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posted by janrinok on Thursday May 11 2023, @10:15AM   Printer-friendly

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.


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

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Related Stories

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.

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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)?

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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

No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago 12 comments

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 —

(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

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.

(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

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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Thursday May 11 2023, @06:18PM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 11 2023, @06:18PM (#1305896) Journal

    The world needs to stand up for Assange. The United States is making a mockery of 'freedom of the press'. It's making a mockery of freedom, period. People all over the world should be flooding Washington, D.C. with emails and snail mails, protesting the Assange debacle. And, I'm not only talking about the so-called 'free world', every nation on earth stands to lose something if Assange is convicted. Even Kim Jung Il's propagandists are subject to arrest and conviction in the US, because opinions, facts, and ideas contrary to the US government's version of opinions, facts, and ideas are somehow 'treason' against the United States.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Thursday May 11 2023, @06:51PM

      by Freeman (732) on Thursday May 11 2023, @06:51PM (#1305907) Journal

      His only chance lies with him not getting extradited. At this point though, he's more of a has been, than anything. Doesn't mean the government won't lock him away and throw away the key, if they get the chance to do it.

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by Mykl on Thursday May 11 2023, @10:52PM (1 child)

      by Mykl (1112) on Thursday May 11 2023, @10:52PM (#1305958)

      Agreed. Tin-pot dictators have been using Assange, Gitmo, Extraordinary Rendition and other similar horrors to demonstrate why the US is in no position to lecture them on human rights. They're absolutely right too - the US has a terrible track record on this sort of stuff.

      I was furious when the then-Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, rolled over and asked George W Bush to rub his belly when Assange was first being pursued. It was one of the several things that, I believe, ultimately led to him being voted out and his party losing office. The Australian public in general have been very supportive of Assange - unfortunately the same could not be said of our government until quite recently. Sweden and the UK need to hang their heads in shame for their collaboration in this disgrace too.

      There was a chance for a while that Trump was going to let him off because Hillary Clinton reportedly wanted Assange dead. While Trump himself is unlikely to have cared about Assange at all and only wanted to point score against his opponent, I would still have taken the win. Sadly, one of the lizard people must've gotten into his ear (either that or he got distracted by something shiny).

      The fact that the actual leaker of the documents is already walking around a free person says volumes about how serious the US really feels the leak was. This is more about punishing the person who embarrassed them. Oh, and being dicks just because they can.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Dale on Friday May 12 2023, @04:44PM

        by Dale (539) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 12 2023, @04:44PM (#1306122)

        The real crime wasn't the leak. The real crime was challenging the ego and authority. Assange not only challenged it, he continued to challenge and defy it. That is why they will never stop. I agree it is the example that our adversaries point to and they are correct in doing so. Assange is certainly an egostical ass, but he continues to make the US the same with their continued pursuit of him.