Freedom of information. The United States cuts down a new card against Julian 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 overwhelming 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 “Parts of the truth” in the edifying tale published a few weeks ago, with barbouzes in operation in the heart of London’s posh Knightsbridge, ready to kidnap or kill the author of the most shattering revelations about US war crimes. Pompeo then skulls during a television program 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. “

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.

“A precedent that could be used against journalists”

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 Humanity Sunday to be published Thursday, October 28). 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 good faith national security interests, but the proceedings against Julian Assange endanger journalism which is crucial to democracy,” they fall. 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, evene so many of them 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 will not put Julian Assange in a high security prison or subject him to special treatment have, in fact, been denied already,” 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, virtually no one responsible for American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq has been held accountable, let alone prosecuted, and however, a journalist who denounced these crimes remains threatened with a life sentence. “

“We hope this will be the end! ” launches, for her 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 could see on Saturday , “Looks very badly”. And while WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, judge “Unthinkable that the High Court of London would come to any conclusion other than confirmation” of the refusal of extradition, Stella Moris recalls that of the judge at first instance: “Julian would not survive extradition. ”

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