The new turn taken by the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose extradition to the US was authorized last Friday by the High Court of Justice in London, coinciding with the so-called Summit for Democracy organized by Washington, puts highlight the contradictions of the North American country when it comes to proclaiming itself a defender of freedom of expression.
In an event that ran almost parallel to the court ruling on Assange, US President Joe Biden, advertisement the launch of the presidential initiative for democratic renewal, which plans to allocate up to $ 424.4 million to “defend, sustain and develop democratic resilience” in the world, as well as “support free and independent media”.
In particular, Washington is expected to allocate to the International Fund for Public Interest Media up to $ 30 million to “promote the independence, development and sustainability of independent media.” In addition, the US plans to allocate another $ 5 million to boost the “viability” of the free press.
As part of its initiative, Washington also commits to allocate $ 9 million to the “physical, digital and legal protection” of journalists to defend the essential work of journalism “of false legal claims“seeking to silence them, as well as another $ 3.5 million to a platform that supports journalists.
“Corruption and abuse of the process”
However, according to the former contractor of the CIA and the US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, the case of Assange itself, whose extradition Washington seeks, has been plagued by “corruption and abuse of the process “. “Julian Assange is one of the political prisoners who is serving the longest sentence in the Western world, “said Snowden this Friday after hearing the verdict of the London court, which showed his satisfaction with the guarantees offered to the journalist by the US side.
Speaking to MRT, the former Ecuadorian consul in London, Fidel Narvaez, argues that the United States it cannot apply its laws to it Assange, as the journalist is not a US citizen.
“We must not allow as a society, as an international community that a single country, that a single power becomes the international court, the court of the world and the World police with the right to apprehend anyone anywhere in the world and apply its laws, “he denounced.
According to Narváez, “The US does not have the moral quality to demand freedom of expression from other countries, when they are the first to be chasing to a journalist for having published the truth, and a truth of public interest “.
“Freedom of the press for Washington means that you can publish everything you want, as long as do not reveal the crimes of Washington“, he sentenced.
The Assange case
Assange, 49, is indicted in the US for the leak of hundreds of thousands of pages of secret military documents and confidential diplomatic cables on the activities of the North American country, among them records of the war in Iraq, the recording known as ‘Collateral Murder’ (‘Collateral Murder’) that shows the murder of a group of Iraqi civilians since a helicopter in Baghdad in 2007, and the Afghanistan war diary.
The posts also paved the way for other investigations, including Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance and the Afghanistan Papers published by The Washington Post.
In April 2019, the cyber activist was detained at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where for seven years he obtained refuge and even Ecuadorian nationality. He is currently incarcerated in the maximum security prison in Belmarsh, United Kingdom. The charges against you in the US carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.