Monday 25th of September 2017

UN: it's time to let him go... his detention is unlawful...

 

assange

Will Turnbull's continuing pretence of moral superiority over his precedessor, Abbott, see him support the UNWGAD's judgement on Julian Assange? Doubtful, given Foreign Minister Julie Bishop lied about having no recent contact with Assange. John Pilger reports.

ONE OF the epic miscarriages of justice of our time is unravelling. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention  the international tribunal that adjudicates and decides whether governments comply with their human rights obligations – has ruled that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully by Britain and Sweden.

After five years of fighting to clear his name – having been smeared relentlessly yet charged with no crime – Assange is closer to justice and vindication, and perhaps freedom, than at any time since he was arrested and held in London under a European Extradition Warrant, itself now discredited by Parliament.

The UN Working Group bases its judgments on the European Convention on Human Rights and three other treaties that are binding on all its signatories. Both Britain and Sweden participated in the 16-month long UN investigation and submitted evidence and defended their position before the tribunal. It would fly contemptuously in the face of international law if they did not comply with the judgment and allow Assange to leave the refuge granted him by the Ecuadorean government in its London embassy.

In previous, celebrated cases ruled upon by the Working Group  Aung Sang Suu Kyi in Burma, imprisoned opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia, detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian in Iran, both Britain and Sweden have given support to the tribunal. The difference now is that Assange's persecution and confinement endures in the heart of London.

This looks big, if early reports are correct: UN finds UK unlawfully detained @WikiLeaks founder #Assangepic.twitter.com/auS40bIdwx

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 4, 2016

The Assange case has never been primarily about allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden, where the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying, "I don't believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape", and one of the women involved accused the police of fabricating evidence and "railroading" her, protesting she "did not want to accuse JA of anything" and a second prosecutor mysteriously re-opened the case after political intervention, then stalled it.

The Assange case is rooted across the Atlantic in Pentagon-dominated Washington, obsessed with pursuing and prosecuting whistleblowers, especially Assange for having exposed, in WikiLeaks, U.S. capital crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale killing of civilians and a contempt for sovereignty and international law.  None of this truth-telling is illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistleblowers as

 "...part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal."

Obama, the betrayer, has since prosecuted more whistleblowers than all the U.S. presidents combined. The courageous Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years in prison, having been tortured during her long pre-trial detention.

The prospect of a similar fate has hung over Assange like a Damocles sword. According to documents released by Edward Snowden, Assange is on a "Manhunt target list". Vice-President Joe Biden has called him a "cyber terrorist". In Alexandra, Virginia, a secret grand jury has attempted to concoct a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted in a court. Even though he is not an American, he is currently being fitted up with an espionage law dredged up from a century ago when it was used to silence conscientious objectors during the First World War; the Espionage Act has provisions of both life imprisonment and the death penalty. 

Assange's ability to defend himself in this Kafkaesque world has been handicapped by the U.S. declaring his case a state secret. A federal court has blocked the release of all information about what is known as the "national security" investigation of WikiLeaks.

The supporting act in this charade has been played by the second Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny. Until recently, Ny had refused to comply with a routine European procedure that required her to travel to London to question Assange and so advance the case that James Catlin, one of Assange's barristers, called

"... a laughing stock ... it's as if they make it up as they go along."

Indeed, even before Assange had left Sweden for London in 2010, Marianne Ny made no attempt to question him. In the years since, she has never properly explained, even to her own judicial authorities, why she has not completed the case she so enthusiastically re-ignited — just as the she has never explained why she has refused to give Assange a guarantee that he will not be extradited on to the U.S. under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington.

In 2010, the Independent in London revealed that the two governments had discussed Assange's onward extradition.

‘Informal discussions have already taken place between U.S. and Swedish officials over the possibility of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, according to diplomatic sources.’

Then there is tiny, brave Ecuador. One of the reasons Ecuador granted Julian Assange political asylum was that his own government, in Australia, had offered him none of the help to which he had a legal right and so abandoned him. Australia's collusion with the United States against its own citizen is evident in leaked documents; no more faithful vassals has America than the obeisant politicians of the Antipodes.

#auspol note to media Julie Bishop repeats the lie @wikileaks Assange hasnt sought Australian assistance for years. Patently untrue.

— Greg Barns (@BarnsGreg) February 4, 2016

So Bishop is using untruths/slurs to deny #Assange safe asylum as Oz citizen back into Australia ?
Pathetic https://t.co/hDXgfPBiU9

— julie (@juliecorb) February 4, 2016

@Speak2usSofia @Justpeachijo @wikileaks beats me. I have the materials showing contact recently

— Greg Barns (@BarnsGreg) February 4, 2016

Four years ago, in Sydney, I spent several hours with a Liberal member of the Federal Parliament, Malcolm Turnbull. We discussed the threats to Assange and their wider implications for freedom of speech and justice and why Australia was obliged to stand by him. Turnbull is now the prime minister of Australia and, as I write, is attending an international conference on Syria hosted the Cameron government — about 15 minutes' cab ride from the room that Julian Assange has occupied for three and a half years in the small Ecuadorean embassy just along from Harrod's.

The Syria connection is relevant if unreported; it was WikiLeaks that revealed that the United States had long planned to overthrow the Assad Government in Syria. Today, as he meets and greets, Prime Minister Turnbull has an opportunity to contribute a modicum of purpose and truth to the conference by speaking up for his unjustly imprisoned compatriot, for whom he showed such concern when we met. All he need do is quote the judgment of the UN Working Party on Arbitrary Detention. Will he reclaim this shred of Australia's reputation in the decent world?

What is certain is that the decent world owes much to Julian Assange. He told us how indecent power behaves in secret, how it lies and manipulates and engages in great acts of violence, sustaining wars that kill and maim and turn millions into the refugees now in the news. Telling us this truth alone earns Assange his freedom, whereas justice is his right.

You can read more about the films and journalism of John Pilger at johnpilger.com or follow him on Twitter @johnpilger.

 

little (minded) britain...

 

Julian Assange's legal team says Britain's international reputation is at risk if the country ignores the findings of a United Nations panel which is expected to rule that the Australian WikiLeaks founder has been "arbitrarily detained".

Key points:
  • Mr Assange's lawyer says UN ruling should prompt immediate action
  • Swedish prosecutors say the UN decision has no formal impact on their rape investigation
  • Ms Bishop says until Australia hears from Assange it cannot do anything

 

Mr Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since seeking asylum in June 2012, after an arrest warrant was issued over sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

British police have been stationed outside the embassy for the last three and a half years and said they would arrest the Australian if he tried to leave.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-05/julian-assange-ignoring-ruling-'could-risk-britain's-reputation'/7142292

 

Assange has demanded help from Australia a few times to no avail. Now it's more than the time for Australia to show some balls and tell the Brits to let Assange go...

 

they will have to give compensation...

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden since he was arrested in London in December 2010, according to a United Nations report.

As anticipated, the finding by the Geneva-based UN working group on arbitrary detention criticises legal action against Assange by both European governments and blames them for preventing him from leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge.

The panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Assange’s “deprivation of liberty”, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement and offer him compensation.

The report says: “The working group considered that Mr Assange has been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty: initial detention in Wandsworth prison, which was followed by house arrest and his confinement at the Ecuadorian embassy.

“Having concluded that there was a continuous deprivation of liberty, the working group also found that the detention was arbitrary because he was held in isolation during the first stage of detention and because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr Assange.”


http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/05/julian-assange-un-panel-uk-...

marina, stick to writing about showbiz and sportz...

 

Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist. She currently writes three columns a week for the paper: one general comment, one on sport and one on celebrity.
Don't Follow Marina Hyde on Twitter

 

Marina Hyde's article on Julian Assange misses the point by miles. Julian Assange is being pursued by the FBI, the CIA and any other spitlickled spy agencies in the US. They are using a "trumped up" charge in Sweden to get him out of his fox-hole. These charges are not even charges — they are only demand of interview about his side of an event in Sweden in which he was probably set up. The UK is obliging in the unnecessary FORCEFUL ILLEGAL extradition of Assange to Sweden. In Sweden, Assange would face extradition to the US to face "treason" charges. Sweden will oblige. Is this not simple enough?

 

What would you do? I know, dear Marina, you'd write a funny article about the military...  Seriously, The Guardian and other newspapers around the world were quite enthusiastic at using Assange's information on the way the US treated "accidents" of war with contempt. 

 

And this morning we get more of the same problems being exposed:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/05/us-military-bush-era-detainee-abuse-photos-released-pentagon-iraq-afghanistan-guantanamo-bay

 

Marina, stick to writing about showbiz and sportz... Your article on Assange is a disgrace. It shows you have no idea about anything. F-OFF. It's so called loopy young naive and possibly ridiculously right wing "journalist" like you who have led to the desperation of serious journos to create the OFF-GUARDIAN website.

and the same to you joshua...

 


From Joshua Rozenberg — at The Right Wing Empire-driven Guardian:


It must be appalling to find yourself subjected to arbitrary detention. You would have no power to challenge said detention. You would have no idea when, if ever, you would be set free. And that concept is reflected in the first of five definitions offered by the UN working group on arbitrary detention: “when it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty”.

But that was not the reason they gave for their opinion that Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy. His detention fell foul of their third definition; when “non-observance ... of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial ... is of such gravity as to give the detention an arbitrary character”.

That opinion was backed by three of the five members of the working group. A fourth felt she could not take part because she, like Assange, is an Australian. So it fell to the fifth member of the group, Vladimir Tochilovsky, to point out the flaw in the majority’s reasoning.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/05/un-julian-assange-wikileaks

-----------------

 

There is no flaws in the majority reasoning. The fact that the UK police is outside waiting to imprison Julia Assange IS EQUIVALENT to detention. Vladimir Tochilovsky has holes in his understanding. 

And by the way, Vladimir Tochilovsky is a Ukrainian, not a Russian. He would most likely be on the side of the US in this affair of "arbitrary detention"... Do the sums. 

 

HOW COME JOSHUA ROZENBERG CAN GET IT SO WRONG?... Ah I see, he "understands' the law... and the word equivalent to detention does not appear in the text... F-OFF Joshua...

 

Joshua Rozenberg

Joshua Rozenberg trained as a lawyer before becoming a legal journalist and was the BBC's legal correspondent for 15 years. He is now a freelance writer, commentator and broadcaster and presents the BBC Radio 4 series Law in Action.

 

 

 

 

the guardian spread shit...

JULIAN ASSANGE IS a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him (into which category one falls in any given year typically depends on one’s feelings about the subject of his most recent publication of leaked documents).

But one’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article, which is not about Assange. This article, instead, is about a report published this week by The Guardian that recklessly attributed to Assange comments that he did not make. This article is about how those false claims — fabrications, really — were spread all over the internet by journalists, causing hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) to consume false news. The purpose of this article is to underscore, yet again, that those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combating it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it.

One’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article because, presumably, everyone agrees that publication of false claims by a media outlet is very bad, even when it’s designed to malign someone you hate. Journalistic recklessness does not become noble or tolerable if it serves the right agenda or cause. The only way one’s views of Assange are relevant to this article is if one finds journalistic falsehoods and Fake News objectionable only when deployed against figures one likes.

 

THE SHODDY AND misleading Guardian article, written by Ben Jacobs, was published on December 24. It made two primary claims — both of which are demonstrably false. The first false claim was hyped in the article’s headline: “Julian Assange gives guarded praise of Trump and blasts Clinton in interview.” This claim was repeated in the first paragraph of the article: “Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered guarded praise of Donald Trump. …”

The second claim was an even worse assault on basic journalism. Jacobs set up this claim by asserting that Assange “long had a close relationship with the Putin regime.” The only “evidence” offered for this extraordinary claim was that Assange, in 2012, conducted eight interviews that were broadcast on RT. With the claimed Assange-Putin alliance implanted, Jacobs then wrote: “In his interview with la Repubblica, [Assange] said there was no need for WikiLeaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there.”

The reason these two claims are so significant, so certain to attract massive numbers of clicks and shares, is obvious. They play directly into the biases of Clinton supporters and flatter their central narrative about the election: that Clinton lost because the Kremlin used its agents, such as Assange, to boost Trump and sink Clinton. By design, the article makes it seem as though Assange is heralding Russia as such a free, vibrant, and transparent political culture that — in contrast to the repressive West — no whistleblowing is needed, all while praising Trump.

But none of that actually happened. Those claims are made up.

read more:

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of-julian-assa...

assange is free...

 

Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, bringing to an end a seven-year legal stand-off.

The announcement means the WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

"Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange," a statement read.

Assange, 45, has lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation of sexual assault, which he denied.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-19/swedish-prosecutors-end-investigat...

 

Between you and me -- and a lamppost -- congratulations mate, but watch your back, still. There are nasty dudes out there -- government and otherwise -- who will do anything to get rid of you and Wikileaks...

I hope that jumping bail is not an offence once the charges are dropped... The Brits can keep the cash ...

And don't travel to the the US... They now have new charges against you that the Poms might use to "extradite" you... Take care. All the best. Keep up the good work... Stay calm as you always have done, considering...

 

watching out for the potholes of extradition...

Lawyers for Julian Assange will now shift their efforts to finding out whether an extradition agreement for the WikiLeaks founder exists between the US and British governments.

“The big question is the US warrant. The UK refused to give any indication if such a warrant exists,” Christophe Marchand, a Belgium-based member of Assange's legal team, told RT. “We want to know whether there is a US warrant, what is in there, whether we can fight against it then we’ll assess what the next step is for Julian Assange.”

Representatives for Assange’s legal team in Australia, Greg Barns and Julian Burnside, shared Marchand’s frustration. “From the point of view of his adviser, the issue now remains the UK arrest warrant and the fact that the UK won’t confirm or deny whether it has a request for extradition by the United States,” Barns said.

Assange will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy - British police statementhttps://t.co/d87BIB4pqwpic.twitter.com/fvIqVaQISR

— RT (@RT_com) May 19, 2017

Barns called on the Australian government to help Assange to leave the UK, saying he will be contacting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the coming days to canvass for Assange’s safe passage if he decides to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy.

“Now that the Swedish issue is dealt with, as an Australian citizen, he deserves the protection of the Australian government,” he said.

Though Sweden has dropped the charges, the Metropolitan Police have said that the WikiLeaks founder will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy, although he “remains wanted for a much less serious offence,” having failed to surrender to the British courts in 2012.

Assange‘s team are still wary of Swedish prosecutors, however. “As a criminal lawyer I’ve never seen such a gross abuse of justice by a prosecutor so I don’t trust her in her statement,” Marchand said.“We don't trust the Swedish system to be strong enough to resist [the] demand [for] extradition to the United States.”

read more"

https://www.rt.com/news/389002-assange-extradition-threat-wikileaks/

 

It has to be said that Wikileaks has shaken the comfy zone that our duplicitous lying leaders had concocted for us, far more than any other philosophical and journalistic discourses. There is still a lot of work to be done, though. We know that "socialism" is enemy numero uno for the US machine. The US has been known to prefer "terrorism" to socialism. This is shown in its hatred of Assad who runs a pseudo-socialist despotic government and was doing well until the US poke its nose in Syria's affairs  -- on behalf of the Saudis who have been visited by the by cheese himself, Donald Rump. This follow the first ever direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Not a surprise here since we know who is pulling the strings...

the war is not over...

As Julian Assange enjoys “victory and vindication” following the closure of the Swedish prosecutors’ investigation, both he and his supporters know the fight is far from over. 

“I welcome the Swedish prosecutor's decision to end its investigation of Julian Assange,” John Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and whistleblower told RT. “We should not celebrate yet, however.”

“The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States have plotted against Mr. Assange for the past seven years, trying to silence him for his exposure of their crimes.”

Kiriakou, who was the first to acknowledge the CIA’s use of torture, spoke up because he believed the use of torture was “immoral, unethical and illegal.” He served 30 months for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by confirming the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s secret rendition program, and was released in 2015.

“The Swedish government has taken itself out of the equation,” he continued. “But I believe that if Mr. Assange were to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, he would still be arrested on trumped up national security charges and extradited to the United States, where he would find it utterly impossible to receive a fair hearing.”

The Courage Foundation, an international organization supporting  whistleblowers and truth tellers, has turned its focus to WikiLeaks and its staff, following the release of whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Wednesday.

Manning provided WikiLeaks with some of its most explosive revelations, including the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, the War Logs, State Department emails and decades of US embassy cables. 

read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/389019-assange-wikileaks-pilger-kiriakou/