Cross-posted from World Socialist Website
* This article co-written by Barry Grey
Britain's aim in deporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden
is to create the conditions for him to be transferred to the United
States and tried for treason. It is a filthy enterprise, carried out on
instructions from the Obama administration in Washington.
is to punish and destroy someone who has done much to expose the bloody
crimes of successive US and UK governments. The American ruling elite
and its international accomplices want to make an example of Assange.
They aim to intimidate all those who seek to counter the wall of
official lies, promoted by a corrupt "mainstream" media, used to conceal
or justify war crimes and conspiracies against the peoples of the
Those who are guilty of conducting wars of aggression in
Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, waging a covert war against Syria, and
carrying out targeted assassinations, rendition and torture have no
compunction trampling on fundamental precepts of international law.
These include the right to political asylum.
Conservative-led coalition government has threatened to withdraw its
recognition of the Ecuadorean embassy in London and send police to storm
the premises and seize Assange. The imperialist arrogance of this
threat was rightly denounced by Ecuador as "an unacceptable, unfriendly
and hostile act and an attempt against our sovereignty." Ecuador's
foreign minister added at a Thursday press conference announcing his
government's decision to grant Assange's request for political asylum,
"We are not a British colony."
Click Here to Read Whole Article
The Vienna Convention specifically
defines a foreign embassy as sovereign space. Such a diplomatic post is
considered the territory of the foreign nation.
trifles could not matter less to the British government and its American
overlords. British Foreign Secretary William Hague reiterated his
government's rejection of safe passage for Assange and its determination
to seize him the moment he sets foot out of the Ecuadorean embassy. He
declared, "The United Kingdom does not recognise the principle of
Piling one contemptible lie upon another,
Hague continued: "It is important to understand that this is not about
Mr. Assange's activities at WikiLeaks or the attitude of the United
States of America. He is wanted in Sweden to answer allegations of
serious sexual offences."
The Swedish government -- the willing
accomplice in the imperialist frame-up of Assange -- piped up to support
Britain's violation of the right of asylum. It had made use of highly
dubious charges of sexual misconduct to demand that Assange appear in
Sweden for questioning, providing the pseudo-legal pretext for his
extradition. "It is unacceptable that Ecuador would want to halt the
Swedish judicial process and European judicial cooperation," said
Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Anders Joerle.
There is no
serious legal basis for the allegations of sexual abuse against
Assange -- the Swedish authorities have not even lodged formal charges
against him. The accusations were made by two women who sought out
Assange and had consensual relations with him.
In response to
Ecuador's granting political asylum, Claes Brogstrom, the lawyer for the
women making the sexual assault claims, declared disingenuously,
"There's no demand from the United States that he should be extradited
to the US."
Not yet. But as Brogstrom is well aware, the Obama
administration convened a secret grand jury to draw up charges against
Assange. It is waiting for him to be shipped to Sweden to strike.
has reported that special task forces have been established by US
intelligence agencies and subpoenas issued compelling WikiLeaks
associates to appear before a grand jury. Assange has every reason to
fear sharing the fate of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of
disclosing classified military data to WikiLeaks and has already been
incarcerated for more than 760 days, mostly under inhuman and abusive
A conviction on sedition charges could bring the
death penalty. Alternately, Assange could be thrown into the black hole
of Guantanamo or some other military prison. Assange has said, with
every justification, that he fears for his life.
Next Page 1 | 2
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).
Chris Marsden's work can be found on wsws.org, a website dedicated to global awareness of socialist issues & which serves as the forum for the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).