Four months ago, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British authorities at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had taken refuge in asylum. He then got taken to prison where he has since been kept in harsh, inhumane conditions with often little opportunity to exercise and get fresh air outside.
This current treatment is allegedly due to his infringement of a bail order, but what type of punishment is this for such a low-level offense? For those who forgot about him in recent past, remember that we live in a world where justice must be fought for—because governments have a special way of deceiving the people into thinking they are doing justice, when in fact they are enslaving, stealing, and depriving individuals of basic fundamental rights.
Julian Assange is awaiting further decisions by his capturers, the UK government, and has no ability to speak with his U.S. attorneys, no access to a computer, and no way of reasonably working on his case in defense to the tyrannical oppression he is under.
During a recent visit by Australian journalist John Pilger, who has taken great heed to Julian Assange’s case, Assange gave a warning that he wanted all people to know:
“Say it’s not just me. It’s much wider. It’s all of us. It’s all journalists and all publishers who do their job who are in danger.”
John Pilger expounded in his speech:
The danger Julian Assange faces can easily spread to present and past editors of The Guardian, The New York Times, The Spiegel, El Pais in Spain, The Morning Herald, and the other newspapers and media outlets around the world that publish the Wikileaks revelations about lies and crimes of our governments.
Never before in my career as a journalist, have I known such an attack on our most basic freedom to publish and to know. The message is loud and clear: be careful, or you too will end up in an American hellhole.
Journalism is not a crime in the United States, not yet; but if Julian is extradited and convicted it will become a crime. Journalism that does its job and tells people what governments do behind their backs, in their name.
Julian is not an American. He is an Australian citizen. Wikileaks, which he founded, is not a U.S. based publication, but the meaning of his extradition could not be clearer. No matter who you are or where you are, if you expose the crimes of government you will be hunted down, kidnapped and sent to the U.S. as a spy.
Seventeen out of the Eighteen charges that Julian faces in America relate to the routine work of an investigative journalist, which is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Eighteenth charge about hacking doesn’t even relate to him, and even the prosecution over there say that.
The whole thing is a sham. The U.S. prosecutors know it’s a sham. A federal judge recently declared, ‘effectively it’s a sham.’ The British government know it’s a sham. The Australian government knows it’s a sham. That’s why Julian is locked up more than twenty-one hours a day in a maximum security prison and treated worse than a murderer.
Why is that? Why is he not protected by international law, as the United Nations Working Party has demanded? He is to be made an example, that’s why. What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to enfrighten us into silence. And the moment that we fall silent, it’s over!
By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now, or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours. Thank you.—Speech by John Pilger
Watch the video here: