Monthly Archives: July 2021

The prosecution of Julian Assange threatens freedom of expression

Read what Mads Andenæs and Eirik Vold wrote in Aftenposten recently (link to article in Norwegian):

One important distinction between democracies and authoritarian regimes is this: In democracies, those who expose crimes and abuses of power are protected from the authorities. The authorities are held accountable.

Many authoritarian regimes punish critics in their own country. So far, only the United States has prosecuted publishers from other countries in other states, and also stricter than its own citizens. Wikileaks is not an American organization. Assange is not a US citizen. He was also not in the US when the information was published or when he was arrested.

And remember, also Sweden, UK and (more recently) Ecuador are part of this worse than authoritarian scheme. Nils Melzer said: “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”. But somehow, Swedish Radio forgot to mention the UN’s and Melzer’s criticism in their new documentary about Assange (link to radio documentary in Swedish). Just like UNA Sweden and many others.

Julian Assange, 2013. Source: Photo: Cancillería Ecuador (Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry). License:

Protests against dictatorial drift in France

France is taking the lead in making life unpleasant for the unvaccinated, which is described as a dictatorial drift. It would not be surprising if more countries follow. Now, large protests are reported from France, although information about the protests is in many cases apparently supressed. RT reports that a French hospital in Montelimar is on indefinite strike to protest against the new rules demanding they take a vaccine against Covid-19. It makes you wonder what’s next? Will the police now start shooting protesters in the eyes, as they have done with other protesters before (eye injuries during protests is actually a problem in many parts of the world)?

10 years since Utøya massacre

In Norway 10 years ago, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb in central Oslo, killing 8 people, and after that murdered 69 young people on the island of Utøya. Some say that we didn’t learn anything from it (link to article in Swedish).

However, not many say anything about a possible reason why authorities were not watching Breivik better and why the police was so late to stop him: About 20 minutes into a BBC documentary from 1992, Oswald LeWinter says there was an amendment to the NATO protocol, including an agreement of the government not to prosecute right-wing activists.

Norway is a member of NATO.

LeWinter is on Wikipedia described as not a credible source, but especially in this case it should be worth looking into if a blind eye had been turned against right-wing extremists. That governments make secret agreements must also be questioned.

Updates about Assange and Bini

This month, Julian Assange turned 50 in solitary confinement in the UK, while accused by the US of violating the Espionage Act. Read about the latest revelations about reckless methods used against Assange and the controversial prosecutor at the heart of the case. Soon, the documentary Ithaka will have its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival. The film offers insight into the efforts to save Assange. Earlier this year, Nils Melzer’s new book about the Assange case was published in English and German. A Swedish translation should be available this fall.

Recently, a judge in Equador decided to prosecute Ola Bini, accused of hacking into Ecuador’s national telecommunications company (link to article in Swedish). Bini, who was arrested already in 2019 only hours after Ecuador revoked immunity for Bini’s friend Assange, denies any wrongdoing. Bini’s Swedish legal representative Thomas Bodström says that Bini’s Ecuadorian defender Carlos Soria has been refused to submit evidence proving Bini’s innocence, and that what is happening is reminiscent of legal proceedings in Belarus and Russia.

Risk of increasing confrontation between states with nuclear weapons

Two articles highlight the risk of increasing confrontation between states with nuclear weapons, which could become a nuclear holocaust:

David L. Phillips recently wrote: “Forget talk about ‘re-sets’ in relations; the US is on collision course with two implacable adversaries”. These adversaries are Russia and China. Note that he is currently director of the program on “Peacebuilding and Human Rights” at Columbia University and he served as a senior adviser and foreign affairs expert during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

Earlier this year, US admiral Charles Richard warned of a real possibility of nuclear war with Russia and China. He heads the US Strategic Command.

How to destroy a nation in 10 years

Read about Burkina Faso in the article on Consortium News by the retired US Army officer Danny Sjursen. The article and many of the comments to the article are striking examples of the disillusion, which is apparently spreading. One commenter writes:

There is no possible way that these outcomes are complete mistakes, made over and over again. When the US military goes in to “stabilize” a region, it always becomes more destabilized. So I have come to the conclusion they aren’t that incompetent. They know exactly what they are doing. They are arming bad guys in the region to attack other people in the region, and that causes extreme instability and protracted fighting. It has to be their intended goal.

The commenter’s bottom line is:

It also just happens to fatten up the weapons and war contractors.

Corruption also in environmental protection

Whistleblowers reveal that the US Environmental Protection Agency tampered with assessments of chemicals to make them appear safer, writes The Intercept. Among other things, scientists wrote in a statement:

The entire New Chemicals program operates under an atmosphere of fear — scientists are afraid of retaliation

One group of chemicals mentioned in the article is PFAS, which is for example used by the military in many parts of the world.