On April 11, 2019, the Ecuador government withdrew Assange’s asylum status (without of course permitting him to challenge this decision in court) and invited the British authorities to enter the embassy and seize Assange. Within minutes, the United States confirmed what Assange had said all along. The United States announced that it would seek his extradition on the basis of a secret indictment that had been prepared a year earlier. The charge was that Assange had conspired with Chelsea Manning to hack into a secure computer system. A month later, the United States announced 17 additional charges against Assange under the Espionage Act. Should the US extradition request succeed—and there is every likelihood that it will—Assange could be imprisoned for 175 years.
Today’s decision by the Swedish prosecutor, unfortunately, comes too late to make the slightest bit of difference to the fate of Assange.
The US extradition application will go forward regardless. The UK courts will almost certainly demonstrate their subservience to the US government by ruling against Assange.
However, what happened today confirms what has been apparent for years: The charges against Assange, whether those emanating from Sweden, Ecuador, the United Kingdom or the United States, were presented for no reason other than to persecute and ultimately destroy a man who had committed no crime - other than to publish information about governmental abuses and war crimes. What is particularly shameful is that the very people who should have been defending Julian Assange—the journalists—were the ones most eager to smear him by giving credence to lurid and false allegations.
By Dr. George Szamuely, Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute and author of Bombs for Peace: NATO's Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
|Nathalee Cadone-Hastr siembre|
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