Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Support Julian Assange; Challenge the EAW

Julian Assange has made the decision to apply for an appeal to the UK Supreme Court regarding his extradition to Sweden. There are two points being made for the reason to appeal, both relating to the Extradition Act 2003:
  1. Whether the European Arrest Warrant was issued by a judicial authority.
  2. Whether someone can be called 'accused' if no decision to prosecute has been made.
Julian Assange must be supported in his further challenge against extradition. This is not just about his personal case, but about the re-evaluation of the EAW in its entirety.

In the framework of the European Arrest Warrant it is stated that it should be used "for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order." Julian Assange, who has not been accused with any crime, is only wanted for questioning which does not fall in to either intended use of the EAW.

Since its implement in 2004, the many people have faced injustice due to the European Arrest Warrant. In many instances, people have been arrested without ever being aware of the charges against them. In 2009, Mr. Edmond Arapi was arrested for a murder he could not have committed, for he was not even in the same country at the time of the crime. Mrs. Deborah Dark was arrested on multiple occassions over 20 years due to the fact that EAWs do not have to be withdrawn, even after multiple states have declined to enforce them. In other cases, EAWs have been issued against people for minor crimes such as the possession of .45 grams of cannibis or theft of a piglet.

Another prominent issue of the European Arrest Warrant is that people may face long bouts of pre-trial detention. When Michael Turner was extradited to Hungary in 2009, he was held in high security prison for four months and only interviewed once during this time. Even after his release, he had to return two months later for further interviews. This particular case applies strongly to Julian Assange, who is at risk of solitary confinement if extradited to Sweden, a country which has no limits to the length of pre-trial detention.

The UK Parliament will be holding a debate on extradition on 24 November. For those of you in the UK, I implore you to contact your MP and express your concerns about the European Arrest Warrant system.

We must fight this injustice.

Support the Julian Assange Defence Fund: 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

US Government favors white supremacists over WikiLeaks

It seems that the United States has fewer issues with Neo-Nazi organizations than it does with WikiLeaks. While WikiLeaks has been under financial blockade since 6 December 2010 due to pressure by the US Government, the white supremacy group Aryan Nations can accept donations via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card.

To further assess the injustice of this, it must be re-asserted that neither WikiLeaks nor any of its employees has been charged with any crime in any country. Not to mention, the Pentagon has stated that no harm has come to any persons due to information that WikiLeaks has released. And, although multiple news organizations and public officials have called for WikiLeaks to be branded a terrorist organization, it has not been labeled as such.

Compare this to the Aryan Nations, which has had multiple members linked to violent crimes. The FBI has called Aryan Nations a “terrorist threat”, and the RAND Corporation has described the organization as the “first truly nationwide terrorist network.” Note that these are official statements by government-funded organizations, unlike the unsubstantiated claims against WikiLeaks by politicians. [edit: Members of the Aryan Nation also plotted to assassinate President Obama, as WikiLeaks tweeted.]

Furthermore, Neo-Nazis are allowed to openly serve in the US military. Such is not the case for WikiLeaks supporters. Government employees feel threatened to voice support and have lost their security clearance simply for linking to a WikiLeaks cable. Even families of US Air Force members were originally warned that they could be prosecuted as spies for reading information that WikiLeaks released.

Freedom of Speech has become a privilege in the United States. It is no longer an inalienable right, yet we see no guidelines on what overthrows the boundaries the US Government has established. The people must continue to voice their opinions, no matter what they may be, and force the government to respect their right to do such.

Related Link: WikiLeaks releases on Aryan Nations (2009)

Friday, November 4, 2011

8-Bit Art

I was playing with design ideas for WikiLeaks' t-shirt design contest and ended up making some little 8-bit style graphics:


Julian Assange: 

I also animated the logo into a looping GIF: