In a landmark decision today the European Parliament initiated the drafting of legislation that would stop the arbitrary banking blockades against WikiLeaks and other organizations facing economic censorship. This is an important signal from the European lawmakers. It is a recognition of the seriousness of the precedents set in December 2010, still in force, when Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America launched a unilateral, extrajudicial banking blockade against donations to WikiLeaks.
One week ago, on August 19, Julian Assange gave a speech, and he did so from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London as the British government refuses to recognize a fundamental Human Right: the right to asylum. A large number of reports and opinion pieces about his first public appearance in two months has since been published, a significant amount of which don’t represent at all the truth and the complexity of his present situation. Very few journalists expose the political persecution WikiLeaks is target of or the accumulating evidence relating to Julian Assange's potential extradition to the U.S., yet it is not hard to come by vitriolic satires of his alleged personal habits or, even worse, his confinement and status as a political refugee. But in his address to supporters and the press last week, Julian Assange made a simple and very important plea, calling for an end to the oppression of activists and whistleblowers, and the U.S. secret Grand Jury investigation of WikiLeaks.
Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, has been confronted with questions concerning whether the U.S. has any future intention to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for WikiLeaks publishing, following Ecuador granting him political asylum due to fears of such prosecution having been considered valid.
The WikiLeaks Collateral Murder website is now http://collateralmurder.org and is being protected by CloudFlare. The TrapWire surveillance technology revealed in the Global Intelligence Files continues to make headlines.
Tue Jul 24 19:36:07 UTC 2012
Statement approved by Julian Assange and Baltasar Garzón.
Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) is a common legal practice in the European Union. It is an agreement between two countries to help cooperation during investigation of alleged crimes. The EU's website states "mutual legal assistance and agreements on extradition are essential for the EU in order to achieve a European area of justice".
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WikiLeaks announced via Twitter on the evening of June 19 (19:40 local time) that Julian Assange has requested political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.