In defense of Assange


  • Putin wants Assange’s rights to be observed
  • Atrocious decision, says Maduro
  • Bolivian president condemns persecution of Assange
  • Moreno, the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian history, says Correa
  • Corbyn opposes extradition of Assange
  • Fight chilling’ attack on press
  • Assange’s persecution sends freedom of speech & journalists’ rights into ‘oblivion’
  • Assange arrest ‘national shame’ and ‘historic error,’ says Ecuador’s ex-FM

People around the world are condemning arrest of Assange, demanding ensuring his rights to observed, and voicing support to Assange.

Media report said:

Putin wants Assange’s rights to be observed

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the poor treatment of Julian Assange by British police.

Following the arrest of Assange by British police, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his concern over the situation. He asked for Assange’s rights to be observed.

Press secretary for the Russian Presidency, Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “We, of course, hope that all of his rights will be observed.”

Other high ranking officials within the Russian government also voiced their concern and criticism over the arrest, which even experts of the UN argue are in violation of international law.

Alexey Chepa, deputy chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma was quoted in the Moscow Times, saying, “We need to use all international opportunities to protect the person who tried to expose the truth and bring information to the public that some entities carefully concealed.”

Atrocious decision, says Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro became another leftist Latin American leader to condemn Assange’s arrest, calling it an “atrocious decision.”

The statement issued by Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry on behalf of Maduro called Assange a victim of political persecution by the US whose “crime” was to “have revealed to the world the darkest and most criminal face of the ‘regime change wars’ that the American empire carries out, and in particular, the mass murder of civilians, and the blatant violations of human rights in Iraq.”

Bolivian president condemns ‘persecution of Assange

Bolivian President Evo Morales has condemned the arrest and detention of Julian Assange, who he said is being “persecuted” for revealing US “human rights violations, murders of civilians and diplomatic espionage.”

“We strongly condemn the detention of Julian Assange and the violation of freedom of speech,” Morales tweeted on Thursday.

Moreno, the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian history, says Correa

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa – whose government granted Assange asylum in 2012 – branded his more pro-US successor Lenin Moreno the “greatest traitor in Ecuadorian history” for rescinding the asylum claim and allowing British officers to enter his country’s embassy.

This is unheard of. These actions cannot leave one not outraged,” he told RT Spanish.

Correa believes that Moreno’s decision was motivated by meetings with top-level US officials, including US President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Vice President Pence, and by “vengeance,” after WikiLeaks allegedly published documents implicating Moreno in a corruption investigation. WikiLeaks denies being behind the publication.

Correa explained why he calls his successor Moreno the “worst traitor” in the country’s history for handing over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to British authorities.

The former president says his successor is no better than the disciple Judas Iscariot or Ephialtes of Trachis, the man accused of betraying Greek forces defending the pass of Thermopylae from invading Persians.

“It was not Rafael Correa, who gave asylum to Julian Assange. It was the state of Ecuador. And the state of Ecuador had to protect the person it pledged to protect according to international law and its national pride. Instead they gave him up, allowed the British police to enter our embassy,” he said.

He added that the move also violated the constitution of Ecuador, since Assange is now a citizen of the Latin American country and is owed protection accordingly. “This is unheard of. These actions cannot leave one not outraged,” he said.

Correa said Moreno basically sold “Assange’s head” to the Americans.

Moreno’s decision was partially motivated by various benefits Ecuador and the president personally got in return, Correa believes. But another motive was revenge on WikiLeaks, he told. Moreno believes that the site was responsible for publication of explosive documents, which implicate him and his family members in corruption.

“Paul Manafort, the head of the Trump presidential campaign, visited Ecuador on May 30, 2017, weeks after Moreno took the office of the president. And even then Moreno offered to hand out Assange in exchange for financial enrichment from the US,” Correa said.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Commenting on Assange’s arrest, Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner tweeted that while fake news dominates headlines, “those who reveal the truth are persecuted and imprisoned.”

Exposing the murderous US military assault on Iraq

In the UK, Shadow Home Secretary and Labour Party MP Dianne Abbott said: This is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks are ‘guilty’ of, exposing the murderous outcome of the US military assault on Iraq.”

She tweeted: “States don’t have the right to kill willy-nilly. Whistleblowers do us all a service.”

Pursued for ‘exposing evidence of US atrocities’: Corbyn opposes extradition of Assange

Leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has publicly opposed UK’s possible extradition of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to the US, saying he exposed evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hours following Assange’s arrest in London on Thursday, Corbyn tweeted a video statement of Labour MP Diane Abbott, who argued in Parliament that WikiLeaks had “lifted the veil on US military operations in a variety of theaters, none of which have produced a favorable outcome for the people of those countries.”

“Julian Assange is not being pursued to protect US national security, he is being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by US administrations and their military forces,” said Abbott.

Fight chilling’ attack on press

Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, and WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that they intend to fight the extradition request.

The prosecution – and persecution – of Julian Assange is meant to silence others who would speak out against abuses of power, WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson and Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson say, promising to fight back.

“This is a precedent that effectively means that any journalist or media organization anywhere in the world can be extradited and prosecuted for having published truthful info about the United States, and that is, as a matter of principle, wrong and ought to be resisted. And we will be fighting it,” Robinson told.

“The message is not to Julian Assange. The message is to journalists all over the world that they should not step in the way of a superpower who wants to have all the power,” Hrafnsson agreed.

While he is concerned about the “chilling effect” on journalists who now “have to face the possibility of being persecuted and thrown into a prison plane to be put on trial in the US,” he remains confident that “there will always be brave people to step forward and see the importance of getting information out.”

“Information wants out. It should be out. Transparency is the norm – it should be the norm – and there will always be brave individuals to partake in that endeavor.”

WikiLeaks has set its own precedent, Hrafnsson pointed out. The Iraq and Afghanistan war leaks – “the largest leak in military history” – followed by the Cablegate release of State Department communications – “the largest leak in diplomatic history” – set a standard for those who came later, he said, citing the Panama Papers and Edward Snowden’s leaks as publications inspired by the WikiLeaks model.

Whatever attacks are mounted against Assange, “the work of WikiLeaks will continue,” Hrafnsson said. “It is not going anywhere.”

“He will take on the fight and fight for victory – and we will help him out.”

Assange’s persecution sends freedom of speech & journalists’ rights into ‘oblivion’

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova took to Facebook to criticize the arrest of Julian Assange. To her followers, she wrote: “The hand of “democracy” squeezes the throat of freedom.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said the manner in which the UK government executed the arrest of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is demeaning to human dignity, and his long-running persecution is a blow to journalism.

Commenting on the arrest and detention of the publisher in the UK on Thursday, the ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, condemned the British authorities for manhandling Assange as he was being hauled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

“The manner in which this operation was executed leaves a total impression of a flagrant and unconcealed neglect for the human dignity of the arrestee,” she said, adding that Moscow hopes all of Assange’s rights would be respected.

Zakharova pointed out that before his eventual arrest by the UK police, Assange had to endure years of persecution while forced to live in “unbearable conditions” at the embassy.

“The persecution and harassment, the creation of inhumane conditions for his existence – this is sending freedom of speech and the right to spread information into oblivion. This is a blow to the rights of journalists. There can be no other assessment,” Zakharova said.

It has been speculated that the last drop that prompted Moreno to strip Assange of his protection and revoke his Ecuadorian citizenship was the release of documents that linked Moreno to a corruption case in Ecuador. The revelations were attributed to WikiLeaks, although the whistleblowing site denied involvement.

Washington has until June 12 to justify his extradition to the US, where it is feared he might face charges for much more serious crimes that can land him in jail for up to 45 years.

‘Stand up for your own goddamn job!’ Lee Camp tear into media for failing Assange

Lee Camp has unloaded on mainstream media in a fiery speech in defense of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. He said that by staying silent, they put a nail in the coffin of press freedom they themselves used to enjoy.

The host of Redacted Tonight addressed a crowd of protesters outside the UK Embassy in Washington, DC.

The journalist argued that Assange’s methods were no different from those of established media like the Washington Post and the New York Times, when they published the Pentagon Papers exposing the truth about the US role in Vietnam, including its involvement in possible war crimes.

“This is nothing new,” Camp said of WikiLeaks’ way of dumping secretive government cables, while keeping sources anonymous.

He said various media outlets, no matter their political leanings, should unite in protecting Assange and thereby their own right to report the facts the government would not like to see unearthed.

“It’s up to our mainstream media, our regular media, our independent media, citizen journalists to stand up and say: ‘This is not how it should be. You should not be in prison for this.'”

Assange arrest reveals British justice is just a ‘plaything’ of Washington

The arrest of Julian Assange in London after an extradition request from the US, and the way the WikiLeaks founder was treated by a British judge, made Thursday a “shameful day” for UK justice, commentators told RT.

“The UK’s legal system is but a plaything of the US legal system. Britain is a vassal of Washington as it’s been confirmed by today’s events,” political commentator John Wight said.

“Assange will disappear in to the void of the US prison system” if he’s extradited, Wight warned. He advised against trusting the Department of Justice, which insisted that the publisher will get the maximum term of five years if convicted in America.

We have to focus on the precedent, but not the words emanating from the US. And the precedent it that Chelsea Manning was imprisoned for over 35 years for her role in uncovering the crimes of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Manning was pardoned after serving seven years, but was returned behind bars this March for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks.

“They’re saying that it’s only five years, but five years in a US prison is unlike five years in any other country’s prison, with few exceptions. It’s a notoriously cruel, barbarous and vindictive system,” Wight said.

The personal characterization of Julian Assange by Judge Michael Snow was “highly improper,” Mads Andenas, former UN special rapporteur on arbitrary detention, told RT.

“The world is following this case” and Snow’s words “made people doubt the fairness of the judicial process,” he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May announcing Assange’s arrest to the cheers of Parliament was also “not the right thing to do in a case where it’s very important for the UK to leave the impression that it’s a judicial process that’s deal with absolutely fairly,” the legal expert added.

Assange arrest ‘national shame’ and ‘historic error,’ Ecuador’s ex-Foreign Minister says

Assange’s arrest is “will leave a deep mark on Ecuador for a long time,” said Ecuador’s Former Foreign Minister Guillaume Long on social media.

Guillaume Long issued a statement Thursday condemning the arrest of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy in the British capital London.

“The surrender of Julian Assange, dragged by the British police after entering our diplomatic mission to remove it, is a national shame and a historic error that will leave a deep mark on Ecuador for a long time,” Long said.

Long further stressed that the country had violated the fundamental “non-refoulement” principle of human rights protection according to international law.

“Ecuador has just violated opinion 54/2015 of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations,” and “violated Opinion OC-25/2019 of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Resolution MC-54-19 of the IACHR of March 2019, which obliges Ecuador not to deport, return, expel, extradite or otherwise remove Assange from our embassy,” he specified.

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Related Posts

We are Spartacus

Dissenting Journalists Have Been Defenestrated From the “Mainstream” Spartacus was a 1960 Hollywood film based on a book written secretly by the blacklisted novelist Howard Fast, and adapted by the screenplay…

The Crucifixion of Julian Assange

This is a sermon I gave on Sunday Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway at Kulturkirken Jakob (St. James Church of Culture). Actor and film director Liv Ullmann read the scripture…

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News