Christine Assange's Talking Points
Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, has spent many long months reaching out to supporters and urging them to contact their local political representatives. Recognising that many politicians still do not know the true story behind WikiLeaks and her son's legal battles, she asks supporters to give them the facts and request their assistance.
1. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have not been charged with any crime in any country in the world. See http://justice4assange.com
2. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been recognized for quality investigative journalism with many prestigious awards, including:
- Julian was unanimously given the Sam Adams Award in 2010, for Integrity in Intelligence (Iraq War Logs) by a panel of retired senior U.S. military and intelligence officers.
- Julian won the Amnesty UK Media Award in 2009 for the "Cry of Blood" report into extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Kenya.
- Julian won The Economist magazine's Freedom of Expression Award in 2008.
- Julian won the Sydney Peace Foundation's Gold Medal in 2011 "For exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit of human rights". The Sydney Peace Foundation has only awarded 4 Gold Medals in 16 years, with Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama being 2 of the other 3 recipients.
- Julian won the Martha Gellhorn Prize For Journalism in 2011: "He is brave, determined and independent and a true agent of people not power... [WikiLeaks'] goal of justice through transparency is in the oldest and finest tradition of journalism."
- Julian won a Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in 2011.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange for more.
3. WikiLeaks has a perfect record regarding information reliability. No government has denied the authenticity of any documents.
4. WikiLeaks redacts its documents, so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.
5. WikiLeaks exposes government and corporate corruption, fraud, shady deals, war crimes, torture, and kidnapping. It is in the public interest to know these things.
6. WikiLeaks partnered with The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegal, Le Monde, and El Pais to publish Cablegate. Why target only WikiLeaks?
7. WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism. It publishes information given by various sources.
8. WikiLeaks acts like traditional media but protects its sources with a secure anonymous Drop Box.
9. WikiLeaks is a legal, legitimate, online news publisher, recognized as such by other journalist organizations worldwide. In 2012, WikiLeaks is partnering with nearly 100 media organisations around the world.
10. WikiLeaks is a non-profit independent publisher funded by donations from ordinary citizens from around the world. Because WikiLeaks believes in transparency its financial records are publicly accountable.
11. WikiLeaks goal is altruistic: "Justice Through Transparency." WikiLeaks is a catalyst for democracy movements around the world.
12. WikiLeaks launched in 2006 to provide safety for whistleblowers in Third World regimes and dictatorships, and to inform the world of their plight.
13. For the first four years, WikiLeaks published government and corporate wrong-doings from many countries.
14. In 2010 WikiLeaks received files for the U.S. Collateral Murder video, Afghan War Diaries, Iraq War logs, and U.S. Embassy cables.
15. The U.S. war videos and documents revealed war crimes, rorting, and lying by the U.S. government, regarding civilian casualties and war progress.
16. U.S. cables revealed government and corporate exploitation, bullying, and manipulation of other governments (as well as good actions by U.S. officials).
17. The cables revealed and confirmed to people WHO in their own governments and corporations was involved in shady wrong-doings.
18. WikiLeaks exposed the attempted ALP "Clean Feed" internet censorship plan for Australia.
19. The Australian government promoted "Clean Feed" as a way to filter child porn. The police opposed this as the images were peer-to-peer (not websites).
20. WikiLeaks published the "Clean Feed" blacklist, which included politically contentious sites, anti-abortion sites, and euthanasia sites as well as WikiLeaks.
21. "Clean Feed" was abandoned as a direct result of WikiLeaks' exposure of its fundamentally undemocratic political nature.
22. WikiLeaks exposed ALP Senator Mark Arbib as a protected source for the U.S. government for 4 years. Arbib was involved in an ALP coup that overthrew an elected Australian Prime Minister.
23. A 2007 WikiLeaks cable showed that the Australian government was risking the Great Barrier Reef, and secretly wavering penalties for U.S. tankers breaching laws in Torres Strait.
24. In line with WikiLeaks' harm minimization procedures, WikiLeaks asked the U.S. State Department to help with cable redactions. They refused.
25. Note the timing:
5/4/10 Collateral Murder video
24/6/10 Gillard coup
25/7/10 Afghan Diaries released
20/8/10 Sex allegations surface
22/10/10 Iraq War logs released
28/11/10 Cablegate released
18 August 2010 (two days before the sex allegations) Anders Hellner, a senior policy adviser to the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute, told Swedish TV News Rapport: "The situation is escalating because an official Swedish party which is represented at the European Parliament (the Pirate Party, which had announced it would host WikiLeaks servers) is taking up what the U.S views is a very controversial role. The Americans are looking to stop this somehow."
26. After the Afghan War Diary release, Julian visited Sweden to obtain residency and base WikiLeaks there (because they have good whistleblower laws).
27. The U.S. was aware of more WikiLeaks releases to come and wrote threatening letters. Julian warned of entrapment plans.
28. Woman AA invited Julian to speak in Sweden at a seminar about Aphganistan in mid August 2010
29. Woman AA offered Julian her flat to stay in as she was going to be away but returned early.
30. Woman SW stated she went to seminar to meet Julian & invited him to stay at her place.
31. Both women have stated to police and media that sex was consensual and non-violent.
32. Exculpatory evidence (txts 2 friends) show women had no complaints re sex till finding out about each other.
33. Evidence (100+ txts btwn AA and SW) speak of revenge, making money, and ruining Julian's reputation by going to press.
34. AA takes SW to visit a police station, not close by, but where her friend officer Irmeli Krans works.
35. Officer Krans stayed back hours after shift ended to interview SW.
36. Swedish police breach all their own procedures interviewing women AA & SW.
37. Police interviews with women AA & SW were not recorded (against procedure).
38. SW was so upset that police were going to allege rape, she does not sign her interview statement.
39. SW has stated she felt "railroaded" into making the complaint.
40. In Sweden, consensual, non-violent sex can be legally defined as "rape".
41. On the same day, 1st prosecutor Maria Haljebo Kjellstrand unlawfully told the press Julian was wanted for rape.
42. Julian was not interviewed or informed. He found out in the tabloid newspaper "Expressen" that he was wanted for double rape.
43. Within hours there were millions of website hits for "Assange" + "rape" causing irreparable harm to Julian's reputation.
44. Next day, after reviewing the file, Stockholm's Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne threw out the rape allegation.
45. "I consider there are no grounds 4 suspecting he has committed rape," said Eva Finne, the Chief Prosecutor.
46. The investigation into the lesser allegations of harassment only continued.
47. Julian offered himself for interview on 30/8/10. Police promised not to unlawfully leak interview to the media again.
48. Julian's police interview unlawfully turned up in the tabloid Expressen again the next day.
49. Julian and his witnesses' interviews are videotaped while the women and their witnesses are not.
50. The witness list becomes unbalanced against Julian as police do not follow up interviews with his witnesses.
51. Police continue to leak file to tabloid media redacting sections favourable to Julian or unfavourable to women.
52. The interpreter in police interrogation Gun Von Krusenstjerna was not authorized by relevant authority.
53. Swedish Social Democrat politician Claus Borgstrum is appointed as lawyer for AA & SW.
54. Claus Borgstrum and partner Thomas Bodstrum run a thriving legal practice around rape cases.
55. Officer Krans, Borgstrum, Bodstrum and AA are all members of the Swedish Social Democrats Party.
56. One month after the Assange sex allegations, they all stood for election on a sexual offences reform platform.
57. Swedish judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman (retired) says: "Mr Borgstrum is a politician whose platform is associated with radical feminist activism, and he has developed a legal practice around acting for complainants in rape cases. In recent years, elements of the Social Democrats Party, including one of the complainants (AA) who is a well-known and aspiring social democrat politician, and her lawyer Mr Borgstrum and some public officials like Ms Ny, have taken the lead amending Swedish law, so as to try to make it more favourable to women. It is a fact that people like Marianne Ny and Claes Borgstrum have worked in co-operation to produce our new, more stringent sexual offences laws."
58. Borgstrum appealed the decision to dismiss the rape investigation to prosecutor Marianne Ny.
59. Julian Assange was not informed about the appeal, so he had no opportunity to make submissions.
60. On the 1st of September 2010, Marianne Ny granted the appeal and reinstated the rape investigation.
61. "It is completely false that we are afraid of Assange and therefore didn't want to file a complaint... He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him," woman AA told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet on 21st August 2010.
62. The alleged "deliberately torn" condom (submitted as evidence by AA) contained NO DNA from either AA or JA.
63. There are significant differences between the SW's original statement and the one that was released to the media.
64. Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet's application for access to police file was granted on Sept 1st 2010. Julian's Swedish lawyer Mr Hurtig's applications for access to the police file (in September-November) were denied.
65. Julian remained in Sweden for 5 weeks to answer the allegations against him. Through his lawyer, Mr Hurtig, Julian made proactive attempts to arrange an interview with the Swedish prosecutor. Prosecutor Ny refused all Julian's offers for interview before giving him permission to leave Sweden on September 15th 2010.
66. In September 22nd 2010, an interview was finally agreed to by Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny for September 29th 2010. The US Pentagon announced a 120 man team dedicated to "taking action" against WikiLeaks, ahead of the release of the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate. Julian was maintaining a low profile regarding threats to his security and could not be contacted and informed of the September 29th interview date. Julian left Sweden on September 27th 2010 for a pre-arranged business meeting with Cablegate media partner Der Spiegel. Julian didn't "flee" Sweden. He stayed in Sweden a total of 37 days, after these allegations delayed his business overseas. He left with official Swedish permission.
67. On September 29th 2010, Julian phoned his lawyer to report that his luggage (including three laptops) had disappeared on the Stolkholm-Berlin flight. His Swedish lawyer Mr Hurtig then informed Julian (for the first time) of the 28th September interview. Julian offered to return to Sweden for an interview on the 9th or 10th of October. This was rejected because it was the weekend. Julian then offered to return to Sweden on October 11th 2010. This was rejected as "too far away".
68. In October-November 2010, Julian was in London working on the Iraq War Logs release and preparing for Cablegate with media partners The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais, and the New York Times. The WikLeaks Iraq War Logs were released on October 23rd 2010. On October 27th, the CIA refused to either confirm or deny suggestions of plans to assassinate Julian. Julian had been staying at the Frontline Club (a London club for journalists) during much of October and November 2010. He conducted several talks during this period, including an address at the UN in Geneva.
69. In October-November 2010 Julian's UK lawyers offered him for interview under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Scheme between the UK and Sweden. Swedish prosecutor Ny refused all Julian's offers for interview by the usual MLA protocol.
70. On November 2nd 2010, Julian's lawyers informed U.K police that he could be contacted through them for the legal process.
71. Despite refusing to interview Julian for seven weeks, Sweden was granted a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to question him (November 18th, 2010).
72. Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny also sought to have Julian held incommunicado pending a future trial.
73. An EAW is used for prosecution, not questioning. Julian's EAW is highly irregular. "An EAW should not be used for the purposes of investigation." - UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights, June 2011.
74. November 20th 2010 Despite being informed of Julian Assange's whereabouts, Sweden authorized Interpol to make a PUBLIC Red Notice for him.
75. "I consider it inappropriate and disproportionate that Ms Ny sought an Interpol Arrest Warrant and EAW for Mr Assange" said expert witness (retired) Swedish judge Britta Sundberg-Weitman. The only recent example of Sweden issuing an Interpol Red Notice and an EAW for a sex offence involved a repeat offending paedophile.
76. November 26th 2010 Sweden issued an EAW for Julian (2 days before WikiLeaks started publishing Cablegate). This would have lead to Julian's arrest within 10 days but the warrant was invalid and had to be re-issued on December 2nd 2010.
77. November 27th 2010 The U.S State Department sent an intimidating letter in reply to a letter from Julian requesting input regarding harm minimization from Cablegate.
78. November 28th 2010 WikiLeaks commenced publishing the U.S. diplomatic cables (a.k.a. Cablegate).
79. WikiLeaks US cables revealed secret dealings between U.S. and Swedish officials to bypass the democratic process in Sweden. Sweden secretly agreed to allow U.S. access to large amounts of data on Swedish citizens. Swedish MP Camilla Lindberg resigned in protest, declaring: "By selling out its own people, the government has sought to curry the favour of the U.S. Little by little we continue to dismantle democracy."
80. Karl Rove, former political adviser to U.S. President George Bush, is a political adviser to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt. Rove quit U.S. politics in disgrace after orchestrating vicious smear campaigns against political opponents. Karl Rove is also good friends with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.
81. November 29th 2010: U.S. politicians 'declared war' on Wikieaks:
"Assange is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency as Al Qaeda?" - Sarah Palin.
"I would look at this as a military issue, with potentially military action against him and his organization." - Tom Shaffer, former Defence Intelligence Agency official, Fox News.
"Anything less than execution is too kind a penalty." - Mike Huckabee, Republican Presidential candidate.
82. November 30th 2010: Interpol issued a Red Notice for Julian Paul Assange to 188 countries.
83. More threats from politicians:
"Well, I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something. ... I would not feel unhappy if Assange 'disappeared'." - Tom Flannagan, former senior adviser to Canadian PM, November 30th 2010.
"We're at war. I hope (US Attorney General) Eric Holder... will... get our laws in line with being at war." - Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, November 30th 2010.
Julian Assange should be "prosecuted as a terrorist." - Senator Rick Santorum, GOP presidential candidate, November 30th 2010.
"He should be treated as an enemy combatant. WikiLeaks should be closed down." - Newt Gingrich, 5 December 2010.
"A dead man can't leak stuff... Illegally shoot the son of a bitch." - Bob Beckel, Fox News, December 6th 2010.
84. December 7th 2010: Obama administration pressures Paypal, Visa and Mastercard to block donations to WikiLeaks, shutting off 95% of their funds. Western Union and Bank of America followed soon afterwards. In early December 2010 Paypal also froze 60,000 euros of WikiLeaks donations held by the German charity Wau Holland Foundation.
On December 6th 2010 Julian's Defence Fund (containing 31,000 euros) was frozen by Swiss Bank Post Finance. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression condemned the WikiLeaks blockade.
"The financial blockade is a free speech issue," said Trevor Timm, activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The government, realizing they couldn't charge WikiLeaks with a crime for publishing classified information - because all newspapers do that - decided to pressure private companies like Amazon, Visa, and MasterCard into banning WikiLeaks."
The suppression of donations is essentially an end-run around the First Amendment, asserted Timm. "The government is not technically doing the censoring - they're leaving the dirty work to private corporations. Mainstream newspapers like the New York Times print classified information all the time... Mainstream newspapers like The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal print classified information all the time. It's been happening for decades, and no one has ever been prosecuted for it."
On January 14th 2011 the U.S.Treasury declined Senator Peter King's request to blacklist WikiLeaks or Assange as there were no grounds to do so.
In July 2011 WikiLeaks lodged a complaint about the financial blockade with the European Commissioner for infringement of EU Anti-Trust Laws. They are still awaiting an answer.
It is estimated that since the blockade WikiLeaks has been prevented from receiving over $20 million in donations.
85. The U.S government also pressured Internet providers to terminate services to WikiLeaks. For example, on December 1st 2010, Amazon removed WikiLeaks from their storage servers. On December 2nd the DNS register serving WikiLeaks.org stopped pointing to the domain. On December 20th Apple removed an app that allowed iPhone users to search WikiLeaks cables.
86. December 5th 2010 Prosecutor Ny mislead the public by stating: "Both British and Swedish law prevent me from questioning Assange in London." She made the same allegation in a December 3rd interview with TIME magazine.
The use of a video link is an established protocol per Swedish ruling (SC-NJA (2007) 337), which also states that it is disproportionate to issue EAW's for questioning when a person is co-operating. The proper, proportionate, and legal means of requesting a person for questioning in UK is through the Mutual Legal Assistance Scheme. Since Julian's UK house arrest in 2010, Swedish prosecutor Ny has rejected ALL his offers to be interviewed at Scotland Yard or the Swedish Embassy.
87. On December 7th 2010 Julian went voluntarily with his lawyer to the Kentish Town police station in London to answer the EAW. The EAW was the first document Julian received from Swedish Prosecutors in English (a translation was provided by UK police). This was also the first time Julian had been informed in writing of the specific allegations and potential charges against him.
88. The EAW and Interpol Red Notice were issued just before and executed just after Cablegate began publishing. Had Julian returned to Sweden in October/November he would have been held incommunicado in prison and we may not have seen Cablegate.
89. On December 7th 2010 Julian went into voluntary custody in the UK. He spent ten days in solitary confinement in the maximum security Wandsworth Prison. Bail of £180,000 was put up for Julian, but Sweden opposed bail and Judge Riddle refused it.
90. December 8th 2010 The Independent newspaper cited "diplomatic sources" confirming informal talks between Sweden and the US about extraditing Julian.
Michael Mukasey, a former U.S. Attorney General stated: "When one is accused of a very serious crime, it is common to hold him in respect of a lesser crime, while you assemble evidence of a second crime." (The Guardian 7/12/10)
91. On December 14th 2010 Julian was granted bail of $374,000 (cash and sureties) and surrendered his passport. He was placed under house arrest with a nightly curfew, fitted with an electronic ankle tracking device, and ordered to report daily to the local police station. The Swedish government opposed bail and filed an appeal, so Julian went back to prison for 48 hrs till the appeal hearing on December 16th 2010. Sweden lost the appeal and Julian was released on bail till the EAW hearing, set down for January 11th 2011.
A UK Supreme Court decision on extradition to Sweden is expected shortly after Easter (perhaps May). Christine Assange has asked supporters to protest REGARDLESS of the UK decision on extradition to Sweden, as a U.S. extradition request is also expected. Protests are being organised:
- WORLDWIDE outside Australian embassies,
- In AUSTRALIAN CITIES outside DFAT offices in Australian cities, and
- In AUSTRALIAN REGIONAL AREAS outside local MPs regional offices.
These protest will take place on day after the announcement (or on Monday if it's announced on a Friday - a date for the verdict is expected to be announced on the @UKSupremeCourt twitter feed).
UK Supreme Court Agreed Statement of Facts (i.e. facts agreed by Swedish authorities): http://t.co/x62F9ah2
Former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin's brief to Australian MPs on political agenda, U.S and Sweden, entrapment: http://wlcentral.org/node/1414
Lawyer Jen Robinson brief to Australian MPs on facts, timeline, players, concerns re Sweden fit up re WikiLeaks: http://wlcentral.org/node/1418
Lawyer Peter Kemp brief to Australian MPs 2/3/11 re breaches of legal and human rights, political agendas, extradition: http://wlcentral.org/node/1414
Comprehensive verifiable facts and media resources on Swedish extradition and US Extradition: http://www.justice4assange.com
OzWikiWatch, a site to help Australians contact their MPs and Senators and build a register of political support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks: http://ozwikiwatch.blogspot.com
Follow Christine Assange @AssangeC on Twitter for more. In Australia, follow the @AusFOWL twitter feed to keep up to date with protests and news