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‘A Total Stitch-Up’: Julian Assange Arrested After Ecuador Revokes Asylum

The scene outside the embassy as Assange was dragged into custody.
The scene outside the embassy as Assange was dragged into custody. (Ruptly LIVE)

Julian Assange has been arrested after his asylum was revoked by Ecuador – he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London earlier today by British police.

21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen appeared on RT International just a few hours after Assange’s arrest, reporting it was “directly connected with the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning” for not testifying against Assange – and part of a conspiracy charge that’s being ‘cooked up’ in the wake of this latest three-way secret deal between the governments of Ecuador, Britain and the U.S. to oust and extradite Assange. Joe Lauria, Editor-in-chief of Consortium News, also discussed this point with Henningsen on the April 7th edition of The Sunday Wire Radio Show.

Watch Henningsen on RT International as this story was breaking:

At this ‘dark moment’ for journalists and publishers, be they mainstream or alternative, prominent voices across the world are weighing in:

In March, 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen explained why it’s absolutely crucial and in the public interest to support Julian AssangeChelsea Manning and WikiLeaks, as all three of these represent fundamental pillars of democracy – the right to publish, the rights of whistleblowers, and a free press.

Wikileaks, the whistleblower publication founded by Assange in 2006, also said the arrest was related to a US extradition request for “conspiracy with Chelsea Manning” and the publishing of classified leaks:

Assange’s arrest and expulsion from the Ecuadorian Embassy comes just one day after Wikileaks editor Editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson held a press conference revealing evidence of an attempted extortion by a group of individuals purportedly from Spain, asking the publisher to pay millions for surveillance footage – which included private medical examinations, legal meetings and documents obtained from inside the embassy in London where Assange had been residing in asylum since 2012.

‘A Total Stitch-Up’

Henningsen told RT International that Julian Assange will not face justice anywhere, quite the opposite of what UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in his statement this morning:

Henningsen added:

“What he is going to face is a secret grand jury proceeding most likely in northeastern Virginia. Most likely it will be ruled on by a judge who has ruled against every single whistleblower under the Obama administration including Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou and many others. So from a legal point of view, a justice point of view, this is a total stitch-up. Julian Assange will not face due process or justice, he’s going to face a simulacra of it, but not the real thing.

What we’re seeing right now is the criminalization of journalism, the criminalization of publishing, a supine mainstream media that is not protesting what’s going on even though it’s in their interests. Instead, you have authoritarian operatives in high positions wielding a tremendous power and are threatening to demolish the Fourth Estate as we once knew it.”

The Albert V. Bryan Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, is home to Court Room 700, where Assange is likely to face a secret grand jury proceeding. (Photo by Tim Evanson)

If Assange does get extradited to the United States, he is likely going to face a secret grand jury proceeding in Federal district court, and that is most likely to be held in Alexandria, Virginia, in Court Room 700, with Judge Leonie Brinkema presiding:

As with other whistleblowers previously appearing before Judge Brinkema in Court Room 700, it’s expected that Assange will not get a fair hearing and the state will most likely rule against him.

In the court of public opinion, most American media consumers will continue to view the Wikileaks founder and his publication in the context of the now debunked ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy fantasy.

But as Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi writes, “the current indictment is the extension of a years-long effort, pre-dating Trump, to construct a legal argument against someone who releases embarrassing secrets.”

In reality, this coordinated stitch-up has been years in the making.

READ MORE JULIAN ASSANGE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Julian Assange Files




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