Free WikiLeaks’ Assange and compensate him, United Nations says


Pro-Assange demonstrators in London

This photo shows pro-Julian Assange demonstrators in London, England. They have Guy Fawkes masks on. Their ‘I’m Julian!’ signs allude to the ‘I am Spartacus!‘ line from the film Spartacus.

From The Verge:

UN: Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained and deserves compensation

WikiLeaks founder has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012

By Amar Toor on February 5, 2016 03:31 am

A United Nations panel has determined that Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living since 2012. In a report published today, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) said that Sweden and the UK should compensate Assange for the detention, though the ruling is not legally binding. British authorities have said they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.

Swedish authorities have sought to question Assange, 44, on an accusation of rape, but the Australian national has denied the claim and fears extradition to the US, where he could face charges related to the troves of diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks began publishing in 2010.

In a statement released Friday, the UNWGAD said that Sweden and the UK should work to guarantee Assange’s “safety and physical integrity, to facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner, and to ensure the full enjoyment of his rights guaranteed by the international norms on detention.” Assange’s legal team filed a complaint with the panel in 2014, saying that being confined to the embassy had taken a “significant toll” on his health.

In a statement published to the WikiLeaks Twitter account this week, Assange said he should be allowed to leave the embassy if the panel ruled in his favor. …

“To go against a decision would be to go against a unit of the United Nations, and their own interpretation of human rights,” Per Samuelsson, a lawyer for Assange, told The New York Times yesterday.

MILLIONS of pounds spent by police monitoring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for three years could have been better used for front-line police duties, Baroness Jones said yesterday: here.

UK and Swedish governments continue their persecution of Julian Assange: here.

US government jet lay in wait for Snowden in Copenhagen. Danish government reveals agreement to cooperate over extradition in the event whistleblower arrived in Scandinavia: here.

New York Times launches McCarthyite witch-hunt against Julian Assange: here.

Assange Proves Innocence: SMS Records Show He Was Framed by Police in Rape Cases. December 8, 2016: here.

‘Wikileaks’ Assange detained arbritarily’, United Nations says


This video says about itself:

Collateral MurderWikileaks – Iraq

3 April 2010

Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.

After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com.

From the BBC today:

Julian Assange is being arbitrarily held, UN panel to say

A UN panel has ruled in favour of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after he complained he was “arbitrarily detained”, the BBC understands.

Mr Assange claimed asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex assault claims, which he denies.

The Met Police says Mr Assange would be arrested if he does leave the embassy.

He earlier said his passport should be returned and his arrest warrant dropped if the UN panel ruled in his favour.

In 2014, Mr Assange complained to the UN that he was being “arbitrarily detained” as he could not leave the embassy without being arrested.

The application claimed Mr Assange had been “deprived of his liberty in an arbitrary manner for an unacceptable length of time”.

The UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is due to announce the findings of its investigation on Friday. …

While the BBC understands the panel will find in Mr Assange’s favour, Wikileaks tweeted it was waiting for “official confirmation”. …

In his complaint to the panel – made in 2014 – Julian Assange argued that living in 30 square metres of the Ecuadorean Embassy with no sunlight or fresh air had taken a “significant toll” on his physical and mental health.

Previous rulings by the panel have gone against countries with some of the world’s worst human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Egypt.

So a decision against Sweden and Britain in favour of Mr Assange is bound to be controversial. …

The journalist John Pilger, who is a friend of Mr Assange, said “the ball is now at the feet of the British government”, whose international legal “obligations” were represented by the UN panel.

“They did something in terms of supporting the tribunal in all the other celebrated cases, and Assange now joins them because the UN jurists have clearly found this is a case of arbitrary detention,” he said. …

His Wikileaks organisation posted secret American government documents on the internet, and Mr Assange says he believes Washington will seek his transfer to the US if he is sent to Sweden.

In the statement, published earlier by Wikileaks on Twitter, Mr Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”

Last October, Scotland Yard said it would no longer station officers outside the Ecuador embassy following an operation which it said had cost £12.6m. But it said “a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him” would still be deployed.

Bahrain regime bans US observer from witch trial


This video says abouty itself:

Julian Assange‘s The World Tomorrow: Nabeel Rajab & Alaa Abd El-Fattah

8 May 2012

In the fourth episode of The World Tomorrow, Julian Assange speaks with two leading Arab revolutionaries in the middle of conflict, Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah is a long time Egyptian blogger, programmer and political activist. His parents were human rights campaigners under Anwar Sadat; his sister Mona Seif became a Twitter star during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and is a founder of the No Military Trials for Civilians group formed under the post-Mubarak military junta.

El-Fattah was imprisoned for 45 days in 2006 for protesting under the Mubarak regime, and released after “Free Alaa” solidarity protests in Egypt and around the world. In 2011, from abroad, El-Fattah helped route around Mubarak’s internet blockade.

Nabeel Rajab is a lifelong Bahraini activist and critic of the Al Khalifa regime. … Rajab has agitated for reform in Bahrain since his return from university in 1988.

Along with the Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, he helped establish the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in 2002.

Rajab is reasonably new to the limelight — becoming a face for the Bahrain uprising of February 14 2011, after the sit-in at Pearl Roundabout. Since then, he has been a public face for the revolution, waging a social media war on Twitter with PR companies working for the regime.

After al-Khawaja was imprisoned, he led protests for his release. He has endured beatings, arrests and legal harrassment for engaging in pro-democracy demonstrations. On Saturday 5th of May, he was arrested at Manama airport, and charged the next day with encouraging and engaging in “illegal protests.” Nabeel Rajab remains in detention at the time of broadcast.

From AFP news agency today:

Bahrain Court Bars U.S. Observer from Activist’s Tria

The United States was Tuesday seeking an explanation from Bahraini authorities after a US embassy observer was expelled from the trial of a prominent rights activist.

A representative of the U.S. embassy was asked to leave Monday’s court hearing for Shiite activist Nabeel Rajab, a State Department official confirmed.

“We are seeking additional clarification from the Bahraini government as to why she was not allowed to observe the proceedings,” deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

“We believe that an essential element of promoting national reconciliation is ensuring the confidence of all Bahrain’s citizens and our government’s commitment to due process and the rule of law.”

The U.S. has already expressed concern that the Bahraini court refused to free Rajab even though he was eligible for early release after serving two-thirds of a two-year sentence.

Rajab was arrested in the wake of the Sunni monarchy’s crackdown on a month of Shiite-led protests in 2011 demanding political reforms and jailed for taking part in “unauthorized” protests.

His sentence was later reduced on appeal to two years from an initial three and according lawyers and right groups he had been eligible for early release late last month.

Bahrain Spotlight: Leading Activist Said Yousif “I’ve Been Forced Into Exile”: here. And here.

Bahrain’s violent repression of its people confirms that authoritarian regimes are more than capable of dealing with political unrest. But don’t be fooled, says Quinn Mecham. The Kingdom’s tenuous ‘ruling bargain’ has been rocked like never before: here.

Assange Australian elections candidate


This video is called Collateral Murder – Wikileaks – Iraq.

Australia: WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has confirmed his intention to run as a Senate candidate in the 2013 federal election and will announce the formation of a WikiLeaks political party early next year: here.

Free Bahraini human rights activist now


This video says about itself:

May 8, 2012

In the fourth episode of The World Tomorrow Julian Assange speaks with two leading Arab revolutionaries in the middle of conflict, Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah is a long time Egyptian blogger, programmer and political activist. His parents were human rights campaigners under Anwar Sadat; his sister Mona Seif became a Twitter star during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and is a founder of the No Military Trials for Civilians group formed under the post-Mubarak military junta.

El-Fattah was imprisoned for 45 days in 2006 for protesting under the Mubarak regime, and released after “Free Alaa” solidarity protests in Egypt and around the world. In 2011, from abroad, El-Fattah helped route around Mubarak’s internet blockade.

Nabeel Rajab is a lifelong Bahraini activist and critic of the Al Khalifa regime. A member of a staunch pro-regime family, Rajab has agitated for reform in Bahrain since his return from university in 1988. Along with the Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, he helped establish the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in 2002.

Rajab is reasonably new to the limelight — becoming a face for the Bahrain uprising of February 14 2011, after the sit-in at Pearl Roundabout. Since then, he has been a public face for the revolution, waging a social media war on Twitter with PR companies working for the regime.

After al-Khawaja was imprisoned, he led protests for his release. He has endured beatings, arrests and legal harrassment for engaging in pro-democracy demonstrations. On Saturday 5th of May, he was arrested at Manama airport, and charged the next day with encouraging and engaging in “illegal protests.” Nabeel Rajab remains in detention at the time of broadcast.

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

Julian Assange: Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience and he must be released

London – December 12th, 2012

Julian Assange released a statement today calling for the immediate release of BCHR President Nabeel Rajab.

Statement from Julian Assange on Nabeel Rajab:

“I last saw Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, in March 2012. Nabeel flew to the United Kingdom, where I interviewed him for my television programme The World Tomorrow. While he had been on the plane, his house had been surrounded by armed police.

I asked him what he was going to do now. Wasn’t he fearful about returning home? He was adamant. He would return to Bahrain.

“[T]his is the struggle, this is the freedom, this is democracy that we are fighting for. It has a cost and we have to pay the cost, and the cost might be very expensive as we have paid a high cost in Bahrain, and we are willing to pay that for the changes that we are fighting for.”

Once he was back in Bahrain, a campaign of judicial harassment began. He was charged with illegal assembly and insulting the Prime Minister on Twitter. He was sentenced to three years in jail, for daring to claim his right to freedom of expression and association.

On December 11, after a long campaign of resistance, his sentence was reduced to two years.

This is not enough.

Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience. He should not be in jail at all. He should never have been put in jail. He must be released.

Immediately before his imprisonment, Nabeel Rajab was the leading voice of the Bahrain Spring. He has carried the banner, raised around the Islamic world in 2011, which cried out for ‘Huriyyah, Adalah Ijtima’iyah, Karamah’ – for Freedom, Social Justice, Dignity. What we know as the Arab Spring is, in Arabic, the ‘Thawraat l-Karamah’ – the ‘Revolutions of Dignity.’

Nabeel’s commitment to the moral importance of this movement cannot be doubted. Along with many other Bahrainis, he has given over his life and freedom for the reform of his country. Together, they have given everything. It is the regime that must now give ground.

The Bahraini regime has repeatedly promised reform, even commissioning a report on its own human rights abuses which found it guilty of practicing torture and the excessive use of force. It has failed to implement all but the most superficial of this report’s recommendations.

In particular, Recommendation 1722 (h) of this report called on the government, “To review convictions and commute sentences of all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence, or, as the case may be, to drop outstanding charges against them.”

The regime has instead continued to imprison activists like Nabeel, for crimes solely related to their freedom of expression and assembly. Thirteen leading activists and opposition leaders remain in jail, despite international recognition of their status as political prisoners.

Originally slow to comment, even the President of the United States has asserted that “The only real way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail.”

Words do not match actions, however. Neither the US, which has a large military base in Bahrain, or the UK have applied any real pressure for the release of political prisoners, despite acknowledging this to be central to the reform process.

This is not a sophisticated issue. Our obligations are clear. The political prisoners of Bahrain must be freed as a necessary step towards peaceful reform. There will be no dignity in Bahrain until Nabeel Rajab is released.”

WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning on torture


This video from the USA says about itself:

Manning Testifies About His Torture; Was it Aimed at Turning Him on Assange?

Michael Ratner: Manning describes cruel and unusual punishment; offers to plea to lesser charges.

Bradley Manning Takes the Stand: here. And here.