Restore Sweden’s Independence and Integrity
Protect Julian Assange and Freedom of Expression
Despite economic, social and technological advances, Sweden has undergone a tragic development in recent decades: A series of governments have increasingly subjugated our country to the United States and its system of world domination.
As a consequence, Sweden has abandoned its widely respected commitment to peace and collaborated in several devastating wars of aggression, with more to be expected. NATO, the military alliance dominated by the United States, has conducted large-scale exercises within our territory, with our government’s enthusiastic consent and the participation of Swedish armed forces. In deference to the United States, militant elements of the current government are pressing hard for the rejection of a nuclear disarmament treaty that more peaceful representatives of our country were instrumental in drafting. All that and much more….
Threatened by the truth
Essential to the worldwide system dominated by the United States are the lies used to justify it and the secrecy imposed to protect those lies. Thus, anyone who penetrates that secrecy and exposes the lies poses a serious threat to the system and its keepers. That is what Julian Assange and his associates in WikiLeaks have done, and they are being treated accordingly — with a massive campaign against them which began some 15 years ago.
That is why Julian Assange is now entombed in a British prison under threat of extradition to the United States — the current stage in a systematic campaign of political and judicial persecution that has been aided and abetted by most of the world’s most influential media, including Sweden’s. Successive governments of our country have actively participated in that campaign, as recently noted by Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:
In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.…
The evidence made available to me strongly suggests that the primary responsibility for the sustained and concerted abuse inflicted on Mr Assange falls on the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and, more recently, also Ecuador. Accordingly, these governments would be responsible jointly for the foreseeable cumulative effect of their conduct, but also each of them separately for their respective contributions, whether through direct perpetration, instigation, consent, or acquiescence.…
Making an example
The consistent and repeated failure of all involved states to protect Mr. Assange’s fundamental right to fair judicial proceedings and due process makes the hypothesis of mere coincidence extremely unrealistic and gives a strong impression of bias and arbitrary manipulation.…
The only realistic explanation for this sustained systemic failure of the judiciary is that the United States, and probably also the other involved states, are trying to make an example of Mr Assange before the eyes of the world, not so much as a punishment for whatever real or perceived harm he is alleged to have caused, but as a measure of deterrence for others who might be tempted to imitate WikiLeaks and Mr Assange in the future.…
By making Mr Assange ‘unlikeable’ and ridiculous in public opinion, an environment was created in which no one would feel empathy with him, very similar to the historic witch-hunts.… Once totally isolated, it would be easy to violate Mr Assange’s most fundamental rights without provoking public outrage. If the involved states get away with persecuting Mr Assange without ever prosecuting the crimes exposed by him, they will have established a dangerous precedent of impunity threatening freedom of press and opinion worldwide, and they will also have seriously undermined the accountability of government officials for crime and corruption under the rule of law. So there is much at stake here for every single one of us, and everyone should use the democratic means at their disposal to inform themselves, make their voice heard and hold their government accountable.
Repairing the damage
Nils Melzer has sent official letters to Sweden and its three accomplices, urging them to cease disseminating, instigating and tolerating statements or other activities prejudicial to Assange’s human rights and dignity, and to take measures to provide him with appropriate redress and rehabilitation for past harm.
We call upon our own government to heed the recommendations of Prof. Melzer and also to:
– profoundly apologize to Julian Assange and honestly explain to the Swedish people why such an apology is necessary, including the implications of his case for freedom of expression
– do everything possible in its power to prevent the extradition of Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, Sweden or any other country
– initiate and support, but not to lead or otherwise attempt to direct, a national dialogue on the fundamental issues raised by the Assange case, including Sweden’s subjugation to the United States and the harmful influence of the mass media, as noted by Prof. Melzer:
In today’s information age, the media have an extraordinary power to shape public opinion, and no one is exempt from their influence. The media are a veritable ‘fourth power’ in the state next to the traditional branches of government, controlling not only what is said and shown, but also what is not disseminated and, therefore, is withheld from the public. This enormous power comes with an equally enormous ethical responsibility. Many media outlets and individual journalists have shown a remarkable lack of critical independence and have contributed significantly to spreading abusive and deliberately distorted narratives about Mr. Assange.
When the media find it more appropriate to spread humiliating jokes about Mr. Assange’s cat, his skateboard and his faeces, than to challenge governments consistently refusing to hold their officials accountable for wars of aggression, corruption and serious international crimes, they demonstrate a deplorable lack of responsibility, decency and respect not only towards Mr. Assange, but also towards their own readers, hearers and viewers, whom they are supposed to inform and empower.
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