Tag Archives: Julian Assange

Assange court hearing in 2020

The full extradition hearing to decide whether Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (47) should be handed to the United States to face accusations including spying charges will take place in February next year, a London court ruled.Assange faces 18 counts in the U.S. including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law. He could spend decades in prison if convicted, higley likely facing torture in CIA prisons, and also possibly an death penalty.

“Ithttps://twitter.com/guengl/status/1139439176338690049?s=21 is important that people aren’t fooled into believing that WikiLeaks is anything but a publisher,” said Assange, who appeared by videolink from a London prison, dressed in a grey T-shirt and wearing black-framed glasses.

The U.S. government has tried to mislead the press,” he told Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

UK Javid singed Assange extradition to US

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid  informed press about his signature of an extradition order to send WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (47) to the United States.

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Javid  explained that the decision on Assange’s extradition would be made on June 14 in a court, however an appeal from the part of the defendant is expected.

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Assange faces an 18-count indictment in the United States that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified military information and conspiring with former U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning to crack the password of a U.S. Defense Department computer.

The indictment, issued by the U.S. Justice Department in May, includes charges under the Espionage Act.

Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Embassy of Equador in London, where he had been sheltering since 2012 after he was granted a political asylum.

British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for breach the conditions of the bail.

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Swedish prosecution has re-opened a case of alleged rape against him, requesting the questioning, which Assange has agreed to do with the investigators visiting him in the UK to avoid risks of extradition to the U.S.

The scale of the WikiLeaks leak was huge – 750,000 classified and unclassified but sensitive military, and diplomatic documents were released in 2010.

It was one of the first mass releases of secret documents, exposing American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and on a different scale to anything WikLeaks had done before.

 

UN: Assange “tortured psychologically”

Julian Assange has suffered “prolonged exposure to psychological torture“, the UN’s torture expert Nils Melzer said.

Nils Melzer urged the UK not to extradite the Wikileaks founder, warning that his human rights would be violated and that he is not fit to stand trial.

UN expert also accused “several democratic states” of a “concerted effort” to break Assange will.

But the UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt argued that Assange chose to hide” from justice.

In a tweet Jeremy Hunt said Nils Melzershould allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations”.

 

Manning denied release on bail

Former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will remain in prison after a federal appeals court denied her request to be released on bail, and upheld a lower court’s decision to hold Manning in civil contempt for refusing to give evidence before grand jury.

The ruling is a blow to Manning, who was arrested in March after  declining to answer questions in connection with the government’s long-running investigation into Wikileaks and its Australian founder Julian Assange.

In a comment released by a spokesperson, Manning said that while disappointing, the appeals court ruling will still allow to “raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process”.

I don’t have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury,” Manning added.

Equador surrenders Assange

Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange (47), who exposed American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, has been arrested in spite of the laws on refugee Convention, obstructed by British government, preventing him to travel to Equador, where he was granted asylum.  Assange has spent sever years in Equador Embassy in London, in an attempt to avoid extradition to the United States, where he could be subjected to torture, and death penalty.

Today the police said Assange was detained “on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates‘ Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court”.

District Judge Michael Snow said Mr Assange‘s behaviour was “the behaviour of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest“. Finding him guilty,  the Judge sent Assange to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing. The Wikileaks publisher also faces extradition on the US charges and will appear in court via video link on 2 May on that matter.

At present there is no official confirmation if Swedish prosecution Service is intended to re-open an investigation into a sexual assault allegations.

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In 2011, a British court ruled that  Assange should be extradited to Sweden. His lawyers fought the decision fearing he would end up being extradited further to the US to face espionage charges in connection with to the top-secret information he had published via WikiLeaks.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said Assange‘s arrest was carried out in connection with a federal charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to classified US government computer“.

Reportedly the charges relates to Assange‘s alleged role in one of the “largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States“.

The indictment alleges that in March 2010 Assange engaged in “a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning” to assist the former US army intelligence analyst  in “cracking a password” stored at the US Department of Defense computers connected with a government network used for classified documents and communications.

 

UN calls UK for Assange liberation

First day of new year 2019 the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland, reminds of the United Nations Working group on arbitrary detention (WGAD) reiterated call to the UK that Julian Assange recover his entire freedom. In December 2015, the WGAD had determined the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange arbitrary and called for his release.

“GENEVA (21 December 2018) – UN human rights experts today repeated a demand that the UK abides by its international obligations and immediately allows Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to walk free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been for over 6 years, fearing arrest by British authorities if he leaves, and extradition to the US.

“States that are based upon and promote the rule of law do not like to be confronted with their own violations of the law, that is understandable. But when they honestly admit these violations, they do honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn enhanced respect for doing so, and set worldwide commendable examples,” the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) said.

In December 2015, the Working Group concluded in its opinion No. 54/2015 that Mr. Assange – who at the time had a European arrest warrant issued against him for an allegation of crimes committed in Sweden ‑ was being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released.

“Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge” said the experts. “The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador. Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts further said

The WGAD is further concerned that the modalities of the continued arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange is undermining his health, and may possible endanger his life given the disproportionate amount of anxiety and stress that such prolonged deprivation of liberty entails.

“The United Kingdom has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and has a responsibility to honour its commitment, by respecting its provisions in all cases,” the experts said.

“As the High Commissioner for human rights said several years ago, human rights treaty law is binding law, it is not discretionary law. It is not some passing fancy that a state can apply sometimes and not in the other,” the experts recalled.

“In addition, the recommendations of the WGAD Opinions are expected to be implemented by all States, including those which have not been a party in the case concerning Mr. Assange,” said the experts.

“On 10 December, the world celebrated International Human Rights Day. Seventy years ago, on that very day, the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the mother of all rights contained in subsequent conventions, including the ICCPR.

“It is time that Mr. Assange, who has already paid a high price for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of opinion, expression and information, and to promote the right to truth in the public interest, recovers his freedom,” the experts concluded.”

This statement by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is endorsed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. Michel Forst.

Amnesty against extradition of Assange

Amnesty International supported  voices against extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, arguing that this would put his human rights at serious risk of abuse.

The statement, issued by the group’s Australian branch, backed Assange’s lawyers and supporters’ claim that if he is sent to the US, “he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with WikiLeaks.”

Amnesty said that Assange could face several human rights violations in the event that he is extradited to the US, including: violation of his right to freedom of expression; right to liberty; right to life if the death penalty were sought; and being held in conditions that would violate his right to humane treatment.

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