Jun 26, 2012

Political Refugee Assange Deserves His Freedom - and Our Nation's Thanks

La Jornada: WorldMeets.Us Translation by Gemma Bouchereau
See Spanish Original.

“It is deplorable, but indicative of the contemporary world disorder, that Swedish legal officials have been suborned to invent allegations of sex crimes in the context of what has been exposed as a Washington revenge and damage control operation, as well as an attempt to suppress transparency, freedom of expression and the release of information carried out by the Australian and his organization.”

The unexpected appearance of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuador Embassy in London, his formal request to the Andean country for political asylum, and Quito’s offer to evaluate the request based on the principles of international law and the country’s political tradition of protecting human rights, has dispelled fears that the Australian journalist would be handed over to Sweden in the next few days. It is in Sweden that he faces charges of alleged sexual harassment and rape, which seem a fait accompli given the refusal of the British Supreme Court to reopen the case last week.

Whatever response the Rafael Correa government gives Assange, the existence of a political refugee in contemporary Europe, the legal fury being directed against him by the authorities of two Old World countries, England and Sweden, and the silence of the Western powers in regard to this situation, demonstrates the hypocrisy and moral and political bankruptcy of governments that repeatedly claim to be champions of freedom, transparency, legality and respect for human rights, but instead act as advocates of authoritarianism, defenders of opacity, partisans of the reactionary use of law and the disregard of individual rights. Read more.

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