January additions to Julian Assange’s extreme plight
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I’ll go backwards in time first, so some of this you may already know.
‘Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum’, Mike Head,
5 January 2019, wsws.org
“Facing mounting demands from Washington, Moreno’s government has unveiled a “special examination” of Assange’s asylum and citizenship—a process clearly designed to repudiate both. The issue of citizenship is significant because Ecuadorian law forbids extradition of citizens.
On January 3, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose government granted Assange asylum, tweeted an image of a letter he received from Ecuador’s State Comptroller General on December 19, notifying him of an investigation by the Direction National de Auditoria.
Specifically, the “general objective” of the audit is to “determine whether the procedures for granting asylum and naturalization to Julian Assange were carried out in accordance with national and international law.” It will cover the period between January 1, 2012 and September 20, 2018.
Correa, now living in Belgium, was asked to supply information for the inquiry, but no timeline was mentioned, nor any date for the end result. There is no doubt, however, that the timing is directly connected to the escalating economic, financial and political pressure on Ecuador, above all emanating from the US military-intelligence apparatus and political establishment.”
‘Corporate media smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’, Oscar Grenfell, 11 January 2019, wsws.org
“Virtually identical articles were featured this week in some of the most prominent publications around the world, including the London Times, the Washington Post and the Australian. All of them centered on personal smears against Assange and attempts to downplay the immense threat to democratic rights posed by the US-led vendetta against him.
The pretext for the venomous outpouring was the publication of a confidential email sent by WikiLeaks to media organisations, rebutting 140 falsehoods about Assange that have appeared in the press. The document demanded that the recipients of the email refrain from presenting the defamatory statements as facts.
A version of the email was first published online on January 7 by Emma Best, a self-styled “transparency activist.” Best’s “activism” has included numerous denunciations of WikiLeaks that echo the talking points of the US government and its intelligence agencies. She came to media prominence by “leaking” private online discussions between WikiLeaks supporters last year.”, and so on. And yes, Marcy Wheeler had featured ‘emma best’s ‘exposé.
‘WikiLeaks’ Assange should surrender to UK rather than stay at embassy indefinitely – Ecuador FM’, 11 Jan, 2019
“The UK will never let Julian Assange just leave the country, so he should surrender, Ecuador’s foreign minister said. The only other option is life self-imprisonment at the Ecuadoran embassy.
“Mr. Assange has basically two options: to stay indefinitely because the British authorities have told us … that they will never authorize a safe passage for him to leave the embassy to a third country, and the other alternative is to surrender,” Foreign Minister José Valencia FM Mundo.
While securing safety assurances from the British side would be ideal, “you cannot continue insisting on something that will not happen,” Valencia stressed, noting that Ecuador believes that it will be “most positive” for Assange to leave the diplomatic compound and face the British law – and by extension a possible extradition to the US.”, etc.
‘Julian Assange’s Living Conditions Deteriorate – More Akin to Stasi-Era Dissident Than an Award-Winning Publisher With Asylum’ cassandra fairbanks, gatewaypundit.com, Jan. 10, 2019 via WL on Twitter a couple excerpts of her heart-rending report:
“After receiving permission to visit (not something I was sure of by any means), I was given an authorization letter that I had to provide, along with my passport, at the door of the embassy before being allowed in. Once inside, my bag was searched and I was scanned with a metal detector, TSA style. Given the amount of enemies that Assange has made, this seemed appropriate.
As this was taking place, Assange walked by — all smiles — which was immediately reassuring as I had been tremendously worried about his wellbeing given the tough restrictions placed on him by Ecuador’s new regime.
The reassurance didn’t last long.
After being guided into the conference room, the same place we initially met at the beginning of my last visit, I immediately noticed a marked increase in the amount of cameras in the hallways and around the large meeting table. After saying hello, we tried to go to another room with less surveillance so we could speak more openly. Within minutes, a member of the staff at the embassy came knocking on the door and demanded that we go back. As we walked through the hall, I noticed that there was no angle that wasn’t being recorded by a forest of menacingly Orwellian black cameras.”
“Unable to speak privately, even with a noise machine attempting to muffle the microphones from picking up conversations, we resorted to passing notes. Assange is not only barred from sharing his views online under the new regulations — thanks to the constant surveillance, he can’t even do so among his friends in the embassy where he is arbitrarily detained.”
Now the most recent and ungodly WikiTweets have been consolidated by RT, although I’m not overly fond of their report, but then…I was struggling to know how to present them, as the tweets were threaded.
‘DOJ to question Ecuadorian Embassy staff following Guardian Manafort story – WikiLeaks’ 18 Jan, 2019, RT
“The US Department of Justice is to question six staff from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the Guardian’s [Luke Harding, Dan Collyns, Fernando Villavicencio] controversial [< ? Lying bullshit!] article alleging Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, according to WikiLeaks.
The DOJ issued formal requests on January 7 to “interrogate six former diplomats & staff at Ecuador’s London embassy following Guardian’s fabricated story of Assange-Manafort meetings,” the whistleblowing organization tweeted Thursday.
The interviews scheduled by Ecuador’s Attorney General’s office are to take place on Friday in Quito, Ecuador.
The report comes after six Democrats, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, wrote to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December 12, demanding Ecuador provide information about the allegations made in the Guardian’s report.”
“An intentionally planted front page false story in the Guardian has now led to statements in Congress, the activation of the U.S. Secretary of State, the DoJ, Ecuador’s DoJ, and Ecuador’s astonishing agreement to formally let a foreign power interrogate its diplomatic staff,” WikiLeaks tweeted Thursday.
WikiLeaks said in a statement that it’s “highly unusual” to allow foreign governments to conduct “interrogations of former diplomatic officials over their diplomatic work, or to provide foreign investigators information about those who have been afforded political asylum in relation to them.” Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy since seeking asylum there in 2012 and was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in late 2017.”
From this morning:
EFE confirms U.S. interrogation of Ecuadorian diplomats, off the back of planted fake story in the Guardian about Assange meeting Manafort. Interrogations stated yesterday and include current staff and are also taking place in the U.K. via video link. https://t.co/Pfo4PFjc4X
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) January 18, 2019
I’ll include this Ben Norton exposé on ‘Fernando Villavicencio, reTweet by Defend Assange in hopes it’s not as iffy as it seems at first blush.
Last, this is the Home Page of Defend WikiLeaks, with 9 tabs in the lemon yellow bar at the top.
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)