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Amnesty International Says They Do Not Consider Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning to be Prisoners of Conscience

Amnesty International has declared that they do not consider 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Julian Assange or whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be Prisoners of Conscience, and therefore they will not be actively defending them.

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Amnesty International has declared that they do not consider 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Julian Assange or whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be Prisoners of Conscience, and therefore they will not be actively defending them.

The United States is currently seeking to extradite Assange to face charges related to the publishing of war logs that were sent to the award-winning publication by Manning — who is also currently sitting in prison for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury in a case against the WikiLeaks founder.

The government claims that Assange had offered to assist Manning in masking her identity, when accessing the files that she was legally authorized to view, and is using this as the basis for requesting extradition — though it is almost certain that more severe charges will follow.

Earlier this month, Maxine Walker of Julian Assange Defence Committee (JADC) had sent a letter to Amnesty urging them to defend Assange as he is in “grave peril,” according to a report from WSWS.

On May 17, the JADC received a response from Amnesty International UK in which they stated that “Julian Assange’s case is a case we’re monitoring closely but not actively working on. Amnesty International does not consider Julian Assange to be a Prisoner of Conscience.”

“His name appears not to have been mentioned in your material for World Press Freedom Day, an extraordinary omission given his current situation and that Julian Assange was awarded the 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award for New Media,” Walker noted in her letter to the human rights organization.

In Amnesty’s response to Walker, they also linked to Amnesty’s Deputy Director for Research for Europe, Massimo Moratti, supporting Sweden’s reopening of the bogus rape investigation against Assange.

“Julian Assange rape allegations must be treated with utmost seriousness,” Moretti wrote, “It is vital that the allegations against Julian Assange are properly investigated in a way that respects the rights of both the complainant and the person under investigation.”

Assange is accused of having slept with a woman who was half asleep after a night of consensual sex and accused of having sex with an acquaintance of that woman and the condom breaking. There was no DNA, from either person, found on the condom. No charges have ever been brought in the case.

In a statement from the group Women Against Rape, they described Sweden’s investigation into Assange as “a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction… The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will.”

In an essay on her website, Pamela Anderson, a close friend of Assange, explained that “both complainants have confirmed already years ago: namely that their sex with Julian had always been consensual, that they had never intended to report a crime, but that Swedish police had pressured them into doing so. And when Sweden finally wanted to drop the case in 2013, it was the British who urged them not to get ‘cold feet’. Sweden complied and, in the following years, went out of its way to ensure that Julian would not be able to defend himself against the rape allegations without at the same time exposing himself to extradition to the US.”

As far as Manning goes, Amnesty claims that she is not a Prisoner of Conscience worthy of their support because “detention for not testifying before a grand jury is not itself illegal.”

Amnesty told WSWS that “we understand Chelsea’s motivations for declining [to testify] when she has already testified at length on these issues,” adding that the “excessive sentencing and cruel treatment of her previous incarceration served as a stark reminder of the lengths that those in power will go to in order to keep others from speaking out.”

Yet, the website notes, Amnesty has not published a single thing about Manning on their website since 2017.

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At Least Seven Protesters Shot In Louisville As Attempt Was Made to Flip Police Vehicle

There has been riots across the nation over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody on Monday.

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At least seven protesters have been shot in Louisville as an attempt was made to flip a police vehicle on Thursday evening.

It has been confirmed that one of them is critical, but the condition of the others is not yet known.

There has been violence, riots, looting, and arson across the nation as people protest the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody on Monday.

Rumors quickly circulated on Twitter that police had fire the shots, but the department has said that this was not true.

“There have been some arrests, but at this time we are not able to tell you how many as the situation is ongoing,” a statement from department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley to the Courier Journal said. “Information on those arrests will be available tomorrow through court records of the arrests.”

She added that police did not fire their weapons.

The Louisville protest was over a woman named Breonna Taylor who was shot by Louisville police in March during a raid at her home.

The family of Taylor has called for people to stop rioting and go home before more people get hurt.

“Louisville, thank you so much for saying Breonna’s name tonight. We are not going to stop until we get justice,” a woman says in a video tweeted by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “But we should stop tonight before people get hurt. Please go home, be safe and be ready to keep fighting.”

Approximately 500 people marched through the streets before getting into a standoff with police.

“Meanwhile, live video from downtown Louisville around 12:30 a.m. shows some protesters behind makeshift wooden barricades, which appeared to be made out of picnic tables spray-painted with the words “You can’t kill us all.” Police in body armor and face shields held batons and lined up around Louisville City Hall. They appeared to fire rubber bullets and deploy tear gas canisters, fogging the air and inducing coughs among the remaining members of the crowd,” ABC7 reports.

The protest was ongoing after midnight on Friday morning.

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St. Paul Police: Over 170 Businesses Damaged and Looted During Thursday Riot

Many of them are small businesses that were already struggling due to the pandemic.

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The St. Paul Police Department has announced that over 170 businesses in the city were damaged or looted during the riot on Thursday.

The rioting began early in the afternoon and continued throughout the evening.

“As Thursday turns to Friday, our officers continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with local, state, federal and fire partners to protect St. Paul,” the department tweeted. “More than 170 businesses damaged or looted. Dozens of fires. Thankfully, no reports of serious injuries. Calm on the horizon.”

The riot began when a group of 50 or 60 people attempted to loot a Target store in the Midway neighborhood. When police arrived, they reportedly dropped their stolen goods and ran down the street where they began to destroy other shops.

Many of them are small businesses that were already struggling due to the pandemic.

“Soon after, another group of people tried to ransack a Foot Locker store on University Avenue across the street. Police again intervened, resulting in a standoff between officers and the rioters,” Fox 9 reports.

Other stores that were targeted included Foot Locker and TJ Maxx.

During the riot, rocks, bricks and bottles of alcohol were thrown at police officers and their squad cars.

When the criminals began to move towards the State Capitol, Senators and their staff were told to evacuate in the “interest of public safety.”

By afternoon, armed citizens began to protest some local businesses.

The rioters have been in response to the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. A video of him telling an officer who had his knee on his neck that he could not breathe rapidly went viral and set off chaos across the nation.

There has been rioting in Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota and Kentucky.

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Watch: Rioters Loot Minneapolis Police Department, Cut Gas Lines, Reports of Women Being Kidnapped

There are also reports that women have been kidnapped during the riot.

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All hell has broken loose in Minneapolis as rioters looted a police department before setting it on fire, chased away police officers, and reportedly kidnapped multiple women.

Rioters were caught on camera chasing away police officers who were abandoning the 3rd precinct police department before it was entered by the criminals and lit on fire.

The criminals stormed the building shortly after — smashing everything they could find, looting, and lighting various rooms on fire.

The City of Minneapolis is now pleading with people to leave the scene, as there have been reports that protesters threw propane tanks inside and have cut the gas line.

“We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building,” the city tweeted from their official account. “If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.”

There have also been reports that women have been kidnapped during the riot.

Libor Jany, a reporter from the Star Tribune wrote on Twitter that “amidst all this, police are being called to investigate a possible kidnapping from the parking lot across the street from their burning station; a screaming woman was said to have been forcibly put into a vehicle that then sped away, according to scanner traffic.”

“CVS on Snelling is on Fire. Car jacking and kidnapping just occurred. They’re shooting st random cars on university. Do not leave your home. It is extremely dangerous in here,” a Twitter user from Minneapolis wrote.

The National Guard has now deployed 500 soldiers to the area and began to arrive close to midnight.

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