Free WikLeaks’ 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.

‘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

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.

French government ‘will not tolerate’ United States NSA spying on them

This video says about itself:

France: Hollande blasts NSA alleged eavesdropping, spying on French presidents, summons ambassador

24 June 2015

From the BBC:

NSA spying: France summons US envoy over Wikileaks claims

38 minutes ago

France has summoned the US envoy in Paris over claims that the US spied on President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors, officials say.

Whistleblower website Wikileaks reports the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Mr Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac between 2006-12.

Mr Hollande called an emergency meeting and said France would “not tolerate” acts that threaten its security.

The US said it would not comment on “specific intelligence allegations”. …

The NSA has previously been accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on Brazilian and Mexican leaders.

Analysis: Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

None of the leaks is earth-shattering. In one Jacques Chirac pushes for the nomination of Terje Roed-Larsen as UN under-secretary-general. Nicolas Sarkozy says he wants to help Pernod Ricard in a row with the US over rum.

Though maybe not ‘earth-shattering’ it is significant that the NSA spies on France about rum. It proves that the official lies about NSA etc. spying supposedly being ‘only against terrorists’ are lies indeed. And the spying is not only against, officially ‘allied’, governments. It is also economic espionage, paid by United States taxpayers, to help United States alcoholic drinks etc. corporations in a criminal way against foreign competition.

Three days after taking office, Francois Hollande calls secret meetings to discuss the Greek crisis.

Most of this could have been gleaned by diplomats at the US embassy simply doing their job – rather than by the spy-station that Liberation newspaper says operates on the embassy roof. The impression given is of an agency scooping up indiscriminate quantities of information, and for little benefit. As the French intelligence expert Francois Heisbourg put it, “They do it because they can.” …

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned US Ambassador Jane Hartley to discuss the latest claims, French officials said.

Ms Hartley is expected to visit the foreign ministry in Paris later on Wednesday.

A statement from the French presidency (in French) said the US must respect a promise not to spy on French leaders. The statement came after an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Paris.

A senior French intelligence official is meanwhile expected to visit Washington to discuss the spying claims.

French aware?

Wikileaks began publishing the files on Tuesday, under the heading “Espionnage Elysee” – a reference to the French presidential palace.

It said the secret files “derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications” of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US.

The Wikileaks files have now been published by France’s Liberation newspaper and the Mediapart investigative website.

One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece‘s possible exit from the eurozone. Another one – from 2011 – alleges that Mr Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, possibly without US involvement.

A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it.

According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington and Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser discussed Mr Sarkozy’s plan to express his “frustration” over US unwillingness to sign a “bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement”.

“The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France,” the intercept says.

FRANCE DEMANDS U.S. AMBASSADOR EXPLAIN SPYING ALLEGATIONS “France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday following revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the past three French presidents.” [AP]

Wikipedia Founder Demands Justice For NSA Spying: here.

United States NSA spying on French presidents

This video says about itself:

WikiLeaks Says NSA Eavesdropped on the Last 3 French Presidents

23 June 2015

WikiLeaks has published documents it says shows the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents. There was no immediate confirmation of the accuracy of the documents released by French daily newspaper Liberation and investigative website Mediapart late Tuesday. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he was confident the documents were authentic, noting that WikiLeaks previous mass disclosures have proven to be accurate.

From the BBC:

US ‘spied on French presidents’ – Wikileaks

26 minutes ago

The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, WikiLeaks says.

The whistleblower website cites “top secret intelligence reports and technical documents” from the NSA.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said: “We do not comment on the veracity or content of leaked documents.” France has made no comment.

The NSA was earlier accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

That allegation arose from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about large-scale US surveillance in 2013.

On Tuesday, Wikileaks said it began publishing the files under the heading “Espionnage Elysee” – a reference to the French presidential palace.

It said the secret files “derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications” of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US.

One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece’s possible exit from the eurozone.

Saudi regime’s documents published by WikiLeaks

This video says about itself:

Saudi women protesting detentions are arrested themselves

20 January 2013

CNN’s Mohammed Jamjoom reports. In Saudi Arabia, a group of women protesting against detentions are arrested, sparking outrage and more protests.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

WikiLeaks puts 70,000 Saudi documents online

Today, 18:24

The website WikiLeaks puts today some 70,000 Saudi Arabian diplomatic documents online. They consist of intercepted e-mail traffic between the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other countries and secret documents from other Saudi ministries. Most messages are from the period 2010-2015.

The next few weeks WikiLeaks will publish still nearly half a million more.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called Saudi Arabia an “ever more unstable and secretive dictatorship, which this year alone has celebrated its 100th beheading, but also has become a threat to its neighbours and to itself”.

The documents, in Arabic, are said to show how the kingdom maintains its relationships, how it strengthens its position as a regional power in the Middle East and bribes people and institutions to establish links.

Edward Snowden’s birthday greeting to Chelsea Manning

This video from the USA says about itself:

23 August 2013

Ann Wright speaks to The Real News in an exclusive interview responding to Wikileaks Whistleblower Chelsea Manning being sentenced to 35 years in prison.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Edward Snowden sends birthday greeting to ‘extraordinary’ Chelsea Manning

On Manning’s 27th birthday, NSA whistleblower praises WikiLeaks source for having ‘inspired an angry public’ with her ‘extraordinary act of service’

Ed Pilkington in New York

Tuesday 16 December 2014 17.27 GMT

From one whistleblower in exile to another in military prison: a birthday greeting. Edward Snowden marks the 27th birthday of Chelsea Manning on Wednesday with a personalized message that praises the WikiLeaks source for having “inspired an angry public”.

Since he astounded the world with his NSA revelations in June 2013, Snowden’s name has perhaps inevitably been associated with that of Manning, who had similarly astounded the world with the WikiLeaks trove of state secrets three years previously. In the pantheon of contemporary US official leakers, Snowden and Manning rank supreme – they were jointly nominated for the Nobel peace prize and Snowden referred to Manning in his early interviews, as “a classic whistleblower”.

Related: Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

Now Snowden has offered words of comfort for Manning as she marks her fifth birthday behind bars. From his own exile in Russia, the former NSA contractor thanks Manning for her “extraordinary act of service”, regretting that “it has come with such an unbelievable personal cost”.

He writes: “You have inspired an angry public to demand a government that is accountable for its perpetration of torture and other war crimes, for the true costs of its wars, and for conspiring in corruption around the world.”

Snowden’s greetings are among a slew of birthday messages from artists, writers and activists published by the Guardian. The group variously express admiration for her act of courage and hope that, with many more years of her sentence left to run, she might find some consolation in the knowledge that she is in the thoughts of others.

As the Nobel prize-winning novelist JM Coetzee puts it: “I’m sure it is not much fun spending your birthday behind bars, but I want to let you know that there are thousands and millions of people in the wider world who are thinking of you and wishing you well.”

Michael Stipe, formerly of REM, sends a handwritten note headlined: “Hey Patriot!!” He says “A lot of friends and supporters are thinking of you today.”

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam offers a cartoon of a wobbly figure tentatively stepping onto a tightrope over a cliff with the words: “Chelsea, your bravery has shown us much to be worried about. We are deeply in your debt.”

Another handwritten letter, with accompanying sketch, comes from the artist Molly Crabapple, who attended parts of Manning’s military trial at Fort Meade last year. Crabapple laments that she was unable to thank Manning there and then, “to hell with the rules of the court”.

Fashion designer Westwood adapts a ecological slogan: “What’s good for the planet is good for Chelsea.”

Further messages come from the Swedish [sic; Icelandic] politician and activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, graphic novelist Alan Moore, cartoonist Joe Sacco, rapper Lupe Fiasco, LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell, trans author Billy Martin and poet Saul Williams.

Manning, who changed her name to Chelsea by petition in April as part of her gender transition, is serving a 35-year sentence for her transfer of massive databases of secret documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. The digital stash included videos of civilians being killed in Baghdad by a US attack helicopter, war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan that exposed the costs of America’s wars, and US embassy cables from around the world that helped instigate the Arab spring while embarrassing the Washington establishment.

Conditions in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Manning is held, are considerably better than those in Quantico military base in Virginia where she was first held in solitary confinement following her arrest in Iraq. But she continues to struggle with the US military authorities to allow her access to treatment for gender dysphoria, as she described in a recent Guardian article.

Though she is not allowed to communicate by phone or in person with the media, she continues to write for the Guardian and for the website of her support group. She also receives a stream of letters from the public, many of which receive replies.

Chelsea Manning Turns 27, Gets Birthday Message from Edward Snowden: here.