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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the feet-dragging dept.

Democracy Now has a brief interview with a representative from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on their latest attempt to meet Julian Assange inside Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK. Despite being granted approval, the RSF secretary-general and executive director Christophe Deloire and the others with him were denied entry. No other non-governmental agency has been able to meet with Assange in the last four years either.

CHRISTOPHE DELOIRE: So, what happened is that in the past years we requested to be able to visit Julian in his jail. We got an approval recently, which was confirmed on March 21st with a number, an official number, for myself and my colleague, Rebecca Vincent, and we were invited to come to the prison.

And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

And it doesn't make sense at all, first, because, personally, I've been a journalist since 1996, and we were vetted, so it was never a mystery that I was a journalist, never a secret. Second, my colleague wasn't a journalist herself. And we came here not as journalists, but as representatives of an international NGO with a constitutive status in many international organizations. So it was really as Reporters Without Borders representatives, not as reporters covering the case. So, it doesn't make sense for this second reason. And there is a third reason for which it doesn't make sense, is that already two journalists, at least, have been able to visit him in jail in the past four years. So —

Previously:
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2022) Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
(2019) Top Assange Defense Account Suspended By Twitter
(2019) Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

And many more.


Original Submission

Related Stories

French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira thinks National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might be allowed to settle in France.

If France decides to offer them asylum, she would "absolutely not be surprised," she told French news channel BFMTV on Thursday (translated from the French). She said it would be a "symbolic gesture."

Taubira was asked about the NSA's sweeping surveillance of three French presidents, disclosed by WikiLeaks this week, and called it an "unspeakable practice."

Her comments echoed those in an editorial in France's leftist newspaper Libération Thursday morning, which said giving Snowden asylum would be a "single gesture" that would send "a clear and useful message to Washington," in response to the "contempt" the U.S. showed by spying on France's president.

Will France deliver the rebuke to Washington that Germany has failed to?

Breaking News: Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 243 comments

Breaking: Met police confirm that Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.

But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

[...] Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.

After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.

He doesn't look happy, to say the least.

Update: As this is a breaking story, more information is coming out regularly - one source that updates their reports frequently is Zero Hedge - thanks boru!

Previously: New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange's Version in Sweden's Case
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities
UK Said Assange Would Not be Extradited If He Leaves Embassy Refuge
Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London


Original Submission

Top Assange Defense Account Suspended By Twitter 69 comments

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/12/top-assange-defense-account-deleted-by-twitter/

One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.

Any Assange supporter active on Twitter will be familiar with the Unity4J account, which originated to help boost the wildly successful Unity4J online vigils in which well-known Assange defenders would appear to speak out against his persecution. As of this writing, the account has been gone for a day and a half.

"About 8:45am CST on Thursday July 11, one of our Unity4J Twitter team members went to retweet on the account and noticed that the account was no longer accessible," reports pro-Assange activist Christy Dopf, one of the operators of the account. "When each of us also attempted to access the account we all received the same message 'Account Suspended'. Twitter did not send us a reason or violation for the suspension. So an appeal was submitted. We did receive correspondence that Twitter got our request and the case is currently open. Unfortunately we do not have a timeline on how long this could take."

[Ed. note: The linked story variously uses "suspended", "removed", and "deleted"; seemingly interchangeably. When attempting to load "https://twitter.com/Unity4J the response was:

Account suspended

This account has been suspended. Learn more about why Twitter suspends accounts, or return to your timeline.

so it appears that there may be hope for the account to be unsuspended; time will tell. --martyb]


Original Submission

Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree 44 comments

Key witness in Assange case jailed in Iceland after admitting to lies and ongoing crime spree

Sigurdur Thordarson, a key witness for the FBI against Julian Assange, has been jailed in Iceland. The notorious alleged hacker and convicted pedophile was remanded to custody in Iceland's highest security prison, Litla Hraun, on September 24. Þórðarson´s lawyer, Húnbogi J. Andersen, confirms that he is in custody. Thordarson was given immunity by the FBI in exchange for testimony against Julian Assange.

Thordarson was arrested the same day he arrived back in Iceland from a trip to Spain, and was subsequently brought before a judge after police requested indefinite detention intended to halt an ongoing crime spree. The judge apparently agreed that Thordarson's repeated, blatant and ongoing offences against the law put him at high risk for continued re-offending.

[...] Thordarson is a key witness for the United States Justice Department according to documents presented to a UK court in an effort to secure the extradition of Julian Assange. He was recruited by US authorities to build a case against Assange after misleading them to believe he was previously a close associate of his. In a recent interview with Stundin he admitted to fabricating statements to implicate Assange and contradicted what he was quoted as saying in US court documents. In fact he had volunteered on a limited basis to raise money for Wikileaks in 2010 but was found to have used that opportunity to embezzle more than $50,000 from the organization. Julian Assange was visiting Thordarson's home country of Iceland around this time due to his work with Icelandic media and members of parliament in preparing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a press freedom project that produced a parliamentary resolution supporting whistleblowers and investigative journalism.


Original Submission

Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary 105 comments

Julian Assange's extradition from UK to US approved by home secretary

Priti Patel has approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, a decision the organisation immediately said it would appeal against in the high court.

The case passed to the home secretary last month after the supreme court ruled there were no legal questions over assurances given by US authorities over how Assange was likely to be treated.

While Patel has given a green light, WikiLeaks immediately released a statement to say it would appeal against the decision.

"Today is not the end of fight," it said. "It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court."

Also at NYT.


Original Submission

Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them 20 comments

Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them:

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the US Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo on Monday, alleging it recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers.

[...] They said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the Wikileaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he met with.

[...] Richard Roth, the New York attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the alleged spying on Assange's attorneys means the Wikileaks founder's right to a fair trial has "now been tainted, if not destroyed."

[...] It said Undercover Global, which had a security contract with the embassy, swept information on their electronic devices, including communications with Assange, and provided it to the CIA.

In addition it placed microphones around the embassy and sent recordings, as well as footage from security cameras, to the CIA.

This, Roth said, violated privacy protections for US citizens.

Anyone knowledgeable on the law who can help unpack all the legal angles here (non-US citizen, US lawyers, in an embassy in a foreign country involving a private company)?


Original Submission

Politics: Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange 16 comments

Biden faces a renewed push, domestically and internationally, to drop charges against Assange, who is languishing in a UK jail:

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that "a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy".

But the biggest test of Biden's commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

[...] Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange's protracted prosecution.

Five major media organizations that relied on his trove of government secrets, including the Guardian and the New York Times, put out an open letter earlier this month saying that his indictment "sets a dangerous precedent" and threatens to undermine the first amendment.


Original Submission

Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release 4 comments

Australian lawmakers press US envoy for Julian Assange release

Australian lawmakers have met United States Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, urging her to help drop the pending extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allow him to return to Australia.

The "Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group" said on Tuesday it informed Kennedy of "the widespread concern in Australia" about the continued detention of Assange, an Australian citizen.

The meeting comes before US President Joe Biden's scheduled visit to Australia this month for the Quad leaders' summit.

"There are a range of views about Assange in the Australian community and the members of the Parliamentary Group reflect that diversity of views. But what is not in dispute in the Group is that Mr Assange is being treated unjustly," the legislators said in a statement after meeting Kennedy in the capital, Canberra.

Assange is battling extradition from the United Kingdom to the US where he is wanted on criminal charges over the release of confidential military records and diplomatic cables in 2010. Washington says the release of the documents had put lives in danger.

Previously:

April 2023: No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
December 2022: Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
August 2022: Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
June 2022: Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary


Original Submission

Chris Hedges' Sermon on The Crucifixion of Julian Assange 21 comments

The ScheerPost has published a sermon which Chris Hedges gave on Sunday Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway at Kulturkirken Jakob (St. James Church of Culture) where the actor and film director Liv Ullmann read the scripture passages. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who has worked for many years at the New York Times, NPR, and several other publications. In his sermon he expounds on the long-standing problem of speaking truth to power.

Julian exposed the truth. He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling class And for these truths they came after Julian, as they have come after all who dared rip back the veil on power. "Red Rosa now has vanished too," Bertolt Brecht wrote after the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. "She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out."

We have undergone a corporate coup, where poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where we, as citizens, are nothing more than commodities to corporate systems of power, ones to be used, fleeced and discarded.

Given the massive quantities of disinformation spread over a longer period of time against Julian Assange, and the media blackout on coverage of his case and how it effects journalism as a whole, this is a difficult case to find a concise and accurate summary to link to. The bottom line is that, regardless of what one thinks (or has been told to think) about Julian Assange, the case hinges on factors which will determine whether or not there is a future for investigative reporting.

Previously:
(2023) Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release
(2023) No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
...
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum


Original Submission

Op-Ed: Charges Against Journalist Tim Burke Are a Hack Job 35 comments

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/03/charges-against-journalist-tim-burke-are-a-hack-job/

Caitlin Vogus is the deputy director of advocacy at Freedom of the Press Foundation and a First Amendment lawyer. Jennifer Stisa Granick is the surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. The opinions in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of Ars Technica.

Imagine a journalist finds a folder on a park bench, opens it, and sees a telephone number inside. She dials the number. A famous rapper answers and spews a racist rant. If no one gave her permission to open the folder and the rapper's telephone number was unlisted, should the reporter go to jail for publishing what she heard?

If that sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. And yet, add in a computer and the Internet, and that's basically what a newly unsealed federal indictment accuses Florida journalist Tim Burke of doing when he found and disseminated outtakes of Tucker Carlson's Fox News interview with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, going on the first of many antisemitic diatribes.
[...]
According to Burke, the video of Carlson's interview with Ye was streamed via a publicly available, unencrypted URL that anyone could access by typing the address into your browser. Those URLs were not listed in any search engine, but Burke says that a source pointed him to a website on the Internet Archive where a radio station had posted "demo credentials" that gave access to a page where the URLs were listed.

The credentials were for a webpage created by LiveU, a company that provides video streaming services to broadcasters. Using the demo username and password, Burke logged into the website, and, Burke's lawyer claims, the list of URLs for video streams automatically downloaded to his computer.

And that, the government says, is a crime. It charges Burke with violating the CFAA's prohibition on intentionally accessing a computer "without authorization" because he accessed the LiveU website and URLs without having been authorized by Fox or LiveU. In other words, because Burke didn't ask Fox or LiveU for permission to use the demo account or view the URLs, the indictment alleges, he acted without authorization.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday April 11 2023, @12:56PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 11 2023, @12:56PM (#1300952) Journal

    And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

    And it doesn't make sense at all[...]

    In other words, it's a game to prevent said people from visiting Assange. Jump through all these hoops and get turned away at the last minute. It's worse than outright denying access because Reporters Without Borders has now wasted all this time and resources while Assange's trial and ongoing persecution continue, building a greater lead.

    I bet this would make more sense if we were to view the system for purportedly allowing visitors to Assange as operating in bad faith.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:55PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:55PM (#1300967)

      Plus they have no clear reason why they were denied, so they have to jump through hoops to find out followed presumably by legal challenges and appeals and a last minute out-of-court concession so as not to create a precedent. Is this not how it works? Have we not seen this weaponization of the legal system? Is it not what we have fought through all of history? We'll make you a socialist yet, young khallow.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:50PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:50PM (#1301005) Journal

        We'll make you a socialist yet, young khallow.

        Socialism is orthogonal to this. It can coexist quite readily with a police state.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:36PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:36PM (#1300960)

    Perhaps he doesn't want visitors?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:51PM (#1300962)

      Last time he had visitors, he became a father.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:57PM (#1300968)

        Next step he becomes a she?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgOHdxkG9gQ [youtube.com]

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @05:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @05:31PM (#1300974)

        Perhaps he isn't even there anymore, they renditioned him someplace dark and damp or he had some kind of "accident" they don't want the world to know about. Endless possibilities of agony.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @07:21PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @07:21PM (#1300983)

    Deloire. He's a frog (a 'cheese eating surrender monkey' to you USAians) after all.

    What do you expect?

  • (Score: 2) by hopdevil on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:15PM

    by hopdevil (3356) on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:15PM (#1300996)

    Sounds kinda like the West's equivalent of Alexei Navalny, who is propped up in the media to show how the evil Russians treat their political prisoners. Not sure which one is treated worse.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday April 11 2023, @10:05PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday April 11 2023, @10:05PM (#1301011) Journal

    If anything gives the lie to the West's reputation for supposedly being a more just and fair society, it's this treatment of Julian Assange. Not that there haven't been many, many other cases of politically motivated gross injustices, but this one really stands out. It's like most of the governments of the West are in cahoots not just to silence Assange, but also to intimidate anyone thinking of following in his footsteps. They've run roughshod over their own rules to keep him out of circulation. Don't know what truth there is to the various allegations of sexual misconduct, but we can all see it sure is convenient for those who want him silenced. It's one of the standard dirty tricks, snaring a rival in a sex scandal. Works so well on males, sending a pretty female to tempt him. Even if he doesn't fall for it, they might just slander him anyway, lie and say he did it.

    I shouldn't be the least surprised that most prison guards have authoritarian fascist personalities. That kind of work is attractive to that kind of personality. It's no good pointing out the stupidity and hypocrisy of their arguments (you guys are *gasp* journalists!!!), they're all "might is right" sorts. They even get a little kick out of doing the dirty work their bosses have only had to hint they want done. Get their bosses to tell them to let those visitors in, and they will fall all over themselves to throw open the gates.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by khallow on Wednesday April 12 2023, @01:18AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 12 2023, @01:18AM (#1301031) Journal

      If anything gives the lie to the West's reputation for supposedly being a more just and fair society,

      It falls short of being just and fair. It doesn't fall short of being more just and fair because that's a really low hurdle.

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