Julian Assange is a hero, and he’s paying what has become the hero’s price: repression, calumny, and ostracism. From Simon Floth at antiwar.org:
For over two months Julian Assange had no internet access and no contact with anyone besides his lawyer. Fifteen days is prohibited by the UN as prolonged solitary confinement under the Mandela Rules.
His situation now appears unchanged except that he was visited on Thursday by two officials from Australia’s High Commission. It has not yet been reported what was discussed, but if consistent with that government’s action to date this would be an exercise to wash their hands of him, much as Ecuador appears to be doing.
According to Glenn Greenwald’s interview of Rafael Correa, former President of Ecuador, in 2016 his “government told Assange that it thought his attacks on Hillary Clinton were becoming excessive and briefly suspended his Internet connection to underline its concerns.” Correa then qualified this by saying, “We never intended to take away his Internet for an extended period of time. That is going way too far.”
By the standards of the UN it was going too far anyway, since from July 2016it “condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online.”
Lenin Moreno, who succeed Correa just on a year ago, was recently quoted as saying, “Let’s not forget the conditions of his asylum prevent him from speaking about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries. That’s why we cut his communication…There are two types of liberty. The responsible liberty and the cave liberty in which everyone thinks they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want. That’s not liberty. Liberty must be used with a lot of responsibility.”
Moreno’s latter remark here might only seem to be commonsense, until thought through in context. If a child uses a megaphone to rail at passersby, their parent may be duly expected to curtail it. But if a newspaper releases leaked information in the public interest, to some party’s inconvenience, curtailing that would be oppressive. So it should be borne in mind that in addition to being a self-determined adult and Ecaudorian citizen, Julian Assange is a multi-award-winning publisher.
To continue reading: Assange’s Ecuadorian Cave
Assange represents the torch bearer of free information to the World.
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