In the spring of 2003 when the US and UK commenced their illegal invasion of Iraq, there was no Wikileaks, a free man called Julian Assange was someone no one had heard of, alt-media did not exist and nor did social media as it is understood today.
In a short 15 years a lot has changed. Independent online media has become a global force and social media allows people to share information and opinions with an ease, scope and impact that was previously unthinkable. News channels like CGTV, RT, Press-TV and Telesur have changed both the online, cable and satellite tv landscape and perhaps most importantly, since 2006 Julian Assange’s Wikileaks has brought to light, information that was never intended to see the light of day – all of which has exposed the lies, manipulation and violence behind the governments taking the world to illegal war after illegal war.
While Wikileaks remains as active as ever, its heroic founder Julian Assange remains silenced both physically and now electronically. Since the 28th of March, all internet access to Assange has been cut off by the Ecuadorian Embassy. A source close to Assange has stated that the proximate cause for this was a Tweet the Wikileaks founder posted comparing the state harassment of deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont to the execution of Catalan President Lluís Companys in the 1940s after Nazi Germany handed him to Franco’s falangismo regime in Madrid. Clearly though, there are issues at play which go beyond Assange’s support for Catalan independence.
Nearly a month later, Assange has been unable to communicate with the outside world and crucially the US, UK, French act of criminal military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic has coincided with a period of Assange being unable to offer his insights, information and opinions on the present crisis.
Meanwhile, the man who first granted Assange asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, former President Rafael Correa has warned that his successor Lenin Moreno may succumb to intense pressure from the US to kick him out of the Embassy in London where he has received protection since 2012.
Like Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison due to his anti-Apartheid activism, Assange’s home in the Embassy is fast becoming a prison. His condition was declared to be a deprivation of his human rights by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, but instead of a genuine international community coming together and demanding the safe release of Assange so that he can peacefully travel to Ecuador where he now holds citizenship, little is being said and done in defence of the most important publisher in history.
Former Ecuadorian President Correa said that he “fears for Assange’s safety” because his successor may soon fold and kick Assange out of the Embassy with zero guarantees of protection from either the UK or US. While Correa was and remains a personal champion, admirer and friend of Assange, Moreno seems far less moved by Assange’s plight, in spite of coming from Correa’s same party.
While missiles flew over Syria, two of the countries leading the illegal attack are effectively imprisoning Assange while a demoralised Eucadorian government has capitulated to the bullies and cut off Assange’s only meaningful connection with the outside world. In the process, the outside world has been deprived of a crucial voice for reason, justice and human freedom at a time when it is desperately needed.
If only the UN Security Council would meet to discuss the countries violating the human rights of Julian Assange rather than argue over which group of terrorists to support in Syria, the world would be a slightly saner and ultimately better place.