https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/11/assange-has-been-arrested-for-us-extradition-the-time-to-act-is-now/

Assange Has Been Arrested For US Extradition. The Time To Act Is Now.

by Caitlin Johnstone

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested and taken into custody by the London’s Metropolitan police, just as WikiLeaks warned days ago was about to happen. Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson reports that his arrest is related to an extradition request from the United States, which the British government has until now refused to admit exists.

“Just confirmed: #Assange has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request,” tweeted Robinson.

“From #Assange: The US warrant was issued in December 2017 and is for conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in early 2010,” Robinson added.

[VIDEO OF ARREST ON CAITLIN JOHNSTONE'S WEBSITE]

So there you have it. Extradited for journalism. In a blur, everything that Assange and WikiLeaks have been warning about for years has been proven correct, contrary to mountains of claims to the contrary by establishment loyalists everywhere. The same government which tortured Chelsea Manning is in the process of extraditing her publisher so that they can silence him forever. Everyone who has ever denied that this was happening needs to hang their heads in shame for scoffing at a very real threat to press freedoms everywhere when they could have been opposing this obscene agenda. It’s time for some serious soul searching.

The time to act is now. It’s too late to prevent Assange from losing his asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy, so the goal now is to fight extradition. Activist groups are swiftly organizing as I type this, so it will be easy for people around the world to find rallies to attend and online movements to help boost. I encourage everyone in the US, the UK and Australia to contact their elected representatives and politely but urgently inform them that the agenda to extradite Assange to the US must be fought at all costs. Educate yourself as best as you can on Assange’s case, and inform everyone you know about what’s going on.

This is seriously gut wrenching news. Here are ten thoughts on the matter in no particular order:

1 – The Metropolitan police were let into the embassy by the Ecuadorian ambassador, his political asylum revoked under entirely false pretenses in gross violation of international law. Shame on Ecuador.

2 – Assange is an Australian citizen. As of this writing, the Australian government has still not interceded to protect its citizen. Shame on Australia.

3 – The US government is setting a precedent which, if carried out, will constitute a grave threat to press freedoms the world over and a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act. Shame on America.

4 – The UK government is collaborating with the US government’s efforts to imprison a journalist for publishing evidence of US war crimes, just as it has collaborated with the US government in perpetrating war crimes. Shame on the UK.

5 – This arrest warrant was issued under the Trump administration, in full alignment with what the Trump administration has openly been saying about its agenda to silence WikiLeaks. Shame on Trump, and shame on anyone who continues to support him.

6 – This arrest is a Trump administration action, and has nothing to do with the 2016 Russia nonsense that Democrats have been shrieking about, yet these same Democrats who claim to oppose Trump and oppose his war on the press are currently cheerleading for Trump’s prosecution of a journalist who told the truth. Shame on Democrats.

7 – I am going to have a zero tolerance policy for QAnon cultists who try to tell me that this is actually 5-D chess by Trump to overthrow the Deep State. Stay out of my comments, stay out of my social media notifications, stay the hell away from me, and please rethink your worldview.

8 – The precedent set by imprisoning a foreign journalist under the Espionage Act will enable the US government to arrest leak publishers anywhere in the world who expose its crimes. This will cripple our ability to hold the most powerful institution on the planet to account in any way. There is no excuse for any journalist anywhere not to oppose this tooth and claw. If you see anyone calling themselves a journalist but failing to oppose Assange’s extradition, you should call them out for the frauds that they are.

9 – And yes, like it or not, Assange is a journalist. There is no legitimate argument to the contrary.

10 – This is it, folks. This is where we find out what we’re made of as a species. This is where we find out if humanity gets to survive, and if it deserves to. If we can’t stop the empire from imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts right in front of our eyes, we might as well roll over and tap out right now, because if we lose this one it’s never going to get any better from there. If we can’t pass this test, the oligarchs and the opaque government agencies which are allied with them will march us into extinction or Orwellian dystopia, and there’ll be no tool in our toolbox to stop them. We need to seriously dig deep on this one.

Mrs. Christine Assange  @AssangeMrs
Help Julian NOW! 1) FOLLOW/share widely @ Wikileaks @ DefendAssange 2) RALLY *UK court hearings *Global Rallies 5) PRESSURE Politicians *No US Extradition *Abide by @ UN Decision 6) MONITOR Media Correct disinfo with FACTS 7) DONATE Legal DefenceFund
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FROM https://defend.wikileaks.org/

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch oppose Julian Assange’s extradition

Amnesty International:

“Amnesty International believes that Julian Assange should not be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, where there are concerns that he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with Wikileaks:
Kenneth Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch:

“If Ecuador and the UK were serious about protecting Assange, they would provide guarantees not only against the death penalty but also against prosecution for anything that journalists typically do such as publishing leaked information”.

Media figures unite in deploring US government indictment of WikiLeaks for publishing truthful information

New York Times:
“An indictment centering on the publication of information of public interest ­ even if it was obtained from Russian government hackers ­ would create a precedent with profound implications for press freedoms.”

Ben Wizner, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):
“Any prosecution of Mr Assange for WikiLeaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organisations”.

Bruce Shapiro, contributing editor to The Nation:
“The notion of sealed charges against a publisher of leaked documents ought to have warning sirens screaming in every news organization, think tank, research service, university, and civil-liberties lobby…. The still-secret Assange charges, if unchallenged, could burn down the scaffolding of American investigative reporting”.

Courage Foundation supports WikiLeaks

In May 2017, the Courage Foundation announced that publishing organisation WikiLeaks would be its newest beneficiary. The announcement followed reports that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) was now preparing charges against WikiLeaks members, in particular its founding editor Julian Assange.

Courage runs an ongoing liveblog on Julian Assange’s situation in the Ecuadorian Embassy

DOJ threats against WikiLeaks

The US Department of Justice has run an unprecedented and wide-ranging investigation into WikiLeaks for its publishing and sourcing work since 2010. It has involved paid informers, illegal interrogations in Europe and secret search warrants. Recently CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

Offences cited through the investigation, and allegedly in the charges, include conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property. Recent reports cite Cablegate, the Iraq and Afghan War Logs and Vault 7 publications as well as WikiLeaks’ work in getting NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum, as key to the investigation.

This is about more than one publisher – it is about press freedom more broadly and the steady erosion of the First Amendment in the United States. The Obama Administration prosecuted more whistleblowers than all presidents before combined, and ran the longest investigation into a publisher ever in the US with its WikiLeaks Grand Jury. It has continued to the point where Trump’s Department of Justice has stated that charging WikiLeaks Editor, Julian Assange, is now a “priority”.

Courage’s chief demand is for the US to close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and to drop any charges against any WikiLeaks staff. Courage’s campaign for WikiLeaks is launched on this new site, along with information on the continuing work of WikiLeaks and the actions taken against it.

Follow Courage on Twitter for updates.

Protection of WikiLeaks

This is the first time the Courage Foundation has taken on an organisation, as opposed to an individual, as a beneficiary. We are working to ensure the protection of all WikiLeaks staff, including Julian Assange, Joseph Farrell, Sarah Harrison and Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Julian Assange continues to be arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has asylum due to the US threats against him.

Courage Trustee and journalist John Pilger
said:

In standing up for WikiLeaks, we are defending courage ­ the courage of those who say ‘no’ to the perennial bullies seeking a divine power over human affairs. Founded and led by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks has provided people all over the world with an armory of truth about wars and politics and the aims of violent, unaccountable power. This is real journalism and a principle of freedom so fundamental that its defeat would mean the conquest of all of us.

Please donate here.