It's simply astounding that, as we
reach the fifth anniversary of Julian Assange's arbitrary detention in
the Ecuadorean embassy, his continuing incarceration has been met with
wall-to-wall silence from politicians and the media. Not only that, but
his detention is continuing to be enforced by the British police and
paid for at great expense by the British taxpayer.
Can there now be even the faintest doubt that Assange was fully justified in seeking political asylum in the embassy?
As former British ambassador Craig Murray observes:
Assange is wanted by the Metropolitan Police for what they themselves
have called the “minor charge” of missing a bail appointment. It is
indeed a minor charge, normally dealt with by a fine, particularly as
the extradition request relating to the bail order is no longer in
force. Assange’s defence is that he did not skip bail to run away, but
to seek an alternative legal remedy – the political asylum process. That
this latter has priority is proven by the fact that there are numerous
people granted asylum in the UK who face “criminal” charges in their
home country. Fear of persecution – often by unjust prosecution – is of
course the basis of asylum.
But even ignoring this solid defence,
there are many thousand people in the UK today who have missed bail.
Julian Assange is the only one of those thousands with a permanent
roster of plain clothes detectives keeping watch 24 hours a day. Why,
when there are no longer any allegations for him to face? There is no
open and honest logic to it.
The answer of course is that Theresa
May and Amber Rudd have plans firmly in place for Assange to be
arrested and incarcerated, while extradition to the United States is
quickly arranged. That is why a man wanted on nothing but a “minor
charge” has more police resources devoted to him than any murderer.