Assange in British Gitmo! Journalist Facing 20 Years in Prison if Extradited to the United States!
Today, almost 70 members of the House of Commons and Lords have destructed themselves for Brexit and addressed the head of the British Home Office concerning Assange. They asked to give the priority to Sweden, where he was accused of rape, when considering the country for extradition. But, of course, the extradition request from the USA remains the main issue.
That's why we left England alone and asked our special correspondent overseas, Alexandr Khristenko, to cover the latest news concerning Assange.
Julian Assange, who is still waiting for extradition has already found himself in the British version of Guantanamo. This is an unofficial name of the maximum-security prison, Belmarsh, in the south-east of London. It's normally used to detain terrorism suspects and other dangerous, special offenders. There is a bloc built especially for them. It's not yet clear if Assange was placed there. But it's evident that the British authorities have included the WikiLeaks founder on the list of individuals who require, here's the quote from the prison documents, «special management measures due to the public attention associated with them».
Over 70 British MPs called on the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Sajid Javid, to extradite the WikiLeaks founder. But not to the USA. Rather, to Sweden, where he was accused of rape. But later, as they say, due to technical reasons, all of the charges were dismissed. The WikiLeaks founder said from the very beginning that he was prosecuted because of his disclosures. The famous director, Oliver Stone expressed the same thought on Twitter:
«Julian Assange is a publisher for truth. He's done great work on behalf of mankind despite his inhumane treatment. This case is crucial to the survival of our right to know and our essential freedom against USA and UK oppression—and now tyranny!»
Thanks to WikiLeaks, the world discovered the truth about the misconduct of American soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan and was introduced to the sensational messages from the U.S. embassies. They also revealed the true nature of the head of American diplomacy, Hillary Clinton. By the way, it's been reported that the State Department held a meeting dedicated to methods of stopping Assange, Madam Secretary asked: “Can't we just drone this guy?"
The USA is now trying to present Assange not as a journalist who is publishig the materials obtained by someone but as an accomplice to a crime, hacking closed computer networks. Human right defenders are categorically opposed to this.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published Edward Snowden's disclosures, draws our attention to the distortions in the representation of the information, making it very different from what the leaker was doing in reality.
«Assange is basically accused of trying to help Manning log into the Defense Department's computers using a different username so that she could maintain her anonymity while downloading documents. In other words, the indictment seeks to criminalize what journalists are not only permitted but ethically required to do: takes steps to help their sources maintain their anonymity. That’s why the indictment poses such a grave threat to press freedom».
Now, the WikiLeaks founder is facing five years of prison in the USA. But it's very likely that the Department of Justice is concealing part of the charges. If Assange set his food onto American soil, he can easily be charged with, for example, espionage. Which means up to 20 years in prison.
Alexander Khristenko, Nikolay Koskin, Vesti on Saturday, Washington.