On April 19, Julian Assange,
founder and editor, of WikiLeaks had been a refugee in the Ecuadorean embassy in
London for three years. The key issue in his extraordinary incarceration is
justice. He has been charged with no crime. The first Swedish prosecutor
dismissed the misconduct allegations regarding two women in Stockholm in 2010.
The second Swedish prosecutor's actions were and are demonstrably political.
Until recently, she refused to come to London to interview Assange -- then she
said she was coming; then she cancelled her appointment.
It is a farce, but one
with grim consequences for Assange should he dare step outside the Ecuadorean
embassy. The US criminal investigation against him and WikiLeaks -- for the
"crime" of exercising a right enshrined in the US Constitution, to tell
unpalatable truths -- is "unprecedented in scale and nature," according to US
documents. For this, he faces much of a lifetime in the hellhole of a US
supermax should he leave the protection of Ecuador in London.
allegations are no more than a sideshow to this -- the SMS messages between the
women involved, read by lawyers, alone would exonerate him. They refer to the
accusations as "made up" by the police. In the police report, one of the women
says she was "railroaded" by the Swedish police. What a disgrace this is for
Sweden's justice system.
Julian Assange is a refugee
under international law and he should be given right of passage by the British
government out of the UK, to Ecuador. The nonsense about him "jumping bail" is
just that -- nonsense. If his extradition case went through the British courts
today, the European Arrest Warrant would be thrown out and he would be a free
So what is the British government trying to prove by its absurd police
cordon around an embassy whose refuge Assange has no intention of giving up? Why
don't they let him go? Why is a man charged with no crime having to spend three
years in one room, without light, in the heart of London? The Assange case
amplifies many truths, and one is the growing, global totalitarianism of
Washington, regardless of who is elected president.
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I am often asked if I
think Assange has been "forgotten." It's my experience that countless people all
over the world, especially in Australia, his homeland, understand perfectly well
the injustice being meted out to Julian Assange. They credit him and WikiLeaks
with having performed an epic public service by informing millions about what
the powerful plan for them behind their backs, the lies governments and their
vested interests tell, the violence they initiate. The powerful and the corrupt
loathe this, because it is true democracy in action.
John Pilger grew up in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, author and documentary film-maker. He is one of only two to win British journalism's highest award twice, for his work all over the world. On 1 November, he was awarded (more...