Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Julian Assange’s future safety hangs in the balance

WikiLeaks Whistleblower Awaits Fate, American Free Press , September 7, 2018   The fate of gutsy WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange rests in the hands of the government of Ecuador, first reported here in AFP’s Issue 33&34. Assange has lived at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 and will be instantly arrested by the UK if he leaves the building. Just-released news that his health is deteriorating rapidly makes even more urgent Ecuadorian action’s even more urgent. 

By S.T. Patrick   As  the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange twists in the political winds, the United States, Great Britain, and Ecuador continue to negotiate over the life of the Australian computer programmer and hacker.

Assange has been housed at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. According to one of his lawyers, Assange’s health is suffering and, for the past four months, he has been held in a situation that can be more accurately described as “solitary confinement.” The end of WikiLeaks, as well as Assange’s own version of freedom, may soon be near.

The white-haired Australian, Assange, 47, founded WikiLeaks in 2006, but his presence in the global spotlight dates back to 2010 when he published a series of leaks given to him by U.S. Army soldier Bradley (Chelsea) Manning. The leaks, factual yet damaging to the U.S. military’s public image, prompted a federal criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder. Allied nations were encouraged to do the same………

Technically, Assange is not a prisoner of any government. That is the inevitability that he is trying to avoid. He may leave the embassy, but doing so would trigger the execution of an active warrant that still exists in the UK for jumping bail. If arrested, extradition to the United States seems likely.

Time may be at hand for Assange. On July 27, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno admitted that he has been in talks with the British government to revoke the asylum. Moreno had been a detractor of Assange since taking office in May 2017……..

Because there is a clause in the UK-Ecuadorian extradition treaty that bars one country turning citizens over to the other, Assange’s Ecuadorian citizenship may have to be rescinded for extradition to occur.

…..In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinted to the media that he would consider bringing criminal charges against Assange.

“We are going to step up our efforts and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions said. “We will seek to put some people in jail.”…….

Former U.S. litigator Glenn Greenwald, founder of “The Intercept” website, believes that extradition to the United States would not be as automatic as is being reported by many news outlets. He calls the British government “subservient” to the United States, yet he points out that the British judges lean more independent. He also points out that the specifics of the U.S.-UK treaty may not allow extradition.

“Political crimes, like publishing documents and engaging in journalism—that really isn’t what extradition is for,” Greenwald said. “And in fact . . . is excluded from most extradition treaties, including the one between the U.S. and the UK.”……

For Assange, his life is now in the balance, wavering like the First Amendment freedoms that Americans once thought were constitutionally guaranteed.  http://americanfreepress.net/wikileaks-whistleblower-awaits-fate/

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September 10, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties

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