Friday, August 17th, 2012

Freedom of Speech

Here’s my take on the Julian Asange situation.

  • – Julian is an award winning Journalist. What he published was information given to him, he didn’t break any laws in obtaining the information although the person who gave it to him may have. At worst he is guilty of having published material without properly considering the consequences – something I would expect every Journalist would be able to be found guilty of at some point. The only difference between him and other Journalists is the delicate nature of the field that he covers.
  • – The United States have a constitution that is supposed to protect freedem of speech and freedom of the press yet they seem willing to throw that all away to crucify Julian Assange – a journalist who was just doing his job. The United States should respect their own laws and acknowledge that while Julian may have made a mistake in publishing certain material that what he did is protected by their constitution. If they don’t like that their constutition protects Journalists doing their job then they should change their constitution.
  • – England have decided to extradite Julian to Sweded even though he has not yet been charged with anything and despite his indicating that his life may be in danger if he were to be then handed over to the United States. Even if he were to be charged, what he is accused of is not a crime in England. England should have first insisted that Sweden actually charge Julian prior to their taking any action and then given the potential situation should have offered to hold him in England while the trial proceeded with him serving any sentence in England if found guilty of crimes in Sweden.
  • – If the charges in Sweden are legitimate then Sweden should have charged Julian prior to requesting his extradition. Given his circumstances they should also have offered to hold a public open trial with him defending himself while being held in a country where he feels safe from threats made by the USA. It is that Swedish law requires a closed trial where no one will be able to see whether justice toward Julian is actually done that is the cause of the entire problem. Certainly that setup is intended to protect the victims of the crime but here that very action potentially aids those intending harm against the defendant’s life.
  • – Australia appear to have decided that they are not even going to attempt to protect the lives of their Journalists while those Journalists are overseas and having threats made against them. They could have at least tried to help when their currently most famous journalist feels that his life has been threatened. None of what Julian is accused of having done is a crime in Australia.
  • – Ecuador appear to fully understand the situation and have taken steps in defence of “freedom of the Press”. Their next step should be to offer to hold Julian while he is given a public trial by Sweded and if found guilty he can then serve his sentence in Ecuador.

Whether Julian committed the crimes in Sweden that he has been accused of (but not charged) is a matter for the courts of Sweden to decide. This needs to be done in a way that does not conflict with the threats that the United States have made against Julian. Sweden need to be seen by the world to NOT be taking this action in order to make it easier for the USA to have Julian extradited there to face a potentially far more serious result there shoud the USA decide to proceed with disregarding their constitution.

The United States appear to want to murder freedom of the press, potentially aided by Sweden, England and Australia. Only Ecuador is making a stand in defence.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.