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  1. Link to Post #321
    Avalon Member Kryztian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    ‘Journalists should be worried’: UK court’s ruling was victory for Assange but not for journalism, former Ecuadorian consul warns

    The UK court has spared WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition to the US, but Monday’s ruling came as a grim verdict for free speech, Fidel Narvaez, a former Consul at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, told RT.

    The fact that the US request to extradite Assange was rejected is a “victory to celebrate,” Narvaez said. But the British judge’s ruling is also a very “worrying” sign, since the WikiLeaks founder was only spared from extradition due to his health condition and the risk of suicide, the former diplomat said.

    “This is very, very worrying that the judge basically criminalized journalistic activity,” Narvaez said, adding that, were it not for his poor state of health, Assange “would be extradited.” The former consul, who played a role in helping Assange get refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, then warned that such an outcome is a reason for concern to all other journalists around the world.

    Narvaez also believes that, although an important battle has been won, many more still lie ahead, given that Washington is unlikely to abandon its persecution of Assange until the US authorities have some “options available.”



    “They want to set a precedent with him,” Narvaez believes. He also says that the precedent might have already been set, since the decade-long persecution has dealt “irreversible” damage to the WikiLeaks founder’s physical and psychological health.

    Story continues at: https://www.rt.com/uk/511525-assange...at-journalism/

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  3. Link to Post #322
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Quote Posted by Kryztian (here)
    ‘Journalists should be worried’: UK court’s ruling was victory for Assange but not for journalism, former Ecuadorian consul warns

    The UK court has spared WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition to the US, but Monday’s ruling came as a grim verdict for free speech, Fidel Narvaez, a former Consul at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, told RT.

    The fact that the US request to extradite Assange was rejected is a “victory to celebrate,” Narvaez said. But the British judge’s ruling is also a very “worrying” sign, since the WikiLeaks founder was only spared from extradition due to his health condition and the risk of suicide, the former diplomat said.

    “This is very, very worrying that the judge basically criminalized journalistic activity,” Narvaez said, adding that, were it not for his poor state of health, Assange “would be extradited.” The former consul, who played a role in helping Assange get refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, then warned that such an outcome is a reason for concern to all other journalists around the world.

    Narvaez also believes that, although an important battle has been won, many more still lie ahead, given that Washington is unlikely to abandon its persecution of Assange until the US authorities have some “options available.”



    “They want to set a precedent with him,” Narvaez believes. He also says that the precedent might have already been set, since the decade-long persecution has dealt “irreversible” damage to the WikiLeaks founder’s physical and psychological health.

    Story continues at: https://www.rt.com/uk/511525-assange...at-journalism/
    This comes across to me as a sort of: "So long as you're so incapacitated because of the way we've treated you, we'll hold off on the extradition".

    Then on the back burner it may well be: "Hopefully he dies soon to save the trouble".
    If you trust your government
    You don't know history

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  5. Link to Post #323
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Talking with the only journalist in the Netherlands who reported on the Julian Assange case about how the main stream media is keeping people away from what's really happening
    502 Views
    Vrijheid Radio
    Yesterday at 7:39 PM
    "We talked with Rico Brouwer about the Julian Assange case"


    https://www.facebook.com/VrijheidRad...8476515368695/


    More info:
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ricobrouwer
    LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@potkaars:f
    Last edited by Sue (Ayt); 5th January 2021 at 05:36. Reason: video embedded
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  7. Link to Post #324
    UK Moderator/Librarian/Administrator Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Craig Murray who even through his own personal travails has been a kind of superhero throughout the whole process, addressing the press outside the magistrates' court yesterday:



    ----------------------------------

    Julian Assange: Imminent Freedom
    Article source: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi...inent-freedom/

    January 5, 2021
    Craig Murray


    It has been a long and tiring day, with the startlingly unexpected decision to block Julian’s extradition. The judgement is in fact very concerning, in that it accepted all of the prosecution’s case on the right of the US Government to prosecute publishers worldwide of US official secrets under the Espionage Act. The judge also stated specifically that the UK Extradition Act of 2003 deliberately permits extradition for political offences. These points need to be addressed. But for now we are all delighted at the ultimate decision that extradition should be blocked.

    The decision was based equally on two points; the appalling conditions in US supermax prisons, and the effect of those conditions on Julian specifically given his history of depression. The media has concentrated on the mental health aspect, and given insufficient attention to the explicit condemnation of the inhumanity of the US prison system.

    I was the only person physically present in the public gallery inside the court, having been nominated by John Shipton to represent the family, aside from two court officials. I am quite sure that I again noted magistrate Baraitser have a catch in her throat when discussing the inhumane conditions in US supermax prisons, the lack of human contact, and specifically the fact that inmates are kept in total isolation in a small cage, and are permitted one hour exercise a day in total isolation in another small cage. I noted her show emotion the same way when discussing the al-Masri torture evidence during the trial, and she seemed similarly affected here.

    Julian looked well and alert; he showed no emotion at the judgement, but entered into earnest discussion with his lawyers. The US government indicated they will probably appeal the verdict, and a bail hearing has been deferred until Wednesday to decide whether he will be released from Belmarsh pending the appeal – which court sources tell me is likely to be held in April in the High Court. I should be very surprised if Julian is not released on Wednesday pending the appeal. I shall now be staying here for that bail hearing.

    I apologise for not giving a full analysis of the judgement yet, it has all been rather hectic, but wonderful. Here is a brief video giving more detail. I can produce a more considered piece tomorrow.

    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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  9. Link to Post #325
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Excerpted from "The Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn't Justice" by Caitlin Johnstone: https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.co...tion-ruling-is

    Indeed, the ruling today was a huge relief for Assange, his family, and for all his supporters around the world. But it wasn't justice.

    "It's good to hear that court has ruled against the extradition of Julian Assange but I am wary of the fact it's on mental health grounds," AP's Joana Ramiro commented on the ruling. "It's a rather feeble precedent against the extradition of whistleblowers and/or in defence of the free press. Democracy needs better than that."

    "This wasn't a victory for press freedom," tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald. "Quite the contrary: the judge made clear she believed there are grounds to prosecute Assange in connection with the 2010 publication. It was, instead, an indictment of the insanely oppressive US prison system for security 'threats'."

    It is good that Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition, but her ruling also supported the entirety of the US government's prosecutorial narrative that would allow for extradition of journalists under the Espionage Act in the future. The ruling is a significant step toward freedom for Julian Assange, but it changes nothing as far as global imperialist tyranny is concerned.

    So the appropriate response at this time is a sigh of relief, but not celebration. The Assange case has never been about just one man; the greater part of the battle, the one we are all fighting, continues unabated.

    https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.co...tion-ruling-is

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  11. Link to Post #326
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    More from Craig here. As others have pointed out - correctly - the underlying message throughout this whole saga has been that the US can seek to extradite in this way anyone, in any jurisdiction outside of the USA, if it can demonstrate that its own national interests are at risk from classified information leaks that hitherto are published. That, for those of us who got that early on in the saga remains probably the only blight on what has been a momentously positive development for Julian, and quite beyond expectation.

    This is not over, not by a long way, and the struggle will continue but we can celebrate for now, and hopefully tomorrow.

    Craig lays out what he thinks may happen in the immediate future.

    -------------------------------------

    The Assange Verdict: What Happens Now

    Craig Murray, January 5th 2021

    I fully expect that Julian will be released on bail this week, pending a possible US appeal against the blocking of his extradition.

    There was discussion of when and how to make the bail application on Monday, after magistrate Vanessa Baraitser announced her decision not to grant extradition as it would be oppressive on health and welfare grounds. Lead Defence QC Edward Fitzgerald was prepared to make an immediate application for release on bail, but was strongly steered by Baraitser towards waiting a couple of days until he could have the full bail application ready in good order with all the supporting documentation.

    I had the strong impression that Baraitser was minded to grant bail and wanted the decision to be fireproof. I have spoken to two others who were in court who formed the same impression. Indeed, in the past, she has more than once indicated that she will reject a bail application before one has been made. I can think of no reason why she would steer Fitzgerald so strongly to delay the application if there were not a very strong chance she would grant it. She gave him the advice and then adjourned the court for 45 minutes so Fitzgerald and Gareth Peirce could discuss it with Julian, and on return they took her advice. If she were simply going to refuse the bail application, there was no reason for her not to get it over with quickly there and then.

    Fitzgerald briefly made the point that Assange now had very little incentive to abscond, as there had never been a successful appeal against a refusal to extradite on medical grounds. Indeed it is very difficult to see how an appeal can be successful. The magistrate is the sole determinant of fact in the case. She has heard the evidence, and her view of the facts of Assange’s medical condition and the facts of conditions in American supermax prisons cannot be overturned. Nor can any new evidence be introduced. The appeal has rather to find that, given the facts, Baraitser made an error in law, and it is difficult to see the argument.

    I am not sure that at this stage the High Court would accept a new guarantee from the USA that Assange would not be kept in isolation or in a Supermax prison; that would be contrary to the affidavit from Assistant Secretary of State Kromberg and thus would probably be ruled to amount to new evidence. Not to mention that Baraitser heard other evidence that such assurances had been received in the case of Abu Hamza, but had been broken. Hamza is not only kept in total isolation, but as a man with no hands he is deprived of prosthetics that would enable him to brush his teeth, and he has no means of cutting his nails nor assistance to do so, and cannot effectively wipe himself in the toilet.

    Not only is it hard to see the point of law on which the USA could launch an appeal, it is far from plain that they have a motive to do so. Baraitser agreed with all the substantive points of argument put forward by the US government. She stated that there was no bar on extradition from the UK for political offences; she agreed that publication of national security material did constitute an offence in the USA under the Espionage Act and would do so in the UK under the Official Secrets Act, with no public interest defence in either jurisdiction; she agreed that encouraging a source to leak classified information is a crime; she agreed Wikileaks’ publications had put lives at risk.

    On all of these points she dismissed virtually without comment all the defence arguments and evidence. As a US Justice Department spokesman said yesterday:

    “While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised. In particular, the court rejected all of Mr Assange’s arguments regarding political motivation, political offence, fair trial, and freedom of speech. We will continue to seek Mr Assange’s extradition to the United States.” That is a fair categorisation of what happened.

    Appealing a verdict that is such a good result for the United States does not necessarily make sense for the Justice Department. Edward Fitzgerald explained to me yesterday that, if the USA appeals the decision on the health and prison condition grounds, it becomes open to the defence to counter-appeal on all the other grounds, which would be very desirable indeed given the stark implications of Baraitser’s ruling for media freedom.

    I have always believed that Baraitser would rule as she did on the substantial points, but I have always also believed that those extreme security state arguments would never survive the scrutiny of better judges in a higher court. Unlike the health ruling, the dispute over Baraitser’s judgement on all the other points does come down to classic errors in law which can successfully be argued on appeal.

    If the USA does appeal the judgement, it is far more likely that not only will the health grounds be upheld, but also that Baraitser’s positions on extradition for political offences and freedom of the media will be overturned, than it is likely that the US will achieve extradition. They have fourteen days in which to lodge the appeal – now thirteen.

    An appeal result is in short likely to be humiliating for the USA. It would be much wiser for the US to let sleeping dogs lie. But pride and the wound to the US sense of omnipotence and exceptionalism may drive them to an appeal which, for the reasons given above, I would actually welcome provided Julian is out on bail. Which I expect he shall be shortly.

    More analysis of Baraitser’s judgement will follow.

    —————————————————–
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Sad news

    Assange denied bail by British court, forced to stay in high-security prison

    WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been denied bail and is forced to remain at the high-security Belmarsh prison in London. The court previously refused to allow his extradition for prosecution in the US.

    Assange was seeking bail in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court presided over by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who on Monday ruled against his extradition.

    The activist had already served a 50-week sentence in the UK for jumping bail in 2012 when he hid in London's Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.

    The judge said Assange “has an incentive to abscond,” adding that there is a good chance he would not return to court if freed.

    Story continues at: https://www.rt.com/uk/511678-assange-denied-bail-court/

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  15. Link to Post #328
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Long and short of it: Assange will remain in jail for several months while US appeals the decision on extradition. Seems to hint that a Biden administration could refuse to pursue the extradition which I think is unlikely. Of course, Trump could pardon Assange, but considering how hard his administration has worked to extradite him, I think that is also unlikely. But I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

    Will Biden DOJ Pursue Assange Extradition? Outgoing Prosecutor Isn't Sure


    https://www.npr.org/2021/01/05/95328...utor-isnt-sure

    The federal prosecutor seeking to try WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Espionage Act charges said he's uncertain about whether the administration of President-elect Joe Biden would continue the extradition effort.

    Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, pointed out that the Assange case had already consumed years of work by line prosecutors and other officials. A judge in the United Kingdom dealt American prosecutors a blow Monday by rejecting their efforts to transfer Assange to the United States, citing his mental health troubles.

    The Justice Department pledged that it would appeal — a process that could drag on for months, if not longer.

    Story continues at: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/05/95328...utor-isnt-sure

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  17. Link to Post #329
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Justice doesn't just happen, justice is forced by people coming together are exercising strength, unity, and intelligence.

    A quote by Julian Assange

    Strangely the very surname Assange means 'Bring Together' in South African.

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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    A small but important victory from earlier today:



    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    For those of us in the minority who don't own cell phones or engage with Twitter, could you let us know what info the messages contain?
    Thanks!
    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    A small but important victory from earlier today:



    Each breath a gift...
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  23. Link to Post #332
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    For those of us in the minority who don't own cell phones or engage with Twitter, could you let us know what info the messages contain?
    Thanks!
    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    A small but important victory from earlier today:



    Stefania

    WE WON! My amazing lawyers
    @estelledehon

    @suigenerisjen
    and I and all other parties won! My #Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian #Assange
    @khrafnsson
    #SarahHarrison
    @SwaziJAF
    will go ahead!

    Juan

    This is a huge victory for our right to know what governments do in our name and for the press’s right to access information to hold them accountable.
    @SMaurizi
    thank you and congratulations in the name of democracy, #JulianAssange and
    @wikileaks
    !
    #DropTheCharges #FreeAssange




    That’s the entirety of the message. The only thing you’re missing when you don’t click on the tweets is all the tweets replying and commenting on these tweets.

    A little context might clear things up for you. Stefania is an outstanding, Italian journalist who covers WikiLeaks content and has been covering Julian’s situation courageously and honestly.

    This is a massive win, for the reason stated in Juan’s tweet, especially as a win for Stefania, she’ll take it for all it’s worth.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 28th January 2021 at 02:06.
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    OK, but what was the important victory from earlier today? IS it "Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian #Assange"?
    Quote Posted by Innocent Warrior (here)
    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    For those of us in the minority who don't own cell phones or engage with Twitter, could you let us know what info the messages contain?
    Thanks!
    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    A small but important victory from earlier today:



    That’s the entirety of the message. The only thing you’re missing when you don’t click on the tweets is all the tweets replying and commenting on these tweets.

    A little context might clear things up for you. Stefania is an outstanding, Italian journalist who covers WikiLeaks content and has been covering Julian’s situation courageously and honestly.

    This is a massive win, for the reason stated in Juan’s tweet, especially as a win for Stefania, she’ll take it for all it’s worth.
    Each breath a gift...
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    OK, but what was the important victory from earlier today? IS it "Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian #Assange"?
    Not quite.

    “WE WON! My amazing lawyers and I and all other parties won! My #Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian [and co.] will go ahead!”

    Further clarification...

    “Victory for journalists, press freedom after tribunal finds there is no reason to bar people from using the UK's freedom of information act simply because they are not in the UK.”
    Tweet.

    “The decision comes after the First-Tier tribunal stayed 16 Freedom of Information by appeals by journalists and ordinary people, because they were either not UK citizens, or had UK nationality but were living abroad.”

    “Today's decision means that the Freedom of Information Act will continue to operate as it always has done for the past 15 years. It is open to any person regardless of nationality or place of residence.”

    “Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi can now continue her appeal against the Metropolitan Police for refusing to disclose its correspondence with the US about three UK-based journalists involved in WikiLeaks.”

    Click on tweet link to see full thread on this topic.
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  29. Link to Post #335
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Do we know how that will likely affect Assange's case, and if he has a better chance now of being released?

    Quote Posted by Innocent Warrior (here)
    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    OK, but what was the important victory from earlier today? IS it "Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian #Assange"?
    Not quite.

    “WE WON! My amazing lawyers and I and all other parties won! My #Foia litigation in Uk to defend the right of the press to access the full documentation on Julian [and co.] will go ahead!”

    Further clarification...

    “Victory for journalists, press freedom after tribunal finds there is no reason to bar people from using the UK's freedom of information act simply because they are not in the UK.”
    Tweet.

    “The decision comes after the First-Tier tribunal stayed 16 Freedom of Information by appeals by journalists and ordinary people, because they were either not UK citizens, or had UK nationality but were living abroad.”

    “Today's decision means that the Freedom of Information Act will continue to operate as it always has done for the past 15 years. It is open to any person regardless of nationality or place of residence.”

    “Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi can now continue her appeal against the Metropolitan Police for refusing to disclose its correspondence with the US about three UK-based journalists involved in WikiLeaks.”

    Click on tweet link to see full thread on this topic.
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    I’m not aware of anything specific that Stefania may be looking for in the correspondence between metro police and the US.

    Between the obvious collusion between the UK and the US and the unusual attempt to manoeuvre their way out of releasing that information, it’s possible the correspondence would further expose the political agenda of the US. This of course would weaken the US’ legal position.

    Although it should it’s unlikely to have an effect on his case directly, they’re not following the law, further evidenced by the grounds on which the judge blocked the extradition. However, this was always going to be a case that was won from beyond the courtroom, it comes down to public pressure and the more obvious and clear the political agenda is, the more it chips away at the case and the support of the figures and agencies/departments involved, this includes the support required for the cooperation between the parties involved. At some point it falls apart too much and they themselves are forced to drop it, like what happened with the Swedish case.

    The far larger and more important win is for everyone, because of the necessity of being able to hold governments accountable for their actions, of which the FOIA plays an important role. But yes, I think it’s likely the correspondence could affect Julian’s case, the degree of which is subject to the content and who’s involved. As for getting him released, sheesh, who ****in’ knows, he should never have been arrested in the first place and at this point it’s shamefully absurd that he’s still locked up.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 29th January 2021 at 04:16.
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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    Quote Posted by Innocent Warrior (here)
    and at this point it’s shamefully absurd that he’s still locked up.
    Absolutely.

    One longs for the day when this here from Banksy may be possible. Many of us here may have often imagined, as I have, finding a crack team that would infiltrate and spring Julian to freedom.



    (related) onawah: thanks for mentioning upthread that, forgiveably incorrectly ( ) one needs be a social media and smartphone user, none of which are necessary to be able to view embedded tweets. You ought to be able to open a tweet anywhere even without an account and ought to be able to view embedded tweets. However, I think we determined a while ago that this may be a browser issue?

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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    There's no real way of being certain of the provenance of the 'news' that the Ecuadorean Foreign Minister shared on Twitter a while ago. It really serves no helpful purpose at all and is yet another reason why we need to discern very carefully indeed any, if not nearly all information on the internet.

    This understandably caused great distress to Stella Moris, as you'll see from the feed below:

    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Vigils planned in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange | Weekend of April 10 and 11

    Has it really been two years now? Wow, that's gone far too quickly, but not for Julian and his family of course

    Vigils planned in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

    Events will be held this weekend to mark the second anniversary of Assange being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy by police.

    By Alan Jones 1 day ago

    Source: London Evening Standard



    V
    igils are to be held this weekend to mark the second anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being detained in prison after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London

    Supporters demanding his release will join events on Sunday outside the embassy, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and at Belmarsh prison in London where he is being held.

    Assange lived inside the embassy for several years before being forcibly removed and arrested by police on April 11 2019.

    "It has now been two years of incarceration, isolation and psychological torture, all for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan."


    A bid by the United States to extradite him was rejected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this year but he has remained in prison until the outcome of an appeal.

    WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told the PA news agency that Assange’s continued imprisonment was an “outrage and a travesty of justice”.

    He said:

    “April 11 marks two years since one of the world’s most important journalists was silenced when Metropolitan Police officers stormed into the Ecuadorian embassy and subsequently arrested and imprisoned Julian Assange on the United States’ behalf.

    “It has now been two years of incarceration, isolation and psychological torture, all for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the same journalism for which Julian has been applauded all over the world for and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    “It’s long past time for this injustice to end and we continue to appeal to the United States and the Department of Justice to drop the appeal and all the charges against Julian."

    “In January, a judge in London ruled that Julian should not be extradited and so we are today calling for him to be released from Belmarsh prison and be a free man to be able to spend his time with his young family.”


    Mr Hrafnsson added that dozens of human rights and media organisations are supporting the case for Assange to be freed, saying: “This gross injustice must come to an end.”

    It was recently revealed that Pope Francis sent a personal message to Assange, whose partner Stella Moris said: “After a hard night, Julian woke up this morning to a kind, personal message from Pope Francis @pontifex delivered to his cell door by the prison priest.”
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Current Wikileaks and Assange News & Releases

    FBI Releases Info on Seth Rich
    FBI Releases Documents on Investigation Into Death of Democrat National Committee Worker Seth Rich

    BY ZACHARY STIEBER
    April 24, 2021
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_br...DyizW7JhU5o%3D

    "The FBI has produced 68 pages relating to a Democrat National Committee (DNC) worker who was shot dead in 2016 in Washington, including an investigative summary that appears to suggest someone could have paid for his death.

    Seth Rich, the worker, was shot dead in the early morning hours on July 16, 2016, near his home in the nation’s capital.The murder, which is unsolved to this day, fueled widespread media coverage, especially after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suggested that Rich was the person who provided internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Rich’s family has called the notion that Rich leaked documents to WikiLeaks a conspiracy theory.

    The newly released files show top Department of Justice officials met in 2018 and discussed Rich’s murder. They reviewed Rich’s financial records and did not identify any unusual deposits or withdrawals.

    Additionally, none of the witnesses interviewed during the investigation reported to authorities anything unusual about Rich’s life prior to the homicide.

    One witness saw an individual walking away from the location where Rich was killed but thought Rich was merely drunk so did not alert authorities. They realized something bad had happened when they saw a bloodstain on the ground in the same place the following day, as well as police tape surrounding the scene.

    A person whose name was redacted took Rich’s personal laptop to his house, according to one of the newly released documents. The page also indicates that authorities were not aware if the person deleted or changed anything on Rich’s personal laptop.

    The FBI came into possession of Rich’s work laptop, the bureau previously revealed.

    On another page, it was said that “given [redacted] it is conceivable that an individual or group would want to pay for his death.”

    “That doesn’t sound like a random street robbery,” Ty Clevenger, a lawyer, told The Epoch Times.

    Law enforcement officials have suggested Rich was the victim of an attempted robbery, according to news reports, though none of his belongings were stolen. They have said no evidence links the shooting to Rich’s employment by the Democratic National Committee.

    The files were released this week in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Texas resident Brian Huddleston, who Clevenger represents.Huddleston sued the FBI after it told him it would take 8 to 10 months in June 2020 to respond to his Freedom of Information Act request. Huddleston asked the FBI to produce all data, documents, records, or communications that reference Seth Rich or his brother, Aaron Rich.

    A federal judge earlier this year ordered the FBI to produce documents concerning Rich by April 23. The FBI identified 576 relevant documents but only produced 68 of them to Huddleston.

    The FBI has declined to speak about the lawsuit. Attorneys for Rich’s parents did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    The documents show that some reporting on Rich’s death was wrong, such as an ABC News report that claimed the FBI was not involved in investigating the murder.

    Clevenger said he found concerning how the government apparently does not know whether anything was deleted from Rich’s personal laptop.

    The documents were largely redacted but the information that did get through “shows that their whole narrative is falling apart,” he added. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

    The attorney plans to ask U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, an Obama nominee, to produce unredacted copies for his perusal. The judge could rule that some redactions were improper.

    Defendants could also face repercussions for not producing all of the documents they have concerning Rich, including fines.

    U.S. Attorney Andrea Parker, who is representing the FBI, told the judge in a court filing this week that the bureau can only process 500 pages per month for each Freedom of Information Act request. She asked the court to give the bureau additional time to produce all of the relevant records.

    Clevenger told the judge in a court filing this week that the private sector routinely processes 500 pages or more per day and that the government should be afforded no more than two weeks to produce the remaining 1,063 pages. "

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    FBI Has Files From Laptop of Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich
    BY ZACHARY STIEBER December 11, 2020
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/fbi-ha...g-2020-12-11-2

    "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has files from the laptop computer belonging to Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) employee who was killed in 2016, according to a new email.

    The bureau also has tens of thousands of documents mentioning Rich.

    The FBI “has completed the initial search identifying approximately 50 cross-reference serials, with attachments totaling over 20,000 pages, in which Seth Rich is mentioned,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Parker wrote in the message to attorney Ty Clevenger, who is representing a plaintiff in Huddleston v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, a case dealing with a Freedom of Information Act request to the bureau.

    “FBI has also located leads that indicate additional potential records that require further searching,” Parker added.

    The Epoch Times confirmed the email is legitimate.

    Parker, who is representing the FBI in the case, didn’t respond to an email or return a voicemail.

    The bureau also confirmed it has files from Rich’s laptop and suggested it still has the computer in its possession.

    The bureau is “currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich’s personal laptop into a format to be reviewed,” Parker said in the email. She also said the FBI plans on undertaking some level of review of the computer.

    The disclosure came as part of a case brought in federal court by Texas resident Brian Huddleston, who filed a Freedom of Information Act request in April asking the FBI to produce all data, documents, records, or communications that reference Seth Rich or his brother, Aaron Rich.

    The FBI told the plaintiff in June that it would take 8 to 10 months to provide a final response to the request, prompting the filing of the case in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

    Rich was working for the DNC when he was shot and killed in Washington on July 10, 2016. The murder remains unsolved.

    The new email bolsters a key charge in Huddleston’s filing: that David Hardy, the FBI’s records chief, was wrong when he said in two affidavits that the FBI searched for records pertaining to Rich but could not find any.



    The first sign that the testimony was erroneous came earlier this year when the nonprofit watchdog Judicial Watch received emails exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page. The production included several emails mentioning Rich.

    Another sign came in March, when former Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines was deposed in a separate case, Ed Butowsky v. David Folkenflik et. al.

    Sines testified that the FBI conducted an investigation into possible hacking attempts on Seth Rich’s electronic accounts following his murder. She said FBI agents examined Rich’s laptop as part of the probe and that a search should uncover emails between her and FBI personnel. She also said she met with a prosecutor and an FBI agent assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

    The FBI declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

    The judge overseeing the Huddleston case in October ordered the defense to produce documents and an index.

    In the new email, the government lawyer said the FBI has made “significant progress” in searching for documents mentioning Rich, but still has much work left, including processing the approximately 50 cross-references, undertaking some level of review of the laptop, and completing all remaining services.

    The efforts are hampered by the FBI’s Freedom of Information Act office being at 50 percent of its normal workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The government is proposing an amended schedule that would give it three more months to produce the records.

    Clevenger, Huddleston’s lawyer, told The Epoch Times via email that his client is hoping to find out why the FBI was involved in the case, and why it originally denied involvement.

    “We suspect the FBI may be right that the Metropolitan Police Dept. in D.C. was responsible for investigating Seth’s murder, so that leaves a couple of likely explanations for the FBI’s role: it was investigating a counterintelligence matter or a computer crime. Either scenario would be consistent with Seth transmitting DNC emails to Wikileaks,” he added, referencing a theory about the source of emails from inside the DNC that were later published by Wikileaks.

    The theory was the core of a story Fox News published in 2017. It later retracted the report but was sued by Rich’s family.

    Fox settled with Rich’s family last month.

    A federal judge overseeing the case had earlier this year requested testimony from Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange.

    Rich was killed less than two weeks before WikiLeaks “released a collection of thousands of internal emails and documents taken from the DNC servers,” according to a court filing. One month after Rich’s murder, Assange referenced the DNC staffer in an interview with a Dutch television reporter when discussing the dangers faced by WikiLeaks sources. On Aug. 9, 2016, WikiLeaks offered $20,000 for information about Rich’s murder. The website increased the reward to $130,000 in January 2017.

    The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) several weeks after Rich was shot dead offered a reward for information. A spokeswoman told The Epoch Times via email that the case “remains under active investigation.”

    The spokeswoman declined to answer whether the FBI assisted police with its probe. “MPD remains the lead investigative agency over this homicide,” she said.

    A firm investigating the DNC situation, Crowdstrike, alleged that the committee’s servers were hacked by Russian actors, but a transcript declassified in May showed the firm had no direct evidence of that claim.

    Clevenger said he thinks the timing of the email from Parker, the assistant U.S. attorney, is significant.

    “Some of my colleagues suspect the Trump Administration has pushed the release, but I doubt that,” he wrote. “With the purported election of Joe Biden, the FBI brass probably think they are in the clear, and nothing will ever happen to them, so they no longer have any reason to hide what they did.”

    Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report."
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