The Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a very sought after man. Two months ago he took political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and was granted refugee status by the South American nation just days ago. Assange is wanted by Swedish authorities in connection with sexual assault allegations, he has appeared to co-operate with police where possible on the charges.
However, the concerns are that Sweden will transfer Assange illegally to the US where he could be detained and even face the death penalty regarding his work with Wikileaks. Yesterday, he appeared on the Balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy to give his first public speech since he entered the office in London, he demanded the end of the witch hunt against Wikileaks by the USA, as well as recent cases of oppression such as the jailing of the punk band Pussy Riot in Russia.
It’s clear that Julian Assange has supporters, sceptics and haters. Personally, I think Wikileaks is a world changing outlet, of course it’s got its own problems but it has brought light to many secrets and unjust actions that otherwise we would never have known, and it appears to have governments worldwide shaking in their boots.
In regards to the serious allegations in which Assange is wanted for in Sweden, I certainly believe he should face questioning and trial over what he is accused of doing. But I strongly believe that if he was sent to Sweden and in turn handed over to American Authorities, that would for one be illegal and also have the potential to snowball into a serious situation, especially if he was found to be innocent of the Allegations held against him in Sweden.
I personally do not believe the death penalty is right in any case, I don’t think killing someone for the justice of someone or something else is honorable, nor a rational judgement. Especially after the case of Troy Davis in September 2011, where the case against him was constructed entirely of witness testimonies that contained inconsistencies at the time of the trial and beyond.
Assange should face the allegations and I think he accepts that and is willing, but I do believe there should be assurances that he will not be passed onto the USA, where his former work with Wikileaks could result in him ending up like Bradley Manning, who recently spent his 815th day in solitary confinement without trial on suspicion on leaking information to Wikileaks.