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UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Warns Julian Assange Could Be Charged With Terrorism

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, has warned that Julian Assange could end up being charged for “acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.”

On Sunday, Melzer tweeted a blog post from a WikiLeaks supporter who was expressing her concerns about the issue.

Melzer noted that Assange was charged in 2018 for conduct that allegedly occurred in 2010, which would normally be subject to a five year statute of limitations. The exception for this would be if the US government was using Penal Code Section 2332b which extends the statute of limitations to eight years for international terrorism cases.

The post that Melzer linked to was written by an ardent Assange supporter who writes under the nom de plume “Angel Fox.” She wrote that “the only way legally to charge Assange is by calling the documents Wikileaks released an act of terrorism. This will set a precedent for any publisher to be indicted for terrorism if they publish classified documents that are of public interest.”

Her concern was based on an article from National Review in which Andrew McCarthy noted that the Justice Department is prosecuting Assange on an indictment filed three years after the prescribed limitations period. He wrote that “it appears that the Justice Department is relying on an exception, in Section 2332b of the penal code, that extends the statute of limitations to eight years for ‘acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.'”

If this is true, it will open a can of worms that we may not be able to close.

The charges against Assange currently all stem from the war logs leaked by Chelsea Manning under the Bush administration. Newspapers and media companies from around the world assisted WikiLeaks in reading through the documents, confirming them, working to redact them and reporting the stories out. If Assange’s actions are branded as terrorism, will the editors of the New York Times and the Guardian be charged with providing support for terrorism?

Under the Patriot Act the four types of support are described as “training,” “expert advice or assistance,” “service,” and “personnel.” There is no question that dozens of reporters worked with WikiLeaks directly assisting them with the leak.

This was the basis for the Obama administration’s decision not to pursue charges against the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. They referred to it as the “New York Times Problem,” acknowledging that going after Assange and his associates would open up major mainstream outlets to similar legal troubles.

While the mainstream and establishment media bicker and cry about the Trump administration waging war on the press by mocking CNN on Twitter or calling Jim Acosta names, they appear to be ignoring the clear and present danger right in front of them.

Assange is currently imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh in London awaiting a five day trial set to begin on February 25 to determine if he will be extradited to the United States — where he faces severe charges under the controversial Espionage Act. If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for the award-winning publications.

Last month the UN issued a scathing report in which Melzer warned that Assange could face the death penalty if he is extradited.

“I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” Melzer wrote.

Melzer and two medical experts on torture who visited Assange in prison on May 9 concluded that Assange has been subjected to years of psychological torture.

“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, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Melzer said. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Lidia Beatriz Donnini

    June 24, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    El gobierno de los EEUU siempre recurre a la acusación de terrorismo para perseguir y encarcelar a todo aquel que actúa en un modo que considera contrario a sus intereses,sea cual fuere el lugar del mundo en donde esta supuesta transgresión se produzca. Cuando bloquea o impone sanciones a otros países por cuestiones comerciales o financieras , está incurriendo claramente en inaceptables actos de extra territorialidad. Extender este criterio a cuestiones relacionadas con la justicia, los derechos humanos y la libertad de expresión es un comportamiento más grave aún y debe ser denunciado. Entre otras instituciones internacionales, las Naciones Unidas tienen la posibilidad de evitar que se consume este nuevo acto de extra territorialidad judicial manifiesta. Julian Assange es australiano, no desarrolló actividad alguna en los EEUU, ni siquiera estuvo en ese país, no cometió delito ni allí ni en ningún otro lado. Como periodista recibió importantes galardones y fue nominado para el Premio Nobel de la Paz. Tal como afirma el Señor Nils Melzer, “la persecución colectiva de Julian Assange debe terminar aquí y ahora”. Es un ensañamiento inadmisible e insoportable. Si no se ha hecho todavía, sería importante solicitar la atención de la Señora Michelle Bachelet, Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas. Podría hacerse por medio de una carta o texto firmado por todos quienes estamos preocupados por esta situación. Hay personalidades reconocidas internacionalmente que se han expresado en esta misma dirección. Así podrá apreciarse que cada vez somos más quienes consideramos que Julian Assange, al publicar la verdad sobre las incursiones del Imperio en Medio Oriente, ha hecho una importante contribución a la paz y en contra de la guerra sin fin, en que algunos parecen estar empeñados.

  2. Maria Jarrin

    June 25, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Bullshit! Prosecute the dude who shot up all those people in Iraq for no god damn good reason. That was an act of terrorism and that’s ok huh? Hypocrites!

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Education

High School Football Players Suspended for Carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red Line Flags Before 9/11 Game

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High School football players in Florida have been suspended from their team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags during their football game on 9/11 to honor the first responders who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.

One of the young men on the Little Miami High School football team is the son of a police officer, another, the son of a firefighter.

“Were you trying to make some kind of a political statement here?” a Local 12 reporter asked Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, who carried the Thin Blue Line flag.

“No,” he answered quickly. “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”

Jarad Bentley, whose father is a firefighter, carried the Thin Red Line flag.

“I was all for it,” he said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”

The young men had asked the school for permission to carry the flags on to the field before the game, and the school refused. They were told that if they did, there would be consequences.

Still, the boys did it anyways.

“Listen,” Williams said. “I don’t care what my consequences are. So long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”

Local 12 reports that “Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension.” The station said that they had called the superintendent about the boys a few hours prior.

Superintendent Gregory Power claimed that they denied the boys’ request because they don’t want to “set a precedent” for “political” flags being carried out on the field.

“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” Power claimed.

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US News

DC Police Helicopter Hit With Lasers By Rioters Forced to Make Emergency Landing — Crew Member Hospitalized

One of the crew members had to be hospitalized due to vision loss in one eye.

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A DC Metropolitan Police helicopter had to make an emergency landing on Saturday night as it was hit by laser pointers shined at it by rioters.

A law enforcement source tells the District Herald that one of the crew members had to be hospitalized due to vision loss in one eye.

Rioters were also shining the blinding lasers in the eyes of officers on the ground.

In July, it was revealed that federal officers in Portland may have been permanently blinded by the lasers, that are becoming increasingly common at the riots.

“When officers responded to put out these fires, glass bottles were thrown and lasers – which can cause permanent blindness – were shined in their eyes,” Federal Protective Service (FPS) Deputy Director of Operations Richard Cline said at a press conference at the time. “We have three officers who currently have eye injuries and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks.”

There were multiple helicopters circling throughout the area all evening to keep track of the rioters.

Rioters from all over the nation, including many familiar faces from the Portland riots, have been causing chaos throughout the city for several days.

The riot escalated when the militants began to throw bricks at police officers.

Earlier in the evening, a speaker in the newly named “Black Lives Matter Plaza” asserted that “I’m at the point where I’m going to put the police in a f*cking grave. I’m at the point where I want to burn the f*cking White House down!”

There were multiple arrests for assaulting police officers, but it seems as though rioters are being quickly caught and released the next day by the US Attorney’s Office.

The riot in DC is currently ongoing and the District Herald will be continuing to provide updates as the situation progresses.

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BREAKING: Member of Patriot Prayer Fatally Shot in Portland

The rioters also attacked the founder of Patriot Prayer, Joey Gibson.

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A member of the Pro-Trump organization Patriot Prayer has been shot and killed in Portland amidst the riots.

Early reports on social media had claimed that a black male was shot by a “Trump supporter,” but that was not the case.

The victim was a white male who was reportedly wearing a hat with the Patriot Prayer insignia on it.

“A Patriot with camouflage gear with infidel and thin blue line patches, was shot and killed during pro-Trump car caravan through downtown Portland at around 8:45pm,” independent reporter Andrew Duncomb tweeted.

“Just heard that the man killed is affiliated with my group. Just had drinks with him last Saturday,” Duncomb added.

Speaking to the District Herald, Duncomb said that “all I got to say right now is he was a good Patriot and this news has hit my group of friends pretty hard. It’s time for Trump to hear our cries and clean up Portland. We will not let them kill us anymore.”

Duncomb added, “shame on Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown. His blood is on their hands. They allowed this violence to happen for over three months. How many people need to die before the elected officials will do their job to protect its citizens?”

Following the fatal shooting, rioters also surrounded and assaulted Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson. When Gibson retreated into a gas station, rioters broke the windows and threatened the owner.

The shooting victim’s name has not yet been released, though it is known, to allow time for the family to be notified.

Duncomb, clearly outraged, tweeted a call for patriotic Americans to come to Portland on September 19 to stand against the rioters.

The situation in Portland is ongoing. The District Herald will be providing updates as they become available.

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