If Ecuador Withdraws Support And Protection From Julian Assange, It Will Be A Tragedy
If the government of Ecuador withdraws its protection of Julian Assange by its continued jamming of his internet and phone access or through the ending of his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, it will not only harm the life of Julian Assange. It will have an impact on journalism of global proportions.
Julian Assange has always stood up for those who are attacked by overt and covert actions of government, the military industrial apparatus and the lies of the corporate press. From standing up to Twitter’s persecution of activists like Lauri Love, to exposing the war crimes of an entire nation-state apparatus via the publication of the Iraq War Logs and Collateral Murder, Julian Assange has consistently acted to protect the powerless from persecution.
Earlier today, News.com.au revealed that Assange’s internet access has not simply been cut, but is being actively, physically jammed by hand-held devices used by embassy staff. All this, against a citizen of Ecuador. Wikileaks and others have noted that this repression of Assange’s ability to speak out is contrary to the constitution of Ecuador. That this breach represents a transgression against Assange’s human rights is not in question.
The impact that his ongoing detention and isolation will have on the rest of the planet has not been sufficiently discussed by any media outlet thus far. A brilliant comment left in response to a previous Disobedient Media article reminded me of a Mr. Fish cartoon published in Harpers in 2011 (Harpers has since conveniently removed the image from its site – the cartoon was retrieved with the help of archive services.): The image reads: “WANTED. For peddling pornography of naked emperors banging the absolute hell out of Lady Justice.”
Though the days of faux-left-wing media’s praise of Assange and Wikileaks are long gone, Assange’s support for the public’s right to know, for transparency, and his efforts to shine a light on the corruption behind closed doors of governments have never wavered. As the list of powerful enemies of WikiLeaks has grown lengthy, the crowd of mainstream journalists willing to speak out on behalf of Julian Assange has become shorter by the year. This is in part thanks to the “whole-of-government” attempts to destroy WikiLeaks, both overtly and covertly, through tangible attacks and attacks on the character of WikiLeaks’ Editor-In-Chief.
For that reason, Ecuador’s support for Assange is more critical now than it has ever been. At the beginning of Julian’s stay in the embassy, he was visited by many well-known public figures who would stand for his life to be protected. That group has sadly been shortened, both through the propagation of false media narratives about him and by unfortunate, untimely deaths.
If Assange continues to be isolated from the outside world, or in the worst-case scenario loses asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the loss to investigative journalism will impact the entire planet. Corrupt politicians, warmongers, technocrats and intelligence agencies will breathe a loud sigh of relief. The light that WikiLeaks shines on the corrupt plutocracy will be irrevocably dimmed. Powers and interests behind the architecture of global war will operate in secret without fear of exposure.
Silencing Julian Assange
Aggregated with Permission from The Daily Star: Silencing Julian Assange
On March 28, Julian Assange, Editor of Wikileaks, had his internet disconnected by the Ecuadorian government, shutting down his communications with the outside world. US based journalist Elizabeth Lea Vos, Editor-in-Chief of Disobedient Media, who was one of the panellists at an online vigil held for Assange hours after the imposition of the ban, talks to Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, about the latest restrictions placed on Assange and its implications for press freedom around the world.
Why did the Ecuadorian government decide to shut down Julian Assange’s internet access at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and not allow him any visitors?
The Ecuadorian government released a statement on why they had Julian Assange’s embassy internet connection cut off. It said that Assange’s recent behaviour on social media had “put at risk the good relations [Ecuador] maintains with the United Kingdom, with the other states of the European Union, and with other nations.” Basically saying that Assange had broken an agreement not to interfere in the affairs of a foreign state.
Kim Dotcom [a friend of Assange] instantly surmised that Ecuador had bowed to pressure from Spain in response to Julian’s ardent support for the Catalonian people to have the right to self-determination. Wikileaks confirmed via Twitter that this was the issue in question, narrowing it down to one factually correct Tweet Assange had sent, comparing the arrest of the Catalonian president with a historical arrest by the Gestapo, both at the behest of Spain. It further said that Ecuador had demanded “that he remove” the Tweet that I mentioned.