Freedom of information. The United States cuts down a new card against Assange

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Mike Pompeo could not deny: in 2017, there was a plan within the American secret service to organize the kidnapping, even the assassination, of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, still slammed in the period in the Embassy of Ecuador. After damning new information, which appeared at the end of September, the former CIA boss and former secretary of state in Donald Trump’s administration was forced to admit it: there are indeed “shares”. of truth ”in the edifying tale published a few weeks ago, with barbouzes in operation in the middle of the posh Knightsbridge district of London, ready to kidnap or kill the author of the most shattering revelations on the war crimes of the United States . Pompeo then skulls during a television show across the Atlantic: “When the bad guys steal our secrets, we have a responsibility to pursue them to prevent that from happening. We have an absolute obligation to respond. “

“A precedent that could be used against journalists”

Can we then deliver to the United States a man they want to kill? The Royal Court of Justice in London will, Wednesday and Thursday, consider the matter again. After a first rejection – more justified by the very degraded mental health of Julian Assange than on the merits of the arguments on the freedom to inform and on purely political prosecutions – of the extradition request formulated by Washington last January, the House -Blanche, now occupied by Joe Biden, did not choose to break with the vengeful line of his predecessor. She appealed against the judgment, challenging in particular the validity of an expert’s report. This allows the persecutions to continue … The United States, where Julian Assange faces a cumulative sentence of 175 years in prison, however, is playing one of their last cards: in the event of a new defeat, they would no longer have the possibility than to go to the British Supreme Court, without being assured that this will be granted to them.

Last weekend, demonstrations took place in the British capital and the supporters of Assange, like those of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are throwing all their forces into the battle (see also the testimony of British journalist Tim Dawson in l’Humanité Sunday to be published tomorrow). In the United States, 24 press freedom organizations have once again warned of the dangers posed by these attacks on Assange. “The government has a legitimate interest in protecting national security interests in good faith, but the proceedings against Julian Assange endanger journalism which is crucial to democracy,” they note. In our view, the precedent set by Assange’s lawsuit could be used against publishers and journalists, which would cripple their work and undermine press freedom. Large press organizations share this concern. The charges against Assange have been condemned by virtually every major American news outlet, although many have criticized Julian Assange in the past. “

“No one responsible for war crimes has been prosecuted”

For its part, Amnesty International, on Monday, October 25, solemnly demanded that the American administration withdraw its charges and that the British authorities choose not to extradite Julian Assange, but rather to release him. “The assurances given by the United States government that it would not put Julian Assange in a high security prison or subject him to special treatment have in fact already been denied,” observes Agnès Callamard. , the general secretary of the NGO. The United States has said it can go back on those guarantees. Now the reports which reveal that the CIA considered kidnapping or killing Assange instill more doubts and demonstrate the political motives behind the case. The Amnesty International leader adds: “The most damning indictment is that, almost twenty years later, hardly anyone responsible for American war crimes committed in Afghanistan and Iraq has been held accountable let alone prosecuted, yet a journalist who exposed these crimes remains under threat of life imprisonment. “

“We hope this will be the end! »Launches, for his part, Stella Moris. Earlier this week, the companion of the imprisoned whistleblower, since his arrest by the British police in April 2019, in the high security area of ​​Belmarsh prison (United Kingdom), once again sounded the alarm: according to her, Julian Assange, whom she saw on Saturday, “looks very badly”. And while the editor of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, judges “unthinkable that the High Court of London arrives at any conclusion other than a confirmation” of the refusal of extradition, Stella Moris recalls that of the judge in first instance: ” Julian would not survive extradition. ”

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