This video is called Julian Assange Speech from Ecuador’s London Embassy 19th July 2012.
By Rory MacKinnon in Britain:
End the war on WikiLeaks, demands Julian Assange in embassy speech
Sunday 19 August 2012
The West must end its war on whistleblowers, Julian Assange demanded today as the diplomatic crisis over his extradition continued.
Supporters and news crews gathered outside as the WikiLeaks founder appeared on the balcony of Ecuador’s central London embassy – with dozens of Met officers watching and waiting just metres away.
The brief speech marked his first public appearance since taking refuge there over two months ago after exhausting legal efforts to appeal an extradition order to Sweden, where authorities want to question him about alleged sex crimes.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa granted him “diplomatic asylum” earlier this month but Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed last week to arrest Mr Assange should he leave the embassy.
But Mr Assange was defiant, demanding the US government end its persecution of WikiLeaks and its associates.
He said that was driving Britain’s zealous pursuit of him.
“As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies,” he said.
“I ask President Obama to do the right thing – the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks.”
He also paid tribute to US political prisoner Bradley Manning, a US army private and allegedly the source of a huge cache of US diplomatic cables and military files on Afghanistan and Iraq.
“If Bradley Manning did what he is accused of he is a hero and an example to all of us,” he said.
Pvt Manning has been held for two years in military brigs under appalling conditions and now faces a court martial on 22 charges, including “aiding the enemy.”
Earlier Mr Assange’s newly appointed lawyer Baltasar Garzon told reporters his client had never shied away from questioning by Swedish investigators.
But he insisted on “reasonable assurance” that Sweden would not extradite him in turn to the US, where he is believed to be the subject of a sealed indictment.
Ecuador Comes Out Winner as UK Overreaches with Assange Threats on Likely Behalf of US: here.
US ‘held back Bradley Manning emails’: here.
There’s horrible music playing over the clip?
Yes, meanwhile I have replaced the clip with a clip of just the speech, no music.
Cheers – I’ll check it out
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In an August 23 column in The Guardian titled “We are Women Against Rape and we do not want Julian Assange extradited”, Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff — members of the British group We are Women Against Rape — wrote: “It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.”
Axelsson and Longstaff said: “Justice for an accused rapist does not deny justice for his accusers. But in this case justice is being denied both to accusers and accused.
“The judicial process has been corrupted. On the one hand, the names of the women have been circulated on the internet; they have been trashed, accused of setting a ‘honey trap’, and seen their allegations dismissed as ‘not real rape’. On the other hand, Assange is dealt with by much of the media as if he were guilty, though he has not even been charged.
“It is not for us to decide whether or not the allegations are true and whether what happened amounts to rape or sexual violence — we don’t have all the facts and what has been said so far has not been tested. But we do know that rape victims’ right to anonymity and defendants’ right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty are both crucial to a just judicial process.”
The writers concluded: “Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women’s fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes …
“That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won’t do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.”
Axelsson and Longstaff pointed to Britain’s gross hypocrisy: “In 1998, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London after an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt.”
Despite this, “the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain’s criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet.”
The struggle over Assange is not about the allegations of rape. These are a separate matter from the attacks on WikiLeaks. These have included a financial blockade orchestrated against the site by major financial institutions, the persecution of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning and the documented evidence that US authorities have drawn-up secret charges with which to pursue Assange.
Using the allegations as a cover for the attacks on WikiLeaks is the exact opposite of treating sexual assault seriously.
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