Why Julian Assange Must Urgently be Freed: Stella Morris – Global Research

why-julian-assange-must-urgently-be-freed:-stella-morris-–-global-research

04-05-20 07:27:00,

The life of my partner, Julian Assange, is at severe risk. He is on remand at HMP Belmarsh, and Covid-19 is spreading within its walls.

Julian and I have two little boys. Since becoming a mother, I have been reflecting on my own childhood.

My parents are European, but when I was little we lived in Botswana, five miles from the border with Apartheid South Africa. Many of my parents’ friends came from across the border: writers, painters, conscientious objectors. It was an unlikely centre for artistic creativity and intellectual exchange.

The history books describe Apartheid as institutional segregation, but it was much more than that. Segregation occurred in broad daylight. The abductions, torture and killings occurred at night.

The foundations of the Apartheid system were precarious, so the regime met ideas of political reform with live ammunition. In June 1985, South African assassination squads crossed the border armed with machine guns, mortars and grenades. As soon as gunfire burst into the night, my parents wrapped me in a blanket. I slept as my parents raced the car to safety. The sound of explosions carried through the capital for the hour and a half that it took to kill twelve people.

The first person to be killed was a very close family friend, an exceptional painter. South Africa claimed the raid had targeted the armed wing of the ANC, but in reality most of the victims were innocent civilians and children killed as they lay sleeping in bed. We left Botswana within days.

I have absorbed my parents’ vivid memories of the raid. If that terrible night shaped my perspective of the world, the incarceration of the father of my children will surely mark theirs.

Forming a family with Julian under the circumstances was always going to be difficult, but our hopes eclipsed our fears. Initially, Julian and I managed to carve out a space for a private life. Our firstborn visited with the help of a friend. But when Gabriel was six months old, an embassy security contractor confessed to me that he had been told to steal the baby’s DNA through a nappy. Failing that they would take the baby’s pacifier.

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Bild Chefredakteur Julian Reichelt sorgt für Verwirrung | KenFM.de

bild-chefredakteur-julian-reichelt-sorgt-fur-verwirrung-|-kenfm.de

03-05-20 03:20:00,

Von Wolfgang Effenberger.

Am 28. April versetzte der Bild Chefredakteur Julian Reichelt mit einer sensationellen Video-Erklärung sein Publikum in Erstaunen:(1)

Ob die in der Coronakrise getroffenen Maßnahmen „richtig oder falsch, maßvoll oder überzogen sind, werden wir erst aus den Geschichtsbüchern erfahren“, sagte er. Vollkommen offen sei es, ob „wir auf Corona als Gesundheitskatastrophe oder Zusammenbruch unserer Wirtschaft zurückblicken“ werden. Es sei keinesfalls gewiss, dass richtig ist, „was gewaltige Mehrheiten für richtig halten“. Reichelt stellte fest:

„Es gibt keine Herdenimmunität dagegen, historisch katastrophal falsch zu liegen (…) nahezu alle Experten, denen wir uns in dieser Krise anvertrauen müssen, lagen in nahezu jeder Einschätzung so falsch, dass sich unser Glaube an sie nur noch mit Verzweiflung erklären lässt.“ Nun folgt der Vorwurf an die Politiker: „Sie haben das Tragen von Masken nahezu verhöhnt, nun ist es Pflicht, sie haben davor gewarnt, Schulen und Kitas zu schließen, nun sind Millionen Kinder seit Wochen zu Hause. Sie haben es als nutzlos abgetan, die Grenzen abzuriegeln, nun kommt niemand mehr ins Land [ausgenommen der Shuttle-Service für Migranten, W.E.]“

Weiter kritisierte Reichelt das „Robert-Kobert Institut“ (RKI), „welches davon abriet, Corona-Tote zu obduzieren, nun geschieht es trotzdem, und Rechtsmediziner sagen, dass bei weitem nicht alle Toten an Corona gestorben seien“.

Die meisten Sorgen macht sich Reichelt um die Wirtschaft, die jetzt so massiv und teilweise irreparabel geschädigt sei, „dass unsere Regierung kaum noch zugeben kann, in ihrer Schärfe überzogen zu haben. Die Experten müssen Recht behalten, weil sie nicht falsch liegen dürfen“. Den Ruin der deutschen Wirtschaft würde kaum eine Partei, vielleicht nicht einmal die Demokratie überleben: „Deswegen erleben wir zunehmend Sturheit, Starrsinn und Rechthaberei. Erinnert mich an die Flüchtlingskrise, sagte mir [Reichelt, W.E.] ein Mitglied aus Merkels Regierung. Die Kanzlerin bezichtigt jeden Zweifler an der Öffnungsdiskussionsorgie, raunt davon, manche würden zu forsch handeln, ohne zu sagen, was sie genau meint“. Abschließend erinnerte Reichelt an die Warnung Wolfgang Schäubles vor zu großen Eingriffen in die Grundrechte und unterstrich den absoluten Wert des Grundgesetzes: Die Würde des Menschen – sie ist unantastbar, aber sie schließt nicht aus,

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Julian Assange’s partner Stella Morris speaks out: “His life is on the brink”

julian-assange’s-partner-stella-morris-speaks-out:-“his-life-is-on-the-brink”

13-04-20 12:30:00,

By
Oscar Grenfell

13 April 2020

In a YouTube video released by WikiLeaks yesterday, Stella Morris, a 37-year-old lawyer, revealed that she has been in a personal relationship with Julian Assange since 2015 and that they have two infant children together.

Morris powerfully defended the WikiLeaks founder, whom she is engaged to marry, spoke movingly about the close bond of their young family and called for Assange’s immediate release from London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

Assange and Morris in the Ecuadorian embassy (Credit: WikiLeaks)

In accompanying comments to the Daily Mail, the South-African born lawyer explained that she was speaking out publicly for the first time, because Assange’s “life is on the brink.” She warned that “Julian’s poor physical health puts him at serious risk, like many other vulnerable people, and I don’t believe he will survive infection with coronavirus.”

“Over the past five years I have discovered that love makes the most intolerable circumstances seem bearable but this is different, I am now terrified I will not see him alive again,” she said.

Morris had filed a statement in support of an application last month for Assange to be released on bail.

It was callously rejected by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, despite the fact that the WikiLeaks founder has not been convicted of a crime and suffers from a raft of health issues, including a chronic lung condition. This means that the COVID-19 pandemic poses an imminent threat to his life.

Currently, 150 Belmarsh Prison staff are now infected with the virus or self-isolating. There are two known deaths of inmates, but Assange told a friend last week that there had been other fatalities.

Baraitser has also decreed that the May court hearings for Assange’s extradition to the US will proceed, even though Britain is in a national lockdown, there are mass coronavirus deaths and the WikiLeaks founder has no prospect of consulting with his lawyers. This underscores the fact that Baraitser is working to a predetermined timetable dictated by those orchestrating Assange’s dispatch to the US, where he faces life imprisonment for exposing American war crimes.

In a particularly vindictive move, Baraitser rejected an application from Assange’s lawyers for the identity of Morris and her children to be protected.

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Ein Jahr seit Julian Assanges Verhaftung

ein-jahr-seit-julian-assanges-verhaftung

13-04-20 12:29:00,

Von
Oscar Grenfell

13. April 2020

Am Samstag vor 12 Monaten wurde WikiLeaks-Gründer Julian Assange von britischen Polizei- und Sicherheitsbeamten verhaftet. Die ecuadorianische Botschaft in London, in der er sieben Jahre lang als politischer Flüchtling verbracht hatte, hatte ihn rechtswidrig ausgewiesen.

Der Anblick eines körperlich angeschlagenen Journalisten, der mitten in London von sechs britischen Polizisten misshandelt wird, hat Millionen von Menschen auf der ganzen Welt schockiert. Assange wurde aus dem Gebäude gezerrt, und die ersten Sonnenstrahlen nach so langer Zeit blendeten ihn sichtlich. Agenten im Zivil schienen die Operation zu leiten. Sie waren schon in den Tagen zuvor aufgefallen und beim Herumschleichen um die Botschaft gefilmt worden.

Assange wehrte sich und ließ sich auch nicht einschüchtern, als Polizisten ihn brutal anpackten. Er rief zum Widerstand gegen seine Verfolgung auf und sagte: „Großbritannien muss diesen Angriff der Trump-Administration zurückweisen.“

11. April 2019: Assange wird in London aus der Botschaft von Ecuador gezerrt

Als einziger Journalist zeichnete ein Reporter des Videodienstes Ruptly diese 55 Sekunden dauernde Ausweisung aus der Botschaft auf. Doch der gewalttätige Angriff auf Assange hatte schon vorher begonnen.

Reporter des Nachrichtenmagazins „Panorama“ weisen auf den Bericht eines anonymen WikiLeaks-Mitarbeiters, der damals an Assanges Seite war.

Demnach war Assange am Morgen des 11. April in den Konferenzraum der Botschaft gerufen worden. Botschafter Jaime Marchan betrat den Raum zusammen mit Sicherheitsbeamten und ecuadorianischen Geheimdienstmitarbeitern. Er las Assange einen Brief vor, in dem es hieß, dass Ecuador ihm das Asyl und die Staatsbürgerschaft entziehe, und dass er die Botschaft sofort verlassen müsse. Marchan und sein Sicherheitskommando verließen darauf den Raum.

Assange und sein Kollege konnten schon beim Öffnen der Tür zum Konferenzraum sehen, dass eine Gruppe von Männern und Frauen, auch Mitglieder der Metropolitan Police, draußen standen und anscheinend auf ihn warteten.

Assange stellte fest, dass der Entzug seines Asyls und seiner Staatsbürgerschaft eine Verletzung der ecuadorianischen Verfassung darstelle, gegen die er Berufung einlegen wolle. Er stand auf, um in sein Zimmer zurückzukehren. In diesem Moment wurde sein Begleiter beiseitegeschoben. Julian Assange wurde ergriffen, mit Handschellen gefesselt und an die Eingangstür der Botschaft geschleift.

Ein Jahr später kann es keinen Zweifel daran geben, dass der Angriff vom 11. April letzten Jahres den Beginn eines US-amerikanischen und britischen politischen Mordversuchs war.

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Julian Assanges Partnerin tritt an die Öffentlichkeit

julian-assanges-partnerin-tritt-an-die-offentlichkeit

13-04-20 10:20:00,

Am Samstag Abend veröffentlichte Wikileaks ein Video-Interview mit Julian Assanges langjähriger Partnerin, Verlobten und Mutter zweier gemeinsamer Söhne Stella Morris. Im englischen Daily Mail erschien gleichzeitig dieser Artikel eines Gesprächs mit vielen Bildern, und der Schweizer Landbote schreibt dies. Am Samstag jährte sich auch die Verschleppung von Assange aus der ecuadorianischen Botschaft in London. Von Moritz Müller.

Im Interview erklärt Stella Morris, dass sie Assange seit 2011, als sie Mitglied seines Rechtsbeistandes wurde, kennt. Im Jahr 2015, nachdem sie sich nahezu täglich gesehen hatten, wurde aus Assange nach Morris Worten aus einer Person, die man zu treffen geniesßt, der von ihr meist gewollte Mann auf der Welt. („Over the years he went from a person I enjoyed seeing to the man I wanted to see most in the world“)

Frau Morris wurde in Südafrika geboren und spricht fließend schwedisch und spanisch, was für die rechtliche Vertretung von Julian Assange sehr hilfreich war – einerseits, um schwedische Gerichtsakten zu lesen, und andererseits, um mit Assanges ecuadorianischen Asylgebern zu kommunizieren.

Die beiden kleinen Söhne Max and Gabriel sind nach ihrer Schilderung explizit geplant gewesen, um ihrer Beziehung etwas von einer gewöhnlichen Beziehung zu geben, wie auch Menschen in Kriegsgebieten Kinder bekämen.

Sie beschreibt Julian Assange als eine generöse und liebende Person, deren Ansehen über die Jahre gezielt zerstört wurde, so wie es vielen Menschen ergeht, die unerwünschte Wahrheiten ans Licht brächten.

Stella Morris schildert, dass sie, nachdem sie jahrelang ihre Familie aus dem öffentlichen Fokus gehalten hat, sich nun entschlossen hat, an die Öffentlichkeit zu treten, weil sie fürchtet, dass Julian Assanges Leben aufgrund seiner angeschlagenen Gesundheit und dem sich in Englands Gefängnissen ausbreitenden Coronavirus in akuter Gefahr ist.

Die beiden Söhne sind beide britische Staatsbürger, was sicherlich auch in die Auslieferungsentscheidung mit einbezogen werden müsste.

Wir werden in den nächsten Tagen sehen, wie die betreffenden Stellen auf diese Neuigkeiten reagieren.

Stella Morris Auftreten, zusammen mit ihren Söhnen ist von der britischen Öffentlichkeit und den Personen, die offiziell und inoffiziell über das Schicksal von Julian entscheiden, sicherlich nicht so leicht zu ignorieren, wie ein bärtiger Sonderling, der von einer Truppe linksgerichteter Aktivisten unterstützt wird. Am Ende des ansonsten eher nüchternen Interviews, durchzogen von etwas Witz und Verliebtheit,

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1 Year Since Julian Assange’s Arrest – Defend WikiLeaks

1-year-since-julian-assange’s-arrest-–-defend-wikileaks

12-04-20 09:55:00,

1 Year Since Julian Assange’s Arrest

A panel discussion marking one year since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrested by British police. Assange is fighting extradition to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison on the first-ever charges of espionage for publishing truthful information in the public interest.

Panelists:

  • Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower
  • Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Moderator:

  • Aaron Maté, writer for The Nation and host of Pushback at The Grayzone

 

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Julian Assange denied bail by London court

julian-assange-denied-bail-by-london-court

25-03-20 02:48:00,

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by a London court after his lawyers argued that the Covid-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to his health in light of his pre-existing conditions.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that the global pandemic “does not provide grounds” for Assange’s release.

Also on rt.com
Julian Assange’s lawyers to apply for release on bail, citing risk of Covid-19 — WikiLeaks

The judge also cited Assange’s “past conduct” which she said “shows the lengths he is prepared to go to avoid extradition proceedings,” according to the AAP’s reporter in court.

Assange bail application:- US govt lawyers: Assange is a flight risk, gov’t to protect prisoners from virus.- Defence lawyers: Assange at higher-risk from virus and no longer a flight risk.- Judge: rules against bail.#Assange#Covid19UK

— Marty Silk (@MartySilkHack) March 25, 2020

With her comment on Assange’s “past conduct,” Baraitser was likely referring to the whistleblower’s decision in 2012 to seek asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange entered the embassy in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual assaults – which have since been dropped – and to the US, where his lawyers say he would face an unfair and politically-motivated trial for exposing US war crimes. 

Lawyers for the US government had argued that Assange was a flight risk, though with most of the world on some form or other of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s unclear where Baraitser thinks Assange would have been able to flee to.

His defense team argued he was not a flight risk, but is in high danger of the virus, due to his health conditions.

Also on rt.com
‘Doctors for Assange’ worry he may die in UK prison having ‘effectively been tortured to death’

Assange is wanted in the US on 18 criminal counts of conspiring to hack government computers and breaking espionage laws. He has been held at London’s top security Belmarsh prison since April when he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy by British police.

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Julian Assange’s lawyers to apply for release on bail, citing risk of Covid-19 — WikiLeaks

julian-assange’s-lawyers-to-apply-for-release-on-bail,-citing-risk-of-covid-19-—-wikileaks

23-03-20 11:33:00,

Lawyers for Julian Assange are to make a bail application for the WikiLeaks co-founder, arguing that he is in imminent danger of contracting the deadly novel coronavirus at the center of a global pandemic while in prison.

The Australian is currently being held in the notorious maximum-security Belmarsh prison in London on a US extradition warrant for publishing classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

WikiLeaks released a statement on Monday, saying the 48-year-old’s legal team would now be pushing for bail at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates court in London on Wednesday.

Julian Assange falls into a category of persons who should be released to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

BREAKING: Assange’s lawyers have announced that they will be applying for bail at court this Wednesday, 25 March. They argue that he is in imminent danger from Coronavirus spreading through the prison population and should be released for his and other prisoners and staff safety. pic.twitter.com/pVjglPPi80

— Don’t Extradite Assange (@DEAcampaign) March 23, 2020

The Prison Officers Association trade union revealed last week that over 100 staff and 75 prisoners across the UK were in isolation after showing Covid-19 symptoms. So far, one prisoner has tested positive for the dangerous disease in Manchester.

Earlier this year, 117 doctors signed a letter published in the Lancet medical journal calling for the urgent release of Assange amid concerns over his deteriorating health.

The WikiLeaks founder is wanted in the US for “unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense” with the help of former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. 

The US Justice Department has indicted the journalist on 18 counts, which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Also on rt.com
Chelsea Manning may have been released from prison, but her political persecution continues

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Julian in the Dock

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12-03-20 11:01:00,

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has had very little media coverage. Even The Guardian and The New York Times barely mentioned it, though these newspapers made a fortune publishing Assange-provided cables. Unless you had been looking for it, you wouldn’t even know that on February 24 to 27, the first stage of Assange’s extradition hearing was being adjudicated in the secretive Woolwich Crown Court embedded within the huge Belmarsh Prison nicknamed “British Gitmo”. Luckily for us, Ambassador Craig Murray, the indomitable truth fighter, went there, waited in line for hours in the rain, underwent searches and discomfort, and wrote an extensive report (12,000 words) on this travesty of justice that went under the name of a ‘trial’. His reports leave nothing out, from the threatening atmosphere to the sinister legal arguments. He captured the menace and the abuse bordering with public torture, and delivered it to the world, something that none of the journalists on the payroll of the mass media had been allowed to do. Here are some insights from his report in my free rendering augmented with other sources.

The Court is designed with no other purpose than to exclude the public, on an island accessible only through navigating a maze of dual carriageways, the entire location and architecture of the building is predicated on preventing public access. It is in truth just the sentencing wing of Belmarsh prison.

The judge, the Magistrate (or District Judge) Vanessa Baraitser is a modern version of the Hanging Judge George Jeffreys, a female Judge Dredd. She is the chief villain by all descriptions of the trial, not just tolerating but exceeding the demands of the prosecution. The lawyers acting for the prosecution did request some niceties if only for the trial to appear fair. Baraitser had no such pretensions. She went straight for the jugular. If she could, she would hang Assange right away.

This Jewish lady is surrounded by mystery: she has left no trace upon the Internet. A newly born child has more Internet presence than this middle-aged woman. I doubt such a blank slate could be achieved nowadays without the active assistance of the Secret Services.

Ambassador Murray writes: “Ms Baraitser is not fond of photography – she appears to be the only public figure in Western Europe with no photo on the internet.

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Julian Assange: The Power of Truth – Global Research

julian-assange:-the-power-of-truth-–-global-research

09-03-20 10:52:00,

Julian Assange – an innocent journalist/publisher – is being constantly strip-searched, handcuffed and confined either in an iron cell in the infamous Belmarsh prison or in a glass cage during his show trial. The aim is to make Assange feel and look powerless. Ironically the news of the torture and weakened body of Julian Assange and his unfair trial has generated a tremendous political movement for his freedom.

Today this movement is a global movement and is rising to the level of the international campaign which saved Nelson Mandela’s life in preventing the death sentence and ultimately making his freedom possible. Although Assange is in isolation and confined in a tiny cell, certainly he is not alone. A few yards from his prison, there are people of all walks of life; artists, intellectuals, workers, youth and democratic-minded people who proudly hold their signs up high in defense of Julian Assange. Today, the line of justice for Assange has crossed the UK borders and has reached the four corners of the world. The power of truth is frightening the shameful authorities in London, Washington, and Canberra!

Is it possible to see Julian Assange unchained and FREE? The legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg believes that without whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and publishers like Julian Assange “we would not have a democracy”, and in their defense, he says: “It is now up to us to make sure that the First Amendment is preserved.” The great Roger Waters clearly points out that: “The ruling class,… the corporate world, the rich people, the people who run everything, the people who tell [U.K. Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and Donald Trump what to do” are responsible for the imprisonment of Julian Assange.

He tirelessly campaigns for Assange’s freedom because he believes he is “representing the thoughts of ordinary people who believe in the law, freedom, and the freedom of the press and free speech.”

Professor Noam Chomsky emphasizes that “Assange in courageously upholding political beliefs … performed an enormous service to all those in the world who treasure the values of freedom and democracy.”

John Shipton, Assange’s father, logically and rightly so is concerned that his son’s extradition to the U.S. is nothing but a “death sentence”.

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Seth Rich, Julian Assange, & Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know The Truth About The Stolen DNC Files?

seth-rich,-julian-assange,-&-dana-rohrabacher-–-will-we-ever-know-the-truth-about-the-stolen-dnc-files?

07-03-20 08:47:00,

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The American Herald Tribune,

The media is doing its best to make the Seth Rich story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense.

In its latest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but.

The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks,

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Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know the Truth About the Stolen DNC Files?

seth-rich,-julian-assange-and-dana-rohrabacher-–-will-we-ever-know-the-truth-about-the-stolen-dnc-files?

01-03-20 08:27:00,

Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher. Credit: Public domain/Gage Skidmore/ Flickr

The media is doing its best to make the Seth Rich story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense. In its Iatest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but. The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks,

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Julian Assange, the Glass Cage and Heaven in a Rage: Day Four of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange,-the-glass-cage-and-heaven-in-a-rage:-day-four-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

28-02-20 03:02:00,

Thursday, February 27, Woolwich Crown Court.  The first round of extradition hearings regarding Julian Assange’s case concluded a day early, to recommence on May 18th.  It ended on an insensible note very much in keeping with the woolly-headed reasoning of Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is of the view that a WikiLeaks publisher in a cage does not put all heaven in a rage.  On Wednesday, Assange’s defence had requested whether he would be able to leave the confines of his glass cage and join his legal team. As Assange had explained in response to his nodding off during proceedings, “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers.”  There was little point in “asking” if he could follow proceedings without enabling his participation.

This was not a point that fell on reasonable ears.  The judge felt it came too close to a bail application, and was initially refused as posing a potential risk to the public.  Gibberish was duly thrown at counsel for both sides, with “health and safety”, “risk assessment” and “up to Group 4” featuring as meaningless terms on the obvious: that Assange could pose no threat whatsoever, as he would be in the continuous company of security guards.  As former UK diplomat Craig Murray observed, “She started to resemble something worse than a Dalek, a particularly stupid local government officer of a very low grade.”

According to the judge, to permit such a measure of access between Assange and his team effectively constituted a departure from court custody, a striking nonsense of Dickensian dimensions.  Not even the prosecution felt it unreasonable, suggesting that one need not be so “technical” in granting such applications.

Thursday’s proceedings reaffirmed Judge Baraitser’s stubborn position.  Her first gesture was to permit Assange a pair of headphones to better enable him to hear the proceedings, followed by a brief adjournment to see if his hearing had, in fact, improved.  Assange was unimpressed, removing them after 30 minutes.

Her stretched reasoning found Assange sufficiently accessible to his lawyers despite his glassed surrounds; he could still communicate with them via notes passed through the barrier.  “It is quite apparent over the past four days that you have had no difficulty communicating with your legal team.”  The judge was willing to permit Assange a later start in proceedings to enable a meeting with the legal team and adjourn should the defence wish to meet their client in a holding cell.

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Julian Assange verurteilt Gericht: Keine Beratungen mit seinen Anwälten zugelassen

julian-assange-verurteilt-gericht:-keine-beratungen-mit-seinen-anwalten-zugelassen

28-02-20 10:42:00,

Von
Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan

28. Februar 2020

Am Mittwoch, dem dritten Tag der Anhörungen über den Auslieferungsantrag der USA gegen Julian Assange vor dem Amtsgericht von Westminster, protestierte der WikiLeaks-Herausgeber Julian Assange im Rahmen des Prozesses vor Gericht mit einer mutigen Erklärung gegen die offene Missachtung seiner juristischen Grundrechte.

Der WikiLeaks-Gründer Julian Assange in einem Gefängnistransporter auf dem Weg zum Westminster Magistrates Court in London am 20. Dezember 2019 [Quelle: AP Photo/Frank Augstein]

Assange meldete sich am dritten Tag der Anhörung in seinem Auslieferungsverfahren vor dem Belmarsh Gericht von der Anklagebank aus. Dem mehrfach preisgekrönten Journalisten werden in den USA Verstöße gegen den Espionage Act (Spionagegesetz) vorgeworfen, weil er Kriegsverbrechen, illegale Massenüberwachung und Folterungen der USA enthüllt hat. Ihm drohen in den USA bis zu 175 Jahre Haft.

Dass Assange seit fast zwölf Monaten im Hochsicherheitsgefängnis Belmarsh nahezu in Isolationshaft gehalten wird, verstößt gegen das völkerrechtliche Verbot von Folter und willkürlicher Inhaftierung. Dies insbesondere, weil er sich nur in Untersuchungshaft befindet.

Als das Verfahren am Mittwochmorgen begann, informierte Distriktrichterin Vanessa Baraitser das Gericht, dass Assange „unter Einfluss von Medikamenten“ stehe und „Schwierigkeiten dabei haben könnte, dem Verfahren zu folgen“. Kurz nach 14 Uhr fragte sie Assanges Anwältin Gareth Peirce, ob ihr Mandant sich noch konzentrieren könne oder eine Pause benötige.

Daraufhin stand Assange selbst von der Anklagebank auf, stellte sich vor das kugelsichere Glas, das ihn vom Rest des Gerichts trennt, und erklärte Peirce unter sichtlicher psychischer Beeinträchtigung, er werde von den Gefängniswärtern ständig überwacht: „Ich kann nicht mit meinen Anwälten sprechen oder sie um Erklärung bitten, ohne dass die Gegenseite es sieht.“

„Die Gegenseite hat täglich fast hundertmal mehr Kontakt zu ihren Anwälten … Warum fragt man mich, ob ich mich konzentrieren kann, wenn ich mich schon nicht beteiligen kann?“

Assange, der einen Großteil der letzten drei Tage über Schwierigkeiten hatte, dem Verfahren zu folgen, erklärte gegenüber Peirce: „Ich bin bei diesem Verfahren so sehr ein Teilnehmer, wie ich Zuschauer in Wimbledon bin.“

Baraitser reagierte mit unverhohlener Feindseligkeit auf Assanges Intervention. Sie erklärte, Assange habe kein Recht, sich vor Gericht zu äußern, solange er nicht direkt befragt werde, und ordnete eine kurze Unterbrechung an. Als das Verfahren weiterging,

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 4 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-4-–-defend-wikileaks

27-02-20 07:37:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 4
Judge denies Assange’s request to sit with his lawyers

First week of hearings ends early; to return in earnest May 18th

The first week of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court has ended a day earlier than expected, with District Judge Vanessa Baraitser denying Julian Assange’s request to leave the glassed box known as a secure dock in the back of the courtroom.

Assange had asked to leave the dock to sit with his legal team so that he can have legally privileged conversations with his lawyers throughout the proceedings. “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers,” he said. “What is the point of asking if I can concentrate if I cannot participate?”

But the judge rejected the request, arguing that Assange has ample access to his lawyers to whom he can pass notes through the slotted glass barrier. She said she’s willing to start proceedings later so that Assange can meet with his lawyers in the morning and to adjourn court when the defense would like to meet with their client in a holding cell.

The defense explained this would unduly extend the proceedings and render them incoherent, as the court may have to break every three minutes for a twenty-minute break. When the judge said that was an exaggeration of what would be required, the defense reminded the court how lengthy and complicated is the process to take Assange to and from his holding cell. Nevertheless, Assange’s request was denied.

Prosecution claims Assange and WikiLeaks aren’t “political”

Earlier today, concluding its arguments from yesterday against the defense’s claim that Assange cannot be extradited for a ‘political offense,’ the prosecution said just because a charge is “espionage” doesn’t mean that it is necessarily political. Prosecutor James Lewis QC argued that an offense should only be considered ‘political’ if the accused was attempting to change a head of state.

“The Court does not need to resolve these issues, but they demonstrate that any bare assertion that WikiLeaks was engaged in a struggle with the US Government was in opposition to it or was seeking to bring about policy change would need to be examined far more closely.”

But Assange was clearly working to change US policy.

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Julian Assange, Political Offences and Legal Restraints: Day Three of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange,-political-offences-and-legal-restraints:-day-three-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

27-02-20 11:03:00,

Wednesday, February 26, Woolwich Crown Court.  Today, the focus shifted to the protagonist himself and the nature of the US-UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, a contentious document that shines all too favourably for US citizens.   

Julian Assange, whose deteriorating condition has been noted for months by psychologists, doctors and UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, has been making a fist of it in the dock, despite being in Kafkaesque isolation.  Exhaustion, however, is manifest.  Judge Vanessa Baraitser has been keeping an eye on Assange’s demeanour, prodding his lawyers at one point to inspect him.  His eyes had closed, his attention seemingly wavering.  A point of permanent frustration for the WikiLeaks founder has been the din the hearings are causing and the distance, physical and symbolic, from his legal team.  “I am as much a participant in these proceedings I am at Wimbledon.” 

The structural impediments he has had to face have been profound, a point he was keen to make to the bench.  “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers.  There are unnamed embassy officials in this court room. I cannot communicate with my lawyers to ask them for clarifications without the other side seeing.”

The singular nature of Assange’s case has not struck the judge as sufficient grounds to accept special measures.  The defence team insists, not unreasonably, that legal advice given to him be kept privileged.  This is a particularly sore point, given the surveillance efforts conducted by UC Global SC in Assange’s place of abode for some seven years, London’s Ecuadorean embassy.  This involved audio and film footage on lawyers visiting and discussing case matters with Assange relayed to servers accessible to the Central Intelligence Agency.  “There has been enough spying on my lawyers already.  The other side has about 100 times more contact with their lawyers per day.  What is the point of asking if I can concentrate if I cannot participate?”  

To these points the judge remained dismissive, annoyed at his intervention in the absence of testifying.  “I can’t make an exception in your case.”  A brief recess did follow, permitting Assange to leave the dock for a backroom consultation with his legal team.  True to form in this entire charade,

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 3 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-3-–-defend-wikileaks

26-02-20 09:40:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 3
Defense: Julian Assange cannot be extradited for a political offense

Assange on lack of access: “I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am watching Wimbledon”

In day three of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in London, the defense argued that the WikiLeaks publisher must not be sent to the United States because the US-UK Extradition Treaty precludes extradition for a “political offense.”

Article 4 of the 2003 treaty, which was ratified in 2007, says, “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.”

But the US government claimed that the judge must rely on domestic UK law, rather than the international Treaty. Even if the offenses Assange is accused of in the extradition request are political, the prosecution said, “he is not entitled to derive any rights from the [US-UK Extradition] Treaty” because it has not been incorporated into domestic law.

The same year the Extradition Treaty was written, the UK Parliament passed the Extradition Act 2003, a UK domestic law that does not feature a bar to extradition for political offenses. But in 2007, the US-UK Extradition treaty was ratified in the United States, without removing the political offense exemption. “Both governments must therefore have regarded Article 4 as a protection for the liberty of the individual,” the defense argues, “whose necessity continues (at least in relations as between the USA and the UK).”

The US government claims that for the Treaty to take precedence over the domestic Act would deny Parliamentary sovereignty. “There’s no such thing as a political offense in ordinary English law,” the prosecution said, “it only arises in context of extradition.”

The defense fundamentally disagrees. “True the 2003 Extradition Act itself provides no ‘political offence’ bar,” the defense says, “but authority establishes that it is the duty of the Court, not the executive, to ensure the legality of extradition under the terms of the Treaty. “

Defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC says that the judge must take the political exemption into account,

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Julian Assange Against the Imperium: Day Two of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange-against-the-imperium:-day-two-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

26-02-20 01:40:00,

The second day of extradition hearings against Julian Assange and by virtue of that, WikiLeaks, saw Mark Summers QC deliver a formidable serve for the defence at Woolwich Crown Court.  “It’s difficult to conceive of a clearer example of an extradition request that boldly and blatantly misstates the facts as they are known to be to the US government.”  The targets were, respectively, allegations by the US Department of Justice that Assange attempted to conceal Chelsea Manning’s identity for nefarious purposes and second, that WikiLeaks was reckless as to the potential consequences of harm in releasing unredacted State Department cables in 2011.

The position WikiLeaks has taken on the latter position goes back to the problematic, rocky relationship it has had with The Guardian over the years.  In November last year, the paper took the position that Assange had to “be defended against extradition to the United States in a case that digs at the foundations of freedom of democracy in both Britain and the US, and could see him sentenced to a total of 175 years.”  History, however, shows a more fair-weather friend disposition, especially amongst a few of the paper’s journalists.

The Guardian was one of a select number of international outlets WikiLeaks had partnered with in what was intended to be, according to Summers, a harm minimisation process of release.  Initial cable publications in November 2010 heeded the principle of redaction, so much so that John Goetz of Der Spiegel considered them “extreme”.  Goetz’s statement was duly read by Summers: “These were more extreme measures than I had ever previously observed as a journalist to secure the data and ensure they could not be accessed by anyone who was not a journalist.”

To the claim of reckless publication, it was submitted that journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh revealed the relevant password in their book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy that led inexorably to the indiscriminate release of the cables.  The password granted access to the encrypted file with the full trove of unredacted cables, though this fact was only picked up by the German publication Der Freitag in August 2011.  James Lewis QC, representing the Crown Prosecution Service,

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Die Strafverfolgung von Julian Assange, die Zerstörung der Rechtsstaatlichkeit und der Aufstieg des nationalen Sicherheitsstaats

die-strafverfolgung-von-julian-assange,-die-zerstorung-der-rechtsstaatlichkeit-und-der-aufstieg-des-nationalen-sicherheitsstaats

26-02-20 08:29:00,

Von
Richard Hoffman

26. Februar 2020

Am 24. Februar 2020 beginnt das Auslieferungsverfahren der Vereinigten Staaten gegen Julian Assange. Die Strafverfolgung von Assange markiert eine neue Stufe beim Angriff auf elementare demokratische Rechte und die Rechtsstaatlichkeit durch die US-amerikanische, die britische und die internationale herrschende Klasse.

Seit zwanzig Jahren greift die herrschende Klasse die verfassungsmäßigen und gesetzlichen Grundlagen der bürgerlichen Demokratie an. Im Mittelpunkt dieses Angriffs stehen das Recht auf ein ordnungsgemäßes Gerichtsverfahren und das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung. Die Verfolgung von Assange beinhaltet in dieser Hinsicht neue und gefährliche Aspekte.

Die US-Regierung hat in ihrer Geschichte immer wieder versucht, das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung und die Möglichkeit der Presse einzuschränken, über Regierungsangelegenheiten und die Ordnungsmäßigkeit von Gerichtsverfahren zu berichten. Der politische und juristische Angriff auf Assange bedeutet jedoch eine neue Qualität bei der Zerstörung von Grundrechten und der Rechtsstaatlichkeit als bürgerliche Herrschaftsweise.

Im Bemühen, einen autoritären nationalen Sicherheitsstaat zu errichten, haben aufeinanderfolgende US-Administrationen eine wahre Konterrevolution vollzogen. Nun versucht die US-Regierung zum „Gesetz“ zu erheben, dass journalistische Tätigkeit, die geheime Verteidigungs- und andere Informationen offenlegt oder publiziert, als kriminelle Tat und Spionage gilt; dass Journalisten als Spione eingesperrt werden.

Julian Assange

Bei ihrem Umgang mit Assange setzt sich auch die britische Regierung, die Amerika als williger Helfer dient, über zahlreiche Grundrechte hinweg – einschließlich des Rechts auf ein ordnungsgemäßes Verfahren, auf anerkannte rechtliche Verfahrensweisen, auf Schutz vor willkürlicher Inhaftierung und auf Respektierung des Völkerrechts. Dieser Artikel erläutert die breitere politische und rechtliche Bedeutung der Verteidigung von Julian Assange und die immensen historischen Fragen, die sie für die Zukunft der Menschheit aufwirft.

Der Prozess gegen John Peter Zenger

Vor fast 300 Jahren fand der berühmte Prozess gegen John Peter Zenger, einen New Yorker Verleger, statt. Er wurde wegen Verleumdung angeklagt, weil er Informationen publiziert hatte, die gegen die Regierung gerichtet waren, was zur damaligen Zeit als Verbrechen galt. Es war das Jahr 1734, und Amerika war eine britische Kolonie. In der Zeit des Aufstiegs einer neuen fortschrittlichen Klasse, der amerikanischen Bourgeoisie, hatte der Zenger-Prozess bahnbrechende Auswirkungen.

John Peter Zenger war ein deutscher Einwanderer und Herausgeber der Zeitschrift New York Weekly Journal. Die Publikation übte scharfe Kritik an der Kolonialregierung und an Gouverneur William S.

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 2 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-2-–-defend-wikileaks

25-02-20 07:28:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 2
Defense debunks US claims of reckless dump and Assange-Manning conspiracy

Mark Summers QC, arguing for Julian Assange’s legal defense, spent the second day of Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court thoroughly debunking two key allegations the US government makes against Assange in its extradition request. The US has alleged that Assange attempted to help Manning conceal her identity, and it has alleged that Assange and WikiLeaks released the full unredacted State Department cables in 2011 with a reckless disregard for the harm it could cause.

Guardian journalists to blame for unredacted cables’ release

A day after the CPS’ lawyer James Lewis QC, acting for the US, made dramatic claims of harm caused by WikiLeaks’ September 2011 publication of the unredacted State Department cables, the defense explained what really happened: The Guardian journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh published a password that irreversibly released the unredacted cables into the world.

Before detailing this disclosure, Mark Summers reminded the court that WikiLeaks entered into a partnership with several mainstream media outlets to responsibly handle and redact the material. WikiLeaks and these media partners engaged in a harm minimization process in which WikiLeaks, on some occasions, redacted even more than other outlets. Beginning to release the documents in November 2010, WikiLeaks and its partners continued to redact names and prepare cables for publication over the next several months.

Then in February 2011, Harding and Leigh published “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,” in which they disclosed a password to an encrypted file containing the full unredacted cables. Harding and Leigh did not off-handedly or subtly reveal the password; the password was the title of a chapter in the book.

If there was any doubt about whether the chapter title was the password, the index at p 322 tells you that that is in fact the password. In court, the defense had to point this out to the prosecution’s James Lewis, who laughed incredulously.

The password disclosure went unnoticed for several months, until August 2011. On 25 August 2011,

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Julian Assange: internationale pers schiet wakker, hopelijk niet te laat? – DeWereldMorgen.be

julian-assange:-internationale-pers-schiet-wakker,-hopelijk-niet-te-laat?-–-dewereldmorgen.be

25-02-20 07:23:00,

Van maandag 24 tot vrijdag 28 februari 2020 vergadert de Britse rechtbank die moet oordelen over het verzoek tot uitlevering aan de VS van Australisch staatsburger Julian Assange. In Groot-Brittannië en Australië gingen grote steunmanifestaties door. Meer dan 2000 journalisten ondersteunen de eis voor zijn onmiddellijke vrijlating. Beter laat dan nooit, maar het risico dat het te laat zal zijn is aanzienlijk.

Meer en meer journalisten en media-woordvoerders in Groot-Brittannië, Australië, Duitsland, Spanje, Frankrijk en andere landen spreken hun verontwaardiging uit over de gevangenhouding van Julian Assange in een gevangenis in Londen. Zij vrezen dat zijn uitlevering aan de VS en veroordeling tot levenslange gevangenisstraf een gevaarlijk precedent is voor de persvrijheid in heel de wereld.

Zijn zaak kwam in een stroomversnelling na het rapport van Nils Melzer, VN-Speciaal Rapporteur voor Foltering in december 2019 (zie zijn getuigenis in Media negeren behandeling Julian Assange en Chelsea Manning tot eigen schade en schande).

De VS eigenen zich eenzijdig het recht toe een niet-Amerikaans journalist, die actief was buiten de VS, te veroordelen op basis van een Amerikaanse wet voor het verspreiden van geheime informatie over de VS. Als hij wordt uitgeleverd en veroordeeld is dit een precedent zonder historisch voorgaande.

Eender welke journalist, waar ook ter wereld, die voortaan nog Amerikaanse staatsgeheimen onthult, loopt dan het risico uitgeleverd te worden aan de VS. Het is de eerste maal dat de VS de Espionage Act van 1917 gebruikt om een journalist te vervolgen (voor meer achtergrond over Assange zie onder meer vorige artikels op deze website sinds 2013 tot op heden):

Vonnis Manning levensgevaarlijk voor kritische journalistiek

The WikiLeaks Files – The World According to US Empire

VN oordeelt: “Vrijheidsberoving Julian Assange is illegaal”

Lot Julian Assange ligt volledig in handen van collega-journalisten en media

De rechtszaak startte oorspronkelijk in een grote rechtszaal in het centrum van Londen, maar de rechter besliste de zaak te verplaatsen naar de kleine zaal van een lokale rechtbank vlakbij Belmarsh Prison, waar Assange wordt vastgehouden.

Er is slechts plaats voor een 25-tal toehoorders. Bijna de helft van die zitjes wordt ingenomen door Amerikaanse advocaten die de Britse openbare aanklager begeleiden.

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Julian Assange and the Imperium’s Face: Day One of the Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange-and-the-imperium’s-face:-day-one-of-the-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

25-02-20 01:20:00,

If we are to believe it, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, the man behind showing the ugliness of power, is the one responsible for having abused it.  It is a running theme in the US case against this Australian publisher, who has been given the coating of common criminality hiding the obvious point: that the mission is to make journalism on official secrets, notably those covering atrocity and abuse, a crime.

The first day of full extradition hearings against Assange at Woolwich Crown Court was chocked with a predictable prosecution case, and a robust counter by the defence.  Central to the prosecution’s case for extradition to the US is the emphasis on the ordinariness of Assange’s alleged criminality, to diminish the big picture abuses of empire and focus on the small offences of exposure.  In so doing, that seemingly insurmountable problem of journalism becomes less important.  If you publish pilfered material from whistleblowers, you are liable, along with those unfortunates who dared have their conscience tickled.

As James Lewis QC advanced at London’s Woolwich Crown Court,

“What Mr Assange seems to defend by freedom of speech is not the publication of the classified materials but the publication of the names of the sources, the names of the people who had put themselves at risk to assist the United States and its allies.”

Here, the rhetorical shift is clear: there were those who assisted the US, and Assange was being very naughty in exposing them via the State Department cables and the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs.  In doing so, he had also conspired with US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack a password and conceal his identity in accessing and downloading relevant files.

Relegating Manning to the status of wooed conspirator was a ploy convincingly swatted by defence barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC. He merely had to consult Manning’s own court martial, in which she clearly stated that “the decisions I made to send documents and information to the WikiLeaks website were my own decisions and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

According to Lewis, the disclosures by WikiLeaks had grave consequences.  Fascinatingly enough, enough, these were not the sort identified by Pentagon studies which took a less punitive view on the subject. 

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 1 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-1-–-defend-wikileaks

24-02-20 08:40:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 1

Julian Assange’s full extradition hearing began today at Woolwich Crown Court at Belmarsh with the prosecution pleading for the media to stop characterizing the US effort as a politicized war on journalism, and it ended with Assange’s defense providing a comprehensive summary of the many reasons that journalists, human rights activists, and defenders of a free press have been sounding the alarm.

Assange, appearing thin in a grey suit, sat alone behind glass behind both legal benches, taking notes. Early in the proceedings, he looked up to the public gallery and raised a fist.

James Lewis QC, arguing for the Crown Prosecutorial Service, which acts on behalf of the United States in its extradition request, explicitly asked journalists covering the case not to report on it as a matter of free speech or the right to publish. Lewis worked continuously to narrow both the defense’s arguments and the judge’s focus, portraying the indictment as solely a matter of exposing informants in the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables.

In the afternoon, defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC laid out in detail the ways in which the extradition proceedings constitute an abuse of process, because they have been brought for ulterior political purposes, as an attack on freedom of speech, and fundamentally misrepresent the facts in order to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces torture, unusual and degrading treatment.

CPS Makes Dramatic Claims, Without Evidence

The CPS made dramatic claims of damage to the United States’ interests around the world, claiming that the unredacted publications put local informants at risk. But when it came time to detail that damage, the prosecutor ultimately had to admit that the US government has not been able to prove any deaths have resulted from WikiLeaks’ publications.

The prosecution then spent the rest of the morning recounting each charge, repeatedly claiming that Assange “aided and abetted” Chelsea Manning’s procurement of classified cables for the purposes of publishing.

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Anhörung über Auslieferung von Julian Assange haben begonnen – Die aktuellen Entwicklungen | Anti-Spiegel

anhorung-uber-auslieferung-von-julian-assange-haben-begonnen-–-die-aktuellen-entwicklungen-|-anti-spiegel

24-02-20 06:48:00,

Heute beginnt in London die Verhandlung um die Auslieferung von Julian Assange in die USA. Aus diesem Anlass fass ich die aktuellen Entwicklungen um Julian Assange zusammen.

Vor einer Woche haben erneut über hundert Ärzte in einem offenen Brief das „Ende der Folter“ von Assange gefordert. Es ist der vierte derartige Brief, aber London hat auf keinen davon reagiert, obwohl die Ärzte Assange in Lebensgefahr sehen und obwohl auch die UNO von Folter spricht. Als Unterzeichner der Folter-Konvention wäre Großbritannien eigentlich dazu verpflichtet, den Fall zu untersuchen. Stattdessen ignoriert London die Berichte der UNO.

Besonders dreist hat die Bundesregierung gehandelt. Sie hat mitgeteilt, die UNO-Berichte über Assange zwar erhalten, aber nicht gelesen zu haben. Und selbst die OSZE fordert nun offiziell, Assange nicht an die USA auszuliefern. Der Beauftragte für Pressefreiheit der OSZE teilte mit:

„Ich fordere die britischen Behörden auf, Julian Assange bei der Anhörung am Montag nicht auszuliefern. Besonders beunruhigen mich die zahlreichen Anklagepunkte und die unverhältnismäßige Haftstrafe von bis zu 175 Jahren, die ihm im Falle einer Auslieferung und Verurteilung drohen könnten“, sagte Désir. „Das öffentliche Interesse der Veröffentlichungen von WikiLeaks im Jahr 2010 sollte berücksichtigt werden, da es zu wichtigen investigativen Berichten und Nachrichtenberichten beigetragen hat. Es ist wichtig, die Auswirkungen auf die Meinungs- und Pressefreiheit zu berücksichtigen, wenn er ausgeliefert und verurteilt wird. Das könnte einen abschreckenden Effekt auf den Journalismus und die Pressefreiheit haben.“

Vor dem Gericht in London haben die Unterstützer von Assange Veranstaltungen abgehalten, bei denen unter anderem auch der Gründer von Pink Floyd, Roger Walters, aufgetreten ist. Er sagte:

„Wir leben nicht in einem freien Land, sondern in einer einfachen Hundehütte. Auf Kommando unseres Herren jenseits des Atlantik bellen wir und wedeln mit dem Schwanz.“

Interessanterweise erscheinen nun auch im Mainstream Berichte, die Assange zumindest ein wenig unterstützen, nachdem das Thema Assange vorher monatelang – oder sogar jahrelang – totgeschwiegen oder er sogar unterschwellig in ein schlechtes Licht gestellt wurde. Allerdings scheinen diese Berichte nur eine Reaktion auf die wachsende Unterstützung für Assange zu sein. In den Berichten der „Qualitätsmedien“ wird nur das absolute Minimum dessen berichtet, was es im Fall Assange an Ungereimtheiten gibt.

Im Spiegel erschien heute einer dieser Artikel.

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USA v Julian Assange Extradition Hearing – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange-extradition-hearing-–-defend-wikileaks

23-02-20 05:00:00,

USA v Julian Assange Extradition Hearing

When:

Part 1: 24th February -28th February
Part 2: 18th May – 5th June

Where:

Woolwich Crown Court/Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court, which is adjacent to HMP Belmarsh (See travel advice)

Magistrate:

Vanessa Baraitser

Defence team:

Solicitor Gareth Peirce (Birnberg, Peirce & Partners); lead Barristers Edward Fitzgerald QC, Doughty Street Chambers, Mark Summers QC, Matrix Chambers

Case Overview

The US is seeking to imprison Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing the 2010/2011 leaks, which exposed the reality of the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror”: Collateral Murder (Rules of Engagement), Afghan War Diaries, Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, and The Guantanamo Files.

The US began its criminal investigation against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in early 2010. After several years, the Obama administration decided not to prosecute WikiLeaks because of the precedent that this would set against media organisations. In January 2017, the campaign to free Mr. Assange’s alleged source Chelsea Manning was successful and President Obama gave her a presidential commutation and freed her from prison.

In August 2017 an attempt was made under the Trump administration to pressure Mr. Assange into saying things that would be politically helpful to the President.

After Mr. Assange did not comply, he was indicted by the Trump Administration and the extradition request was set in motion. Chelsea Manning was re-imprisoned due to her refusal to cooperate with the grand jury against WikiLeaks.

President Trump has declared that the press is “the enemy of the people.” It is the first time the 1917 Espionage Act has been used to indict a publisher or journalist. Press Freedom organisations have emphasised that the indictment criminalizes normal newsgathering behaviour. The indictment applies the Espionage Act extraterritorially. Assange was publishing from the United Kingdom in partnership with UK media and other European and US press. The indictment opens the door for other journalists involved in the 2010 publications to be prosecuted. The USA will make the extraordinary claim that foreigners are not entitled to constitutional protections, so Julian Assange cannot benefit from the First Amendment.

FAQs

Will Julian be in court?

Yes, he will be present in the court room every day.

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With WikiLeaks, Julian Assange did what all journalists should do

with-wikileaks,-julian-assange-did-what-all-journalists-should-do

22-02-20 11:08:00,

I was in Kabul in 2010 when Julian Assange and WikiLeaks first released a vast archive of classified US government documents, revealing what Washington really knew about what was happening in the world. I was particularly interested in one of these disclosures, which came in the shape of a video that the Pentagon had refused to release despite a Freedom of Information Act request.

When WikiLeaks did release the video, it was obvious why the US generals had wanted to keep it secret. Three years earlier, I had been in Baghdad when a US helicopter machine-gunned and fired rockets at a group of civilians on the ground who its pilots claimed were armed insurgents, killing or wounding many of them.

Journalists in Iraq were disbelieving about the US military’s claims because the dead included two reporters from the Reuters news agency. Nor was it likely that insurgents would have been walking in the open with their weapons when a US Apache helicopter was overhead.

We could not prove anything until WikiLeaks made public the film from the Apache. Viewing it still has the power to shock: the pilots are cock-a-hoop as they hunt their prey, including people in a vehicle who stop to help the wounded, saying, “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,” and, “Ha, ha, I hit them.” Anybody interested in why the US failed in Iraq should have a look.

The WikiLeaks revelations in 2010 and in 2016 are the present-day equivalent of the release by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 of the Pentagon Papers, unmasking the true history of the US engagement in the Vietnam War. They are, in fact, of even greater significance because they are more wide-ranging and provide an entry point into the world as the US government really sees it.

The disclosures were probably the greatest journalistic scoop in history, and newspapers such as The New York Times recognised this by the vast space they gave to the revelations. Corroboration of their importance has been grimly confirmed by the rage of the US security establishment and its overseas allies, and the furious determination with which they have pursued Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks.

Daniel Ellsberg is rightly treated as a hero who revealed the truth about Vietnam,

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Julian Assange’s Attorney Speaks Out on the Hopes and Hazards of His Upcoming Trial in London on Feb. 24 – Global Research

julian-assange’s-attorney-speaks-out-on-the-hopes-and-hazards-of-his-upcoming-trial-in-london-on-feb.-24-–-global-research

22-02-20 07:21:00,

Assange’s legal advisor Renata Avila joins Gray Zone investigative reporter Max Blumenthal, Black Agenda Report founder Glen Ford, and Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins in Randy Credico’s acclaimed radio series, “Assange: Countdown to Freedom” – hosted by CovertAction Magazine with breaking news updates from Courage Foundation Director Nathan Fuller. Click here to listen or play the button below.

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This is the seventh and latest episode in Credico’s ongoing radio exploration of the prosecution and persecution of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder. Keep listening for late-breaking updates on the approaching extradition trial of Julian Assange in London.

You can listen to the prior episodes here:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

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Pardoning Julian Assange: Donald Trump, WikiLeaks and the DNC – Global Research

pardoning-julian-assange:-donald-trump,-wikileaks-and-the-dnc-–-global-research

20-02-20 08:32:00,

The central pillar to Democratic paranoia and vengefulness regarding the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the link between Russian hacking, the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails via WikiLeaks.  Over time, that account has become a matter of hagiography, an article of faith, with grave conclusions: WikiLeaks and Russia elected Donald Trump.

The Russia-DNC angle received another prod in pre-extradition hearings being conducted against Assange in the Westminster Magistrates Court, with his legal team disclosing details of the visit paid to the WikiLeaks publisher by former California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (image below) in 2017.  The visit in question was not entirely a matter of surprise.  The Wall Street Journal reported in September that year that Rohrabacher had contacted the White House in an attempt to broker a deal with Assange designed to alleviate his legal troubles. A conversation was said to have taken place between the Congressman and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, canvassing the possibility of ending the impasse in exchange for evidence that Russia was not behind the hacked emails.

Assange’s legal team, through Edward Fitzgerald, disclosed that President Trump had instructed Rohrabacher to discuss the possibility of a pardon for Assange provided he agreed to deny any Russian connection in the DNC hack.  A statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robison, included the following description:

“Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”

Image result for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

For his part, former Congressman Rohrabacher is dissembling, claiming he had not discussed Assange with Trump prior to his “fact finding mission” to London.  “At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the President because I had not spoken with the President about this issue at all.”  Rohrabacher admitted to speaking with Kelly in a brief conversation after his trip to the Ecuadorean embassy in London.  “No one followed up with me including Gen. Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or his Administration.”

In 2018,

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JULIAN ASSANGE MUST BE FREED, NOT BETRAYED

18-02-20 11:17:00,

On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on 24 February, faces a court that will decide whether or not he is to be extradited to the United States and a living death.

I know Australia House well. As an Australian myself, I used to go there in my early days in London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by King George V over a century ago, its vastness of marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits, imported from Australia when Australian soldiers were dying in the slaughter of the First World War, have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of monumental servility.

As one of the oldest “diplomatic missions” in the United Kingdom, this relic of empire provides a pleasurable sinecure for Antipodean politicians:  a “mate” rewarded or a troublemaker exiled.

Known as  High Commissioner, the equivalent of an ambassador, the current beneficiary is George Brandis, who as Attorney General tried to water down Australia’s Race Discrimination Act and approved raids on whistleblowers who had revealed the truth about Australia’s  illegal spying on East Timor during negotiations for the carve-up of that impoverished country’s oil and gas.

This led to the prosecution of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and “Witness K”,  on bogus charges. Like Julian Assange, they are to be silenced in a Kafkaesque trial and put away.

Australia House is the ideal starting point for Saturday’s march.

“I confess,” wrote Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1898, “that countries are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.””

We Australians have been in the service of the Great Game for a very long time. Having devastated our Indigenous people in an invasion and a war of attrition that continues to this day, we have spilt blood for our imperial masters in China, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. No imperial adventure against those with whom we have no quarrel has escaped our dedication.

Deception has been a feature. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies sent Australian soldiers to Vietnam in the 1960s,

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Freiheit für Julian!

freiheit-fur-julian!

11-02-20 04:33:00,

Die EU, der deutsche Außenminister und die Bundeskanzlerin interessieren sich zwar sehr für die Justizreform in Polen oder Menschenrechtsverletzungen in China, aber was in London vorgeht, dazu sagen sie kein Wort. Das entlarvt all die Sonntagsreden von den westlichen Werten und den Menschenrechten als das, was sie sind: leere, heuchlerische Sonntagsreden.

Und auch die Medien bekleckern sich alles andere als mit Ruhm. Dabei greift die Art, wie mit Assange umgegangen wird, immer mehr um sich. Wer für die Regierungen unbequeme, geheime Informationen veröffentlicht, der muss damit rechnen, als Geheimnisverräter oder Anstifter zum Diebstahl von Informationen schwer bestraft zu werden. Kritischer, unabhängiger Journalismus ist unter solchen Bedingungen kaum noch möglich.

Deshalb habe ich die Petition unterschrieben und rufe alle Leserinnen und Leser dieses Blogs dazu auf, das auch zu tun. Zu den Initiatoren gehören Günter Wallraff (Investigativjournalist), Sigmar Gabriel (Bundesaußenminister a.D.), Gerhard Baum (Bundesinnenminister a.D.) und Sevim Dagdelen (MdB).

Auf https://assange-helfen.de/ kann man unterschreiben.

Die Liste der Erstunterzeichner ist hier.

Ein Interview, in dem der Der UN-Sonderberichterstatter für Folter, Nils Melzer, mit der juristischen und polizeilichen Hetzjagd auf Assange abrechnet, die alle rechtsstaatlichen Grundsätze mit Füßen getreten hat und noch tritt, findet sich hier.

Bitte zahlreich unterschreiben und den Aufruf an Freunde und Bekannte weiterleiten! Es geht uns alle an. Wir alle müssen bald in einer Gesellschaft leben, in der es keine freie Presse mehr gibt, wenn wir nicht aufbegehren.


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Norbert Häring

Norbert Häring, Jahrgang 1963, ist Wirtschaftsjournalist, promovierter Volkswirt, Blogger und preisgekrönter Autor mehrerer populärer Wirtschaftsbücher. Zuletzt erschien von ihm „Schönes neues Geld: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go — Uns droht eine totalitäre Weltwährung“.


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Dieses Werk ist unter einer Creative Commons-Lizenz (Namensnennung – Nicht kommerziell –

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Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize – Defend WikiLeaks

julian-assange,-chelsea-manning-and-edward-snowden-nominated-for-the-2020-nobel-peace-prize-–-defend-wikileaks

06-02-20 07:18:00,

Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

Żaklin Nastić (MdB):

I am one of a total of 17 members of our parliamentary group who have nominated Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. These brave people should not be criminalized, but should be recognized and honored. The war criminals and their henchmen must be held accountable.

We feel that Assange, Manning and Snowden have to be recognized for their “unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all”. With the unveiling of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global surveillance program of the US secret services, the three have “exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace”

Here you can find our complete letter to the Nobel Committee in Oslo: Nobel Prize nomination Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden

 

Full text of the letter:

Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,

We wish to nominate Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in honour of their unparalleled contributions to the pursuit of peace, and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.

The year 2020 began with Julian Assange arbitrarily detained and tortured, at risk of death according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and over 100 medical doctors, for revealing the extent of harm and illegality behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 2020 began with Chelsea Manning in her secound year of renewed imprisonment for resisting to testify to a Grand Jury empaneled against Wikileaks, after having also been imprisoned seven years previously and tortured, following her disclosures that were published by Julian Assange. 2020 began with Edward Snowden in his 7th year of asylum for revealing illegal mass surveillance, in defence of the liberties underpinning revelations such as those made by Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.

The Collateral Murder video, provided by Chelsea Manning in 2010 and published by Wikileaks, honoured the dignity of those slain needlessly in war. It gave names and identities to victims whose humanity had been kept from public view, capturing the last moments of life for a young Reuters photojournalist,

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Aufruf zu Julian Assange in der Bundespressekonferenz

aufruf-zu-julian-assange-in-der-bundespressekonferenz

05-02-20 04:59:00,

Am morgigen Donnerstag um 10:30 h, findet in der Bundespresskonferenz eine Veranstaltung mit Sevim Dagdelen, Sigmar Gabriel, Gerhart Baum, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Navid Kermani und Günther Wallraff statt, die der Unterstützung von Julian Assange dienen soll. Es ist höchst erfreulich, dass sich solche „Schwergewichte“, wie die Bundesminister a.D. jetzt endlich zu der schon seit Jahren in dieser Sache engagierten Sevim Dagdelen gesellen. Hier findet sich der diesbezügliche Aufruf. Leider findet Moritz Müller doch ein paar Wermutstropfen, die sich aber sicher noch ausbügeln lassen.

In dem Aufruf wird Ex-FDP Innenminister Gerhart Baum wie folgt zitiert: „Man plane keine Sympathieerklärung für den 48-jährigen Australier, sondern „eine Sympathieerklärung für die Menschenrechte, die auch für ihn gelten“.

Ich finde es bemerkenswert, dass Herr Baum sich gleichzeitig mit der Erklärung schon wieder von Julian Assange distanziert, wenn dieser seit mittlerweile fast 10 Jahren von vier „demokratischen“ Regierungen auf das Äußerste, und in menschenverachtender Weise bedrängt wird. Siehe hierzu das bestürzende Interview mit dem UN-Sonderberichterstatter für Folter, Professor Nils Melzer. Wenn Herr Baum wirklich etwas für Julian Assange erreichen will, sollte er so eine Distanzierung vielleicht hintanstellen, und warten bis Herr Assange in Freiheit und Sicherheit ist. Ich hoffe, dass es sich hier um Herrn Baums persönlich Meinung handelt.

Weiter wird Herr Baum zitiert: „Die genannten Prominenten seien im Übrigen nicht allein. „Der Protestprozess ist schon lange im Gange“, so der Liberale. „Es gibt sehr viele Unterstützer. Das Spektrum ist sehr breit. Auch Amnesty International ist dabei.“

Ich weiß nicht, ob ich hier etwas verpasst habe, oder ob Herr Baum mehr weiß als ich. Gerhart Baum erklärt, dass AI dabei sei. Dass kann ich nirgends erkennen. Wenn man auf deren internationale Website geht und “Assange” eingibt, dann kommt nach Relevanz geordnet eine Meldung vom 13. Mai, dass die Vergewaltigungsvorwürfe auf genaueste überprüft werden müssen.

Die schwedischen Behörden haben dieses von Herrn Melzer beschriebene Verfahren im November 2019 zum dritten Mal eingestellt. AI hat 2700 Angestellte. Da müsste doch einer dabei sein, der die Website auf dem aktuellsten Stand hält, und keine 9 Monate alten obsoleten, rufmörderischen Statements stehen lässt. Merkwürdig…

Ich habe genau vor einem Jahr an Amnesty International UK geschrieben, und um Hilfe für Herrn Assange,

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