Why has Ecuador silenced Julian Assange?
31 March 2018
The draconian measures taken by the government of Ecuador to cut off all access to the outside world by Julian Assange represent a reactionary attack on basic democratic rights that must be vigorously opposed by workers and youth in every country.
Ecuadorian authorities have blocked the WikiLeaks founder’s access to the Internet as well as all other means of communication from Quito’s embassy in London, where Assange has been confined for nearly six years. In addition, it is barring visitors from seeing him, leaving him with fewer rights than a prisoner behind bars.
Assange continues to face coordinated conspiracies by the British and US governments to have him arrested and extradited to face US charges of treason and espionage, which carry potential death penalties.
The attack on Assange is part of a global assault on democratic rights that increasingly recalls the darkest days of the 1930s, in the midst of the rise of fascism and the drive to world war. It is significant that he was subjected to his enforced isolation in part for making a telling comparison on Twitter between the German government’s recent arrest of Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont at the behest of Spain and the 1940 arrest of the president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, who was extradited by the Nazis to Franco’s fascist dictatorship, which tortured and executed him.
The placing of Assange under what amounts to incommunicado detention coincides with a drive by governments all over the world to impose censorship on the Internet. Assange has been in the forefront of the resistance to this antidemocratic campaign.
These actions are also bound up with a sharp turn to the right not only by the government of Ecuador, but by those of a number of Latin…