Julian Assange accuses UK minister of insulting UN after det

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Re: Julian Assange accuses UK minister of insulting UN after

Postby admin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:41 am

Assange demands UK and Sweden lift arrest threat so he can leave Ecuadorian embassy: WikiLeaks founder says in statement he expects immediate return of passport after UN panel finds he has been ‘arbitrarily detained’
by Esther Addley, David Crouch in Gothenburg, Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent and Jessica Elgot
5 February 2016



Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. The WikiLeaks founder is calling for the threat of arrest to be lifted. Photograph: Kerim Okten/EPA

Julian Assange will demand on Friday that Sweden and the UK lift any threat of arrest to allow him to walk free from Ecuador’s embassy in London, after a United Nations panel found that his three-and-a-half year confinement at the embassy in London amounted to “arbitrary detention”.

Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday that the UN panel, which will publish its findings on Friday, had decided in favour of the WikiLeaks founder and found that he was “arbitrarily detained”.

Assange has not set foot outside the cramped west London embassy building since June 2012, when he sought asylum from Ecuador in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden. The Australian is wanted for questioning over an allegation of rape dating to 2010, which he denies.

The findings of the UN working group on arbitrary detention (UNWGAD) are not legally binding, but can be used to apply pressure on states in human rights cases. The British and Swedish governments were informed of the working group’s conclusion on 22 January. Both indicated on Thursday that they do not accept its findings.

Anna Ekberg, spokesperson for the Swedish foreign ministry, said: “The UN working group on arbitrary detention has concluded that Mr Assange is arbitrarily detained. The working group’s view differs from that of the Swedish authorities. We will forward a reply to the working group [on Friday]. It will be more clear tomorrow why we reject the working group’s conclusions.”

The British foreign office said it would not “pre-empt” the panel’s report but said in a statement: “We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorian embassy.

“An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European arrest warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.”

A spokesperson for the Swedish Prosecution Authority said that the country’s Supreme Court found in May 2015 that Assange “should still be detained in his absence”, and that the UNWGAB finding “has no formal impact on the ongoing investigation, according to Swedish law”.

Assange issued a statement via Twitter early on Thursday saying that if the five-person panel found against him, he would voluntarily walk out of the embassy and offer himself for immediate arrest, “as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal”.

“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”

He is expected to appear by videolink at a press conference on Friday to call for the threat of arrest and extradition to be lifted.

Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson, said that if the working group found in his favour, “there is only one solution for Marianne Ny [the Swedish prosecutor seeking Assange’s extradition], and that is to immediately release him and drop the case”. Samuelson added: “If he is regarded as detained, that means he has served his time, so I see no other option for Sweden but to close the case.”

Assange’s lawyers also want assurances from the UK that, even if the Swedish prosecution were to be dropped, he would not be arrested and subject to a second extradition to the US. Assange and WikiLeaks have been the subject of a secret grand jury investigation in Virginia that has been looking into whether to prosecute them over the whistleblowing website’s US cable disclosures.

Melinda Taylor, a legal spokeswoman for Assange, said they had “every reason to believe” that the US would seek Assange’s extradition. “If one of the orders is that he should be released and his liberty should be assured, we would obviously look to the UK to make sure that it is effective and not illusory -– that it’s not just liberty for five seconds, but liberty that is meaningful.”

In the past, the UNWGAD has highlighted the plight of significant international figures, including the formerly imprisoned Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi. The UN panel declined to take a view on the detention of Saddam Hussein in Iraq by the US forces in 2006 but eventually said that his former minister, Tariq Aziz, was being arbitrarily detained.

In 2008, an UNWGAD report declared that Mustafa Abdi, a Somalian convicted rapist who was held in immigration custody in the UK for several years after the end of his sentence had been subject to arbitrary detention. The European court of human rights subsequently agreed and awarded Abdi compensation.

Mark Ellis, executive director of the London-based International Bar Association, said a finding by the UN panel in Assange’s favour “would seem to contradict a fairly extensive legal process both in the UK and in Sweden”.

Ellis added: “It’s important to maintain adherence to rule of law principles and ensure that individuals have to abide by legal rulings. It’s surprising to think that Assange could be exempted from those principles. The ruling by the UN panel is not binding on British law.

“It would, however, provide Assange with support for his claim that he should not be extradited. I’m sure the UK is trying to figure a way out. It would be difficult for me to think that there should be an exception [from the European arrest warrant] for this case.”
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Re: Julian Assange accuses UK minister of insulting UN after

Postby admin » Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:29 am

Julian Assange’s Fiancée Stella Moris: WikiLeaks Helped Expose Climate Change Hypocrisy & War Crimes
by Amy Goodman
NOVEMBER 09, 2021
https://www.democracynow.org/2021/11/9/ ... nd_climate

Stella Moris: lawyer and partner of Julian Assange.
Stella Moris on Twitter

Britain’s High Court is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison under espionage charges for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. We get an update from Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, who is in Glasgow as part of her campaign to free Julian and to highlight how WikiLeaks has also revealed evidence of how corporations and states have undermined the goals of prior climate summits. Moris says WikiLeaks is an “extraordinary tool … to understand the relationships between the states and the fossil fuel companies, [and] how these interests are intertwined.”


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. We’re broadcasting from New York, New Jersey and Glasgow. This is Climate Countdown.

Britain’s High Court is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison in the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julian has been jailed in England for two-and-a-half years. Before that, he spent over seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been granted political asylum.

We’re now joined by Julian’s partner, Stella Moris. She has traveled to Glasgow as part of her campaign to free Julian Assange, as well as to highlight how WikiLeaks has revealed evidence of how corporations and states have undermined the goals of prior climate summits. Stella spoke on Monday at the People’s Summit in Glasgow, which is organized by the COP26 Coalition.

Stella Moris, welcome to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us. So, talk about why you have come to Glasgow. What is your message?

STELLA MORIS: Hi, Amy. I am here because I’m here to rally support for Julian and also to raise awareness of the extraordinary wealth of information that WikiLeaks has published about the climate over the years. And the archive of WikiLeaks just becomes more and more relevant for every year that passes. There are thousands and thousands of emails and documents that document not only, for example, how the melting ice cap sparked a scramble for the Arctic, like the scramble for Africa, for Arctic oil and minerals, but also, for example, about how Shell had infiltrated the Nigerian government, and the Shell executive vice president boasted to the U.S. Embassy that they had seconded people into every relevant ministry of the Nigerian government and that the Nigerian government wasn’t aware that Shell knew exactly what was going on and which decisions were being taken and shaping how those decisions were being taken.

So, really, the WikiLeaks archive is quite an extraordinary tool for activists, for academics, for people working in this area, to be able to understand the relationship between the states and the fossil fuel companies, how those interests are intertwined, the fact that there is no bright line between many of these states and the fossil fuel industry, and that, in fact, there’s a revolving door and that the goals of the summit are frustrated by this reality.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Stella, could you talk about, back in the Copenhagen climate change summit, COP15, Julian’s revelations how the U.S. government was seeking dirt on nations that were opposing its policies and views on how to deal with climate change? Could you remind our audience about some of the revelations back then?

STELLA MORIS: Yeah, that’s right. Julian was actually in Copenhagen for the COP 2015, and he — WikiLeaks published the draft negotiation, the draft document, and it was revealed, through WikiLeaks cables, that the U.S. was spying on delegates, finding dirt on delegates and basically bribing countries into watering down their positions, which defeated the purpose of the climate talks. And really, in order to actually achieve meaningful change, you need buy-in from these governments, and these governments are often compromised. And so, WikiLeaks allows a understanding of how that compromise takes place and how these interests are defeating the purpose of these summits.

AMY GOODMAN: I think at the COP in Copenhagen, it’s the first time we came in contact with Julian, and then, of course, interviewed him a number of times afterwards. And people can go to democracynow.org for those interviews, inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, outside at a public event, and then also speaking to him from here inside the embassy.

Stella, if you can talk about how you think these revelations are playing into the demand by the U.S. for Julian to be extradited to the United States? And explain the latest with his case, the U.S. saying that if he is tried in the United States, that he could be imprisoned in Australia?

STELLA MORIS: Well, look, these revelations that I was just talking about are part of the publications that Julian is indicted over. He faces 175 years for publishing the truth, for making this information, that is indisputably in the public interest, available to the public. And the U.S. government, under Trump, took the unprecedented step to criminalize journalism, to criminalize receiving information from a journalistic source and publishing that to the public. And so this is an extraordinary overstep by the Trump administration that the Biden administration is still going along with, incredibly.

So, Julian had his — sorry, the U.S. lost the case in January and appealed that case two days before Trump left office. The Trump administration lodged its appeal, under Bill Barr, and the appeal was heard on the 27th and 28th of October.

But there have been some major developments since the summer. And we were able to introduce a bombshell story that came out in late September about how the CIA, under Mike Pompeo, had plotted to assassinate, kidnap and rendition Julian from the embassy. And the U.K. courts now stand confronted with the fact that: Can they really extradite Julian to the country that plotted to kill him?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what are the next steps? For those who have not been following his case in our audience, what are the next steps in the court proceedings in the U.K.?

STELLA MORIS: Well, Julian was arrested on the 11th of April, 2019, after this extraordinary campaign that the CIA had rolled out from the moment, basically, that Pompeo came into office. WikiLeaks published Vault 7, which was the biggest CIA leak in history. And the CIA then plotted out how to take revenge on Julian, partly to — for example, it plotted to assassinate him and to kidnap him, but also to roll out a PR campaign, and planted false information, false stories in the media to create a climate that would allow for his arrest.

And he was ultimately arrested on the 11th of April, 2019, after a barrage of false stories had been published for almost a year.
And he’s been in Belmarsh prison ever since
, for over two-and-a-half years, while this outrageous case goes through the U.K. courts. And the U.K. opposed his getting bail in January, and so he remains in prison, unconvicted, on remand. We expect a decision later this year, before Christmas, most likely, and it could be within weeks.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about more of the connection between the climate and war, released by the WikiLeaks documents. You have a top U.S. diplomat, as early as June 2006, writing a succinct yet detailed report or diplomatic cable revealing the extent to which the water supply and surrounding environment in Basra, Iraq, had been heavily contaminated by oil, toxic and radioactive materials. If you could talk about that and how it — you know, the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan logs, these are military logs that are released. These aren’t exposing — you know, peace activists writing about what they think is happening. It’s documenting what’s happening on the ground.

STELLA MORIS: That’s right. WikiLeaks has published — you know, it’s not just the cables. WikiLeaks has published, since 2006, since its inception, many, many millions of documents, original documents, including the report about Balad Air Base burn pits, which was releasing toxic gas into the air base and basically harming U.S. soldiers and Iraqis alike. And WikiLeaks has published many examples and studies about the impact of armed conflict on the environment.

And another aspect which WikiLeaks has shed light on is how the U.S. — how corporations have been spying on activists. And with the explosion of the private intelligence industry and the extraordinary resources that the fossil fuel industry has, in which it is able to hire these private spy companies, they’re able to spy on journalists and activists. We’ve seen Pegasus as an example about how this happens.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Stella, in February 2016, WikiLeaks published a trove of documents that exposed serious corruption and environmental degradation in the Central African Republic, from multinational corporations that were involved in extracting minerals there. Could you talk about that and the impact that that had?

STELLA MORIS: Well, I’m not particularly familiar with that publication. I know that BP, for example, covered up a massive blowout in Azerbaijan just months before the Deepwater Horizon catastrophic disaster in the Mexican Gulf. So there’s an enormous wealth of information, of documents, about every single country and about these climate negotiations, from the inside, how the U.S. was manipulating and bribing smaller countries, spying on delegates, and so on.

And I encourage everyone who’s involved and who’s interested in our climate to go to the WikiLeaks archive and search, search for their specific companies — there are thousands and tens of thousands of references to the major oil companies — and also searchable by country and so on.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.


Julian Assange’s Fiancée: U.K. Blocking Our Attempt to Marry While He Is Tortured in Belmarsh Prison
by Amy Goodman
NOVEMBER 09, 2021
https://www.democracynow.org/2021/11/9/ ... _of_julian

Stella Moris: lawyer and partner of Julian Assange.
Stella Moris on Twitter

Stella Moris, partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says British authorities have so far blocked attempts for her and Assange to marry while he is being held in Belmarsh prison. Supporters have also raised concerns Assange has become suicidal. “They are killing him. If he dies, it is because they are killing him,” Moris says. “They are torturing him to death.”


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Stella Moris, on Sunday, you tweeted, “Julian and I are trying to get married, but what should be a straightforward process and a sacred right is being illegally interfered with by sinister elements of the state. Blocking us from exercising our basic right to a family life is harassment. It’s illegal, and it’s wrong,” you wrote. Can you explain — you’re also an attorney — how and why you’ve been prevented from getting married to Julian? You’re also the mother of two of your and Julian’s children.

STELLA MORIS: Well, it’s a good question. Why is the U.K. standing in the way of our getting married? This is, you know, our decision. It’s no one else’s business but ours. And even this little thing is being interfered with.

I approached the prison in May, asking what steps I had to take. I got an initial response, but nothing after that. And then Julian put in a formal request a month ago to the prison, asking for the prison to — governor to authorize Belmarsh as a venue for the marriage, and received no response. We booked the council registrar to come in to receive our notice that we were getting married, and the prison didn’t give us any response until just the afternoon before the registrar was due to come in, saying that they had referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Now, the Crown Prosecution Service represents the United States in the extradition case, so, essentially, the U.S. is being given a veto in relation to whether we can get married. This is completely outrageous, and so we’re suing the U.K. government.

AMY GOODMAN: And how is Julian emotionally, psychologically? You’re one of the few people who gets to see him. Can you talk about what those meetings are like, where you meet him in this maximum-security prison at Belmarsh?

STELLA MORIS: Well, we meet in a really big visitors’ hall, where the other prisoners are also meeting their family. At the moment, it’s only immediate family who can see him. I see him regularly, every week. And he’s — you know, he’s really struggling. He’s extremely thin. And it’s really taking a toll on him. And every day is a struggle, you can just imagine. There’s no end in sight. This can go on for years, potentially, or it could also finish quickly, and he could be extradited to the U.S. before the summer. So there’s such uncertainty, and it is so outrageous that he is not free.

AMY GOODMAN: The judge cited suicide possibility. I hate to ask you that question.

STELLA MORIS: Well, the reason the U.K. blocked this extradition is under grounds of oppression. So it would be oppressive to extradite him. Extraditing him would be tantamount to sending him to his death. And that’s because they’re driving him to take his life, because he has endured what no person has had — should have to endure. And the U.N. special rapporteur on torture has said that he is being psychologically tortured. His physical health is seriously deteriorated. And they are killing him. If he dies, it’s because they are killing him. They are torturing him to death.

AMY GOODMAN: Stella Moris, I want to thank you so much for being with us, the partner of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in Glasgow as part of her campaign to free Julian and to show how WikiLeaks revealed evidence of corporations and states undermining the goals of prior climate summits.
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