Patrick Maynard connects U.S. and U.K. influence to the indifference of the West’s top anti-corruption NGO toward the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder.
By Patrick Maynard
On a cool July day, the Berlin neighborhood where Transparency International’s global headquarters is situated feels a thousand miles away from London’s Belmarsh Prison. But it is not just the pleasant setting a few blocks from the Spree River that makes the influential nongovernmental organization seem so detached from the maximum security penitentiary’s most famous inmate, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Transparency International has been vocal in defending jailed opposition activists in states such as Zimbabwe, Russiaand Venezuela. But when it comes to Assange – far-and-away the world’s most prominent imprisoned transparency activist – the NGO has not said a word since a week after his arrest in April 2019.
When Transparency International did mention Assange’s arrest, it came in the form of a mealy-mouthed blog post that referred to the WikiLeaks founder as “polarizing” and failed to condemn his persecution.
Transparency International happens to be funded by the U.K. government which is currently jailing Assange, and by the U.S. State Department, which is headed by Mike Pompeo – the former CIA director, who presided over a black operations campaign to destroy WikiLeaks.
Much has changed since Transparency International last issued a statement about Assange. A UN special rapporteur found evidence that Assange may have been tortured. The judge on the case was switched after significant conflicts of interest were discovered.
Assange’s bail-jumping penalty of 50 weeks was also exhausted in April, meaning that for many weeks, the British have been holding him purely as a favor for their American allies, without Assange being formally charged with a British crime. And, perhaps most relevant to the case, 36 members of the European Parliament have recently called for Assange to be released from Belmarsh on press freedom and humanitarian grounds.