Introduction by Kennedy Applebaum
February 6, 2016
The arbitrary detention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become a symbol of the global totalitarianism that is now being forced on an unwilling populace by the United States government, its allies in Europe, and the Transnational Financial Elite. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and many aware citizens have taken a stance against Assange’s unjust confinement. The following anonymous commentary reveals the growing threat of extreme power in the hands of a paranoid killer minority:
Press Release Regarding Wikileaks Publisher Julian Assange
February 6, 2016
JULIAN ASSANGE is unlawfully detained for 5 years without charge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. We stand together. In recent centuries, we have witnessed threatening situations for civil liberties and human rights that today, brought many consequences that are now reflected in actual society, whether in international politics, economy and social sphere. Member states of the United Nations pledged to promote the respect for human rights of all since the beginning. To advance this goal, the UN established a Commission on Human Rights and charged it with the task of drafting a document spelling out the meaning of the fundamental rights and freedoms proclaimed in the Charter.
Globally the champions of human rights have most often been citizens, not government officials. In particular, non-governmental organizations (the NGOs) have played a cardinal role in focusing international community and civil liberties on human rights issues. And that’s where we stand for this special statement. Julian Paul Assange, 44, journalist, activist and founder of the non-profit organization WikiLeaks, exposed the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. In December 2009, related to war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan committed by United States of America, using drones as personal weapons to kill citizens. From this episode to this day, Julian Assange has been detained—unlawfully claimed as stated by the United Nations—at the Ecuador Embassy, in London, for over 5 years.
The ruling by the United Nations today is a victory for whistle-blowers and journalists worldwide who are now facing imprisonment, torture and other unlawful behavior as stated by international laws mutually agreed upon by governments around the world.
The news media is biased towards whatever the current elected political leadership is, towards protecting corporate interests and towards presenting a false balance on settled issues. This is why we’ve reportedly heard from the British media the ruling from the United Nations in defense of Julian Assange is not legally binding. Regarding this claim the official statement by the United Nations announces the following:
The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate. The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.
Not only is ignoring this statement a free pass for dictators to ignore the United Nations, it is ignoring an important government body set up to ensure our human rights and to protect democracy. The British government, along with the Swedish government had 2 weeks to appeal the well-researched decision to set Julian Assange free, but neither government responded for appeal, this means they have to comply with the decision or be subject to sanctions from the United Nations (which might include removal from decision-making procedures and other methods to enforce the decision).
Another lie by the UK Government today, is that Assange was not detained and could have walked out of the embassy at any given moment. The UN Human Rights Council doesn’t simply write a statement based on falsehoods. In July 2010, WikiLeaks published more than 75,000 secret US military reports on the war in Afghanistan. In total, the “Afghan War Stories” stretches beyond 90,000 documents. This momentum opened opportunities for the organization to play a crucial role in the fight for civil liberties, freedom of speech and transparency, including the never ending struggle to expose mass surveillance by governmental agencies acting around the world. Many United States officials called for the assassination of the publisher as a result.
Julian Assange is paying the price for exposing war crimes and protecting whistle-blowers from illegal extradition to the US.
Before any investigation on the leaked documents, an arrest warrant on Mr. Assange was issued on suspicion of sexual assault of two women without any questioning for the journalist. Even though the women never wanted to accuse Assange and even stated the police report was manufactured, his warrant still remained, including the possibility of extradition to the United States for computer misuse, espionage and conspiracy. Because of this Assange sought the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he applied for political asylum. The Ecuadorian government allows him to remain in the building resulting a routine lasting 5 years of daily police surveillance, eventually running to costs of around 13 million pounds. This scenario describes the “unlawfully detained and deprived from many basic necessities” part in the UN report.
While this statement was written to celebrate our victory regarding the protection of whistle-blowers and publishers, we also hope to have given the media and the public a better understanding of the situation with this press release.