Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Persecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange continues

From WSWS:

July 5 was the 100th consecutive day of the denial, by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, of the democratic right of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world, or receive visitors, apart from his legal representatives and a brief, unexplained visit by two Australian consular officials.

Julian Assange sought political asylum in the small embassy building on June 19, 2012. For 2,767 days—more than six years—the British government has denied him exposure to direct sunlight and adequate medical care. On July 3, he turned 47-years-old, enduring conditions that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned as “deprivation of liberty,” a “violation of his human rights” and tantamount to torture.

The political establishments of the United States, Britain and Australia are intensifying their vendetta to silence WikiLeaks and prosecute Assange.

Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, visited Ecuador last week. On the eve of the trip, 10 of the most prominent Democratic Party senators demanded that he pressure the government of President Lenín Moreno to renege on Assange’s right to asylum and expel him from the embassy.

Read the full report on the WSWS

There is little question that the new Australian “foreign interference” laws are intended to be used against media organisations that publish leaked information, which exposes US and Australian war plans against China. They can also potentially be used to criminalise anti-war political opposition and activity. Most ominously, the laws are being hailed internationally as a model for legislation in other countries.

Assange and WikiLeaks are a sharp example of the broader campaign to censor and silence oppositional voices. The fight to defend him is inseparable from the struggle to alert and mobilise the international working class against the ongoing attacks on fundamental democratic rights and against the danger of dictatorship and war.

See also: "Australia’s foreign interference laws threaten whistleblowers and media freedom"

SEP (Australia) to hold meetings on new “foreign interference” laws: A move towards dictatorship and war

The passage of “foreign interference” legislation last week by the Coalition government and the Labor Party marks a new stage in the decades-long assault on the democratic rights of the working class.

The new laws have been imposed amidst xenophobic hysteria in the parliament and the media over “Chinese influence” and “interference.” Their purpose is to justify the support of the entire Australian political establishment for the US preparations for war against China, which are aimed at preventing China from emerging as a direct challenge to the global dominance of American-based banks and corporations.

The SEP and IYSSE meetings will raise the need for the working class and youth to develop a powerful political movement in defence of democratic rights and civil liberties, and to unify internationally against the descent toward war.

The first meeting, which will be held in Sydney on July 15, will be livestreamed via the SEP Facebook page to a world audience. We urge all SEP and IYSSE members and supporters, and all WSWS readers to attend.
Sunday, July 15, 2:00 p.m.
Lansdowne Room 1 & 2, Bankstown Library
80 Rickard Road, Bankstown (cnr of Rickard and Chapel Roads)
Tickets: $7/$5 concession
Sunday, July 22, 2.30 p.m.
Meat Market Conference Centre
5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne
Melway Reference: 2B A9
Tickets: $5/$3 concession
Sunday, July 22, 2:00 p.m.
Silver Ridge Community, Cottage
13 Iranda Grove, Wallsend
Tickets: $5/$3 concession

Saturday, July 28, 2:30 p.m.
Woolloongabba, Senior Citizens Hall
22 Qualtrough Street, Woolloongabba
Tickets: $5/$3 concession
The details of meetings in other locations will be announced over coming days.
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