Women Against Rape organization: We do not want Assange extraditedAugust 24, 2012
When Julian Assange was first arrested, we were struck by the unusual zeal with which he was being pursued for rape allegations.
It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.
Justice for an accused rapist does not deny justice for his accusers. But in this case justice is being denied both to accusers and accused.
The judicial process has been corrupted. On the one hand, the names of the women have been circulated on the internet; they have been trashed, accused of setting a “honey trap”, and seen their allegations dismissed as “not real rape”. On the other hand, Assange is dealt with by much of the media as if he were guilty, though he has not even been charged. It is not for us to decide whether or not the allegations are true and whether what happened amounts to rape or sexual violence – we don’t have all the facts and what has been said so far has not been tested. But we do know that rape victims’ right to anonymity and defendants’ right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty are both crucial to a just judicial process.
Swedish and British courts are responsible for how the women’s allegations have been handled. As with every rape case, the women are not in charge of the case, the state is.
Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women’s fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes. The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will, usually to increase their powers, this time to facilitate Assange’s extradition or even rendition to the US. That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won’t do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.
In over 30 years working with thousands of rape victims who are seeking asylum from rape and other forms of torture, we have met nothing but obstruction from British governments. Time after time, they have accused women of lying and deported them with no concern for their safety. We are currently working with three women who were raped again after having been deported – one of them is now destitute, struggling to survive with the child she conceived from the rape; the other managed to return to Britain and won the right to stay, and one of them won compensation.
Assange has made it clear for months that he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?
In 1998 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London following an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3,000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3,000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt. Despite a lengthy legal action and a daily picket outside parliament called by Chilean refugees, including women who had been tortured under Pinochet, the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain’s criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet. (Baltasar Garzón, whose request for extradition of Pinochet was denied, is representing Assange.) And there is a history of Sweden (and Britain) rendering asylum seekers at risk of torture at the behest of the US.
Like women in Sweden and everywhere, we want rapists caught, charged and convicted. We have campaigned for that for more than 35 years, with limited success. We are even having to campaign to prevent rape victims being accused of making false allegations and imprisoned for it. Two women who reported visibly violent attacks by strangers were given two and three year prison sentences.
But does anyone really believe that extraditing Julian Assange will strengthen women against rape? And do those supporting his extradition to Sweden care if he is then extradited to the US and tortured for telling the public what we need to know about those who govern us?
Source
This is a really great piece. The political pursuit of Assange by the US musn’t be overlooked as it is nearly always downplayed by the mainstream media.
Each time we post about Assange’s case, we always get reblogs commenting that he’s a rapist, we’re rape sympathizers for supporting Wikileaks, etc. etc. 
So once again: Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country. We are not rape sympathizers (what a disgusting claim…). We support Assange as a journalist & the exposure of government corruption & lies in all forms. 

Women Against Rape organization: We do not want Assange extradited
August 24, 2012

When Julian Assange was first arrested, we were struck by the unusual zeal with which he was being pursued for rape allegations.

It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.

Justice for an accused rapist does not deny justice for his accusers. But in this case justice is being denied both to accusers and accused.

The judicial process has been corrupted. On the one hand, the names of the women have been circulated on the internet; they have been trashed, accused of setting a “honey trap”, and seen their allegations dismissed as “not real rape”. On the other hand, Assange is dealt with by much of the media as if he were guilty, though he has not even been charged. It is not for us to decide whether or not the allegations are true and whether what happened amounts to rape or sexual violence – we don’t have all the facts and what has been said so far has not been tested. But we do know that rape victims’ right to anonymity and defendants’ right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty are both crucial to a just judicial process.

Swedish and British courts are responsible for how the women’s allegations have been handled. As with every rape case, the women are not in charge of the case, the state is.

Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women’s fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes. The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will, usually to increase their powers, this time to facilitate Assange’s extradition or even rendition to the US. That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won’t do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.

In over 30 years working with thousands of rape victims who are seeking asylum from rape and other forms of torture, we have met nothing but obstruction from British governments. Time after time, they have accused women of lying and deported them with no concern for their safety. We are currently working with three women who were raped again after having been deported – one of them is now destitute, struggling to survive with the child she conceived from the rape; the other managed to return to Britain and won the right to stay, and one of them won compensation.

Assange has made it clear for months that he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?

In 1998 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London following an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3,000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3,000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt. Despite a lengthy legal action and a daily picket outside parliament called by Chilean refugees, including women who had been tortured under Pinochet, the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain’s criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet. (Baltasar Garzón, whose request for extradition of Pinochet was denied, is representing Assange.) And there is a history of Sweden (and Britain) rendering asylum seekers at risk of torture at the behest of the US.

Like women in Sweden and everywhere, we want rapists caught, charged and convicted. We have campaigned for that for more than 35 years, with limited success. We are even having to campaign to prevent rape victims being accused of making false allegations and imprisoned for it. Two women who reported visibly violent attacks by strangers were given two and three year prison sentences.

But does anyone really believe that extraditing Julian Assange will strengthen women against rape? And do those supporting his extradition to Sweden care if he is then extradited to the US and tortured for telling the public what we need to know about those who govern us?

Source

This is a really great piece. The political pursuit of Assange by the US musn’t be overlooked as it is nearly always downplayed by the mainstream media.

Each time we post about Assange’s case, we always get reblogs commenting that he’s a rapist, we’re rape sympathizers for supporting Wikileaks, etc. etc. 

So once again: Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country. We are not rape sympathizers (what a disgusting claim…). We support Assange as a journalist & the exposure of government corruption & lies in all forms. 

Christine Assange Interview Pt. 2: Asylum in Ecuador and the future of Wikileaks
 June 28, 2012
As Wikileaks founder Julian Assange enters the ninth day in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his mother, Christine Assange continues to be an outspoken advocate for free press and free information. Christine herself has become an information powerhouse of sorts, spending her days recapping facts of the case to various media outlets because information is power and will be the ultimate key to Julian’s freedom, she insists.
“What we’ve got is an information war,” Christine said. “People can support Julian on the principle of the matter, but they are much more authentic if they can argue the full facts.”
She speaks to her son regularly, reassuring that he is in “good spirits” and being treated very well in the embassy. Christine adds that surprisingly, he’s more relaxed than she’s seen him in a long time.
Even with financial blockades, extradition threats, house arrest without any criminal charges and even politicians advocating his assassination, Julian still has a “fighting spirit,” Christine said. Supporters around the world are powering him to keep Wikileaks alive to spearhead the fight for transparency, she said. The world needs whistleblowers like Julian exposing horrific American war crimes, especially in the time of the Barack Obama, a “rogue dictator.”
“Through the Wikileaks cables, the United States revealed themselves to be global tyrants,” Christine said. “Because they couldn’t discredit the cables, they had to pressure for a financial blockade on Wikileaks.”
Since December 2010, MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, PayPal and Western Union have all prevented customers from donating to Wikileaks, blocking 95 percent of its donations.
During Julian’s stay at the embassy, Christine said he’ll be working on the case fighting against Valitor, an Icelandic company that processes Wikileaks’ donations, over suspension of financial services. The case is the first of many against various other banking blocks. The financial blockades have cost Wikileaks nearly $20 million in donations.
Ecuador’s ambassadors have been welcoming of Julian, and hopes of her son being approved for political asylum are high; however, she still stresses the importance of political pressure.
In the nine days since Julian has took refuge in the embassy, more than 10,000 emails of support have poured into Ecuador’s US and UK embassies. Just Foreign Policy, a civil liberties activist group, has also sent a letter advocating asylum for Julian to Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa. The letter included signatures of directors Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, activist Noam Chomsky and actor Danny Glover.
Christine urges free information advocates to write a letter of support, spread information online, but most importantly, take the fight for information out onto the streets. If we don’t fight for a free press, we will lose it altogether, she said.
“Get off Twitter, and get to that rally,” Christine said. “We need bodies in the streets. There’s lots of support online, but the average person doesn’t see that. We need thousands of people on the street supporting what Julian is doing.”
If asylum isn’t granted, Christine said her son will apply for political asylum elsewhere and appeal to the Court of Human Rights. But even if Julian ends up in the hands of the United States justice system, she assures Wikileaks will continue.
“Pandora’s box is open and will not be shut,” Christine said. “This is the new way information is going to be spread.” -G. Razo

Christine Assange Interview Pt. 2: Asylum in Ecuador and the future of Wikileaks

June 28, 2012

As Wikileaks founder Julian Assange enters the ninth day in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his mother, Christine Assange continues to be an outspoken advocate for free press and free information. Christine herself has become an information powerhouse of sorts, spending her days recapping facts of the case to various media outlets because information is power and will be the ultimate key to Julian’s freedom, she insists.

“What we’ve got is an information war,” Christine said. “People can support Julian on the principle of the matter, but they are much more authentic if they can argue the full facts.”

She speaks to her son regularly, reassuring that he is in “good spirits” and being treated very well in the embassy. Christine adds that surprisingly, he’s more relaxed than she’s seen him in a long time.

Even with financial blockades, extradition threats, house arrest without any criminal charges and even politicians advocating his assassination, Julian still has a “fighting spirit,” Christine said. Supporters around the world are powering him to keep Wikileaks alive to spearhead the fight for transparency, she said. The world needs whistleblowers like Julian exposing horrific American war crimes, especially in the time of the Barack Obama, a “rogue dictator.”

“Through the Wikileaks cables, the United States revealed themselves to be global tyrants,” Christine said. “Because they couldn’t discredit the cables, they had to pressure for a financial blockade on Wikileaks.”

Since December 2010, MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, PayPal and Western Union have all prevented customers from donating to Wikileaks, blocking 95 percent of its donations.

During Julian’s stay at the embassy, Christine said he’ll be working on the case fighting against Valitor, an Icelandic company that processes Wikileaks’ donations, over suspension of financial services. The case is the first of many against various other banking blocks. The financial blockades have cost Wikileaks nearly $20 million in donations.

Ecuador’s ambassadors have been welcoming of Julian, and hopes of her son being approved for political asylum are high; however, she still stresses the importance of political pressure.

In the nine days since Julian has took refuge in the embassy, more than 10,000 emails of support have poured into Ecuador’s US and UK embassies. Just Foreign Policy, a civil liberties activist group, has also sent a letter advocating asylum for Julian to Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa. The letter included signatures of directors Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, activist Noam Chomsky and actor Danny Glover.

Christine urges free information advocates to write a letter of support, spread information online, but most importantly, take the fight for information out onto the streets. If we don’t fight for a free press, we will lose it altogether, she said.

“Get off Twitter, and get to that rally,” Christine said. “We need bodies in the streets. There’s lots of support online, but the average person doesn’t see that. We need thousands of people on the street supporting what Julian is doing.”

If asylum isn’t granted, Christine said her son will apply for political asylum elsewhere and appeal to the Court of Human Rights. But even if Julian ends up in the hands of the United States justice system, she assures Wikileaks will continue.

“Pandora’s box is open and will not be shut,” Christine said. “This is the new way information is going to be spread.” -G. Razo

 Swedish Extradition FACTS from Christine Assange
June 20, 2012
Julian Assange’s mother Christine recently tweeted the following FACTS about extraditions involving the USA, UK, Sweden and Australia: 1. Australian PM Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot backed new Extradition Act Amendments making it easier for U.S.A to extradite Aussies. The Greens fought it. 2. For the FIRST TIME Aussies can be now be extradited for minor offenses. 3. The protection of “political” motives has been weakened. If the charge is “terrorism” then “political” cannot apply to prevent extradition. 4. The U.S.A. recently expanded its definition of “terrorist” to include peaceful protesters - “low level terrorism”. 5. Under the new NDAA legislation, the U.S became a police state - citizens and foreigners can be arrested without warrant and indefinite detention applies. 6. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it legal to publish classified documents. Obama is now trying to label media who do so as terrorists. 7. Modifications to the Act included changing “protection from death penalty” to “likelihood the death penalty would be carried out”. 8. Note that the U.S.A is in the top 5 countries for killing its own citizens, and the only Western country in that top 5. 9. Even Minor Offenses under the new Extradition Amendments are punished with up to 12 months imprisonment. 10. The UK/US Bilateral Treaty allows the U.S.A to extradite from the UK without any prima facie case (i.e. evidence). 11. The Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track “Temporary Surrender” clause. 12. The US Grand Jury convenes in secret. There are 4 prosecutors, no defense, and no judge. It can issue indictments for extradition with no proper legal process. 13. Sweden has NEVER refused an extradition request from the U.S.A. 14. In 2001 Sweden gave two innocent Egyptian refugees to the CIA for rendition to Egypt, where they were tortured. 15. The Swedish Justice Minister who signed off on the CIA rendition torture flight was Thomas Bodstrum. 16. Thomas Bodstrum is now the business partner of Claes Borgstrum, the politician/lawyer of the two Swedish women in the Assange case. 17. The Australian Greens supported a motion by Senator Scott Ludlam to protect Julian from “Temporary Surrender” to the U.S.A via Sweden. Both Labor and the Coalition opposed it. Follow Christine Assange on Twitter:  ‏@AssangeC
Source
Photo Source

Swedish Extradition FACTS from Christine Assange

June 20, 2012

Julian Assange’s mother Christine recently tweeted the following FACTS about extraditions involving the USA, UK, Sweden and Australia:

1. Australian PM Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot backed new Extradition Act Amendments making it easier for U.S.A to extradite Aussies. The Greens fought it.

2. For the FIRST TIME Aussies can be now be extradited for minor offenses.

3. The protection of “political” motives has been weakened. If the charge is “terrorism” then “political” cannot apply to prevent extradition.

4. The U.S.A. recently expanded its definition of “terrorist” to include peaceful protesters - “low level terrorism”.

5. Under the new NDAA legislation, the U.S became a police state - citizens and foreigners can be arrested without warrant and indefinite detention applies.

6. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it legal to publish classified documents. Obama is now trying to label media who do so as terrorists.

7. Modifications to the Act included changing “protection from death penalty” to “likelihood the death penalty would be carried out”.

8. Note that the U.S.A is in the top 5 countries for killing its own citizens, and the only Western country in that top 5.

9. Even Minor Offenses under the new Extradition Amendments are punished with up to 12 months imprisonment.

10. The UK/US Bilateral Treaty allows the U.S.A to extradite from the UK without any prima facie case (i.e. evidence).

11. The Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track “Temporary Surrender” clause.

12. The US Grand Jury convenes in secret. There are 4 prosecutors, no defense, and no judge. It can issue indictments for extradition with no proper legal process.

13. Sweden has NEVER refused an extradition request from the U.S.A.

14. In 2001 Sweden gave two innocent Egyptian refugees to the CIA for rendition to Egypt, where they were tortured.

15. The Swedish Justice Minister who signed off on the CIA rendition torture flight was Thomas Bodstrum.

16. Thomas Bodstrum is now the business partner of Claes Borgstrum, the politician/lawyer of the two Swedish women in the Assange case.

17. The Australian Greens supported a motion by Senator Scott Ludlam to protect Julian from “Temporary Surrender” to the U.S.A via Sweden. Both Labor and the Coalition opposed it.

Follow Christine Assange on Twitter:  ‏@AssangeC

Source

Photo Source

Julian Assange’s right to asylumJune 20, 2012

If one asks current or former WikiLeaks associates what their greatest fear is, almost none cites prosecution by their own country. Most trust their own nation’s justice system to recognize that they have committed no crime. The primary fear is being turned over to the US. That is the crucial context for understanding Julian Assange's 16-month fight to avoid extradition to Sweden, a fight that led him to seek asylum, Tuesday, in the London Embassy of Ecuador.


The evidence that the US seeks to prosecute and extradite Assange is substantial. There is no question that the Obama justice department has convened an active grand jury to investigate whether WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. Key senators from President Obama’s party, including Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, have publicly called for his prosecution under that statute. A leaked email from the security firm Stratfor – hardly a dispositive source, but still probative – indicated that a sealed indictment has already been obtained against him. Prominent American figures in both parties have demanded Assange’s lifelong imprisonment, called him a terrorist, and even advocated his assassination.
For several reasons, Assange has long feared that the US would be able to coerce Sweden into handing him over far more easily than if he were in Britain. For one, smaller countries such as Sweden are generally more susceptible to American pressure and bullying. 
For another, that country has a disturbing history of lawlessly handing over suspects to the US. A 2006 UN ruling found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for helping the CIA render two suspected terrorists to Egypt, where they were brutally tortured (both individuals, asylum-seekers in Sweden, were ultimately found to be innocent of any connection to terrorism and received a monetary settlement from the Swedish government). 
Perhaps most disturbingly of all, Swedish law permits extreme levels of secrecy in judicial proceedings and oppressive pre-trial conditions, enabling any Swedish-US transactions concerning Assange to be conducted beyond public scrutiny. Ironically, even the US State Department condemned Sweden’s “restrictive conditions for prisoners held in pretrial custody”, including severe restrictions on their communications with the outside world.
Assange’s fear of ending up in the clutches of the US is plainly rational and well-grounded. One need only look at the treatment over the last decade of foreign nationals accused of harming American national security to know that’s true; such individuals are still routinely imprisoned for lengthy periods without any charges or due process. Or consider the treatment of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking to WikiLeaks: a formal UN investigation found that his pre-trial conditions of severe solitary confinement were “cruel, inhuman and degrading”, and he now faces capital charges of aiding al-Qaida. The Obama administration’s unprecedented obsession with persecuting whistleblowers and preventing transparency – what even generally supportive, liberal magazines call ”Obama’s war on whistleblowers” – makes those concerns all the more valid.
No responsible person should have formed a judgment one way or the other as to whether Assange is guilty of anything in Sweden. He has not even been charged, let alone tried or convicted, of sexual assault, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. The accusations made against him are serious ones, and deserve to be taken seriously and accorded a fair and legal resolution.
But the WikiLeaks founder, like everyone else, is fully entitled to invoke all of his legal rights, and it’s profoundly reckless and irresponsible to suggest, as some have, that he has done anything wrong by doing so. Seeking asylum on the grounds of claimed human rights violations is a longstanding and well-recognized right in international law. It is unseemly, at best, to insist that he forego his rights in order to herd him as quickly as possible to Sweden.  
Assange is not a fugitive and has not fled. Everyone knows where he is. If Ecuador rejects his asylum request, he will be right back in the hands of British authorities, who will presumably extradite him to Sweden without delay. At every step of the process, he has adhered to, rather than violated, the rule of law. His asylum request of yesterday is no exception.
Julian Assange has sparked intense personal animosity, especially in media circles – a revealing irony, given that he has helped to bring about more transparency and generated more newsworthy scoops than all media outlets combined over the last several years. That animosity often leads media commentators to toss aside their professed beliefs and principles out of an eagerness to see him shamed or punished.


But ego clashes and media personality conflicts are pitifully trivial when weighed against what is at stake in this case: both for Assange personally and for the greater cause of transparency. If he’s guilty of any crimes in Sweden, he should be held to account. But until then, he has every right to invoke the legal protections available to everyone else. Even more so, as a foreign national accused of harming US national security, he has every reason to want to avoid ending up in the travesty known as the American judicial system. -Glenn Greenwald
Source

Julian Assange’s right to asylum
June 20, 2012

If one asks current or former WikiLeaks associates what their greatest fear is, almost none cites prosecution by their own country. Most trust their own nation’s justice system to recognize that they have committed no crime. The primary fear is being turned over to the US. That is the crucial context for understanding Julian Assange's 16-month fight to avoid extradition to Sweden, a fight that led him to seek asylum, Tuesday, in the London Embassy of Ecuador.

The evidence that the US seeks to prosecute and extradite Assange is substantial. There is no question that the Obama justice department has convened an active grand jury to investigate whether WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. Key senators from President Obama’s party, including Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, have publicly called for his prosecution under that statute. A leaked email from the security firm Stratfor – hardly a dispositive source, but still probative – indicated that a sealed indictment has already been obtained against him. Prominent American figures in both parties have demanded Assange’s lifelong imprisonment, called him a terrorist, and even advocated his assassination.

For several reasons, Assange has long feared that the US would be able to coerce Sweden into handing him over far more easily than if he were in Britain. For one, smaller countries such as Sweden are generally more susceptible to American pressure and bullying. 

For another, that country has a disturbing history of lawlessly handing over suspects to the US. A 2006 UN ruling found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for helping the CIA render two suspected terrorists to Egypt, where they were brutally tortured (both individuals, asylum-seekers in Sweden, were ultimately found to be innocent of any connection to terrorism and received a monetary settlement from the Swedish government). 

Perhaps most disturbingly of all, Swedish law permits extreme levels of secrecy in judicial proceedings and oppressive pre-trial conditions, enabling any Swedish-US transactions concerning Assange to be conducted beyond public scrutiny. Ironically, even the US State Department condemned Sweden’s “restrictive conditions for prisoners held in pretrial custody”, including severe restrictions on their communications with the outside world.

Assange’s fear of ending up in the clutches of the US is plainly rational and well-grounded. One need only look at the treatment over the last decade of foreign nationals accused of harming American national security to know that’s true; such individuals are still routinely imprisoned for lengthy periods without any charges or due process. Or consider the treatment of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking to WikiLeaks: a formal UN investigation found that his pre-trial conditions of severe solitary confinement were “cruel, inhuman and degrading”, and he now faces capital charges of aiding al-Qaida. The Obama administration’s unprecedented obsession with persecuting whistleblowers and preventing transparency – what even generally supportive, liberal magazines call ”Obama’s war on whistleblowers” – makes those concerns all the more valid.

No responsible person should have formed a judgment one way or the other as to whether Assange is guilty of anything in Sweden. He has not even been charged, let alone tried or convicted, of sexual assault, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. The accusations made against him are serious ones, and deserve to be taken seriously and accorded a fair and legal resolution.

But the WikiLeaks founder, like everyone else, is fully entitled to invoke all of his legal rights, and it’s profoundly reckless and irresponsible to suggest, as some have, that he has done anything wrong by doing so. Seeking asylum on the grounds of claimed human rights violations is a longstanding and well-recognized right in international law. It is unseemly, at best, to insist that he forego his rights in order to herd him as quickly as possible to Sweden.  

Assange is not a fugitive and has not fled. Everyone knows where he is. If Ecuador rejects his asylum request, he will be right back in the hands of British authorities, who will presumably extradite him to Sweden without delay. At every step of the process, he has adhered to, rather than violated, the rule of law. His asylum request of yesterday is no exception.

Julian Assange has sparked intense personal animosity, especially in media circles – a revealing irony, given that he has helped to bring about more transparency and generated more newsworthy scoops than all media outlets combined over the last several years. That animosity often leads media commentators to toss aside their professed beliefs and principles out of an eagerness to see him shamed or punished.

But ego clashes and media personality conflicts are pitifully trivial when weighed against what is at stake in this case: both for Assange personally and for the greater cause of transparency. If he’s guilty of any crimes in Sweden, he should be held to account. But until then, he has every right to invoke the legal protections available to everyone else. Even more so, as a foreign national accused of harming US national security, he has every reason to want to avoid ending up in the travesty known as the American judicial system. -Glenn Greenwald

Source

Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden May 30, 2012
The Britain Supreme Court ruled earlier this morning that Wikileaks founder and journalist Julian Assange would be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about sexual misconduct allegations. The 5-2 ruling comes after a group of prosecutors ruled the European Arrest Warrant seeking his extradition was valid. The Australian journalist has been fighting this ruling since December 2010 and has been under house arrest in England for 540 days without being charged for a single crime.
Assange has 14 days to leave the UK to head to Sweden. But this extradition brings up concerns of the possibility of Sweden’s secretive pre-trial procedures that will be most likely hidden from the media and the public. Assange believes the rape allegations from two women are politically-motivated smear campaigns to tarnish the reputability of Wikileaks.
Questions of what will happen to Assange in the coming proceedings also point to the role of the United States. There is fear that once Sweden has tried the journalist, they will extradite him to the U.S. where he can be charged with espionage & possibly conspiracy, then jailed for life. The U.S. has already taken measures to bring down Assange, calling him a terrorist & questioning Wikileaks supporters throughout the world. Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton plans to travel to Sweden this upcoming weekend, an unusual business trip coming at a convenient time to possibly make negotiations about Assange under the table.
Assange and his lawyers can still file an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if it agrees to hear his case within 14 days. He can put the extradition on hold, which could push the final verdict back a few months. In the situation that Assange & the Wikileaks team are unable to publish, the journalist has already said he has a network of thousands of people ready to continue the whistleblower’s mission for government transparency. Supporters have downloaded a file encrypted with a code shatterproof even from governments. A key will be released to open the files & disseminate them if Assange cannot publish.
Updates will be published as they are released here on The People’s Record.
For information on May 30 Julian Assange rallies around the world, click here.
- G. Razo

Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden 
May 30, 2012

The Britain Supreme Court ruled earlier this morning that Wikileaks founder and journalist Julian Assange would be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about sexual misconduct allegations. The 5-2 ruling comes after a group of prosecutors ruled the European Arrest Warrant seeking his extradition was valid. The Australian journalist has been fighting this ruling since December 2010 and has been under house arrest in England for 540 days without being charged for a single crime.

Assange has 14 days to leave the UK to head to Sweden. But this extradition brings up concerns of the possibility of Sweden’s secretive pre-trial procedures that will be most likely hidden from the media and the public. Assange believes the rape allegations from two women are politically-motivated smear campaigns to tarnish the reputability of Wikileaks.

Questions of what will happen to Assange in the coming proceedings also point to the role of the United States. There is fear that once Sweden has tried the journalist, they will extradite him to the U.S. where he can be charged with espionage & possibly conspiracy, then jailed for life. The U.S. has already taken measures to bring down Assange, calling him a terrorist & questioning Wikileaks supporters throughout the world. Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton plans to travel to Sweden this upcoming weekend, an unusual business trip coming at a convenient time to possibly make negotiations about Assange under the table.

Assange and his lawyers can still file an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if it agrees to hear his case within 14 days. He can put the extradition on hold, which could push the final verdict back a few months. In the situation that Assange & the Wikileaks team are unable to publish, the journalist has already said he has a network of thousands of people ready to continue the whistleblower’s mission for government transparency. Supporters have downloaded a file encrypted with a code shatterproof even from governments. A key will be released to open the files & disseminate them if Assange cannot publish.

Updates will be published as they are released here on The People’s Record.

For information on May 30 Julian Assange rallies around the world, click here.

- G. Razo