Unlike most of the content published in this magazine, this 6,112-word article is not going to entertain or amuse you in any way – unless you have a worryingly dark sense of humour.
The point of this feature is to collate years of on-field research and investigations with the addition of an exclusive double interview with two extraordinary celebrities it took me months to track down.
But the more I know about Julian Assange’s story, the more I know I do not know, so I have tried to sum up this extremely complicated case to the best of my abilities by also enclosing an array of external resources, videos and documents for you to check if you’ve ever thought in your life that this world had to be stopped and that you wanted to get off.
Nobody wants you to like this man on a personal level, but you cannot form an informed opinion without first deconstructing all the lies and fabrications you’ve been told about him and his organisation for the last ten years.
Because when somebody is facing 175 years in prison for not committing corruption and war crimes, but for merely exposing them to the world as a publisher, we must all take their place even if we just vaguely care about justice, freedom and human rights.
Australian Nobel Peace Prize nominee, multi-award-winning journalist and publisher Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and let the world know about war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq; 2020 marks ten years since the terrifying video Collateral Murder from the July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrike was leaked, showing civilians, reporters and children being shot dead by the U.S. Army and then being laughed at.
The whistleblower who disclosed WikiLeaks 750,000 classified, or “unclassified but sensitive”, diplomatic and military documents is former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning (born Bradley Manning) who was sentenced to 35 years in prison in America.
She spent 7 years in jail and walked free in 2017 after her sentence was commuted by President Obama, just to be incarcerated again in 2019 and fined $1,000 a day for “refusing to collaborate” and testify against Julian Assange before a federal grand jury.
Chelsea Manning was released in March 2020 after attempting suicide in her cell.
The good news is that her $256,000 in court fines were paid within just one day through a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe, and some further $66,307 were also put together to help pay for her living expenses..
As you may – or may not – be aware of, Julian Assange was arrested on 11th April 2019 at the London Ecuadorian Embassy by a proud gang of British policemen.
But what you almost certainly ignore about it is that a Swedish software developer called Ola Bini was also arrested in Ecuador on that same day for being “linked” to Assange.
Can you possibly be arrested for being friends with someone?
It turns out, you can.
It also turns out that the media can and will completely ignore your story.
The Ola Bini’s legal case reportedly counts more than 65 irregularities.
The guy was released after two months of detention when a court ruled in favour of his habeas corpus request: in other words, you have a right to ask why the hell you’re being detained, and if they cannot find any viable reason for your arrest, you should be freed.
And so Ola Bini got out of prison, but his nightmare hasn’t finished yet.
As of today, he’s still being persecuted by Ecuador, and cannot leave the country.
All this for being “linked” to Julian Assange, who eventually wasn’t arrested for “sex assault charges”, for “hacking” or for any of the other bullshit the press invented on that occasion: Assange was arrested for “skipping bail” in the UK in 2012.
At that time, he was living in London but faced “rape allegations” in Sweden, so, after being granted bail from the UK, he asked and obtained political asylum in Ecuador over fears of political persecution and extradition to Sweden, and subsequently to the U.S.
But with the UK refusing to grant him a safe passage to Ecuador for as many as 7 years, he eventually found himself imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy, surrounded by British police night and day and arbitrarily detained for 7 years in the heart of London without charges.
The rape allegations that were finally dropped by Sweden in November 2019 consisted in an unbelievable report of Assange and a casual partner not using a condom on the fifth time they had sex together in the same night, in the same bed in her apartment, in August 2010.
Since she was reportedly “half-asleep” when they started, then according to the Swedish law this means she was raped.
Read Assange’s statement on this story and learn how she approached him, how she placed his hands on her breasts right after introducing herself, how she took him to her house and even paid for his train tickets since Visa and Mastercard had just frozen WikiLeaks’ bank cards and accounts, followed by PayPal and also by a Swiss bank group.
Yes, I really said a Swiss bank.
No, I am not kidding.
Scroll down on that page and read the full text exchange this woman had with a friend on that night, detailing how they had long foreplay but nothing happened, but then it got better.
One of the texts she sent out reads: I want him, I want him.
In the end, she also admitted that she didn’t want to accuse him of anything, but that it was the police who made up the charges.
I wonder what those poor women who have been attacked and brutally raped by strangers in street corners would think by reading that “these sexual interactions started the next morning while she was asleep (in the same bed after a night of consensual intercourse) and that when she woke up she consented to the intercourse in question, but for the first few moments was not theoretically capable of consent due to sleep“.
Whether you’re a man, a woman or anything in the between, you may now want to go back to the sexiest memories of your life and start counting all the times that – according to the Swedish law – you have been either raped or a rapist.
Both will probably be the most interesting memories of this sort that you have.
After the beginning of this condom drama, someone interestingly called Bill Condon was eventually chosen to make a film about Assange in 2013.
Based on a book by an individual named Daniel Domscheit-Berg who used to work at WikiLeaks and was later kicked off by Assange in person, this absurdly pointless movie with Benedict Cumberbatch titled The Fifth Estate focuses on things of fundamental importance, such as why Assange’s hair is white.
Following the release of his memoir, Daniel Domscheit-Berg also allegedly spent time contacting papers to point out that he didn’t actually say that Assange preferred “women younger than 22”, but that it was “women aged around 22” instead.
Either way, Assange is basically represented as a narcissist and unpolite bastard obsessed by power, money and sex.
After all, when you look at what the gentleman who wrote the “book” looks like, it’s easy to get why he might have found Assange’s undeniable sex appeal with women (of all ages, as a matter of fact) so frustrating.
Anyhow, following his arrest in April 2019, Julian Assange was eventually sentenced to 50 weeks – most of which he spent in isolation – in a London supermax high-security prison full of terrorists and murderers.
As soon as the UK police put their hands on him, a formal request to extradite him to the United States was filed, announcing 17 additional charges against him.
Julian Assange is now accused of violating the American Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibits obtaining information, recording pictures, or copying descriptions of any information relating to the national defence with intent or reason to believe that the information may be used for the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.
This is the first time the 103-year-old act has been used to target a media organisation.
Based on this, the United States of America want to jail him for 175 years.
War criminals typically get 30 years.
During his incarceration in the UK, Assange’s inmates even protested to get him out of isolation, and now that he has completed his 50 weeks of detention, he’s still being held in this high-security prison on remand, expecting an extradition trial which many have defined a show, without ever having committed a violent act, without charges, without being able to speak to his lawyers and prepare his defence, without family visits allowed and with a chronic lung condition which is putting his life at risk now that Coronavirus has been spreading in the penitentiary.
A group of more than 60 medical doctors wrote to the UK Home Secretary last year to express their serious concerns about his physical and mental health, but Assange was denied bail despite loads of inmates have been freed all over the world due to pandemic.
Not content with having portrayed Assange as a hacker and a rapist, now that press coverage is most needed to raise awareness, the media – the same media that had collaborated with WikiLeaks in the past to break news, sell copies and even win press freedom awards, have stopped reporting on the Assange case altogether.
Some still believe that WikiLeaks has put people’s lives at risk by leaking tons of private data, but what people don’t know is that, in reality, it was a journalist from The Guardian that eventually published the password to the entire, unredacted WikiLeaks archive (if you want to read the story somewhere else, try this article from The Atlantic), violating the confidentiality agreement between WikiLeaks and The Guardian’s editor-in-chief that was signed in July 2010.
Since then, there has been more than a legal dispute between WikiLeaks and The Guardian, and Assange’s organisation is still raising additional funds to sue the paper over what they consider to be a “completely fabricated” story on alleged “secret meetings” between Julian Assange and Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Last year, I was giving out flyers in defence of Julian Assange at the London Pride in Trafalgar Square, when suddenly somebody shouted at me.
It was a man wearing pink leggings.
Not only would he refuse to take the leaflet, but he also couldn’t stop shouting Assange raped innocent girls! Assange put people’s lives at risk!
I looked the other way not to be tempted to smash his useless fake-tanned face into a jelly, but he eventually confronted me directly, screaming like a fishwife and insisting on the rape story.
We ended up shouting at each other until he got hysterical and wanted to hit me with some ridiculous balloons he was carrying around.
The others took me away and told me off.
They lectured me on how to behave with losers like that.
This is not the way to proceed, they said.
This is what they want, they told me.
I didn’t calm down and I never will.
I’m a fucking Leo and Leo rising.
And so, after a year of not calming down, today I’m interviewing two exceptional celebrities and human beings who have strong links with Assange (let’s suggest them not to go on holidays in Ecuador, though…) and can offer plenty of interesting views and insights on what’s going on: they are Britain’s grand dame of fashion, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who has been campaigning for Assange for years, and her son Joe Corré, outstanding businessman, founder of Agent Provocateur and activist for Assange and for the anti-fracking movement, who is by far one of the brightest men I’ve ever had the honour to speak to in my life.
He is somebody who rejected an MBE in protest against the war in Iraq, somebody who burned £5m worth of Sex Pistols memorabilia on the Thames in protest of punk becoming just another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need.
You do things like that to me, I’m yours forever.
No doubt why he was picked as a leading campaigner by the most courageous, authentic and fierce man in the world.
Interview with Joe Corré in defence of Julian Assange
Thank you for accepting to speak with me today, Joe.
I know you’ve been asking to set this up for a while now, but the picture around Julian has been moving so much that it’s quite difficult to pin down where we are exactly, because it’s such a mess, and I’ve been really trying to think about what it’s possible to do in this situation and trying to find a way to help.
You refused an MBE in 2007 in protest against the war in Iraq. Would you do the same for Assange today?
I guess, fundamentally, one of the reasons why I rejected the MBE it’s because at a certain point you uncover some of the truths behind the image of Britain and the sense of justice and the sense of fair play and freedom. And when you see the truth about how responsible this country has been for so much turmoil in the world, and actually the sense of the real picture of British justice is just disgusting. So yes, that’s why I gave up my MBE, because it’s meaningless, nonsense. And you know, that was about Tony Blair at the time, but you know, he can now join (or has joined) the list of other people in history and currently because… anyway, justice in this country is a joke.
Do you believe something can still be done, at this stage, for Assange, to avoid extradition to the United States?
Yes, I think that a lot can be done, but I think the first thing where we need to start – because the story has already been overtaken by so many narratives, and in order to start – we have to break down the narratives to see the truth, and now we have another complication with the narrative of the secret love story that we discovered in the last week or so. Each time we go through this exposure of secrets, it doesn’t shift the bottom line of the narrative that has been painted against this man to allege that he’s a rapist, that he’s a bad man, that he’s a creep, that he’s a hacker. All of these narratives are lies, and it’s plain to see that they’re lies by the most reliable evidence, it’s plain to see the truth in this situation because ultimately, we have an independent report by an enormously respected organisation being the United Nations.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture said that Assange is a victim of psychological torture.
If you read their report, you can see where the lies have come from. So, in order to start doing anything, we need to change the public opinion so they support Assange, because, at the moment, the public opinion is not convinced. A lot of the public opinion still believe the narrative lies, or at least they’re suspicious enough of the narrative lies that they don’t want to go out and see the truth. So, this is what we have to start to fundamentally deal with in terms of the character assassination that is being performed on Julian. And it has to be said that, from Julian’s words, from where he is currently and his mental state in prison, what he’s gone through in terms of character assassination over the last 7 years, the team of people that he has around him, all the lawyers and the opinions, all the careful little steps he has to make and decide every day, have created a situation where instead of him confronting the lies and the character assassination, he has chosen not to say anything about it, and to let people discover the truth by themselves. And I have to say that this is not good enough, and something needs to change here, and we have to show what’s happening to this human being who has effectively been seen as a beacon of hope within the world to use journalism, to use leaks, to use whistleblowers to hold the powerful to account through democracy – which is incredibly fragile. And we have to celebrate this, we have to protect this guy. So, there’s a lot to be done and we need to first start with public opinion, and all the other efforts we need to make: talking to governments, talking to politicians, talking to the UN, talking to the media.
Let me argue: sorry, what media?
The media has been shockingly bad in terms of supporting Assange, and in fact, has helped to paint this lie of the narrative about him. But now, it’s interesting to see that actually the media starts to wake up and start to realise that this point, this situation with Julian Assange is not about Julian Assange: it’s about press freedom, it’s about media, it’s going to affect all of them, and I think it’s time that they started to wake up, and they are starting to wake up to it. You know, better late than never.
How would you explain that a vast majority of the media coverage the Assange case gets comes from Russian outlets such as Russia Today/Ruptly?
Well, you know, I mean, we live in a geopolitical world with a lot of real politics going on and certainly, I can say from my experience in trying to stop fracking in this country, in the UK – in the last 7 years I’ve been trying to stop fracking – and among all of the media organisations, the BBC, ITV, the Times newspaper and blah blah blah, the one that has given more coverage to that issue, was also Russia Today/Ruptly: they would publish and broadcast all of the information from all of the activists that were fighting that thing. Now, I understand it may potentially be in Russia’s interest for the UK not to become an oil-producing country through fracking, which is in competition with the Russian market, so I understand that there well might be motives for Russia to want to promote discord within Western countries – let’s say – but this is not the point. The point is the vacuum elsewhere. You know, we can say: why does Russia focus on the truth behind these stories, but the real question is: why do the others, why does the rest of the media not? That is the question.
There are so many journalists and newspapers that took advantage of WikiLeaks in the past to break stories and sell papers, and now they just disappeared. There’s nothing to report for them today. At all. Of course, they’re reporting about Julian Assange’s newly-revealed partner and kids because it’s kind of a juicy story, but for the rest, they just shut up.
Yes. They disappeared. You get the small window of attention, essentially each time he appears in courts, where something is going to happen, this is the only X point when you get media coverage.
Yes, it’s terrible, but that’s what we are trying to work against, we are trying now to find ways to try to move these narratives along because it’s crucial. I don’t know, I mean, I don’t have all the answers about what to do. It’s an incredibly difficult situation when you get down to the real detail and the truths and the media, and how the media works with the powerful – and in the end, what are we fighting here? We are fighting the United States of America with all their powers, all their faults and all their media friends and their nation-friends, as it is the UK.
How would you explain that no political party and no human rights’ associations or organisations whatsoever – as far as I know – is caring about this case? Nobody wants to have anything to do about Julian Assange anymore.
Yes, it’s shocking, isn’t it? I can say why? It’s because they created narratives about this guy that made him into a monster, and so even though it’s not true, nobody has the courage to say “I don’t think it’s true”. Their fault. What can I say? I don’t think we have strong free media, and why? I would also like to know, please. But in America, at least, some of the publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post to a degree, have exposed some of what has been happening, but also for them, I think they have a vested interest in what’s going on here: they know that if Julian is found guilty of these crimes, then they are found guilty of these crimes, too. We know that a part of the narrative that has started to change recently, away from the personal monsterisation of Julian into the idea that WikiLeaks as an organisation and Julian being in control of it has been grossly irresponsible by dumping lot of personal information that put people in danger all over the world, and that they have been this irresponsible anarchist organisation. And this lie is now being exposed, because what is the truth about that? It’s that actually WikiLeaks spent months, twelve months, going through all of this information, checking everything, redacting everything, to the point it was overredacted, and when they gave it to The Guardian to publish, and they gave them the password to check all the original unredacted information, what did The Guardian do?
They published the password.
They published the fucking password! They published the fucking password, so now, all the unredacted information is available to everyone. So where is the narrative here? Who is irresponsible? The Guardian was irresponsible, they’re the people that leaked that in the end, not WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has shown an absurd level of responsibility, because they’ve redacted things that were necessary to redact and actually, from the WikiLeaks’ community, they’ve received a lot of antagonism about that, saying “why did you redact so much?” And in fact, in any other legal cases and whatever they asked WikiLeaks to give them more of the pure information that was unredacted, that has helped in various court cases about human rights’ abuses in lots of international jurisdictions. Anyway, what I’m saying is that I guess that the media starts to understand that they are implicated in this situation.
How come that it took a journalist from Italy (Stefania Maurizi) to file for a Freedom of Information request in the UK about Julian Assange’s case? No British journalist was interested?
All I can say is I’m ashamed.
What do you think the role of Australia should be? They look like they’re doing nothing.
Well, that’s not quite true that they’re doing nothing. There are some quite good campaigns that have been run in Australia and I think also the public opinion in Australia is much more generally on Julian’s side. There have now been politicians and government officials that have signed a letter asking for Julian to be released from prison and put somewhere safe because we know now that the prison is bursting with the Covid-19 virus. Then you have his mother and his father that are talking quite regularly in the media about Julian in Australia, and he receives a lot of support from there. I just think the government in Australia now really needs to step up its efforts much more strongly to let the government here release him and to let him go back to live in Australia. I definitely think this is something they should push and push and push and push for.
If Assange gets extradited, will there be any hope for him to be pardoned?
Well, the thing is, it seems evident to me that the only way they would give you something, it’s if you have something to give them, and I am not sure if Julian has anything to give them. And I’m not even sure that Julian from his moral standpoint would be even willing to do that if he even had something. But I think, for me, this also brings me to talk about Julian from the point of view of, let’s say, his character, and in my view, he is definitely on the autistic spectrum. People that are around that type of spectrum have a great sense of justice and injustice, and it’s incredibly powerful for them, and they’re obsessive, and all the kinds of characteristics that Julian shows, but one of the biggest things is about a sense of justice and fairness, and I think I don’t know if he would be able to offer them anything because of those strains of his character.
Ola Bini was arrested in Ecuador last year on the same day as Assange for being somewhat “associated” with him: what do you think will happen to him?
I don’t know, there’s so much fallout, so much fallout. I don’t know. All I know is that the media are not good at their fucking job.
I’m trying to do a decent job.
I know you are, haha, I don’t mean you!
Why has no country in the world – not even one – offered Assange political asylum since he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy last year?
I mean, look at what happened to Ecuador, Julian’s circumstances have been incredibly strange. He’s been a very very brave person, but let’s be honest: I mean, if you were in that situation, where you had exposed America’s war crimes, where you knew that the American government was trying any means necessary to get you back to America to put you in concrete for 175 years, I am not sure that I would have chosen to go to a small flat that stood for a small nation’s embassy, in the middle of London, for 7 years. I don’t think I would have done that – I think I would have probably gone to the Russian embassy, or I would have disappeared somewhere where you really couldn’t find me. I mean, if we want to take a lesson from Edward Snowden, then he is somebody who set an example of a better way to escape this thing. But that’s what I was saying before, I think Julian has a big sense of justice, and he didn’t feel like it was right for him to run away.
Is this why he didn’t run away?
As I said, I think the decision he also made when he was accused but never charged of these allegations they made – they are so ridiculous when you look at the actual fact in Sweden – again, Julian and his team decided not to confront this situation, and so after – how many years? – people still remember him as this strange guy looked up in the embassy as a fugitive from justice facing rape charges in Sweden – and that’s what people say. It’s crazy, so I don’t know, all I can say is that he hasn’t made some of the best decisions, but I think as a person, he’s an incredibly brave man, and I think he’s done things for all of us, for all and every human on the planet, he has challenged the truth and created a platform to be able to disseminate the truth, and that’s something which is incredibly, incredibly precious and bold, and we need to do everything that we can, use every effort that we can to protect him.
In your opinion, where are now all the (thousands of) people who gathered in front of the St. Paul’s Cathedral in October 2011 to hear Julian Assange’s speech? The London events and rallies are nearly deserted now. Why have people stopped supporting Assange publicly in the UK?
People have stopped supporting him when they did this operation to smear his name and to make him look like a rapist, and people believed it, and even if they didn’t believe it, they were too frightened to say anything. This is what happens when the Nazis take over, this is what history shows that human beings do, there are not many people that turn around and say no, and say “I don’t believe this, I am not going to take this” – it’s very, very hard. But I have all the same questions that you have – I have the same questions… why can’t people see the lies, why wouldn’t they support him?
Do you remember Roger Waters performing Wish You Were Here in Assange’s support in central London, last year? The performance was attended by just a handful of people. I mean, we’re talking about a Pink Floyd co-founder’s gig. In the heart of London. For free.
I have to say that we can point the finger at the lack of appetite in the public to support Assange, we can say that this appetite has been affected by the media campaign and lying campaign about his character, but we can also say that I think the organisation of campaigns to support him has been crap, and it needs to ramp up to a very serious level now, and I think this is what we have to do, because it does have support within certain people, but the organisation that tries to manage this support, to push this support, has been very difficult. And to be honest, one of the reasons for that is that Julian himself has been responsible for taking many of the decisions or for putting people in charge of those decisions that can’t make a decision. And what can I say? You know, I don’t want to speak badly about people that are trying their best, but for me, so far, their best is not good enough, and we need to do much, much better.
I know what you mean. I’ve been trying to collaborate with them as a journalist for a while, and I have to confirm that the people involved in the campaign, as you said, are very, very difficult. It’s like if they kind of want the media to talk about it, and – at the same time – they do not want the media to talk about it. It’s all so strange, I don’t know.
I don’t know either, but I think that all of the people involved in this situation are dealing with secrets at a level that put them in great danger all the time, and they act in a very secretive way, and this becomes part of their characters and their culture. And it becomes very difficult to deal with it, because, you know, everything is jeopardy for them. I don’t know. That’s why for me, I find it easier to stay on the outside of the organisation and just try to do what I can do, which I already feel is not enough.
I think it’s still something. And you are great. You really are. I’m so happy I have spoken to you. If you want to add up anything else about what you’re organising next for Assange, feel free.
Thank you but I don’t want to talk about anything like that at the moment, because everything is so in the air. All that I can say is that so far, the campaign – if you can call it a campaign – that Julian’s team has been running, in the UK, to try to help him, in my opinion, has been talking to the same audience every time it speaks. It’s the same people talking to the same audience, and we’re not going to break these narratives if we don’t reach outside of this audience and start to talk to a completely different group of people that, at the moment, are not even listening. They are not interested, and we have to get them interested. And so, what I want to try to do is to work in completely different ways from how the campaign has been currently organised by the people that organise the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign.
Maybe some political parties will get interested, at some point…
Very difficult. Very very difficult. You can get individuals and you can get tiny parties that, again, just talk to the same insular audience. But we need to reach outside of that because otherwise, we’re not going to shift the narrative, and we don’t want this guy to end up as a symbol in a prison in America, a symbol of what happens to everybody or anybody all over the world that dares to say the truth about American war crimes in the media: this is what’s going to happen to you, you’d better shut up! Don’t say anything, because otherwise, you’re going to an American torture supermax prison for 175 years. If we don’t hold them to account, they are not going to hold themselves to account. This is not the world we want.
Interview with Dame Vivienne Westwood in defence of Julian Assange
Why is it so important to free Julian Assange, Madam?
Julian Assange is my priority, he’s the key to everything. We face a global wall of government corruption: political, economic, legal. Julian is the trojan horse – if we can free him, this will break a hole in the wall of concrete, and the government will have to start listening to people and act in their interest.
What kind of support do Assange and WikiLeaks need right now?
We need government support. Since Coronavirus, people have begun to realise that we can’t go back to capitalism, it’s the cause of all our problems including climate change. It’s extremely important that we win on all three counts: on the economy, on politics, on the law – so I think we can break that hole in the wall and I have faith in my son, Joe, on the legal count.
Would you have anything else to add to what Joe said earlier regarding Assange and the press?
It’s absolutely brilliant what Joe said in his answer about the narrative and the character assassination earlier, he’s analysed the problem to give the whole true picture, and it’s what is needed. I know because I visited Julian a lot that he’s very wary of speaking with the press because they just turn something good into something seedy or hateful. They create mob rule and then nobody knows what’s going to happen after that.
Based on your many decades of activism, had the Julian Assange’s case occurred back in the days – let’s say in the 1960s or 1970s, rather than now– would have things gone any differently with regard to public opinion and support from celebrities and politicians?
The press always supports the establishment; 40% of American taxes goes to defence and the arms industry. Lobbying is only done by the arms trade and they pay the Democrats and Republicans equally, so it just depends on how parties say something and what buzz words they use. Every now and again they allow a President who is more liberal than the general run because sometimes you have to give a more fair distribution of wealth in order that trade doesn’t stop. And to answer your question, they have got away with it constantly, they’re so used to getting the result they want through propaganda to the point now where the bigger the lie the more the people believe it. To sum it up, the two-party system is what we mean by democracy.
The Labour Party’s manifesto for the general election of 2019 mentions the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi among some generic “media and democracy and press freedom” purposes, but the name of Assange does not appear, nor was it mentioned in the 2017 edition. In your opinion, was the Labour Party supposed to take an official commitment towards Assange at any point during his 8 years of arbitrary detention without charges in London?
Well, Jeremy Corbyn is a man of very high principles, but he inherited a divided party and he couldn’t keep it together and therefore shilly-shallied, sat on the fence. A true opposition is prepared to stand up for justice even when it’s not popular.
[Ed. Note: This article was first published on April 30th, 2020 and is regularly reviewed. The case saw a lot of other developments in the last year, which are impossible to report here punctually as they happen. In any case, as of today, Julian Assange is still being detained in the Belmarsh Prison in London, UK. Last update: October 2021]