Why Julian Assange Should Not Be Prosecuted?

Posted on December 8, 2010 in The Opinionated, YKA Editorials

By Anshul Tewari:

His organization made the biggest revelation of the year. They exposed what was the biggest diplomatic crisis till date. More importantly for India, the US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks and other journalism outfits, prove what the U.S had been denying forever — Pakistan’s involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the United States of America knowing about it.

Assange was remanded in custody till the 14th of December over claims he committed sex offences in Sweden. Assange, allegedly, sexually molested one lady, while had a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex”; and is being charged for these cases.

Assange and his lawyers claim that the accusations stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex” in Sweden in August, and have claimed the case has taken on political overtones. Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has rejected those claims. – Boston Globe.

In light of the recent leaks which have shaken the world, it will not be wrong to say that the case is being used as a path to curb Assange and his whistle blower, WikiLeaks. The case against Assange were filed in August and had been running since — but Assange was not arrested back then. Assange fears that he might be transported to the US and prosecuted for leaking of official documents, under the Espionage Act.

According to the New Statesman, It is also doubtful that Sweden would have pursued the average alleged rapist with such persistence. As Stephens (Assange’s lawyer) rightly pointed out: “It is highly irregular and unusual for the Swedish authorities to issue [an Interpol] red notice in the teeth of the undisputed fact that Mr Assange has agreed to meet voluntarily to answer the prosecutor’s questions.”

Is the United States of America misusing its super-power kingship against Assange? Much debated!

The larger question is — did Assange really commit a crime by releasing the documents? No he did not. He did what no one else could have ever done. Disclosing facts about Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Pakistan and many more, something that the world had no concrete proof of. Assange and WikiLeaks gave us just that. The facts!

The United States has been one of the champions of a free press (sham?). It has been supporting the fact that the press must get complete freedom in order to maintain transparency in a nation. It is the nation that claims that freedom of speech must be maintained at all times, what so ever.

Did Assange give a hate speech? Did he mobilize people against the United States? No. He brought the truth forward, and the US is now demanding his arrest to prosecute him for revealing secret and highly confidential documents. If that is really the case then the New York Times and The Guardian must be prosecuted too — as when WikiLeaks was under a cyber attack, both these journalism outfits made the US Embassy cables public. Doesn’t the world deserve to know that there is a free flow of funds for terrorist outfits?

Ironically enough, the United States announced today that it will host Unesco’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from 1-3 May in Washington, DC. It also read:

The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

What? Did you just talk about freedom of the press? Shame!

Image courtesy: bbwbryant