*Please see below Important Updates as of Friday 24/07/2015*
2015 is certainly a year of amazing activity in the Wikileaks organisation, with their publishing adding to the fount of public knowledge more revelations on the world of politics, secret government and corporations and how it operates.
The protagonists are many and a number of them are paying a great personal price for their work, their selfless service to the public. This is where solidarity work steps in to express in simple and direct ways that there are people who see what is going on, stand witness to events as they happen and find the opportunity to reach out to other people within our civil society with the message:
‘don’t forget them, support them, their work is great, their troubles many’.
June 17th: Sweden fails to call
Outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last month one such solidarity group, holding a vigil, stood witness to the hypocrisy of Swedish officials.
Between 4-6pm on Wednesday the 17th of June the regular vigilers were going about their usual routine of holding banners and posters – handing out flyers expressing support and solidarity to the besieged Editor of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange – when they observed an individual hovering about, who then approached them for information on the comings and going around the embassy. He remained during the entirety of their stay.
They pointed out to him the Ecuadorian Ambassador and he rushed to question him. He said his name was Christopher, [Update: now confirmed as Kristofer Sandberg] a journalist with Swedish newspaper Expressen. He told the vigilers he was there to cover Ingrid Isgren’s interrogation of Julian Assange, scheduled that day. In the course of the conversation he explained that prosecutor Ingrid Isgren was currently in London and scheduled to visit the embassy at any moment! After the interview with Julian Assange she was apparently going on holiday till the 8th of July. [Update: I got the wrong person here. It’s now been confirmed that it was Marianne Ny, not Isgren, who had booked a holiday from 18th June to 8th July. And it was the Expressen journalist Sandberg, who – after a very lengthy phone call lasting some 20 minutes – said that he’d been speaking to Marianne Ny herself and the interview had been called off. This was at around 4.30pm.] The news intimated by Christopher to the vigilers was indeed surprising. Earlier that week on Monday the 15th of June, Swedish Prosecutor Marianne Ny had issued a statement:
When all necessary permits and arrangements are ready, the investigative matters will be performed by the supporting prosecutor to the case, Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, together with a police investigator. No information concerning the time for the investigation matters will be provided.
Ingrid Isgren will not give interviews during the stay in London.
[Update: The Swedish police had already informed the Metropolitan Police of the date that deputy prosecutor Ingrid Isgren would be arriving in London to conduct the interview and the latter had set up barriers for a press enclosure in readiness. However, as this date was supposedly secret and not released to the press, only one journalist was there on the day.]
How hypocritical if the Swedish Prosecution, who said that no one was to know about the day and time of the interview, should then have tipped off one of the Swedish Tabloids…. And yet, how else was it that Christopher from the Swedish Expressen was the only journalist to have an insider’s knowledge of the day and time of the planned interview?
But said interview was not to be. Later on that day Julian Assange issued a statement:
This afternoon, the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny cancelled a prospective appointment to take my statement today.[…] To behave in such a way seems reckless and it is hard to imagine that it was more than a public relations exercise. It is impossible to maintain confidence in this prosecutor under such circumstances.
This incident was never reported by Mainstream Media describing the events of the day, and enquiries with Expressen directly in twitter gave no fruit other than an invitation to speculate how they found out the details of Ingrid Isgren’s visit to London.
And this is how the world operates; a theatre of public relations, of deception and procrastination to throw dust onto the public’s eyes, even when matters of justice are concerned.
A *useful* photo-opportunity?
A photo opportunity with Ingrid Isgren on the steps of the Embassy to interview Julian Assange, or being declined entrance by Ecuadorian Security would have made the headlines the world over, hyping up the jealous antipathy of MSM towards the editor of an organisation who has put them to shame. A photo opportunity to quiet down the Swedish dissenting voices reacting to the shameful conduct of a Prosecution Service hell-bound to stay inactive rather than lose face, having politicised a case and persecuted a man.
This was yet another chapter in the pre-trial punishment of Julian Assange.