Many answered the call for solidarity with WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange on August 16th, marking five years from the day the Ecuadorian people granted him political asylum. He remains in the confines of Ecuador’s London Embassy these five years as the UK government refuses to grant him Safe Passage out of the country.
Britain has always acted imperially in it’s foreign policy but surprising, whilst the rest of the world recognises it as such, the political establishment and its media heralds often preach about the public good and moral goodness of it, however brutal the consequences of such foreign policy are.
There is always some sort of legal and moral disqualifier used, everytime a ripple is created in the narrative that perhaps now, Julian Assange can be freed. When the House of Commons revised the way the European Arrest Warrant is executed in the UK so it could never again be used to mearly question someone, the change in law was not applied in retrospect, so Julian Assange did not benefit.
When the UK Supreme Court’s decision to extradite him (3 judges to 2) was found in subsequent cases to have used the wrong bit of law doing it, again there was no benefit for the WikiLeaks editor as, yet again, it was not retrospective. When Ecuador granted him political asylum, UK called it ‘diplomatic asylum’ because it was granted in an Embassy and refused to recognise it as political asylum or grand him Safe Passage out of the country. When the UN after an adversarial process found him Arbitrarily Detained both the political and the legal and media establishments agreed that he was still a fugitive, they knew best, hang the UN.
Equally today, after seven years of arbitrarily detaining the WikiLeaks Editor in the name of a legal preliminary investigation against him that was terminated in May, the UK authorities via the Metropolitan Police, insists it continues to have a valid legal instrument, no less an arrest warrant, to still detain him.
During the Solidarity vigil a couple of Americans joined us momentarily and united their voices with us in hoping for a favourable ending to Julian Assange’s detention. It turned out it was a Californian Congressman on a fact finding journey. Little we knew that their visit would cause such a storm in the ensuing weeks:
As we left another anniversary behind, there is a steely determination among us that the solidarity work continues till Julian Assange is free.