Assange rape case politicized, ‘mishandled throughout’ says WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief

Following the Swedish prosecutor’s decision to reopen the rape investigation against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has claimed that the “case has been mishandled throughout.”

“There has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,” Hrafnsson said in a statement Monday morning, following the announcement by Swedish authorities that the investigation against Julian Assange had been officially reopened.

Also on rt.com Swedish prosecutor reopens case probing Assange rape allegations...

Hrafnsson added that several key details surrounding the investigation were suspicious after a Swedish prosecutor initially found that “no crime at all” had occurred, after which the case was reopened at the behest of the British authorities.

The Icelandic WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief told RT that any decision taken by UK authorities in terms of prioritizing the US or Swedish extradition request will be based on politics and not on achieving justice.

Hrafnsson added that several key details surrounding the investigation were suspicious after a Swedish prosecutor initially found that “no crime at all” had occurred, after which the case was reopened at the behest of the British authorities.

The Icelandic WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief told RT that any decision taken by UK authorities in terms of prioritizing the US or Swedish extradition request will be based on politics and not on achieving justice.

"It will be a political decision first and foremost. Justice is long gone from anything when it comes to Julian Assange, he has no justice at all".

"Justice is long gone from anything when it comes to Julian Assange, he has no justice at all" editor talks to RT after Sweden seeks extradition warrant after Julian Assange's UK prison sentence. MORE:

A Swedish prosecutor also refused to question Assange during his forced exile in the Ecuadorian embassy before eventually being impelled by the courts. Swedish authorities then sought to drop the arrest warrant as early as 2013, Hrafnsson claimed, adding that it was the British government that insisted that the case continue.

Also on rt.com Rape allegations: TIMELINE and details of Sweden's case against Julian Assange...

The investigation was then closed in 2017 only for it to be reopened shortly after Assange’s arrest in 2019.

Hrafnsson also alleges that he has received reports of Swedish and British authorities destroying documents related to the case, though he did not provide any evidence. He also slammed media reports that Assange had eluded questioning throughout his time in London, insisting that “Assange was always willing to answer any questions from the Swedish authorities and repeatedly offered to do so, over six years.”

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Julian Assange's 50-Week Jail Sentence Dispropotionate, Says UN

Geneva: United Nations human rights experts voiced concern on Friday at what they called the "disproportionate sentence" of 50 weeks in prison imposed on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for skipping bail in Britain.

Assange is being held in the high-security Belmarsh prison "as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence", the UN working group on arbitrary detention said in a statement, adding that this "appears to contravene principles of necessity and proportionality".

It described the skipping bail charge as a relatively "minor violation".

The group, composed of five independent experts, issued an opinion in 2015 that Assange - holed up at the time at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London after skipping bail to avoid extradition to Sweden to face an allegation of rape - was being arbitrarily detained.

Assange has denied the rape allegations.

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Assange, hacker or journalist?

Julian Assange bared the hypocrisy of the mainstream media, revealed the cruel crimes of U.S. and its allies in irrational wars, but also changed the way of showing the truth.

Julian Assange is a journalist who bared the hypocrisy of the mainstream media,revealed the cruel crimes of U.S. and its allies in irrational wars, but also changed the way of showing truth. That’s why, he put up with his 7-year exile that, one might say, he dignified world journalism.

As if it weren't enough, over a dozen international institutions honored Wikileaks founder with top awards for his journalistic exercise and he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

To the shame of some media, he upended the biggest powers in the world, when he uncovered their criminal essence.

Since his arrest, on April 11th, his captors try him as a vulgar hacker, discrediting his commitment as a journalist, in an attempt to trample down his image.

Although in 2010 Assange was interviewed by the mainstream media and seen as a champion of free speech, now they are trying to trivialize the news over his detention. He’s accused of bad behavior at the embassy, disguising the serious violation of his human rights and the arbitrary cancellation of both his political asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship.

Spanish analyst Fernando Casado, interviewed on teleSUR’s program Enclave Politica, underlines that the shift goes beyond having revealed documents. He highlights that his situation gets complicated when he dares to criticize western governments and glorify leftist leaders that oppose neoliberal policies in their governance, like former President Rafael Correa.

For Argentine journalist and writer Sebastián Lacunza, states and media currently use new technologies available that change routines. “You can be a bit of a hacker and journalist, but what should define a journalist is the willingness to verify the material he/she has in hand in search of the truth, provide elements and make a valid text for the public”, he pointed out.

However, Casado stresses, if we conceptualize Assange as a hacker, we would have to say that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, with the Watergate scandal, are hackers too, and that all those who do investigative journalism are hackers.

“What WikiLeaks does is to leak millions of raw documents that must then be analyzed, processed, contextualized and published, and that was what dailies, that now criticize Assange, such as El País, The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique... did in 2010. Nevertheless, we see that now, they cave in to the thesis that Assange is a hacker and even a stone in the shoe.

“The problem is that the cyber activist has broken the image of the United States. They can never again say there hasn’t been a direct interference in governments around the world.

There’s even a cable that highlights Lenín Moreno as an operator behind the scenes, a right-hand man for the embassy of the United States”, he concluded.

The fact is that there are 400,000 reports from the Iraq war, 90,000 reports from the Afghanistan war, 800 from Guantanamo detention center and “cablegate” with over 250,000 diplomatic cables towards Washington from US embassies in over 90 countries, several Latin American ones among them.

Undoubtedly, the scope of these leaks puts a price on Assange’s head, at the same time that the modern seven-league giant takes advantage to give an exemplary lesson to anyone who tries to undermine his hegemonic interests.

Hacker or journalist? One thing or the other, or both, will not erase the recognitions Assange has received in his fight in favor of free speech, freedom of the press and human rights overall (Amnesty International UK’s Media Award in 2009), or the world impact that his revelations have caused.

At the time, the mainstream media used the information revealed by Wikileaks founder, which makes them accomplices. They should foster pressure to avoid the extradition to United States of the most important cyberjournalist of the time, instead of disclosing silly videos of the “villain” skateboarding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Moreno: Assange is an 'Informational Terrorist,' Russian Agent

Moreno denied, in the BBC interview, that the United Kingdom and the United States forced him to revoke Assange's asylum.

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno, in an exclusive interview with the BBC, stated that Julian Assange could be an agent of Russia, who has selectively never revealed information about Moscow amid leaking information about other nations.

RELATED: Julian Assange Wins 2019 EU Journalism Award

Moreno also discredited Assange as a journalist and accused the WikiLeaks chief of working to preserve Russia and expose other countries, as evidenced by his interfering with the Vatican, the United States elections and Catalonia’s referendum.   

The head of state reaffirmed that the WikiLeaks co-founder was rude to the staff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London and defaced the premises with feces. However, Moreno denied, in the interview, that the United Kingdom and the United States forced him to revoke Assange's asylum, which led to the whistleblower being forcibly removed from Ecuador's London embassy where he lived for seven years.

When asked, by the reporter, if he had moved to swiftly evict Assange from the embassy because he had suffered embarrassment from photographs of him dining on lobster - after announcing austerity measures in the South American nation - had been published, Moreno replied “that was my birthday, I was watching soccer in bed, it was a great day.”

Moreno also added that Assange was a “informational terrorist ”who does not give out information he has, but is selective according to “ideological commitments.”

The Andean leader reiterated that Assange used the embassy to spy and directly violated his status as an asylee when he interfered with the internal affairs if political ally countries.

Assange faces up to one year in a British prison for breaching bail and could also be extradited to the United States, where he has been charged with computer hacking and faces up to five years in prison.

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Chomsky: Assange and Lula the Same Case to Silence Their Voices

The world-renowned linguist and academic said that Assange's arrest is just a new case of “efforts to silence” dissident voices.

U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky voiced his concerns Friday over the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during an interview with Democracy Now, calling the situation a “scandalous in several respects.”

RELATED: The Assange Arrest is a Warning From History

The world-renowned linguist and academic said that this is just a new case of “efforts to silence” dissident voices. Chomsky compared Assange’s arrest to Lula’s political imprisonment, focusing on the fact that both said and did things that “people in power don’t like”, so therefore they “have to silence it.”

“Last September, Lula da Silva was the leading, the most popular figure in Brazil, who was almost certain to win the forthcoming election, put him in jail, solitary confinement, essentially a death sentence, 25 years in jail, banned from reading press or books, and, crucially, barred from making a public statement—unlike mass murderers on death row,” adding that “he’s the most important political prisoner in the world. Do you hear anything about it?... Assange is a similar case: We’ve got to silence this voice.”

On April 11, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Ecuador seven-year asylum was abruptly removed and he was arrested by British police. Immeadlty the United States charged him of  "computer hacking conspiracy." Now his defense is fighting an extradition request to face the U.S. justice system, even though Ecuadorean officials have assured this will not happen.

Assange was even called a “miserable hacker” by Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno. But his defense is strongly dismissing it, stating that he is a publisher and journalist, with more than 20 awards in the field. As Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project has explained the “prosecution by the U.S. of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations.”

However, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told CNN that they are “going to extradite him. It will be really good to get him back on United States soil. So now he's our property and we can get the facts and truth from him."

On this regard, Chomsky said the fact the U.S. can manipulate the policies and actions of other nations is a scandal in itself. “The extraterritorial reach of the United States is shocking...why should the United States have the power to control what others are doing elsewhere in the world? I mean, it’s an outlandish situation,” he said.

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Live Updates: Assange Faces 5 Years in Jail in US for Hacking

Assange is facing extradition to the United States over his role in the leaks revealing war crimes related to U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with "computer hacking conspiracy" in the United States, the country's justice department said Thursday hours after he was arrested by British police in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he had been seeking asylum since 2012.

RELATED: Julian Assange Arrested by British Police After Ecuador Withdraws Asylum

U.S. prosecutors filed conspiracy charges against Assange for trying to access a U.S. government computers containing classified information in 2010, along with former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Assange faces a maximum prison sentence of five years, the Justice Department said in a statement. The founder of WikiLeaks was arrested on Thursday by British police and evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy, after the South American country abruptly ended seven years of asylum, in a decision that his followers described as illegal.

Live Updates: 

UPDATE 9:50 a.m. 

On April 4, WikiLeaks said that Assange would be expelled from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, England within "hours to days." The allegation was denied by Ecuadorean authority at that time.

| gives a press conference at Westminster magistrates court. Follow us LIVE on the following link:

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.

Bolivian President Evo Morales condemning the arrest of Assange, wrote on Twitter, “We strongly condemn the detention of Julian Assange and the violation of freedom of speech. Our solidarity with this brother who is persecuted by the US government for revealing its human rights violations, murders of civilians and diplomatic espionage.”

Condenamos enérgicamente la detención de y la violación a la libertad de expresión. Nuestra solidaridad con este hermano que es perseguido por el gobierno de por revelar sus violaciones a los derechos humanos, asesinatos de civiles y espionaje diplomático.

UPDATE 9:40 a.m.

The arrest of Assange prompted an international outcry. Several legal experts, human rights activists, and several governments decried the arrest of their WikiLeaks co-founder.

| Legal experts, human rights activists and several governments decried the arrest of co-founder of in at the embassy of

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.

A Downing Street spokesperson said, “There has been a dialogue with Ecuadorean government from the onset. The decision to revoke asylum was one for them entirely. They have set that out.”

The spokeswoman also said that the government and prime minister was already aware of the decision of the Ecuadorean government which led to his arrest Thursday, The Guardian reported.

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‘I’m an assassination risk’: Assange to Ecuador court in leaked testimony

Ecuador will be violating its own constitution if it expels Julian Assange from its London embassy while fully aware of a possible “assassination” plot against him, WikiLeaks suggested, releasing the journalist’s court testimony.

Article 79 of the Ecuadorean constitution guarantees that “in no case shall the extradition of an Ecuadorean be granted,” Assange told the Ecuadorean court back on October 29, when he requested the restoration of his communication privileges.

Also on rt.com Assange may be expelled from Ecuadorean embassy within ‘hours to days’, govt source tells WikiLeaks...

A transcript of Assange’s statement was released by WikiLeaks after news of his imminent expulsion from the embassy made the headlines on Thursday. While a great deal of Assange’s testimony defends his right to stay in the embassy after being granted asylum and, subsequently, citizenship, the 47-year-old also accused the government of Lenin Moreno of illegally limiting his communication rights and bowing to pressure from the US, which seeks his extradition for revealing some of Washington’s dirty secrets.

Also on rt.com WikiLeaks supporters mobilize to prevent Ecuador from expelling Assange from UK embassy...

“The fact that a government controls a particular piece of space does not mean it can violate its Constitution, can violate UN-mandated rights, that it can engage in punishment without process,” Assange told the court, revealing that, besides threats of unjust prosecution, he also faces direct threats against his life.

TRANSCRIPT Oct 29, 2018

Julian Aassange: Thank you, Judge Martinez, for conducting this hearing and for the State of Ecuador for spending the effort to uphold the rule of law in this matter.  find this e!perience somewhat difficult and  hope you will forgi"e me not #ust for my terri$le Spanish $ut for the difficulties that  ha"e.  ha"e $een in this em$assy without sunlight for si! years and essentially isolated from most people for se"en months and, including electronic communication, the telephone etc, from my young children. That%s $een a difficult e!perience and it has also interfered with my a$ility to work, to make a li"ing, and with my deeply held principles that  ha"e fought for all my life, which is to uphold the right of freedom of e!pression, the right for people to know, the right of the freedom of the press and the right for e"eryone to participate in their society and the $roader society.  want to go $ack for a moment so people can understand how this process came to $e. &nfortunately, due to my isolation,  ha"e not $een a$le to participate in the de$ates occurring around me and that has resulted in a climate of li$els and fake news that might $e e!pected for someone who has $een in the $usiness of e!posing "ery large and "ery powerful corrupt organisations or organisations that a$use human rights. t is a sadness to me to see information denigrating to my character not only spread $y the "arious organisations that  ha"e e!posed $ut, in this hearing, $y some mem$ers of the Ecuadorian 'o"ernment. Although  want to say that  was "ery proud to $ecome an Ecuadorian citizen.  think Ecuador is an amazing State, with amazing people who ha"e supported me in go"ernment, e"en in the current go"ernment, in the population and the press, and so  find it additionally saddening to( )interruption in Spanish* JA: +k.  find it saddening to see that in this case there%s some attempt to, well, to not engage in the legal process $ut rather to engage in a political process, in an attempt to denigrate my character to makeheadlines, to not treat this process with the serious respect that it deser"es. %"e $een in"ol"ed in freedom of e!pression and pu$lishing in Australia for many, many years  my $ooks are translated into - languages. %"e written a $ook all a$out &S diplomacy. %"e pro$a$ly read.

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UN Torture Expert Urges Ecuador Not to Expel Assange

Assange’s health was in “serious decline” and if expelled, he was likely to be extradited to the U.S., the UN. expert said.

Fears over Julian Assange's expulsion from the Ecuadorean Ambassy in London have been growing over the past few days, following threats by Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno that he will "make a decision in the short term" on the situation of the Wikileaks editor.

RELATED: INA Papers: The Corruption Case Against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno

The Ecuadorean President argued Tuesday that the Wikileaks founder has “repeatedly violated” the terms of his asylum in the country’s London embassy. The statement was made following the release of the INA Papers, a publication which leaked private conversations of the president and his family, linking him to an off-shore company which allegedly received millions in dollars for illicit business deals. As a result, the president is now facing a corruption probe. 

Wikileaks argues the INA Papers publication is now being twisted against Julian Assange and used as a pretext to expel him from the Embassy. The organization tweeted Thursday that a high-level source within the Ecuadorean government revealed that the expulsion is being prepared "within hours to days."

However, Wikileaks’ website or social media accounts never published press releases or images of President Lenin Moreno's private life. The page issued a single tweet on March 25, 2019, which reported that a "corruption investigation opened against Ecuador's President Moreno after purported leaked contents of his iPhone (Whatsapp, Telegram) and Gmail were published. New York Times reported that Moreno tried to sell Assange to the U.S. for debt relief."

Nils Melzer, U.N. special rapporteur on torture, voiced concern that Assange’s health was in “serious decline” and that, if expelled, he is likely to be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States.

“Such a response could expose him to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” he said.

“I therefore urge the Government of Ecuador to abstain from... ceasing or suspending his political asylum until such time as the full protection of his human rights can be guaranteed.”

"Extradition without due process safeguards, including an individual risk assessment and adequate protection measures violates international law, particularly if the destination state practices the death penalty and has not disclosed the criminal charges held against the person concerned. Under such circumstances, the international legal prohibition of ‘refoulement’ is absolute, regardless of considerations of national security, political expediency or any other similar considerations,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Following the outrage over a possible expulsion and pressure by various Human Rights groups as well as the United Nations, Ecuador's Foreign Minister, Jose Valencia, took to twitter stating that "diplomatic asylum is a sovereign matter of a State, which has the right to give it or take it way unilaterally when considered justified."

In addition, a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Privacy is also due to visit Assange on April 25 to investigate Ecuador's spying on the activist.

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