Trump has it right about some things, but he has it really wrong about others, and at the top of that last is his attitude towards Assange.
In addition, the bizarre 180 we’ve witnessed with respect to Assange is very telling, as those who previously lauded him are now calling for his head, largely because of the “muh Russia” hysteria.
Lawyers for Julian Assange have filed an urgent application to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), based in Washington D.C., to demand the Trump Administration unseal the charges it has secretly filed against Assange.
The Australian activist’s lawyers are further asking the Commission to compel Ecuador to cease its espionage activities against Assange, to stop the isolation imposed on him and to protect Assange from U.S. extradition.
The request is a whopping 1,172-page application for “precautionary measures” directed at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
Assange’s lead international coordinator lawyer, Baltasar Garzón, is requesting that the IACHR make an urgent intervention in favor of Assange and is calling for “international solidarity for this case in which the right to access and impart information freely is in jeopardy.”
“The revelation that the U.S. has initiated a prosecution against Assange has shocked the international community,” the legal submission states. The U.S. government “is required to provide information as to the criminal charges that are imputed to Assange in full,” it adds.
The application also alleges that U.S. prosecutors have begun approaching people in the U.S., Germany, and Iceland and pressed them to testify against Assange in return for immunity from prosecution.
Those approached, it is said, include people associated with WikiLeaks’ joint publications with other media about U.S. diplomacy, Guantánamo Bay and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s worth noting that this is corroborated by an article in Icelandic media interviewing the new Editor In Chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, who told the publication that Iceland authorities offered him immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against Julian Assange, according to a translated article. However, translating articles can always be faulty, but Hrafnsson’s quote appears to state that he isn’t the person who was interrogated and offered immunity.
“I can confirm from the first hand that this has been done. No one has contacted me this way. However, I myself am investigating this issue and I know that data has been downloaded to a private company with secrecy, ”says Kristinn in a conversation with Fréttablaðið.
Assange’s lawyers say the Trump administration has pressured Ecuador to hand over Assange. In December, The New York Times reported that Ecuador’s new president, Lenín Moreno, tried to negotiate handing over Assange to the US. in exchange for “debt relief.”
Trump’s administration told the Iceland publication it couldn’t comment on attempts to prosecute Julian Assange due to the government shutdown. (lol)
Ecuador is being pressured to end Assange’s asylum and citizenship so he can be arrested by British police and extradited to the U.S. to presumably face charges under the Espionage Act — the federal law often used to punish whistleblowers. This is due to the fact that under the Ecuadorian constitution extradition is forbidden.
As such, the Trump administration is threatening to step over a never-crossed line – applying the secret documents provision of the Espionage Act to journalistic practices, according to the EFF, which in 2017 condemned the threats of prosecution against WikiLeaks and Assange with the Wikileaks Grand Jury indictments.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has taken salacious baseless lies by The Guardian that conform to the “Russia hacked the election” narrative about Assange meeting with Paul Manafort and began interrogating UK Ecuadorian Embassy staff, and pressuring Ecuador to hand over logs of all Assange’s personal, legal and other visitors to the embassy, according to Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry reported by @hispantv, Assange Legal tweeted.
In December, Democrats demanded Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressure Ecuador to hand over logs of all Assange’s personal, legal and other visitors to the embassy, as WikiLeaks noted.
Assange’s situation is getting worse with each passing day between his health and the isolation without charge, which according to Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner his conditions to stay at the embassy are looking more and more like solitary confinement. Assange has been barred from visitors and prevented Internet access for almost a year, while he has never been allowed to exit the embassy for some sunshine.
If this is allowed to happen, government corruption and criminality will no doubt rise due to journalists being afraid to report crimes in the media. So far, an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump on behalf of Assange published by Defend WikiLeaks calling to close the Grand Jury investigation and drop any charges planned against any member of WikiLeaks has received 4,248 signatures of everyone from journalists, and academics, to activists in Assange’s defense.