Ecuador claims it will partially restore the WikiLeaks founder’s communications with the outside world from its London embassy, according to reports. Julian Assange has been living in the embassy for more than six years, having been prevented most recently from using communications services during seven months of isolation.
Ecuador rolls back @JulianAssange isolation after UN meets with president
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 14, 2018
Reports are claiming that Assange’s communication ban will be partially lifted after a meeting between UN officials and Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno on Friday.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye met with President Moreno and agreed to partially alleviate the ban on communications, Express.co.uk reported.
However, Ecuador has failed to keep to its promises thus far and even prevented a legal advisor from entering the building, according to an update on WikiLeaks’ Twitter.
Although Ecuador has stated that Mr. Assange's isolation will be partly lifted today (after UN Special Rapportuers for Freedom of Expression & Refugees visited the country on Friday) it has yet to do so. A 2pm appointment today, with a legal advisor, was not let into the embassy.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 15, 2018
Assange has been arbitrarily detained, according to the UN, for nearly 6 years in the Ecuadorian embassy.
In March, Ecuador and its leader Lenín Moreno pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s Internet connection. Then, Ecuador further demanded Assange remove a specific tweet referencing a foreign political prisoner Carles Puigdemont. The irony here is that Ecuador accused Assange of “interfering in a state” for mentioning another political prisoner and Assange himself had more of his own rights taken away.
“In 1940 the elected president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was captured by the Gestapo, at the request of Spain, delivered to them and executed. Today, German police have arrested the elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, at the request of Spain, to be extradited,” Assange tweeted.
Ecuador clarified its position on Julian Assange’s asylum at the time by drafting new rules limiting his communications according to WikiLeaks.
The original cut-off of Assange’s Internet was due to an alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs.
The action, according to Ecuador, was taken following Assange’s breach of a written agreement signed with the Ecuadorian government at the end of 2017, in which he vowed “not to send messages interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states,” the government said in a statement. “The Executive remains open to the possibility of further sanctions in cases of future breaches of the agreements by Assange.”
WikiLeaks has previously stated that Assange was never under a gag agreement, calling the allegations “entirely false.”
WikiLeaks believes that the fact their editor is being censored for what Ecuador is stating is “interfering in a state” is a huge step in the direction of “setting a precedent that would outlaw millions of Twitter users, all journalists and more human rights workers.”
On Sunday, the Press Association reported the Ecuadorian government had partially restored Assange’s access to the Internet, mobile phones, as well as visits at the embassy, which have also been restricted to everyone but members of Assange’s legal team.
WikiLeaks said in a statement:
Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, on Friday.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr. Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.
The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end. The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.
However, with some of his rights back Assange is not safe and is still facing a threat of extradition, which the war is on to stop as Activist Post previously reported.
WikiLeaks has recently faced increased pressure from authorities. Last year, the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would classify WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” bundled as part of the 2018 Intelligence Authorization Act. Presumably, that classification would authorize the use of force against WikiLeaks and presumably its supporters.
Then in late December of last year the Head Legal Office in Madrid of former judge and WikiLeaks’ chief counsel, Baltasar Garzón was raided by masked men dressed in all black and the security cameras were taped. Despite the break-in, nothing was taken and the operation was referred to as being “professionally done” by police.
The WikiLeaks founder has been in refuge since 2012.
The U.S. has been on a relentless crusade against WikiLeaks since May 2010 and considers Julian Assange’s arrest a priority, while several politicians have threatened Assange’s life. It has been almost 8 years now since Assange was arrested and detained under one form or another, with 2 years of virtual house arrest, 6 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy and now he can add unjustified solitary confinement to the long laundry list.
Meanwhile, it’s previously been highlighted by Activist Post that the UK’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt dared Assange to walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy. He might have said a little too much about an active investigation when he said that Assange was facing “serious charges,” because the article is now absent from News.com.au’s website.
Charges against Assange in Sweden have been dropped, and he is facing only a minor charge in the UK for failing to turn up to a court hearing.
So it is unknown what “serious charges” Hunt was referring to. And this may be why the article was taken down at the time without notice, displaying a 404 error. It’s worth noting this is exactly what happened when Tommy Robinson stories were demanded to be deleted.
If the UK does decide to illegally hand over Julian Assange to the U.S. in violation of two UN rulings, then it’s inevitable that we see a rain of leaks that the world has never seen. That will undoubtedly rock society as WikiLeaks has consistently for 11 years.
Last year, Moreno vowed to stop Assange from revealing further corruption about the United States for the duration of his stay at the embassy, stating he would “gag Assange from revealing further corruption about the U.S.”
Although Moreno claims to support Assange’s asylum, he previously said that he would ask him to “be very delicate when he addresses international politics, especially regarding countries with which we have good relations,” reported Latin American news outlet teleSUR.
It’s important to note as all this unfolds that WikiLeaks recently announced that one of Assange’s longtime associates, Kristin Hrafnsson, took over for him as WikiLeaks editor in chief.
For up-to-date accurate information on Julian Assange’s plight, see @Wikileaks, @AssangeMrs, and @Unity4J Twitter accounts. The website Unity4J will be up to date with information, live streams, and places where protests will be held in support of Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks is facing a second blockade with its U.S. tax-deductible status being threatened after its Vault 7 and Vault 8 disclosures exposing the CIA’s spying and hacking techniques. Assange has recommended that WikiLeaks supporters use cryptocurrency to donate to the organization in order to circumvent the blockade.