentary below and find out more about the evidence of her innocence and of government manipulation on www.expendable.tv
October 3 2012, 11:00 a.m.: US elections are always won not by the candidate promising the best political program for the American citizens, but by the one getting the greatest support from lobbies, not least the security/surveillance lobby.
After being threatened again by the Pentagon, Wikileaks has decided to fight-back, and asks US citizens to cast the only vote that counts on election day: a vote for putting an end to mass-secrecy and lies.
Watch the Donate2012 video and get ready to massively boycott the US election and donate to Wikileaks.
September 1 2012, 10:20 p.m.: Watch the latest interview of Assange from inside the Ecuadorian embassy!
August 24 2012, 7:20 p.m.: Busted! Photos taken outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London show a restricted Metropolitan police briefing which reads:
"Brief - EQ. Embassy Brief Summary of current position Re: Assange. Action required Assange to be arrested under all circumstances. He comes out with dip[lomatic] immun[ity] as [dip[lomatic] bag in dip[lomatic] bag in dip[lomatic] vehicule ARRESTED."
"Discuss possibilities of distraction SS10 to liaise... provide additional support."
Photos taken by Press Association photographer Lewis Whyld (@LewisWhyld)
This means that the Metropolitan police had received orders to arrest Assange even if he was protected by diplomatic immunity. This confirms the UK's original intent to breach international law in order to get its hands on Assange.
August 21 2012, 2:40 p.m.: As UK police is continuing its intimidation of Ecuador and Assange by surrounding in large numbers the embassy, it is important to organize and prepare for a tit-for-tat move in case they raid-in: a massive invasion of UK embassies and diplomatic offices worldwide!
Here are some tips to prepare for a smooth occupation/disruption if the UK police invade the Ecuadorian embassy:
gather the people taking part to the occupation, brief them on the event's purpose, and gather and discuss ideas for having the highest impact while remaining peaceful,
prepare the material you need: cameras, posters (plenty can be found on Somersetbean's website and on this same page), masks... keep in mind that you will probably be subjected to a search before entering the premices, so don't make it obvious to the searching party that you're preparing something by appropriately covering your posters and material,
designate a role for everyone; there needs to be at least one person documenting the event and if possible broadcasting it live and another one tweeting it,
get inside the office pretending you have a (credible) business to conduct: get information, get a visa form, apply for a visa...
you need to get in one by one in order not to raise suspicion. Once inside don't show that you know each other,
once everyone is inside, at a previously agreed-on signal start the occupation/disruption peacefully while announcing it and mentioning clearly that this is a peaceful event, and say that it is in response to the illegal raiding of the Ecuadorian embassy and arrest of journalist Julian Assange,
get legal advice from your local occupy group: there certainly is a lawyer who provides free counsel. Present to him/her your planned action and follow his/her advice.
Here is an example of an occupation of a bank's HQ in Paris, France, where the occupiers dansed the sirtaki in support of the Greek people:
I am here because I cannot be closer to you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your resolve, and your generosity of spirit.
On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy, and the police descended on the building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it, and you brought the world´s eyes with you.
Inside de embassy, after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the buildings through the internal fire escape, but I knew that there would be witnesses. And that is because of you. If The UK did not throw away the Vienna Conventions the other night, that is because the world was watching.
The next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador, and how, in the morning, the sun came up on a different world, and courageous Latin American nation took a stand for justice.
And so, to those brave people. I thank President Correa for the courage he has shown in considering and granting me political asylum.
And so I thank the government, and the Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, who have upheld the ecuadorian Constitution and it´s notion of universal rights, in their consideration of my case. And to the ecuadorian people for supporting and defending this Constitution.
And I have debt of gratitude to the staff of this embassy, whose families live in London, and who have shown me hospitality and kindness despite the threats that they will received.
This friday there will be an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of Latin America in Washington DC, to address this situation.
And I am greatful to the people and governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, and to all of the other Latin American countries who have come to defend the rights to asylum.
To the people of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweeden and Australia, who have supported me in strenght, even when their governments have not. And those wiser heads in government who are still fighting for justice. Your day will come.
To the staff, supporters and sources of WikiLeaks, whose courage and commitment and loyalty has seen no equal.
To my family and to my children who have been denied their father. Forgive me. We wil be reunited soon.
As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression, and the health our societies.
We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America. Will it return to and reaffirm the values it was founded on? Or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world, in which journalists falls silent under the fear of prosecution, and citizens must whisper in the dark?
I say it must turn back. I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunting against WikiLeaks. United States must disolve is FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff, our supporters. The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.
There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organization, be it WikiLeaks or the New York Times.
The US administrations war on whistleblowers must end.
Thomas Drake, and William Binney, and John Kirakou and the other heroic US whistleblowers must-they must-be pardoned and compesated for the hardships the have endured as servants of the public record.
And the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), who was found by UN to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico (Virginia), and who has yet-after two years in prison-to see a trial, must be realeased.
And if Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all, and one of the world´s foremost political prisoners. Bradley Manning must be released.
On thursday, my friend, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to 3 years for a tweet.
On friday, a Russian band (Pussy Riot) were sentenced to 2 years in jail for a political performance.
There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.
August 17 2012, 12:50 a.m.: As you may already know by now Ecuador has accepted Assange's application for asylum! This is a huge victory not only for Assange: it opens a new era where small states will not fear to stand up to the US superpower's abuse of democracy and violation of international law and sovereignty of other states.
Below is a rough translation of the memoire sent by the UK authorities to the Ecuadorian Chancellor (source: Telegrafo):
• We are aware of and surprised by, the reports in the media over the last 24 hours, compared to that Ecuador would reach a decision and intends to grant asylum to Mr. Assange. • The reports quoted official sources. • We note that the President has not yet made a decision. • We are concerned, should be true of. this will undermine our efforts to agree a joint text setting out the positions of both countries, allowing Mr. Assange leave the Embassy. • As we have stated previously, we meet our legal obligations under the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant and Extradition Act 2003 (Extradition Act 2003), to arrest and extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden. We remain committed to working with you to resolve this matter amicably. But we must be absolutely clear that this means that if you receive a request for safe passage for Mr. Assange, after granting asylum, it refused to be in line with our legal obligations. • From this perspective, and given the statements of the last 24 hours, we hope that you are prepared to continue to carry out the current diplomatic discussions. We continue to believe that a solution is possible based on jointly agreed text, that would play with the departure of Mr. Assange of the Embassy, leading to his extradition. • We have another meeting (video conference) scheduled for Thursday August 16. Given the statements made yesterday in Quito, about an imminent decision, should we assume that this meeting be the last to agree to a joint text? • We reiterate that we consider the continued use of diplomatic facilities in this manner inconsistent with the Vienna Convention and unsustainable, and that we have clear dej ado the serious implications for our diplomatic relations. • They must be aware that there is a basis in the UK - the law on diplomatic and consular facilities in 1987 (Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987) - that would allow us to take action to arrest Mr. Assange in current facilities Embassy. • We sincerely hope not to have to get to this point, but if you can not resolve the issue of the presence of Mr. Assange in its facilities, this route est to open to us. • You understand the importance of the issues raised by Mr. Assange, and strong public pressure in Ecuador. But anyway we have to solve the situation on the ground, t here in the UK, in line with our legal obligations. We have strived to develop a joint text, to help meet their needs and concerns of presentation to the public. • We continue to believe that a joint text and a voluntary surrender by Mr. Assange is the best solution.
August 2 2012, 1:45 a.m.: After turning down Assange legal team's requests to interview him in London (even in the Swedish embassy), the Swedish authorities have now also turned down Ecuador's same request. Interview with Jennifer Robinson:
July 29 2012, 3:15 p.m.: The London olympics have just started and yet the UK is already the clear winner of the gold medal for most failing justice system: today Julian Assange sadly celebrates his 600th day of detention WITHOUT CHARGE!
July 28 2012, 2:45 a.m.: NEW EVENT IN LONDON on Sunday 29 July 2012: Join other Assange and Wikileaks supporters at Kennington Park where an event is organizer for the Ecuadorian community by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Sport.
July 25 2012, 5:00 a.m.: Must-watch documentary by ABC's 4Corners, going especially through the details of Sweden's case against Assange.
July 22 2012, 10:30 p.m.: New video from CaTV: What can Assange offer Ecuador? by Fred Fuentes
July 19 2012, 11:00 a.m.: Wikileaks circumvents Visa and Mastercard blockade thanks to the French Carte Bleue system: it's now easy again to donate to Wikileaks and help them defend themselves and keep publishing!
July 15 2012, 3:30 p.m.: Still having doubts about the existence of a secret Grand Jury designed to incriminate Assange with trumped-up espionnage charges? Bradley Manning Support Network co-founder David House just published his notes of this secret Grand Jury:
Record of proceedings
As recorded by David House
Grand Jury, Alexandria VA
15 June 2011, 4:10pm to 5pm
Inside the Grand Jury:
DOJ Counterespionage Section: Attorney Patrick Murphy *
Eastern District of Virginia: AUSA Tracy McCormick
Eastern District of Virginia: AUSA Karen Dunn
Unspecified number of Grand Jurors
Directly outside the Grand Jury:
Mike Condon, FBI Agent from Washington, D.C. field office
James Farmer, Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D. Mass
Peter Krupp, David House’s attorney
Record begins: 4:10pm
[David House is sworn in and informed of his rights]
Patrick Murphy: Would you please state your full name for the record?
David House: My name is David House.
PM: Did you meet Bradley Manning in January 2010?
DH: On the advice of counsel, I invoke my right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. I am concerned that this grand jury is seeking information designed to infringe or chill my associational privacy, and that of others, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and that it is using information obtained without a search warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. I define the preceding statement as “invoke”, and when I say “I invoke” in the future I am referring to this statement.
Deborah Curtis: Exhibit 1-A?
PM: Mr. House, please direct your attention to the screen behind you, exhibit 1-A.
DC: I can’t make it bigger.
PM: Try… here, remove that bar on the side.
DC: That didn’t work.
DH: Do you guys need help?
DC: We just need to make it bigger. Can everyone see this okay?
PM: Ok… we’re going to continue.
[A still image from the Frontline PBS special is displayed on the screen. Four figures are standing in front of the BUILDS logo, one figure has her back turned.]
PM: Mr. House, can you identify the man on the right?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Can you identify the man standing second from right?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Ok, can you identify the person with bright-colored hair, standing here?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Are we to believe that identifying that individual would somehow incriminate you?
DH: On the advice of counsel, I invoke my right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. I am concerned that this grand jury is seeking information designed to infringe or chill my associational privacy, and that of others, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and that it is using information obtained without a search warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
PM: Ok, can you identify the man on the left?
PM: I would like to observe for the record that Mr. House is taking notes.
DH: As to the previous question, I invoke.
PM: Why are you taking notes?
Bob Wiechering: I’d like to recommend, at this point, that we take a break and talk to your counsel.
[AUSAs and House leave the grand jury]
[Peter Krupp, House’s attorney, asserts House’s right to invoke]
[AUSAs and House return to the grand jury]
PM: What is your birthdate?
DH: March 14, 1987
PM: Where do you live?
DH: Can you restate the question?
PM: What is your address?
DH: I invoke.
PM: What is your current occupation?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Were you a senior in computer science at Boston University in January 2010?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Isn’t it true that you told PBS Frontline that you were a senior at Boston University in January 2010?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Do you know what a hackerspace is?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Do you know what BUILDS is, the acronym?
DH: I invoke.
Bob Wiechering: Mr. House, I notice you are taking notes. Attempting to create your own transcript is a violation of rule 6(e) of this grand jury. We have brought this to the attention of your counsel, and although he feels differently on the matter, we assert that you must stop taking notes at this time.
DH: Let me consult with my attorney.
[House leaves the grand jury room and returns one minute later]
DH: My lawyer asks that you refer all questions about notes to him.
BW: Let’s continue.
PM: Mr. House, are you involved with the Bradley Manning Support Network?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Did you respond in the affirmative when asked by the FBI if you had heard of known WikiLeaks associate Jacob Appelbaum?
PM: I would like to state for the record that Mr. House is not answering the question and is instead taking notes.
DH: I invoke.
PM: Do you intend to answer any of my questions, aside from your date of birth and your name?
DH: I invoke.
PM: Is that because of the phalanx of attorneys present here today?
Court Stenographer: I’m sorry, the what of attorneys?
PM: Phalanx… the phalanx of attorneys.
DH: As to the phalanx of attorneys, I invoke.
PM: At this time, I will let Deborah Curtis ask a few questions.
DC: Mr. House, have you ever been to the Oxford Spa restaurant in Cambridge, MA?
DH: Allow me to consult with my attorney.
[House leaves the grand jury and returns one minute later.]
DH: As to the previous question, I invoke.
DC: You admitted to federal agents in Boston that you had met Bradley Manning in January 2010, is that correct?
DH: I invoke.
DC: Isn’t it true that you spent the night of January 27 2010 with Daniel Clark and Bradley Manning?
DH: Can you repeat the question?
DC: Isn’t it true that you spent the night of January 27 2010 with Daniel Clark and Bradley Manning?
DH: One more time.
DC: Isn’t it true that you spent the night of January 27 2010 with Daniel Clark and Bradley Manning?
PM: He’s writing it down.
DC: Are you getting this, are you writing it all down?
DH: Was the last question a question to be answered?
DH: I invoke.
DC: And the question before?
DH: I also invoke.
DC: Where did Danny Clark have breakfast on the morning of January 28, 2010?
DH: Allow me to consult with my attorney.
[House leaves the grand jury and returns one minute later.]
DH: As to the previous question, I invoke.
DC: Do you intend to answer any questions about Daniel Clark?
DC: Do you intend to answer any questions about Bradley Manning?
DH: [Writing] Could you please repeat the question?
DC: Do you intend to answer any questions about Jacob Appelbaum?
DH: I invoke.
DC: At this time, we’d like to stop the proceedings. You are free to leave.
July 14 2012, 10:35 p.m.: In London? Join the Friends of Wikileaks and show support to Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorean embassy, starting from 10 a.m.!
The embassy is located here:
Closest underground station is Knightsbridge (on Piccadilly Line).
June 21 2012, 11:15 p.m.: Today we sent the following letter to her excellency Mrs Anna Alban, Ecuador's ambassador to the UK:
Two days ago, journalist and human rights activist Julian Assange applied for political asylum at your embassy, after he exhausted all British legal options to fight extradition to Sweden.
Mr Assange fears he will not be given a fair trial by the Swedish authorities, and all indicators point in that direction.
The Swedish prosecutor behind the case, Marianne Ny, has consistently refused to interview him through standard Mutual Legal Assistance protocols agreed between Sweden and the UK such as using video-conferencing or even interviewing him inside the Swedish embassy in London. She insists on extraditing him although he has not been charged with any crime, in Sweden or elsewhere. An extradition in this case would consequently not be proportional and would violate Mr Assange's basic rights, knowing that he has already been under virtual house arrest for 560 days without charge. Such obstinacy strongly suggests that the case built against him has nothing but a political motivation behind it, and mixing politics with justice often results in human rights violations.
Another aspect of Mr Assange's case is that his government, the Australian government, has completely failed to provide him with adequate assistance and refuses to seek any assurances that his rights will be protected if he is extradited to Sweden. The reason behind this failure remains subject to speculation but nonetheless the facts are here. Even worse, the head of the Australian government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has falsely stated in the media that he had broken the law by publishing the WikiLeaks 2010 releases, without anything to substantiate such a claim. She was forced to retract her comments but failed to apologize, which indicates a certain hostility towards Mr Assange. This hostility might explain the later neglect and indifference to carrying out the Australian government’s duty to protect him.
Mr Assange is a prominent journalist who has been awarded the highest distinctions for his work with WikiLeaks and for his courage. The (Australian) Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism is one such example. Through his work with WikiLeaks, Mr Assange has on several occasions put his life at risk by publishing information that was kept secret when it was clearly in the public interest to know about it. His purpose has always been to give back power to the oppressed, by increasing the quantity and quality of information available to the public, all done with a scientific approach and a strong sense of responsibility. As a consequence, WikiLeaks' publishing record remains unscathed since its inception in 2006.
Wikileaks is recognized for having strongly advanced the democratic cause worldwide. Its contribution to the Arab Spring is not denied even by its enemies. We are at a moment in history when choices we make will more than ever shape our future, and Mr Assange is clearly on the right side of history.
Your country, Mistress Ambassador, has suffered from abuse from an oligarchical power base in its recent history. It bears more than many others the fresh marks of illegitimate interests who wanted to violate its sovereignty and remove the dignity of its people. We are sure, Mistress Ambassador, that your country will be able to recognize the importance of this moment in history and make the right choice in the name of what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stands for, and in the name of its now proudly recovered national sovereignty.
Believe me, my dear Ambassador
For Liberté-info (non-profit organization)
June 21 2012, 7:45 p.m.: Ecuador's decision regarding Assange's application for political asylum expected in just a few hours! Meanwhile here are two recent videos reminding what's at stake:
June 18 2012, 6:40 p.m.: Everyone, send this updated letter to David Cameron (see also the accompanying letter to the Queen), via snail mail, which needs more processing and will have a higher impact. If you are not in the UK you can also send this letter, it will show how much international attention the treatment of Assange is bringing to the UK!
(Letter to David Cameron)
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister
I write regarding the situation of Julian Assange- a journalist that has been detained here in the UK under house arrest for over 550 days and who, on the 14th June 2012, lost an appeal made to the UK Supreme Court against a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Swedish Judicial Authority. He is currently awaiting extradition to Sweden between the dates of June 29th and July 8th 2012. He has not been charged with any crime.
I am deeply troubled by the decision of the UK Supreme Court and am appealing to you to override the court’s decision and halt the extradition process. In your role as Prime Minister of our country you have the means to assert parliamentary sovereignty in this instance and I urge you to exercise this right. You have further means to selectively bar the application of European Law in the UK.
I make this urgent request to you with numerous concerns about the ruling of the UK Supreme Court. I request that you take some time to consider the following resources in order to acquaint yourself with the controversy surrounding this case: http://wlcentral.org/node/2630 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/05/back-inbusiness/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
I am aware Home Secretary Theresa May wishes to offload the legal and human rights responsibilities of her office as regards extradition entirely into the hands of the judiciary. This case is a perfect illustration of why that is such a bad idea; Ms May’s plan too subverts the primacy of Parliament and “fails to understand the nature of extradition… Extradition is diplomatic in the first instance. It becomes judicial and ultimately it is political.” Sir Menzies Campbell MP http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?gid=2011-11-24a.165.1
There are numerous instances where the case against Julian Assange has been in breach of the Human rights Act (1998). For example, under Article 6 (the right to a fair trial) Mr Assange should have been entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal. Julian Assange spent 5 weeks in Sweden following the complaints made against him and offered himself for questioning. He has also offered to speak with officials regarding the case from where he is now situated in the UK. Despite this, the Judicial Authority of Sweden has declined any opportunity to make reasonable contact with Mr Assange. Denying this has led to an unreasonable delay in the resolution of the case- a delay where the agitation against Julian (and sustained misreporting in the media) would make it impossible for any court to remain unbiased. Importantly, it also dismisses the rights of the two complainants involved; if their welfare was genuinely at the fore of this case every effort should have been made to question Julian Assange when he presented himself for these purposes while still in Sweden.
It is critical to note that the allegations against Mr Assange have NOT been brought by the female complainants; the allegations have been levelled by the Swedish State. That was the whole point of his Supreme Court appeal. The women are as much victims of the Swedish State as Mr Assange himself is, as they went to police for advice about HIV testing and have publicly stated that he is not violent and they did not wish to file a complaint. One of the women has stated she felt “railroaded” by police and did not sign her witness statement, which was later amended by a politician acting as the women’s lawyer (see http://wlcentral.org/node/1418 ). After reviewing the police file, a senior Stockholm prosecutor dismissed all the allegations bar one (non-extraditable) molestation offence for further investigation, then closed the case entirely.
There is a suspicion among people I’ve spoken to that long-promised extradition reform is being delayed until after Mr Assange has left these shores, perhaps because of this http://www.scribd.com/doc/81571864/Feb12FOICase20979Reply , which shows high-level US involvement in the Scott Baker extradition review – itself suffering from excessive secrecy (along with other FOI requests concerning Mr Assange, which have all been denied). What good will reform do at that stage if, thanks to the Supreme Court verdict in his case, anything Parliament enacts in future is deemed automatically superseded by the European Civil Law system?
I will be asking my local MP to sign Caroline Lucas’ Early Day Motion 128 (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/128 ) calling for an end to these delays to urgent extradition reform, a halt to all US extraditions meanwhile, and the publication of the Baker Review evidence.
The Swedish investigating prosecutor Marianne Ny has publicly stated: “The detention time can itself be used as punishment if the offender subsequently is not convicted.” This is in clear breach of Article 7 of the Human rights Act- that there should be no punishment without law. I wish to draw your attention back to the fact that Mr Assange has been held under house arrest for over 550 days. He has not been charged with any crime. He is wanting for questioning regarding allegations for which he had made numerous attempts to answer. Despite nearly two years of requests to be interviewed, the Swedish prosecutor refuses to use standard Mutual Legal Assistance channels to question Mr Assange in the UK, without giving any reason. The Swedish authorities say they are seeking to extradite him for questioning and yet it’s the one thing they seem least keen on doing.
Swedish media are trying to assert that the reason Mr Assange must be extradited now is because Swedish law dictates that someone must be on Swedish soil in order for formal charges to be laid. But it is also true under Swedish law that a prosecutor cannot take the decision to charge until the preliminary investigation and all questioning therein has been completed. In having already taken the decision to charge Mr Assange, Marianne Ny is breaking Swedish law. It is intolerable that in a case such as this that an investigating prosecutor would decide to charge before even hearing one side's version of events. This is what the UK's Supreme Court has now allowed to be called an impartial 'judicial authority' and is a contradiction of intent on behalf of the investigating prosecutor. It cannot be allowed to stand.
It is time for Britain to formally request that Sweden does what it claims it wants to do: question him – here, on British soil – before we start dismantling Britain’s Common Law justice system in order to facilitate the extradition of one man. I ask that this formal request be lodged with the Swedish Ambassador as a matter of urgency.
The shadow hanging over this whole case from the very beginning, of course, is the looming threat of Mr Assange’s extradition to the US, which would like to see him prosecuted for espionage for his journalistic activities. This can be facilitated very easily through Sweden’s “temporary surrender” arrangements in its bilateral treaty with the US, a clause not available in Britain’s own US treaty.
Whatever your opinion towards the work of Julian Assange and that of his organisation WikiLeaks you, as our Prime Minister, are held in account to the ways in which this case reflects the vulnerabilities of our UK legal system. This case can be read as one highlighting the weakness of the UK to uphold the human rights of those that reside here. Not one of us residing in the UK should feel comfortable with these processes. Should you refuse to make a stand in this case you must hold yourself accountable in allowing for the provision of unjust and unconstitutional proceedings under your governmental term.
As the extradition of Mr Assange looms nearer I must insist on an urgent response from you on this matter. I request:
a statement in response to the issues I raise, clearly indicating your position on this matter and intended response
that you assert the right to parliamentary supremacy and override the decision of the UK Supreme Court in upholding the EAW issued by Sweden
that you formally lodge a request with the Swedish Ambassador to question Mr Assange while he resides here in the UK
that you initiate a review, as a matter of urgency, of UK extradition law
I await your response,
cc Her Majesty The Queen
(Letter to the Queen)
Her Majesty The Queen
London SW1A 1AA
I write to draw your attention to a most urgent concern. I have enclosed a copy of a letter sent today to Prime Minister David Cameron. I feel the issues raised in my letter are of sufficient seriousness that they must be brought to your attention.
I thank you for your time and consideration regarding the enclosed letter.
June 14 2012, 12:40 a.m.: UK Surpeme Court rejected Assange's submission to reopen the case and challenge the point on which the court based its decision. This open the way for the his extradition, unless he applies for an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights and his application is accepted. Click here for more.
Assange's extradition and the possible subsequent ill-treatments of his person will only serve as proof to more people that his cause is just, and will reveal for those still doubting how far some private interests are willing to go to make him pay for his journalistic and pro-transparency activities.
We remain more than ever supportive of Assange and Wikileaks, and will keep on pushing for justice to be made on all sides. We still believe that this fight is the most important one for the future of democracy, both in the cyber-space and the physical space.
June 12 2012, 3:15 a.m.: How is it like to have a relative (a son in this case) held in a US legal limbo? Bev Hicks, David Hicks' mother, testifies.
June 11, 2012, 10:00 a.m.: Note: We've removed from this page the files who's author or source is engaging in a smear campaign against us and Wikileaks. Those accusations are poorly designed and don't fool many. Note that this same person sent us in the past artwork related to Wikileaks, and is now saying that we "pirated" her files, whatever that means (we always mention the sources and artists of artwork we publish).
June 8, 2012, 7:50 p.m.: Avaaz petition: tell the EU Parliament that you don't want to see the EU complicit in unlawfully violating Assange's human rights and getting him to the United States where an unfair trial plus possible extra-judicial actions await him.
June 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m.: Submitted by anonymous: New action!
Copy this letter to your MP and tell them that you would like the issues it mentions to be raised during Prime Minister’s Question Time.
OPEN LETTER TO UK PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON ABOUT ASSANGE EXTRADITION
By post: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Dear Prime Minister,
I have been discussing the recent Supreme Court Assange extradition verdict with friends, work colleagues and neighbours and want to share with you how ordinary British voters view its implications.
The Supreme Court judgment is stunning in its overreach. It has effectively annulled parts of the UK Extradition Act 2003 and undermined Parliamentary sovereignty, on the basis that Parliament was misled or that it didn’t know what it was doing when drafting the Act. Here’s a good article explaining what’s wrong better than I can. Here's another (read the comments for a flavour of how UK citizens view what’s just happened). As I understand it, the judges say the decision to implement a treaty overrides any intention Parliament had to vary its terms (ie the 2003 Act), based on an obscure clause of the 1957 Vienna Convention not discussed during the appeal hearing. Oh, and that French is now the ‘preferred’ language of our courts.
At the heart of the matter is where the legal sovereignty to enact the laws which affect the British nation lies. The EU Framework Directive on which our UK Extradition Act is based says that every Member State has the right to choose whom they call a ‘judicial authority’ – except the UK, it now seems. We would say ‘a judge’ under our Common Law system, but the Supreme Court disagrees and says the European Civil Law system takes precedence over ours.
We’ve been told that a successful appeal by Mr Assange would throw the EU justice system into turmoil as 11 Member States use prosecutorial figures in some form of judicial capacity, but I believe there are only 2 out of the 47 Member States where there is no proper separation between executive and judiciary and prosecutors are part of the executive (Sweden being one of them), a point of Mr Assange’s appeal which seems to have received little attention in the judgment. To jettison 800 years of Common Law legal heritage – solely to avoid inconveniencing two European Member States – would, at one point, have required the agreement of the nation in a referendum. In fact, in light of this judgment, a referendum now on extradition reform would be a very good – and popular – idea.
In view of the above, I sincerely hope this case is re-opened – and not via written submissions studied behind closed doors, but in a full hearing televised by the Supreme Court so that the British public can see what is happening to a law which Parliament had intended would protect their rights.
I am aware Home Secretary Theresa May wishes to offload the legal and human rights responsibilities of her office as regards extradition entirely into the hands of the judiciary. This judgment is a perfect illustration of why that is such a bad idea; Ms May’s plan too subverts the primacy of Parliament and “fails to understand the nature of extradition… Extradition is diplomatic in the first instance. It becomes judicial and ultimately it is political.” Sir Menzies Campbell MP
There is a suspicion among people I’ve spoken to that long-promised extradition reform is being delayed until after Mr Assange has left these shores, perhaps because of this, which shows high-level US involvement in the Scott Baker extradition review – itself suffering from excessive secrecy (along with other FOI requests concerning Mr Assange, which have all been denied). What good will reform do at that stage if, thanks to the Supreme Court verdict in his case, anything Parliament enacts in future is deemed automatically superseded by the European Civil Law system?
I will be asking my local MP to sign Caroline Lucas’ Early Day Motion 128 calling for an end to these delays to urgent extradition reform, a halt to all US extraditions meanwhile, and the publication of the Baker Review evidence.
The allegations against Mr Assange have NOT been brought by the women; the allegations have been levelled by the Swedish State. That was the whole point of his Supreme Court appeal. The women are as much victims of the Swedish State as Mr Assange himself is, as they went to police for advice about HIV testing and have publicly stated that he is not violent and they did not wish to file a complaint. One of the women has stated she felt “railroaded” by police and did not sign her witness statement, which was later amended by a politician acting as the women’s lawyer. After reviewing the police file, a senior Stockholm prosecutor dismissed all the allegations bar one (non-extraditable) molestation offence for further investigation, then closed the case entirely.
The case was re-opened by a politician (same one) campaigning during an election to expand Sweden’s sex crime laws and passed by him to an investigating prosecutor in another jurisdiction. That investigating prosecutor has publicly stated: “The detention time can itself be used as punishment if the offender subsequently is not convicted.” You may wish to read that sentence again. Yes, that’s right, punishment instead of conviction. Is this the level of ‘judicial impartiality’ the British public is expected to accept from now on? Ms Ny’s comment reads more like self-appointed judge, jury and executioner to me. I thought we disapproved of that sort of thing in the UK.
People ask “If he’s innocent, what’s he afraid of? Why doesn’t he go to Sweden to clear his name?” without realising that the only venue being offered to argue his innocence is incommunicado solitary confinement under Sweden’s heavily criticised pre-trial detention regime. Despite nearly two years of requests to be interviewed, the Swedish prosecutor refuses to use standard Mutual Legal Assistance channels to question Mr Assange in the UK, without giving any reason. The Swedish authorities say they are seeking to extradite him for questioning (there are no charges) and yet it’s the one thing they seem least keen on doing.
It is time for Britain to formally request that Sweden does what it claims it wants to do: question him – here, on British soil – before we start dismantling Britain’s Common Law justice system in order to facilitate the extradition of one man. I ask that this formal request be lodged with the Swedish Ambassador as a matter of urgency.
Or do you agree that a foreign prison cell is the only suitable place for someone to answer an investigating prosecutor’s questions about not using a condom during consensual sexual encounters? Because if you agree that for Mr Assange then, due to the precedents set by his case, you agree it for us all, and for the next set of McCanns labelled arguidos by a European investigating prosecutor.
The shadow hanging over this whole case from the very beginning, of course, is the looming threat of Mr Assange’s extradition to the US, which would like to see him prosecuted for espionage for his journalistic activities. This can be facilitated very easily through Sweden’s “temporary surrender” arrangements in its bilateral treaty with the US, a clause not available in Britain’s own US treaty. Some of us see that shadow again in the announcement a few days before the Supreme Court’s judgment was due that the US Secretary of State would be visiting Sweden four days after the verdict, for the first time in 36 years – “a very long time” as Swedish FM Carl Bildt proudly tweeted (and I hope the Supreme Court’s communications system doesn’t fall within the ambit of the government’s forthcoming total surveillance for intelligence services bill).
For how much longer can Britain’s senior politicians remain wilfully blind to that shadow when it is becoming more and more visible to their constituents and there is justifiable anger that so many of our rights are being thrown away in subservience to it?
Please answer the questions raised in this letter. You are the Prime Minister. You are expected to care about the laws Parliament enacts to protect the legal rights of people in this country.
June 2, 2012, 6:50 p.m.: Why it is not surprising that Julia Gillard hates Julian Assange:
June 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m.: Nicely edited video of the Melbourne rally to support Assange!
June 2, 2012, 12:30 a.m.: The videos below show the May 31 protest that took place at the Department if Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Sydney, after the UK Supreme Court announced its decision to reject Assange's appeal (although it has accepted to give is councellor two weeks to present an argument against this decision). In the first video appears former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks, who had also been abandonned by the Australian government, which akes him speak from experience.
Do you have videos or pictures of your protests? Send them to us, we'll publish them here.
May 30, 2012, 11:50 p.m.: Two videos to watch, the first one from Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman interviewing Helena Kennedy, a consultant with Julian Assange's legal team; and just below the latest Rap News clip!
Fight for Assange continues, at this very moment protests are taking place
in several cities. Join or organize one!
May 30, 2012, 11:30 a.m.: This morning the UK Supreme Court has ruled against Assange's appeal. This creates a precedent and opens the possibility for any executive branch-related police or justice entity to extradite a EU resident to another EU country even without sufficient proof, just with accusations.
April 28, 2012, 11:00 p.m.: Holocaust survivor Andrew Partos on how the Australian government is not fulfilling its duty to protect Assange, plus its possible implication in the extra-legal Mastercard blockade against Wikileaks:
April 20, 2012, 12:30 p.m.: Today marks Assange's 500th day of detention.
Time to reflect on his true status.
Why Julian Assange is the first international prisoner of conscience
The notion of prisoner of conscience was first coined by an English lawyer, Peter Benenson, who grew tired of the fact that individuals persecuted and silenced because their beliefs were deemed unacceptable by their governments weren't designated by a proper term, which would reflect their particular situation. The first step of recognizing something is to give it a name.
In 1961, Benenson initiated a world campaign, “Appeal for Amnesty”, and in order to promote his idea he wrote a long article (“The Forgotten Prisoners”) which started by citing the articles 18 and 19 of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that deal with freedom of thought, of opinion, and of expression. This declaration was adopted in 1948 by 48 (easy to remember) members of the General Assembly, including, of course, the United States. A few members abstained, like the USSR, the Byelorussian SSR, and Saudi Arabia.
Benenson's movement eventually gave birth to the NGO Amnesty International (AI), which aims to prevent human rights abuses and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated. In his founding article, Benenson defines prisoners of conscience as:
“Any person who is physically restrained (by imprisonment or otherwise) from expressing (in any form of words or symbols) any opinion which he honestly holds and which does not advocate or condone personal violence. We also exclude those people who have conspired with a foreign government to overthrow their own.”
It is pretty clear and concise, and general enough to prevent loopholing. There is the notion of restriction from expression, through limited movement, limited communication means, isolation... etc ; the one of honest opinion, which can refer to anything from political opinion to religious or personal belief ; and the notion of (non)violence, which can be taken in all its forms, like verbal or physical. Plus the 'no conspiracy' condition. Now let's see if Julian Assange, who is today 'celebrating' his 500th day of detention (a virtual house arrest actually, after ten days of solitary confinement), fits into the profile of a prisoner of conscience according to Benenson, and if yes, is there anything more particular about his case.
In his youth, Assange was part of of the cypher-punk movement, which holds as a philosophy the protection of individual freedom through cryptography, that is the strong encryption of communication between individuals. He wrote several articles on the topic to defend this idea. This led him later to be involved in Wikileaks, which is a publishing organization that provides an anonymous electronic drop-box (making use of encryption technology) for whistleblowers holding material of political, ethical, or historical significance, and promises to publish the material with the highest impact. That is for the belief, that no one can doubt or deny.
Regarding nonviolence, and when looking at the false accusations that already targeted him, if Assange had shown any form of it, no matter how small, several jurisdictions would have jumped at the occasion and charged him with an offense. However to this day he hasn't been charged with anything, anywhere. Assange has clearly and consistently been defending his ideas and beliefs with the exclusive use of nonviolence.
Add to that the obvious fact that Assange didn't conspire with a foreign government to overthrow his (the Australian one). Like his counsellor Jennifer Robinson said he has been accused of anything from being anti-semitic to being a Mossad agent .
So the four Benenson conditions seem to be satisfied. Assange IS a prisoner of conscience.
Then why doesn't Amnesty International enlist him as a prisoner of conscience? In 2009, when Assange was relatively low profile (compared to since 2010), he received the Amnesty International Media Award. But no major reaction from AI since Wikileaks publishes very embarrassing US-related documents.
If you look Assange's name on their website, you will find a first page which has apparently been posted on December 9 2010 (two days after Assange voluntarily surrendered to the UK police) which sums up quite well the facts and the stakes, with some understandable reservations as investigations were underway.
The other page (most likely posted around mid-2011) presents the organization's 2011 Annual Report. The paragraph mentioning Assange says:
“As we have seen before, the desire to publicize information, if not balanced against individual rights, can lead to problems of its own. In August, two women filed criminal complaints against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, under the Swedish sexual offenses act. Hackers published the names and identities of the women who had been vilified in the media as stooges of the US and Swedish governments. This demonstrates that in the new virtual universe women continue to be treated as pawns – or even worse – as acceptable collateral damage. To be clear, the women deserve to have their complaints fully investigated and if there is sufficient evidence, to see the alleged perpetrator prosecuted. Julian Assange must be accorded the presumption of innocence and given due process protections and a fair trial.”
One can only be surprised at the fact that most of the paragraph is dedicated only to the two women who filed complaints (although only one should be considered, since the other one refused to sign her statement when she understood that she was being railroaded by the Swedish police and justice) and whose names have been exposed (note that their names should have remained protected, however this disclosure has allowed the establishment of their affiliation with members of the judiciary and the political class who are heavily involved in Assange's case, and have their personal agenda). Not a single word on the leaking of harmful and false information (like the 'rape charge' allegation) to the media by the Swedish prosecution and police on the ongoing investigation, which violated Assange's right for privacy. Nor on the calls for assassination from US and Canadian 'experts', politicians, and media hacks.
It seems that Amnesty International is trying to avoid the subject, and mentions Assange just enough for posture. Too bad, as it might suggest that AI's mission does have a limit after all.
Now what is specific about Assange's 'prisoner of conscience' case? Let's see how many governments or political entities have tried and are still trying to silence him, as well as Wikileaks that he represents:
The United States government: at a national level, a secret Grand Jury was set up to 'deal' with Assange's case, and the latest Stratfor emails revelations show that a secret indictment has been issued against him already in early 2011. This indictment will most likely be used at the right moment in order to capture Assange and stip him of his fundamental freedoms (not to mention the possibility of torture, or organized assassination or suicide). On an international level, the US government seems to have dictated new laws to other states in order to help it get Assange on its territory: the extradition procedures of those countries. This extra-legal influence took place in Australia (cf.the Wikileaks Amendment), in the UK, whereas in Sweden there was already an efficient bilateral extradition treaty in place,
Sweden's government: the radical-feminist-fueled allegations against Assange were a unique and unexpected chance for the democratically elected Swedish government to please its mentor and only master: the US administration. To the point that the Swedish Primer Minister himself as well as the prosecutor general launched direct attacks on Assange and Wikileaks. The Swedish government has already planned a behind-closed-doors trial for Assange in case he sets foot in Sweden. His detention conditions would involve isolation, incommunicado. With his lawyer gagged from talking to the public about the evidence. Then few people doubt that he would be extradited to the US, where he would be silenced for a long time. Yes it sounds more like Saudi Arabia, but that's the reality of Sweden today,
The United Kingdom: after the issuing of the Red Notice Interpol arrest warrant against him (note that Gaddafi who had just bombed his people with fighter jets got only an Orange Notice arrest warrant; Assange got the Red Notice while charged with nothing), Assange went voluntarily into custody (in the UK where he was). He was immediately put in solitary confinement for 10 days in a maximum security unit of Wandsworth prison; was that all really necessary? After his release on bail, he has been put under virtual house arrest, and has to wear since an electronic tag and must report to the nearest police station daily. This sounds like overdoing, and may suggest an intention of harassment. Now more generally speaking, an FOI request shows that the extradition review panel that was appointed by the Home Secretary in 2011 failed to make public the results of the public consultation over the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the UK/US extradition treaty, and the enactment of Forum – that's a strong suggestion that these objections weren't going to be considered - while in the same time going all the way to the US to meet US Attorney General Eric Holder, his team, and State Department officials. The goal of this trip seems quite clear: to write down the new British extradition policy as dictated by the US government, which is very likely to be tailor-made in order to get Assange on US soil,
Australia (his home-country): last but not least, the Oz government has also taken part to the toxic smear campaign against its own citizen Assange, for instance when Prime Minister Julia Gillard wrongly but intentionally said he has broken the law. Of course no law has been broken, not in Australia, not anywhere. Regarding restrictions against him, the Australian government has been actively putting in place a 'welcome committee' in case Assange shows up, by successfully passing the 'Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Act 2012' on February 28 2012. Strange timing, a few weeks only before the UK Supreme Court's decision. Just in case the court rules in Assange's favor. The Oz government has also successfully blocked a freedom of information (FOI) request into the exchange of information between the Oz government and the US administration regarding Assange's extradition, and postponed its release until after the UK Supreme Court's verdict (expected this week). And last year, it passed what is called the 'Wikileaks Amendment' which makes it easier for ASIO (the Oz intelligence agency) to spy on anybody, no matter if the person or organization represents a threat to national security or not. You're never too careful with dissident voices.
There is also the simultaneous banking blockade by Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard, which can be interpreted as an attempt of silencing through financial starvation. But we will not treat here of actions other than those of governments (although it is possible that those companies acted after the US government pressured them, it is more likely that they acted on their own, in some sort of 1%-solidarity show).
So that makes four countries, including his own, who want to silence him in one way or another (and some have partially succeeded in seriously limiting his freedom of movement). Note that, apart from the US government whose feelings seem to have been deeply hurt because the documents released were supposed to remain classified and revealed embarrassing truths, all three others went after Assange only because they've had the opportunity to: Sweden, because Assange got trapped in the duckpond; the UK, because it happened that he was on its soil when the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny issued a judicially treacherous international arrest warrant for him; Australia because it happens that Assange is an Australian citizen, which should have constituted a positive leverage for him, but quite the opposite happened. When you're in a tricky situation abroad, your government (which has theoretically the obligation to come to your rescue) has virtually the right of life and death on you. After Assange's serious woes began, not only the Australian government didn't come to his help but rather joined the trigger happy band of character assassins by making statements alleging he broke the law also in Australia (which of course proved to be purely fabricated smear), and threatened to cancel his passport.
In all three cases, when the opportunity presented itself, these countries chose to clearly take sides with the Super Power while simultaneously overriding the sacred basic rights of citizens (Assange plus Wikileaks members and supporters), including their own.
This should of course bring up the following question: how many other countries would have taken the same path if they had the “chance” (or felt obliged) to?
The answer to that question doesn't matter, as the point here - which is that Assange is a prisoner of conscience, and furthermore an international one (the first of his kind), hunted down by four powerful jurisdictions who wish to silence him - is we believe made.
Should we expect Amnesty International to recognize Assange as a prisoner of conscience, and his particular status? When looking at the facts cited earlier about its apparent self-censorship and avoidance of the topic, it doesn't look likely.
Do we, the supporters of Assange and Wikileaks, and persons who reject all forms of injustice and oppression (whether for or against Wikileaks' philosophy), really need Amnesty International's recognition to change things and give Assange his freedom back?
The Arab Spring has taught us that true power lies within the people if they unite at the same time with the same goal. NGOs, especially large ones, were caught like everybody else by the unexpected North African and Middle Eastern democratic wave.
The case against Assange and Wikileaks is a grandeur nature testing ground for the above-mentioned governments and others of how fiercely will the people fight back to keep their fundamental rights, and those of others. It is obvious to many (although not to everyone) that what will happen to Assange (good or bad) will happen to many, many others.
A first round of this arm wrestling (or rather fierce battle) between civil society and governments will end with the UK Supreme Court's verdict on Assange's extradition. If the court allows his extradition to proceed, then it will be the first of many others (within the EU) which will need nothing more than a police officer, a justice minister, or virtually anyone who a foreign EU government decides to designate as a judicial authority, to extradite any citizen. A clear violation of a sacred multi-centennial principle of justice that is the role of a judge.
Technology allows us today to shed light on dark, hidden corners of both national and international affairs. The latter will, like in Assange's case, trigger closely coordinated attacks from several governments putting lots of manpower behind them. That is unprecedented in history, as it occurred only during wars, or in international terrorism cases. Other massive leaks like Cablegate WILL happen again. But the end-result of the fight for Assange's freedom will determine how often it will happen, what will be the fate of the publishers, and ultimately where will the balance of power stand between individuals' rights and the governments' capacity for abuse.
April 19, 2012, 1:00 p.m.: Never trust extremists: After the SCUM episode, Sweden's 'radical feminist elite', represented here by no less than the Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, makes fun of a terrible practice against... women: female genital mutilation. Warning: the images and sound are very disturbing.
April 18, 2012, 2:30 a.m.: 'The World Tomorrow' kicks-off with...
an interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the first one by a western media since 2006!
April 17, 2012, 2:30 a.m.: Well done RT! Full interview with Assange on 'The World Tomorrow'!
April 14, 2012, 2:30 a.m.: New episode of DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA? with peace activist Gail MALONE: "It is now or never for Julian... History will judge him far more kindly than it judges [the Australian] government."
April 12, 2012, 12:00 p.m.: Don't miss the premiere of Julian Assange's show "The World Tomorrow", to be aired on RT on Tuesday April 17 at 11:30 GMT!
April 11, 2012, 8:00 p.m.:
"The Treason of Benjamin Franklin", an excellent article by Harry Blutstein, or how the Obama administration is a traitor to the philosophy and values behind the United States' independance as well as its constitution.
Picture courtesy of Harry Blutstein.
April 6, 2012, 6:00 a.m.:
Congratulations to our Swedish friends from HappySmile for preparing an English subtitled, special cut version of their short documentary The Transatlantic Link, focusing on the Swedish government, media, and justice's "handling" of Assange's non-case.
March 19, 2012, 2:15 a.m.: It seems Julian Assange can run for the Australian Senate... and will! Here's a short video interview with Christine Assange and Senator Scott Ludlam on the implications:
March 17, 2012, 10:30 a.m.: Why is it so important for society to have an honorable press which isn't afraid of dealing with the real issues and holding power to acccount? Like reminds it the editor of online investigative newspaper Mediapart, right after the liberation of France in 1944, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Albert Camus said:
"Anything that degrades culture shortens the paths that lead to bondage. A society that supports being distracted by a disgraced press (...) runs toward slavery despite the protests of the very people who contribute to its degradation. (...) Yet it is our duty to refuse this dirty complicity. Our honor depends on the energy with which we will not compromise."
March 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m.: It seems the info we got wasn't so reliable. Nevertheless the court decision is expected soon.
March 14, 2012, 1:20 a.m.: We may be just a few hours away from the UK Supreme Court's decision on Assange's application for appeal, which will be announced on its Twitter account: @UKSupremeCourt
Indeed we hear the announcement will be tweeted between 9 and 10 p.m. Australian time (that's between 10 and 11 a.m. GMT).
Will we continue to stand up for Assange no matter what the decision is? Yes. Why? A certain Nozomi Hayase says it very well:
March 10, 2012, 2:30 a.m.: UK Supreme Court's decision regarding Assange's appeal should be made public any day now through the court's Twitter account.
March 8, 2012, 1:45 a.m.: Christine Assange call out / Standby Demonstration Alert Brisbane
‘BRING JULIAN HOME’
This is close to home. When someone is dragged from the pack, we go
back for them.
Standby Demonstration Alert Brisbane
Brisbane stay on Alert between March 6 - 14th 2012
It is expected that the trial outcome to extradite Julian Assange to
Sweden will be announced between March 6 - 14.
A demonstration is planned in Brisbane for the day after the outcome
is announced. If the outcome is announced on Friday the demonstration
will be held after the weekend on the Monday.
This demonstration has been called by Julian’s mother Christine Assange
This is a non-violent event. Location: Department of Foreign Affairs - 295 Ann Street, (corner of
Creek St) Brisbane City
Lunch time at 12AM -2.00PM
Afternoon at 4.30PM- 6.00PM
This is a call to you to stay on alert and participate in this
demonstration. There are two times allocated to allow people to attend
this event. Please pass on this information as an individual or a
member of a group. This message needs to get around.
For further enquires or if you would like to receive an SMS/Email as a
reminder the day before the event send your contact details to: email@example.com
Confidential emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm
Stratfor show that the United States Government has had a secret
indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for more than 12
months. Wikileaks.org "PRESS RELEASE - Stratfor emails: US has issued sealed
indictment against Julian Assange"
Julian is facing indefinite detention, torture and the death penalty
for his role as Editor and Chief of WikiLeaks.
"Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison.“ Screw the
terrorist. He'll be eating cat food forever." and that Assagne should
be 'waterboarded'. In a press release, Wikileaks.org said that,
"emails from Fred Burton reveal that the US Government employs the
same counterterrorism strategy against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as
against Al Qaeda: "Take down the money. Go after his infrastructure.
The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same
tools used to dismantle and track aQ [Al Qaeda]. Thank Cheney & 43
[former US President George W. Bush]. Big Brother owns his liberal
terrorist arse" and "Burton states: "Ferreting out [Julian Assange’s]
confederates is also key. Find out what other disgruntled rogues
inside the tent or outside [sic]. Pile on. Move him from country to
country to face various charges for the next 25 years. But, seize
everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to
"[Julian Assange] is a peacenik. He needs his head dunked in a full toilet bowl at Gitmo.”
The Australian government must act now to prevent the extradition of
Julian Assange to the United States”, responded Pearson. “Prime
Minister Gillard must immediately seek confirmation of these reports
from the US government. She must state publicly that our government
objects to Assange being extradited to the US, under any
March 6, 2012, 3:45 p.m.: Time for a new action! We won't just sit back and wait for the Supreme Court's decision, will we?
A supporter of Julian Assange (who wishes to remain anonymous) has sent us an interesting analysis of the game being played at the UK Home Office, supported by a new document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) Act. Read the backgrounder below, then take action and send a letter plus an e-mail to Nick Clegg with copy to all UK MPs! You don't have to be a UK citizen for that: not only is Assange's fate an international issue and a matter of concern to all of us, but also the UK politicians should worry about the perception of their country from abroad, especially its excessive political ties with private US interests.
Backgrounder + Letter, by anonymous:
First, some background so you can understand what this letter is trying to do, and why it’s important to send it. Two things:
People think it is up to the Supreme Court whether Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden. WRONG. It’s up to the UK Home Secretary, a lady called Theresa May. She’s the one who has the final say-so on ALL extraditions – always. The legal basis for this is at the bottom of the letter – so sending the letter to UK MPs is the best way to put pressure on her to block the extradition if the Supreme Court turns down Julian Assange’s appeal.
Second – read the link to the Freedom of Information request. This is important NEW information. The Baker Review was set up last year to look at the UK’s Extradition Act because so many people were unhappy with the way it was working. There was a big “public consultation” beforehand but, well, the FOI reply says it all about how seriously that was taken.... Main thing though, from WikiLeaks supporters’ perspective: look at the dates that this “whitewash” Review went and met Eric Holder and all those State Dept officials to have the UK’s extradition policy dictated to them... We’re not being told what was discussed, but - May 2011 and a US drive to “get” Julian Assange and WikiLeaks that was “unprecedented in scale”? – It’d be surprising if Assange’s name didn’t come up somewhere in those discussions. Nick Clegg – UK Deputy Prime Minister – was very big on Human Rights at one point and he was furious with the Baker Review's “current system works just fine” bullshit, so he’s set up a Review of the Review... Most relevant politician for this letter.
Please take 5 or 10 minutes to cut n’ paste the Open Letter below. Please use the A-Z list of UK MPs to copy it to a few.... and please please please don’t worry if you’re not a UK citizen – just set yourself up a gmail.com address – they’ll never know... ;) Who needs borders anyway, eh? We’re all global citizens now.
This FOI reply makes it clear there was very high-level US Government involvement in the Baker Review – up to and including US Attorney General Eric Holder – but that the public are not to be told what was discussed, as that might “prejudice relations” between the UK and the US. Likewise, details of any critical responses or objections from the public consultation, or whether the Review met with anyone who’s actually experienced the Extradition Act as a defendant (apparently not), will be published only after the Government has decided how it will implement the Review’s recommendations – this, we are told, is to ensure “transparency and public open access”. That is not right. Informed public debate about changes to the Extradition Act, and whether those changes adequately protect the rights of individual citizens – the people who might one day find themselves at the sharp end of it – must be based on full disclosure before, not after, decisions have been reached. On the face of it, this FOI reply indicates a profound lack of balance in the Baker Review.
Recent extradition cases reflect a similar – and scandalous – lack of balance in the UK’s current extradition arrangements, both on the US side and towards Europe. The lack of a forum provision, or any requirement for US law enforcement agencies to provide evidence beyond ‘reasonable suspicion’, has left UK citizen Babar Admad languishing in a British prison for eight years without charge or trial. Richard O’Dwyer’s is another young life about to be ruined, for an offence which doesn’t exist in Britain and is in essence a civil matter – copyright infringement against immensely rich and powerful multinational corporations. And now 65 year old Christopher Tappin becomes the latest victim of the UK’s weak extradition laws – in solitary confinement in a prison system notorious the world over, facing a legal system where plea bargains are often a defendant’s only option, his wife crying on the tarmac at Heathrow because he looked to senior British politicians to protect his right to a fair trial – and they failed him. How did US interests – corporate and otherwise – come to contaminate our legal space to this degree? Where does the United States’ extraterritorial jurisdiction end and where does Britain’s sovereignty begin – or rather, where has it gone?
Britain’s courts are completely hamstrung by the UK’s current extradition arrangements. The deeply flawed European Arrest Warrant system mandates that our judges put ‘mutual recognition’ of Europe’s many different – and often incompatible – judicial systems above the need to check whether the evidence even shows there is a prima facie case to answer. Literally thousands of people have been extradited to Europe via EAWs – their lives disrupted, losing their jobs, homes, family and access to support networks or English-speaking lawyers – to face lengthy imprisonment awaiting trial under a legal system that is alien to them, often on what amounts to very trivial charges. Where is the UK courts’ right to insist on proportionality before this happens? Or to insist that European prosecutors use Mutual Legal Assistance to question people before issuing these draconian EAWs? Why must our judges operate under a system which tells them they must ignore evidence even though it plainly shows that extradition is not justified? If the UK’s current extradition arrangements fail to work in the interests of justice this often, how many more victims must there be before Britain calls a halt?
The case of Julian Assange – shortly to be decided by the Supreme Court – is perhaps the most worrying of all. His extradition is demanded by an investigating prosecutor for questioning in a case concerning consensual but unprotected sex, where he has not been charged, and where the forensic DNA evidence indicates there has been wrongdoing and abuse of process in issuing the extradition warrant. The Swedish judicial system allows for indefinite pre-trial detention and for trials to be held behind closed doors, heard by a judge and three politically appointed lay jurors who have no legal training. Furthermore, he faces an overwhelmingly hostile media environment in Sweden and there are justifiable fears about the "temporary surrender" mechanism available in the US/Sweden bilateral treaty for his onward rendition to the US to face potential espionage charges. Evidence has now emerged that the US has had a secret sealed indictment against Assange for more than a year – another reason that makes the above FOI reply deeply troubling.
In its progress to date through the British court system, judges have ruled that none of these factors are sufficient to override the Swedish prosecutor’s extradition request, thereby setting new and dangerous precedents for us all. The Irish Supreme Court has just unanimously ruled that European Law does not permit extradition for the purposes of questioning only. In the UK, however, unless the Supreme Court upholds his appeal on the basis that a partisan prosecutor is not a proper judicial authority, Assange’s case will have created the perfect storm of precedents – meaning that, henceforth, any person can be extradited from the UK to anywhere in Europe, without charge, without evidence, by any prosecutor, anywhere, and without proper judicial oversight.
Recent developments make Mr Assange’s situation even more worrying. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has taken to writing blog posts and multipletweets declaring Wikileaks is planning a smear campaign against him and this is therefore an attack on Sweden. This is based on entirely fabricated articles by the Swedish newspaper Espressen, which was also responsible for breaking the confidentiality of a preliminary investigation by relaying the news “WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange hunted down, suspected of rape” to the world’s media hours before a senior Swedish prosecutor decided the rape allegation was false. Prejudicial public remarks have also been made by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask and Prosecutor General Anders Perklev. It is inconceivable that Julian Assange will receive a fair trial in Sweden in a case which has become so highly politicised there.
I would remind you again of UK Home Secretary Theresa May’s legal obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 to safeguard individuals’ rights under the European Convention of Human Rights, including Article 6, the right to a fair trial:
"... the Home Secretary is under a duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 not to act in a manner that is incompatible with a person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore, she must consider whether, as a result of events occurring after the extradition proceedings, it would be contrary to the convention for a person to be extradited... During the statutory extradition process, human rights are considered by the courts, but if a human rights issue arises after the end of that process the Home Secretary must consider these issues." Source: Hansard HC Deb, 24 November 2011, c190WH
The Home Secretary must be reminded of her legal obligations in respect of this case.
[UK/US/Australian citizen/Citizen of Europe]
March 3, 2012, 1:45 p.m.: Ahead of a possible extradition of Assange to Sweden, the Swedish elite, supported by many mass media outlets, have intensified their PR campaign in order to prepare the Swedish public opinion to the (very likely) harsh and illegal treatment of Assange, and "compensate" past and future violations of his basic human rights.
February 29, 2012, 12:50 a.m.: Below, two interviews on the Global Intelligence Files (GIFiles), one with Assange, the other with Kristinn Hrafnsson (Wikileaks spokesperson). And, for the lulz, an interview (in Swedish, but it doesn't matter if you don't understand it) of Swedish Blood Money Minister Carl Bildt. Enjoy:
February 28, 2012, 6:30 p.m.: The GIFiles discussing Wikileaks and Assange are now available on-line. The manner in which Stratfor's employees and senior officers talk about Assange is quite shocking. For instance, this is what one senior officer said on Assange: ''If I thought I could switch this dickhead off without getting done, I don't think I'd have too much of a problem." More interestingly, he also commented on Sweden's legal case against Assange: "there is absolutely nothing behind it other than prosecutors that are looking to make a name for themselves."
You're thinking a certain Marianne Ny?
February 27, 2012, 11:15 a.m.: BREAKING: After several months of silent work, Wikileaks, along with twenty-five media organizations (excluding The Guardian, New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, and Der Spiegel, who have turned against the organisation in order to please the establishment), publishes The Global Intelligence Files (or The GIFiles): over five million e-mails leaked or hacked from intelligence company Stratfor.
Congratulations to Wikileaks for keeping its promise of giving the highest impact to releases of secret information of public importance, and this despite being under attack from all possible angles (judicial, financial, smear). Remember to support Wikileaks and Assange in their ongoing fights.
February 25, 2012, 4:30 p.m.: Important: Help discourage silencing attempts againt Assange and Wikileaks by downloading and seeding the bittorrent Wikileaks Insurance file (22/02/2012 update; size: 65 GB) on P2P networks!
Wikileaks have called to an #OccupyUNESCO protest against this shamefully blatant censorship. We invite you to be part of this protest:
If you are in or near Paris: by peacefully gathering outside UNESCO's headquarters (see map here) during the conference (during the next two days, that is on February 16 and 17), holding signs exposing the event's true nature (masquerade, fraud, fake...),
If you are not near Paris, you can still share your indignation with the event organiser: Sylvie Coudray, e-mail: s.coudray(at)unesco.org , phone: +33 1 45 68 42 12 , fax: +331 45 68 55 84.
You can for instance send (by e-mail and/or fax) and/or call to remind them of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Article 2 mentions that no distinction should be made against any person. UNESCO also refers to fundamental human rights in Article 1 of its constitution. You can of course also e-mail/fax UNESCO's constitution. Think of using free fax services. This one seems to work. Remember to always remain polite and not send illegal things or abuse the service.
February 7, 2012, 1:00 a.m.: New interview by CaTV! Independent journalist Antony Loewenstein explains how many Western journalists and newspapers saw Wikileaks as a threat to their privileged relationship with the Establishment:
February 5, 2012, 19:40 p.m.: While Assange's freedom is repressed by the 1% criminals and their acolytes, one of the best things we can do is to give his ideas and the facts surrounding his legal plight an exceptional coverage and accessibility worldwide. This involves an effort of translation in order to reach non-English speaking audiences. Here are a few announcements/articles our volunteers and supporters have translated so far, feel free to publish them on your website, or tweet their links:
February 4, 2012, 11:15 p.m.: Second day ended with everyone having the same feeling that, despite being able to argue only on the validity of the EAW, Assange's lawyer made a clear point that the arrest warrant violates the proportionality principle, Assange's human rights, and if not rejected by the court would set a dangerous precedent as it would allow any EU country to extradite any citizen without charges. Sweden's prosecution office's lawyer said quite disturbing things like the issuer of an EAW doesn't have to take into account the human rights of the subject.
February 1, 2012, 6:40 p.m.: Today is day one of Assange's hearing. Kicks-off well, with Assange's lawyer doing a solid, terrific performance, while the other party's lawyer's was shaky.
January 28, 2012, 11:45 p.m.: Sydney supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks: if you can't attend the hearing in London, you should know that independent artist Ingrid Skirka will be handing out free original artworks (that may become collector items one day!) at Sydney Town Hall on February 1 at 5:00 p.m. & 2 (to be confirmed). Picture courtesy of Ingrid Skirka:
January 25, 2012, 11:50 a.m.:RT (a television news network) has always closely and objectively (a quite rare feature in news outfits) covered Wikileaks' revelations and Assange's politically motivated legal battle. It will also broadcast Assange's independently-produced new series to be aired starting from mid-march:
January 25, 2012, 5:00 a.m.:Tomorrow is Australia Day: show your support to national hero Julian Assange, who is shamefully, illegally and criminally abandonned by his government, who has the obligation to assist and defend him. Visit Christine Assange's blog for ideas and tips for action!
January 24, 2012, 16:30 p.m.:Despite being illegitimately detained for over a year now, Julian Assange is about to host an exceptional series on the world tomorrow, with guests at the forefront of the battle for democracy. Official announcement here.
January 22, 2012, 12:30 p.m.:Fantastic demo in Frankfurt/Main (Germany). Great job everyone! See FreeBradleyManning.de for more pictures.
January 20, 2012, 12:45 p.m.:Another informative interview by Catherine Vogan, with Australian senator Scott Ludlam after his trip to the UK and Sweden where he met some officials to discuss Assange's case and seek guaranties:
January 18, 2012, 11:30 p.m.: Important action! Did you write a letter to Marianne Ny's top boss asking him for clarification over the many irregularities observed in Assange's case? Here's a template for you, that you can adapt by at least putting your name and country, then send it by post and/or e-mail:
Mr Anders PERKLEV
Office of the Prosecutor General
Box 5553, 114 85 Stockholm
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPEN LETTER TO ANDERS PERKLEV, PROSECUTOR GENERAL, SWEDEN
Dear Anders Perklev,
The extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden under the European Arrest Warrant is currently before the UK Supreme Court, who will decide whether to hear his appeal on the grounds it has not been issued by a proper judicial authority. Mr Assange’s case has drawn international attention and left many ordinary European citizens questioning what safeguards and protections there are in the EAW scheme for people facing police investigation in Europe. In view of this, could you please provide some clarity for non-Swedish citizens on some aspects of Swedish judicial procedure for which you as Prosecutor General have overall responsibility.
On 6 December 2011 the Swedish Prosecution Authority issued a statement pointing out that Sweden decided to make ALL public prosecutors “judicial authorities” for the purposes of issuing EAWs under the Framework Directive. This is not something that was anticipated by British Parliamentarians when drafting the UK Extradition Act 2003 (Hansard), who felt strongly that such warrants should only be issued by a court. May I ask why you felt it necessary to issue such a statement on that date?
Mr Assange’s name was leaked to the press, apparently by the Stockholm Prosecution Service, which is illegal under Sweden’s privacy laws. Can you outline – for an international audience – what steps were taken to investigate this and a summary of the findings. How were those responsible dealt with?
Can you publish some statistics on how often a Swedish public prosecutor nominates themselves as the chief investigator in a case? The Swedish Prosecution Authority English website says: “In the case of less serious crimes, the police continue to lead the preliminary investigation.” As the strongest allegation against Mr Assange is described on the Prosecution Authority’s own website as “less serious crime”, it is not clear why Marianne Ny is involved in the case as chief investigator at this stage.
Mutual Legal Assistance is ordinarily used to interrogate people in foreign jurisdictions. However, Marianne Ny stated that British and Swedish law prevented her from questioning Julian Assange in London, which was untrue. Her statement was later redacted. What disciplinary measures are available to you as Prosecutor General when a senior public prosecutor misleads the public in this way?
Can you please outline – if only in general terms – on what basis this case was re-opened on 1 September 2010 after Eva Finne, a senior prosecutor you appointed to review it, cancelled the original arrest warrant – "I consider that there are no grounds for suspecting that he has committed rape." – leaving only one instance of alleged molestation still to be investigated? From reading the leaked police protocol on the internet – as millions of people across Europe have – there seems to be only one item of new evidence which might have appeared between Eva Finne’s decision on 25 August 2010 and the re-opening of the case, a torn used condom. However, the forensic analysis of 25 October 2010 included in the prosecution protocol does not support any offences related to this item being included on the face of the EAW issued by Marianne Ny on 18 November 2010. To put it plainly, no DNA could be found on this condom.
This would appear not to meet the Prosecution Authority’s Objectivity Demand (on your website):
“Forensic evidence must, of course, be gathered and investigated in a correct and secure manner. The prosecutor must also be objective when he or she initiates a prosecution. During the course of the trial it is admittedly the prosecutor’s task to prove that a crime has been committed, but the prosecutor is obliged to give due consideration to anything that could change the situation with respect to evidence.”
Again, please outline – for an international audience – whether this is a disciplinary matter and, if so, what disciplinary measures are available to you as Prosecutor General.
I am particularly concerned that Mutual Legal Assistance has not been used in this case. Under Sweden’s Code of Judicial Procedure "the investigation should be conducted so that no person is unnecessarily exposed to suspicion, or put to unnecessary cost or inconvenience." (Chapter 23, Section 4) and there is no doubt that a great deal of both Swedish and British taxpayers’ money has been wasted arguing this extradition in court when much simpler methods could have been used to question Julian Assange. Can you please explain the mechanisms by which Britain is reimbursed its costs in representing the Swedish Prosecution Authority in the UK courts? Likewise, what avenues are available to Mr Assange to seek recompense for his substantial personal legal costs in challenging this abuse of the European Arrest Warrant process?
[UK/Swedish/Australian Citizen / Citizen of _______ ]
January 16, 2012, 1:00 p.m.: Ten years later, despite Obama's promise to close it down and Wikileaks' revelations of its true nature, not only the Guatánamo black-hole is still open, but the US government is vengefully going after Wikileaks' leader Assange. "Happy Birthday Guatánamo", by basicregisters:
January 7, 2012, 12:20 a.m.: (Updated on January 25 2012 according to this) Have you planned your trip to London to show Assange (and the Supreme Court judges) your support to Wikileaks? and show your indignation over the politically motivated case against Assange (who will be detained for the 400th day on January 11, without charge)?
Here are info and tips for your trip:
Date and time: February 1 & 2 2012, most likely starting from 9:00 a.m. building will open at 9:30 a.m. (although supporters and journalists will start gathering before that); hearing begins at 10:30 a.m.,
There will be a queuing system on both days, and once the courtroom is full people will be directed to an overflow courtroom where a live feed will be available,
Venue: UK Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London. Closest Underground station is Westminster (it's on Circle, District, and Jubilee lines). See map:
What to bring: apart from your usual travel things, you can take t-shirts, masks, flags, posters, banners, flyers... that clearly show why you're there (you can still place an order on the Wikileaks shop), and while you're at it raise passers' awareness on Assange's case, without being invasive of course. Note that big objects (like flags on a stick) might not be accepted in the court, so have a plan to safely leave them outside. Bring also food (like snacks) and drinks (avoid alcohol though), the hearing will last two full days,
If you'd like to document the event with a camcorder you should note that you'll be able only to shoot outside the court room: it's prohibited to take pictures or film inside,
If you have more tips please share them with everyone (on Twitter, or e-mail us we'll publish them).
Street support is of tremendous importance in politically motivated cases; it may be one of the few effective levers to avoid Assange be extradited to Sweden and then the US. Be there in large numbers!
January 5, 2012, 6:00 p.m.: Happy New Year everyone! Battle for digital freedom (and for democracy as a whole) is still raging. As of us we won't stop this campaign until Assange is released from custody and free from prosecution, and all individuals behind the fabrication of the case against him investigated.
In order to help make this campaign even more international, we are glad to announce that the introduction text (see above) is now available in Spanish and German! (although our friends from BradleyManning.de already kindly provided a German translation)
December 29, 2011, 2:00 a.m.: BREAKING: THE EUROPEAN PEOPLE HAVE DOWNGRADED SWEDEN TO "JUNK STATE".
We just sent a free digital copy of our free digital newspaper frontpage (designed by our supporter OS - who shall be thanked here) to a certain number of Swedish justice system employees and officials (including the Justice Minister) as well as the Minister (+ officials) of Immigration and Asylum Policy, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs (but we believe he is too busy writing his resignation amid scandal). We have also sent this newspaper frontpage to other individuals in Sweden, but we'd rather not mention who at this stage.
By the way, gratitude to all the volunteers who did a terrific job in getting hold of all those e-mail addresses.
Along with other actions part of this campaign or other campaigns, we hope this will help get the attention of Sweden's officials and justice system employees, and make them realize that the European (and international) perception of their country has dramatically changed during the last year. As for the others (including Marianne Ny, who should get it through forwards), they shall see it as a "entrée" for a long menu that is going to be served until the international arrest warrant for Assange is dropped, and Marianne Ny investigated over her handling of the case and the violations of several of Assange's human rights.
December 28, 2011, 2:45 a.m.: Today, Assange has been detained 385 days without charge.
Anyways, some Swedes already want Bildt behind bars: (courtesy of @InnerMentalist and @AnonOpsSweden)
December 22, 2011, 11:30 a.m.: Since most Swedish adults seem to be in comatose when it comes to this particular case, Anonymous calls on Swedish teenagers to start a debate on their country's shameful treatment of Julian Assange:
December 20, 2011, 3:30 a.m.: After one year of legal persecution (and counting), a Swedish media finally bothers giving an interview to Assange:
December 17, 2011, 12:30 a.m.: A few days earlier than initially announced (the 19th), the UK Supreme Court has annouced yesterday that it has accepted Assange's appeal. The hearing will take place over two days, starting February 1 2012. See Justice4Assange.com
This is great news, however justice is not made yet, we must keep the pressure until the warrant against Assange is dropped, and the people involved in its fabrication investigated.
December 13, 2011, 11:30 p.m.: Part III of documentary "The Transatlantic Link" (exposing Sweden's corruption and complicity with US crimes) is now available. If you can help with the English subtitles get in touch with www.happysmile.se (@happysmile56)
December 12, 2011, 11:50 p.m.: International Day of Support for Bradley Manning & Julian Assange, Saturday December 17 2011, 2 p.m., Brisbane Square, Brisbane, Australia:
December 12, 2011, 10:20 p.m.: John Pilger, reknowned journalist and documentary maker, speaks about Assange's initial idea, Wikileaks' success and the perils ahead:
December 12, 2011, 2:30 p.m.: Many thanks to Monica Martins aka basicregisters (see also here) for making new artwork for this campaign: "Witch-hunt"
December 11, 2011, 7:40 p.m.: Assange's application at the Supreme Court will exceptionally take place on December 19 2011, only two weeks after the High Court's acceptance. See Justice4Assange.com for more details.
December 9, 2011, 11:35 p.m.: URGENT: Swedish speakers, we need to subtitle these two videos in English: Update: If you want to help with the subtitles get in touch with the producers: HappySmile.se Part III added.
The Transatlantic Link (parts 1 & 2 & 3):
December 9, 2011, 1:30 p.m.: This is the country where a radical feminist private prosecutor wants Assange for "questioning". Should it be trusted for giving him a fair trial if he is prosecuted?
Here is an interesting comment on the clip above:
The "SCUM team" seems to have been finally identified:
Are we going to let Sweden get its hands on Julian Assange, use him to satisfy its radical feminists' thirst for hatred and crime, then send him to the US where he will most likely face torture and possible death?
We think we shouldn't. Join us in the fight against Assange's extradition to Sweden.
December 9, 2011, 1:00 p.m.: P. J. Crowley, former Assistant Secretary of State, on the US government's attempt to prosecute Assange, and how it contradicts american values:
December 5, 2011, 2:30 p.m.: Assange's application for appeal at the Supreme Court has been accepted by the UK High Court. Congratulations to our volunteers, and to everyone who joined this campaign or took any kind of action in order to influence Assange's fate. We need to keep a huge pressure in order to put an end to the US witch-hunt against him.
We need more people to join us to step up our efforts, get in touch, there's plenty to do.
Also, keep on sending us your artwork, like Monica (basicregisters) who sent us "Wikiglasses", below:
December 4, 2011, 11:55 p.m.: This is the country where Julian Assange could end up if he is extradited to Sweden (via @OperationLeakS):
December 4, 2011, 9:50 p.m.: Added below: the interview of Senator Scott Ludlam (Australian Green Party), who will be tomorrow at the British High Court to support Assange (via and by CaTV on Vimeo).
December 4, 2011, 1:30 p.m.: Gratitude to @AnonoNews for sending us artwork of her "Julian" tattoo:
Send us your artwok too: posters, videos, songs... we'll publish them on this same page.
December 4, 2011, 1:45 a.m.: To our German speaking visitors and supporters: our friends from freebradleymanning.de have translated the text above to German. Many thanks to them, as this will help spread the word.
Send your MP a comprehensive and detailed e-mail about Assange's case, underlining all the irregularities.
A few minutes later, call your MP. It is most likely that an assistant will answer your call.
Introduce yourself (name, city) and say you voted for this MP.
Ask to speak to your MP. If you succeed, that will have good impact. Otherwise, if the assistant asks you to call again later, ask this person if he or she got your e-mail. If yes, ask precise questions about its content. If no, say you will call again later (which you will do).
Ask what your MP's position is regarding Assange's case. If necessary, recall facts from Assange's case (make a list beforehand).
If your MP is against the extradition of Assange, ask him or her to act accordingly (see details). If for extradition, explain that you oppose it because it violates fundamental principles of human rights as stated in the European Convention on Human Rights. See preceding link for more violations.
December 2, 2011, 7:30 p.m.: Thanks to everyone who took part in our campaign so far. Visibility is needed so that everyone can take part and do something against Assange's persecution.
Next we ask you to write a letter about the European Arrest Warrant (template here that can be adapted; or visit Justice4Assange's action page, or go here. Call MEPs, UK MPs and Swedish MPs telling them that what is happening to Assange is wrong at several levels as well as about specific actions they should commence. We've got the weekend to flood MP mailboxes and answering machines to get their attention. Send only relevant material. Please don't spam.
Here are their e-mail addresses and phone numbers (MS Word documents):
Don't hesitate to write to an MP of a country other than yours; this is an international issue, and if these MPs care about their country's international standing, they will listen to you (in this case don't tell them what to do, just how you perceive their country and why). For international phone calls use Skype, or VoipBuster (supposed to be free to destinations such as Belgium where MEPs have offices).
Remain respectful and polite, and put in your letter or phone call as many details as you can on the irregularities of the case against Assange. It will not only bring them up to date, but it will also show that your request is legitimate and well thought out. Also mention that time is running out: on Monday December 5, 2011 the British High Court will decide on Assange's extradition appeal (likely by rejecting it). If you feel like showing your deep discontent, attach one (or both) of the warrants we publish and say you share their message.
December 2, 2011, 5:30 p.m.: We notice many EU citizens feel ashamed that a Swedish private prosecutor is using an EU tool, the already highly criticized European Arrest Warrant, for political and personal ends: 1) creating a precedent that under Swedish law that ANY man having sex with a woman can become a rapist without significant grounds for accusing him, 2) getting a career boost for being the initiator.
Since EU politicians and institutions are not to be trusted, as they have worked perfectly well to put an uncharged man in a shockingly abusive situation, while completely ignoring his and his laywers' legitimate calls for a closer look at the blatant irregularities of his case;
We have decided to allow EU citizens to symbolically take matters in their own hands, by issuing THEIR European People's Arrest Warrant, against Marianne Ny, for the offences listed:
You can either copy the warrant on your blog, website, Facebook, or you can insert a script that will display it as a banner (instructions here).
December 2, 2011, 3:00 p.m.: Our campaign starts by publishing what Interpol's arrest warrant issued a year ago against Assange would look like if purged of lies (not surprising when you know Interpol's reputation, not to mention this disturbing fact), then add known truths:
You can either copy this warrant on your blog, website, Facebook, or you can insert HTML code on your webpage that will display it as a banner (instructions here). To see how it works, visit our homepage.
There's more to come. Meanwhile, we encourage you to join our campaign and flood the Internet with the truth about Assange's case!
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