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Whistleblowers will be effectively silenced: the result of Australia’s police raids on journalists

It sends shockwaves through your life’: how the media raids will silence whistleblowers, Guardian  Christopher Knaus @knausc 9 Jun 2019

Those forces have already exacted a crippling toll.

“[My ex-wife] would probably say – and I think there’s an element of truth in it – it killed David McBride,” he says. “The man that she married was killed by the defence force, and I’m someone who’s different.

“Doing something like this, taking on the whole government, it sends shockwaves through your life, and not much survives, really.”

Wednesday’s raid on the ABC prompted outrage among civil rights groups, transparency campaigners, journalists and unions. It came just a day after federal police searched the home of the News Corp reporter Annika Smethurst, searching for documents related to her coverage of proposed new surveillance powers for the Australian Signals Directorate. 2GB host Ben Fordham’s revelation about asylum seeker boats attempting to reach Australia from Sri Lanka is also the subject of a home affairs investigation, as the department attempts to identify his source.

The raids have not occurred in isolation. Multiple whistleblowers who revealed government wrongdoing are currently being pursued through the courts with alarming vigour.

The government is prosecuting Witness K and Bernard Collaery, who revealed an unlawful spy operation against Timor-Leste during oil negotiations. Richard Boyle, the tax office worker who revealed the government’s heavy-handed approach to recovering debts, faces a long stint in jail if convicted.

Assoc Prof Joseph Fernandez, a journalism lecturer at Curtin University, has spent years studying source protection and the Australian media. He says the consequences of this week’s raids are clear, regardless of whether journalists are charged.

“Such raids, regardless of what happens here to journalists or to others, will have an immeasurable censoring effect on contact people have with journalists,” Fernandez says.

“In my research in this area over the years, it was clear that even senior public servants are apprehensive about having contact with journalists, even about mundane things, in the wake of laws that enable the authorities to track down sources.”

The McBride matter had been bubbling away for some time before Wednesday’s raid. Guardian Australia understands police have been talking to the ABC since at least September, trying to find a way to access the documents without resorting to a very public raid. …….

Denis Muller, from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, says arguments about the police operating at arm’s length from government miss the point.    “The point is that the politicians have constructed a repressive legal regime designed to protect the executive branch of government, impede accountability to the public and exert a chilling effect on the press,” Muller wrote in the Conversation……….    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/08/it-sends-shockwaves-through-your-life-how-the-media-raids-will-silence-whistleblowers

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June 10, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Australia’s highly regarded ABC Chair, Ita Buttrose, speaks out on media freedom

 http://about.abc.net.au/statements/statement-by-ita-buttrose-abc-chair-on-the-publics-right-to-know/

An untrammelled media is important to the public discourse and to democracy. It is the way in which Australian citizens are kept informed about the world and its impact on their daily lives.

Observance of this basic tenet of the community’s right to know has driven my involvement in public life and my career in journalism for almost five decades.

The raid is unprecedented – both to the ABC and to me.

In a frank conversation with the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, yesterday, I said the raid, in its very public form and in the sweeping nature of the information sought, was clearly designed to intimidate.

It is impossible to ignore the seismic nature of this week’s events: raids on two separate media outfits on consecutive days is a blunt signal of adverse consequences for news organisations who make life uncomfortable for policy makers and regulators by shining lights in dark corners and holding the powerful to account.

I also asked for assurances that the ABC not be subject to future raids of this sort. Mr Fletcher declined to provide such assurances, while noting the “substantial concern” registered by the Corporation.

There has been much reference in recent days to the need to observe the rule of law.

While there are legitimate matters of national security that the ABC will always respect, the ABC Act and Charter are explicit about the importance of an independent public broadcaster to Australian culture and democracy.

Public interest is best served by the ABC doing its job, asking difficult questions and dealing with genuine whistle-blowers who risk their livelihoods and reputations to bring matters of grave import to the surface. Neither the journalists nor their sources should be treated as criminals.

In my view, legitimate journalistic endeavours that expose flawed decision-making or matters that policy makers and public servants would simply prefer were secret, should not automatically and conveniently be classed as issues of national security.

The onus must always be on the public’s right to know. If that is not reflected sufficiently in current law, then it must be corrected.

As ABC Chair, I will fight any attempts to muzzle the national broadcaster or interfere with its obligations to the Australian public. Independence is not exercised by degrees. It is absolute.

___________________________________________________________

For further information contact:
Peter Munro, ABC Communications
munro.peter@abc.net.au

June 8, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Tennessee Valley Authority’s new whistleblowing program – to stop safety complaints and silence workers.

Commission asked to review new nuclear whistleblower program https://fox17.com/news/local/commission-asked-to-review-new-nuclear-whistleblower-program, by Associated Press, June 7th 2019 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney is asking the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new whistleblowing program before it’s implemented.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports attorney Billie Garde filed a letter Tuesday saying TVA fired some of its nuclear employee whistleblowing program managers. Garde represents the managers. She says the move is designed to stop safety complaints and silence workers.

TVA’s Chief Nuclear Officer Tim Rausch says the whistleblower program is being improved after worker complaints and other criticism. He says the managers weren’t fired but don’t qualify for the new positions within the overhauled program. Rausch says they are being offered other positions within the utility.

TVA has three nuclear plants: Browns Ferry in Athens, Alabama; Sequoyah in Soddy-Daisy; and Watts Bar in Spring City

June 8, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

New Documentary Explores Chelsea Manning’s Fight To Live Her Truth

XY Chelsea (2019) Official Trailer | Chelsea Manning SHOWTIME Documentary

In Showtime’s “XY Chelsea,” filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins aims to reframe the media’s narrative around the Army whistleblower, who identifies as transgender.  HuffPost By Curtis M. Wong, 5 June 19  Filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins aims to relay former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s “sense of principles and sacrifice” in a new, sure-to-be-controversial documentary.

XY Chelsea,” which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in May and airs Friday on Showtime, is a compilation of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Manning, who was jailed for about seven years for leaking more than 750,000 classified diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks…… https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/xy-chelsea-manning-showtime-documentary_n_5cf672bfe4b0e8085e40b5e7

June 6, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, media, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Sweden’s Uppsala District Court rules against extraditing Assange to Sweden

4 June 19

Sweden’s Uppsala District Court has found in favour of Assange: the court ruled NOT to detain Assange in absentia. The preliminary investigation can proceed without Assange’s extradition to Sweden. This was always the case as Assange has always cooperated with the investigation.

Suzie Dawson on Julian Assange’s mistreatment #FreeAssange

June 4, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, Sweden | Leave a comment

Espionage charges will not now be laid against Julian Assange

Assange won’t face charges over role in devastating CIA leak   The decision surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to go after the WikiLeaks founder on Espionage Act charges.  

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not face charges for publishing Vault 7, a series of documents detailing the CIA’s arsenal of digital code used to hack devices  Politico, By 6/2/19

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.

It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. ……

Prosecutors were stymied by several factors. First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not face charges for publishing Vault 7, a series of documents detailing the CIA’s arsenal of digital code used to hack devices | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.

It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them.

Prosecutors were stymied by several factors.

First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.

Second, prosecutors were worried about the sensitivity of the Vault 7 materials, according to an official familiar with the deliberations over whether to charge Assange. Broaching such a classified subject in court risks exposing even more CIA secrets, legal experts said. The CIA has never officially confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents, even though analysts widely believe them to be authentic……

So instead, the Justice Department will go after Assange on the one count for allegedly assisting Manning and the 17-count Espionage Act indictment. There are no plans to bring any additional indictments prior to his extradition.  https://www.politico.eu/article/julian-assange-wont-face-charges-over-cia-leak-whistleblower-spy-tools-national-security/

June 3, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Ron Paul asks: are the US and UK trying to kill jailed Julian Assange?

Ron Paul asks: Is the US and UK trying to kill jailed Julian Assange?  http://www.brinkwire.com/news/ron-paul-asks-is-the-us-and-uk-trying-to-kill-jailed-julian-assange/

Speaking on ‘Ron Paul Liberty Report, the 83-year-old accuses the US government of pursuing Assange and says they would like to either challenge him with a death penalty or a life time in prison ‘for being a journalist.’

The Libertarian calls Assange’s a ‘tragic story’ and describes his health as ‘very very bad,’ commenting that friends of the whistleblower are worried that his health may not hold up.

Assange, 47, has been moved to the hospital wing at Belmarsh prison and has been found too unwell to appear by video-link as scheduled at Westminster magistrates’ court.

His lawyers reported it was not possible to have a normal conversation with him.

U.S. authorities accuse Assange of violating the Espionage Act over the publication of secret documents.

Sweden wants to question him about sexual misconduct allegations.

Paul also compares Assange’s plight to the case of Otto Frederick Warmbier, an American college student imprisoned in North Korea in 2016.

In June 2017, Warmbier was released by North Korea in a vegetative state and died soon afterward.

Paul goes on to ask what the ramifications would be if Assange is much sicker than is being revealed and dies in prison as the result of how his case has been handled by Washington and London.

‘If he had a terminal disease or something happens to him, good, bad, or whatever and he dies in the prison, how would we look a lot different to the North Koreans on the surface?’ Paul questions.

Paul’s claims come as an independent expert for the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council who visited Assange in prison says he ‘showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture.’

 Nils Melzer, the special rapporteur on torture, visited Assange on May 9 with two medical experts in examining potential victims of torture and ill-treatment, as reported by The U.N. human rights office on Friday.

The UK, along with the US and Ecuador, has engaged in a ‘relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr Assange’, Melzer said.

He added it was ‘obvious’ that Assange’s health had been affected by ‘the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment’ he faced for years.

In ‘Ron Paul Liberty Report,’ Paul goes on to slam the American media and journalists for their lack of reporting on Assange’s health problems, adding that news of his ill health came out via a Swedish newspaper.

Paul adds there is ‘not much good journalism around any more’ and that by not doing more reporting on Assange, journalists ‘don’t want to protect their right to be a journalist.’

Paul defends Assange’s leaking of information saying it is ‘not like he spied for the enemy.’

‘His crime was telling us the truth,’ Paul says. ‘He was telling the truth, he was revealing information … he is a whistleblower in the form of a journalist,’ Paul added.

Assange lived in Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 until he was arrested in April after Ecuadorean officials withdrew his asylum status.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | 2 Comments

Edward Snowden warns of greatest social control scheme in history   

‘Unlimited reach, no safeguards’: Snowden warns of greatest social control scheme in history    https://www.rt.com/news/460854-snowden-surveillance-social-control/ 2 Jun, 2019 The US government has a tendency to hijack and weaponize revolutionary innovations, Edward Snowden said, noting that the natural human desire to communicate with others is now being exploited on an unprecedented scale.

“Our utopian vision for the future is never guaranteed to be realized,” Snowden told the audience in Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada via live stream from Moscow this week, stressing that the US government “corrupted our knowledge… towards a military purpose.”

They took our nuclear capability and transformed it into the most horrible weapon that the world had ever witnessed. And we’re seeing an atomic moment of computer science… Its reach is unlimited… but its safeguards are not!

The whistleblower, who in 2013 leaked a trove of highly classified information about global spying operations by the National Security Agency, argued that, armed with modern technology and with the help of social media and tech giants, governments are becoming “all-powerful” in their ability to monitor, analyze, and influence behavior.

It’s through the use of new platforms and algorithms that are built on and around these capabilities that they are able to shift our behavior. In some cases, they are able to predict our decisions and also nudge them to different outcomes.

The natural human need for “belonging” is being exploited and users voluntarily consent to surrender virtually all of their data by signing carefully drafted user agreements that no one bothers to read. “Everything has hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal jargon that we’re not qualified to read and assess and yet they are considered binding upon us,” Snowden said.

And now these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental… have structuralized and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species.

WATCH Edward Snowden’s full speech:  Open Dialogue: Edward Snowden, Live from Russia | Dalhousie University

June 3, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australian Julian Assange the victim of psychological torture: Australian government no help

UN rapporteur on torture: Julian Assange subjected to psychological torture

Assange a victim of torture and Australia shares blame, says UN expert, The Age, By Nick Miller
May 31, 2019 London: Julian Assange has been subjected to intense psychological torture comparable to some of the gravest cases from “interrogation prisons” around the world, a United Nations expert says.He accuses the UK, US and Sweden of a “consistent failure” to protect Assange’s human rights – and Australia of a “glaring absence” where it should be helping one of its citizens…..Nils Melzer, a Geneva-based former Red Cross lawyer and human rights expert who is now the UN special rapporteur on torture, spent four hours with Assange in Belmarsh in early May, assessing his psychological and mental state along with two medical specialists.

In a currently confidential report submitted to the British government on Monday, along with letters to the US, Swedish and Ecuadorian governments, Melzer concluded Assange “shows all the symptoms of someone exposed to prolonged psychological ill-treatment”.

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” Melzer said. “Mr Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity.”

Melzer said the ill treatment was a combination of the way Assange was confined, isolated and persecuted while inside the Ecuadorean embassy, especially in his last year there, along with death threats and public accusations, the prosecutions pursued against him and the public statements made by US government officials as to how he should be dealt with.

Torture did not just include active efforts, but also covers a situation where a State is “aware your behaviour will have these consequences and not doing anything about it”, Melzer said.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

Melzer told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that in his work with the UN and before in the field with the Red Cross he had seen people in rendition for interrogation after 9/11, and prisoners of war who had been ill-treated on a daily basis.

“But [Assange] is really something I’ve never seen in 20 years,” Melzer said. “I’ve seen atrocities in war areas that were physically more horrible but I’ve never seen a single person pursued so relentlessly and with so little foundation.

“[When I saw him] I immediately compared him to some of the graver cases in interrogation prisons in terms of his psychological reaction patterns. That’s what alarmed me so much.”

He said Assange’s treatment was “very close to the intentional, purposeful infliction of coercive measures to try to break him”.

Melzer said his visit on May 9 involved a three-hour psychological and physical assessment based on the “Istanbul Protocol”, a standard manual for assessing torture victims around the world.

The assessment took place before WikiLeaks revealed, on Wednesday, that Assange had been moved to a prison hospital having “dramatically lost weight” and in such a state that “it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him”…….

Assange, unlike other prisoners, was exposed to multiple major pending legal proceedings with “so much political commotion”, and was not being given enough time to talk to his lawyers and get updates on his case. ……

Melzer said he had seen no sign of Australian assistance for Assange.

“Australia is a glaring absence in this case. They’re just not around, as if Assange was not an Australian citizen. That is not the correct way of dealing with that.”…..

After it was reported Assange had been taken to the hospital prison this week, the Australian government again got in contact with the prison to check on him.

“We are confident that Mr Assange is being treated appropriately in Belmarsh Prison. Mr Assange has advised us that he is being treated the same as other prisoners in Belmarsh,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to visit Mr Assange in prison, monitor and advocate for his health, welfare and equitable treatment, and closely follow his legal proceedings.”  https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/assange-a-victim-of-torture-and-australia-shares-blame-says-un-expert-20190531-p51t1v.html

June 1, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, UK, USA | 1 Comment

Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/swedish-court-rejects-effort-to-delay-assange-hearing-20190529-p51s61.html  29 May 19.   Stockholm: A Swedish court has rejected efforts to postpone a hearing relating to Julian Assange, a lawyer for the WikiLeaks founder says.

A Swedish prosecutor this month filed a request for Assange to be detained for a June 3 hearing about a rape allegation.

Defence lawyer Per Samuelson told Reuters he visited Assange in British custody on Friday before seeking to postpone the hearing.

“One of the reasons is that Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him,” Samuelson said.

“I meant that it should be postponed until I had time to meet again and go through the issues in peace and quiet. I suggested no specific date and meant it should be postponed until everything was ready, but the district court has now decided that this won’t happen .

he Uppsala district court, where the hearing is due to take place, was not immediately available for comment. A prosecutors’ office spokesman declined to comment.

Sweden reopened the investigation into alleged rape, which Assange denies, in early May. It was begun in 2010 but dropped in 2017 while Assange was in refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Assange was arrested in London last month after spending nearly seven years inside the embassy.

If the court order is granted, it would be the first step in a process to have Assange extradited from Britain, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail.

US authorities are separately seeking to extradite Assange on charges relating to the public release by WikiLeaks of a cache of secret documents, and last week unveiled 17 new criminal charges against him, including espionage.

The British courts will have to rule on the two extradition requests, with the home secretary having the final say on which one takes precedence.

June 1, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, Sweden | Leave a comment

Media freedom now in grave danger, as USA tries to gaol Julian Assange for life

Whatever Assange got up to in 2010-11, it was not espionage. Nor is he a US citizen. The criminal acts this Australian maverick allegedly committed all happened outside the US. As Joel Simon, director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, has observed: “Under this rubric, anyone anywhere in the world who publishes information that the US government deems to be classified could be prosecuted for espionage.”
The new indictment against Assange falls into three parts – each of them attempting to criminalise things journalists regularly do as they receive and publish true information given to them by sources or whistleblowers.
the attempt to lock him up under the Espionage Act is a deeply troubling move that should serve as a wake-up call to all journalists. You may not like Assange, but you’re next.

US efforts to jail Assange for espionage are a grave threat to a free media     https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/26/prosecuting-julian-assange-for-espionage-poses-danger-freedom-of-press

Do you remember the Collateral Murder video – the one that showed US air crew in Apache helicopters killing people as though playing computer games, laughing at the dead after slaughtering a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for the Reuters news agency? Do you remember how the US military had lied about what happened in that incident in July 2007 – first claiming that all the dead were insurgents, and then that the helicopters were responding to an active firefight? Neither claim was true. Do you recall that Reuters had spent three years unsuccessfully trying to obtain the video?

Collateral Murder?

Was it in the public interest that the world should have eventually seen the raw footage of what happened? You bet. Was it acutely embarrassing for the US military and government? Of course. Was the act of revelation espionage or journalism? You know the answer.

We have two people to thank for us knowing the truth about how those Reuters employees died, along with 10 others who ended up in the crosshairs of the laughing pilots that day: Chelsea Manning, who leaked it, and Julian Assange, who published it. But the price of their actions has been considerable. Manning spent seven years in jail for her part in releasing that video, along with a huge amount of other classified material she was able to access as an intelligence analyst in the US army. Assange has been indicted on 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act, with the prospect that he could spend the rest of his life in prison. Continue reading

May 27, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Ecuador will hand over Julian Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States

  1. Ecuador to hand over Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States  20 May 2019  https://wikileaks.org/Ecuador-to-hand-over.html

Three weeks before the U.S. deadline to file its final extradition request for Assange, Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow U.S. prosecutors to help themselves to Assange’s belongings.

Neither Julian Assange nor U.N. officials have been permitted to be present when Ecuadorian officials arrive to Ecuador’s embassy in London on Monday morning.

The chain of custody has already been broken. Assange’s lawyers will not be present at the illegal seizure of his property, which has been “requested by the authorities of the United States of America”.

The material includes two of his manuscripts, as well as his legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment. The seizure of his belongings violates laws that protect medical and legal confidentiality and press protections.

The seizure is formally listed as “International Assistance in Criminal matters 376-2018-WTT requested by the authorities of the United States of America”. The reference number of the legal papers indicates that Ecuador’s formal cooperation with the United States was initiated in 2018.

Since the day of his arrest on 11 April 2019, Mr. Assange’s lawyers and the Australian consul have made dozens of documented demands to the embassy of Ecuador for the release and return of his belongings, without response. Continue reading

May 23, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, SOUTH AMERICA, USA | Leave a comment

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property 

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/20/headlines/sweden_requests_detention_of_assange_as_wikileaks_accuses_us_of_illegally_seizing_his_property

MAY 20, 2019  Swedish authorities issued a request Monday for the detention in absentia of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is facing rape charges in Sweden and is currently serving jail time in Britain for skipping bail in 2012. Last week, Swedish prosecutors reopened a sexual assault investigation into Assange which was dropped in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcefully removed by British police last month.

Assange has denied the accusation, and his lawyer representing him in Sweden said he has not been able to get hold of his client to discuss the detention order.

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has previously said of Sweden’s case, “Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019 there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case. Its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name. This case has been mishandled throughout.” Assange must reportedly serve 25 weeks of his British prison sentence before he can be released. Assange now faces possible extradition to both Sweden and the United States, where he is wanted for the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq.

In related news, WikiLeaks is reporting that Ecuador will allow U.S. prosecutors to go through and take possession of Assange’s belongings left in their London embassy. Assange reportedly has two manuscripts at his former living quarters; his lawyers have called it an illegal seizure of property.

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Chelsea Manning will not testify against Julian Assange, so it’s back to jail for her

May 18, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Chelsea Manning released from gaol, – but this could be only temporary

May 11, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment