Julian Assange and Political Prisoners – Defend WikiLeaks

julian-assange-and-political-prisoners-–-defend-wikileaks

31-08-20 10:21:00,

Panel: Julian Assange and Political Prisoners

 

Why is Julian Assange the first journalist to be prosecuted under the US’s Espionage Act for publishing? Why is Assange indicted, and the journalists from the New York Times or The Guardian who also published the Iraq and Afghan War Logs and the US State Department Cables are not? Why are there so many legal and judicial abnormalities in Assange’s case?

The Courage Foundation hosts a panel discussion of Julian Assange as a political prisoner, persecuted for exposing the war crimes and corruption of the United States.

We are joined by Mumia Abu-Jamal, a political prisoner formerly on death row who will call in from his jail cell. Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther whose political statements in his youth were used against him at trial. Also on the panel is Jeff Mackler, a veteran activist who has campaigned for Mumia, for political prisoner Lynn Stewart, and now for Julian Assange. Finally, we’re joined by Cristina Navarrete, who was a political prisoner in Chile under dictator Augusto Pinochet, and who now speaks out in support of Assange in London.

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Julian Assange Court Case Delayed Again in Bizarre Circumstances – Global Research

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17-08-20 09:19:00,

“I have never in my career faced so much difficulty attempting to trial monitor as in Julian Assange’s case.” — Rebecca Vincent, Director of International Campaigns for Reporters Without Borders.

***

There were bizarre scenes at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London today, as the extradition process of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange (present via videophone from Belmarsh prison) was again delayed.

Proceedings were held up this morning so Assange could converse for the first time in five months with his legal team. The prosecution team failed to turn up at the hearing because they were told events started at 3:30 p.m. Only five members of the press were allowed to enter the courtroom to monitor proceedings. Other journalists, observers, and NGOs attempting to listen via telephone could not, as they were given the number to another courtroom. One journalist who did make it inside claimed that the judge, Vanessa Baraitser, was, “clearly reading from a pre-written ruling.”

Assange sat in a conference room used by the entire prison, without a mask, and was seen coughing a number of times. At one point, proceedings in the courtroom were interrupted by screaming coming from another booth in Belmarsh prison, loud enough to cause a delay. Present at the hearing, Assange’s mother, Christine, warned that he would not survive extradition to the United States.

Perhaps most bizarre, however, is that the United States Department of Justice dropped its original indictment in June, just two days after Assange’s defense team submitted their full and final evidence for the extradition hearing. Today was the first time Assange saw the charges against him. Yet they are almost identical to those previously issued, save for slightly broadening the scope to include some interactions with hacking groups in 2011. The U.S. D.O.J. itself admitted that their new indictment “does not add additional counts to the prior 18-count superseding indictment returned against Assange in May 2019,” leading Wikileaks to allege that the U.S. is attempting to string the process along until after the November election, in order to avoid any negative consequences for the Trump administration.

“This was the worst hearing so far,” said Kristinn Hrafnsson,

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The Show Trial of Julian Assange: A Cruel and Pseudolegal Farce – Global Research

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17-08-20 09:11:00,

Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Julian Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death for revealing the crimes of US imperialism.

In a botched proceeding, Assange was initially not brought to the video room to join the proceedings, the US prosecutors failed to show up after getting the hearing time wrong, and, with only five observers allowed in the courtroom, every journalist and legal observer who tried to listen to the hearing remotely was not admitted.

Assange, the world’s most famous political prisoner, has been denied access to his attorneys since March, and he has not seen his family or young children since then.

In the most egregious move of all, just two days before the hearing, the US Justice Department, under the right-wing authoritarian ideologue William Barr, issued a completely new indictment against Assange, which the accused had not been able even to read before the hearing.

“The US government seems to want to change the indictment every time the court meets, but without the defense or Julian himself seeing the relevant documents,” said WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Less than 24 hours before the start of the final procedural hearing and less than four weeks before the resumption of the extradition trial, Barr signed a new 33-page request to have Assange sent to the US from the UK.

The superseding indictment, upon which the new extradition request is based, was released on June 24, yet US prosecutors refused to confirm over the course of two hearings, on June 30 and July 28, precisely when it would be introduced into the UK legal proceedings.

The new extradition request was brought after Assange’s legal team had submitted all of their evidence. The defense argued that to proceed on the basis of a new indictment would amount to an abuse of due process. Judge Baraitser refused the defense request, instead allowing them to apply for a postponement of the hearing.

Assange’s legal team is now confronted with the choice of whether to accept the further sabotage of their client’s case or prolong the endangerment of his life with more months in prison.

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“What would Julian Assange face in the US?” – Defend WikiLeaks

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05-08-20 06:51:00,

Register now: Online panel event, August 8th

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned in the high-security HMP Belmarsh in London as he faces extradition to the United States, where he has been indicted on 18 counts for obtaining, possessing, conspiring to publish and for publishing classified information. With the first-ever use of the Espionage Act for a publisher, the indictment represents an unprecedented attack on press freedom around the world. For Julian Assange, who could face up to 175 years in prison, a conviction could be a death sentence.

The Courage Foundation has convened a panel of experts to examine what Julian Assange would endure and be up against if the United Kingdom extradites him to the U.S., from pre- and potentially post-trial prison conditions, the lack of a public interest defense under the Espionage Act, and the extremely high rate of convictions in U.S. federal courts.

Panelists:

  • Barry Pollack, Julian Assange’s attorney in the U.S.
  • Jeffrey Sterling, CIA whistleblower who was convicted under the Espionage Act
  • Lauri Love, U.K. activist who successfully defeated an extradition request from the United States

Moderator:

  • Kevin Gosztola, independent U.S. journalist at Shadowproof.com who has covered Chelsea Manning’s military court martial and Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings thus far

This event will also be livestreamed at Courage’s YouTube channel.

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Julian Assange of het morele failliet van de media – Uitpers

julian-assange-of-het-morele-failliet-van-de-media-–-uitpers

30-07-20 08:05:00,

De eenzijdige berichtgeving over Russische helikopters voor Syrië en over het overlijden van een fundamentalistische wreedaard in Saoedi-Arabië zijn nog maar gepasseerd of er volgt opnieuw een staaltje van vooringenomen berichtgeving. Assange zou met Ecuador maar een rare keuze hebben gemaakt voor zijn politiek asiel. Ah zo? De waarheid blijkt weer eens iets genuanceerder.

Ontbijtradio

Deze morgen, 20 juni 2012, verslikte ik me bijna in mijn ontbijt toen ik rond 8.15 uur VRT-journalist Geert Spillebeen met collega Bert Rymen hoorde praten over het recente nieuws dat Julian Assange, de Wikileaks-oprichter die voor het ogenblik in Londen op zijn uitwijzing naar Zweden wacht, zich in de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen zou bevinden en daar politiek asiel heeft aangevraagd.

Blijkbaar had de VRT tevergeefs naar een jurist gezocht die iets zinnig kon vertellen over asielrecht. Die was zo snel niet beschikbaar. Dus ging men over tot de beproefde formule van het ‘spontane gesprek’ tussen twee collega’s waarbij de indruk werd gewekt dat één van hen iets meer over het onderwerp weet.

Het gesprek dat volgde was een aaneenrijging van de ene foutieve na de andere verdraaide voorstelling van feiten, vermengd met halve waarheden en suggestieve commentaren vermomd als ‘feiten’ die een indruk moesten creëren van objectieve deskundigheid.

Waar ging het weer over?

Het begon zeer neutraal. Rymen en Spillebeen lichtten nog even toe waar de zaak Assange over ging. Ze vergisten zich wel in juridische terminologie. Assange wordt immers niet ‘beschuldigd’ van zedenfeiten, er is noch in Zweden noch in Groot-Brittannië een aanklacht tegen hem ingediend.

Hij wordt officieel door Zweden enkel gezocht om hem te ondervragen ‘in verband met mogelijke zedenfeiten’, om daar dan eventueel uit te besluiten of een rechtszaak al dan niet plaats kan hebben. Dat is géén onbelangrijk detail, omdat het benadrukt dat Assange nu reeds meer dan een jaar juridisch wordt vervolgd ZONDER officiële aanklacht, net één van de hoofdargumenten van de steunbetuigers van Assange.

Rare vogels, die fans van Assange

Het is blijkbaar allemaal niet zo ernstig want Assange krijgt vooral steun van ‘artistieke milieus’ uit ‘linkse hoek, die zijn ‘rebellie’ wel sympathiek vinden. Spillebeen verwart daarbij Mick Jagger met Bianca Jagger en citeert de som van 100.000 pond als borgsom terwijl het om 240.000 pond gaat.

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