On the same day that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein published an op-ed hailing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a “hero,” a bombshell story by the Associated Press revealed that the massive WikiLeaks files of private data exposed online by the group included the personal details and medical information of at least two teenage rape victims — as well as more than 100 other private medical files, mostly of Saudi Arabian citizens.
The AP also found one instance of a Saudi citizen who was arrested for being gay, a particularly disturbing development in a country where homosexuality is illegal and can even carry the death penalty.
— Abigail Alexander (@Abigail_036) August 23, 2016
Read the entire Associated Press WikiLeaks report at this link.
On its Twitter account — believed to be operated by Julian Assange, a 45-year-old Australian national, from inside the Ecuador embassy in London where he has been confined since 2012 as he flees a rape charge of his own in Sweden — WikiLeaks denied the accusations, blaming the AP story on a conspiracy against Assange over his role in the United States presidential election.
No, WikiLeaks did not disclose “gays” to the Saudi govt. Data is from govt & not leaked by us. Story from 2015. Re-run now due to election.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 23, 2016
US big media scramble to side with presumptive winner #Clinton. We expect many more recycled attacks like AP’s today as our leaks continue.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 23, 2016
On the eve of the Democratic convention last month, WikiLeaks published a trove of stolen emails by Democratic National Committee staffers in which they made derogatory comments about then-candidate Bernie Sanders. The emails were interpreted by some Sanders supporters, as well as by Jill Stein, to indicate that the Democratic primary had been unfairly rigged in favor of eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
Julian Assange was an invited speaker, via satellite, at the Green Party national convention earlier this month. View his remarks there in the video below.
Green candidate Jill Stein, who has frequently attacked Clinton — even saying that a Hillary Clinton victory in the November election would give her “trouble sleeping” — praised Assange as a “hero” in an op-ed article published on Tuesday by political news site the Hill.
“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a hero,” Stein wrote, going on to praise the “stunning revelations” contained in the hacked DNC emails.
In the op-ed, Stein addresses the rape charges against Assange, saying that “as a strong advocate for victims of sexual violence, I take this question seriously.”
But citing a United Nations report that she claimed “declared the case against Assange to be unfounded,” Stein dismissed the rape accusations against Assange as “a false pretext” to persecute the WikiLeaks founder.
The U.N. report — issued by a “working group” rather than by the U.N. as a whole — however, did not make a factual finding on the rape allegations. Instead, the report in February of this year found that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” in the Ecuador embassy because that country had granted him political asylum, which should also allow him freedom of movement.
Stein also wrote in the Hill op-ed that “three investigations (of Assange on the charges) have been dropped without charges ever having been filed.”
In fact, according to a BBC News report, investigations by Swedish authorities on two charges — not three — of “sexual molestation” and “unlawful coercion” were ended in August of last year because, by staying inside the Ecuador embassy, Assange was able to run out the clock on the statute of limitations for those charges.
But Assange still faces a charge of rape, which prosecutors in Sweden still seek to question him. As a result, despite the U.N. working group paper, which is not legally binding, Assange remains under self-imprisonment in the embassy.
According to police documents cited by the Guardian, the rape charges stem from a 2010 visit to Sweden during which, one woman alleges, Assange ripped off her clothes, pinned her legs, and had sex with her without using a condom.
Assange later admitted to the sexual encounter but claimed it was consensual.
A second woman, according to the Guardian report, alleged that she had fallen asleep after a date with Assange, only to wake up with the WikiLeaks founder having sex with her, again without using a condom. Assange also claimed in that incident that the sexual encounter was consensual.
— Michael Laccetti (@mlaccetti) August 23, 2016
Stein apparently penned her op-ed article defending Assange prior to the revelation in the AP story that WikiLeaks had published private information about teenage rape victims.
But Stein’s piece was written after an incident in July when WikiLeaks “doxxed” — that is, linked to personal information such as addresses and phone numbers — of millions of women in Turkey, following a failed coup attempt in that country.
In her op-ed article, Stein dismisses criticism of WikiLeaks as part of a conspiracy to silence Assange.
“The economic and political elite have targeted Assange not because his hands are dirty, but because he’s given us a glimpse of how dirty their own hands are,” Stein wrote. “WikiLeaks’ revelations are inspiring countless people to mobilize against corruption and wrongdoing at the highest levels, and for that, Julian Assange is a hero in my book.”
But reached by the Associated Press, individuals whose personal and medical information was released in the WikiLeaks files, as well as doctors whose patients saw their files published by WikiLeaks, were shocked and frightened by the revelations.
MORE WIKILEAKS COVERAGE FROM THE INQUISITR:
WikiLeaks: Julian Assange Off The Hook Because Hillary Clinton Was Not Prosecuted, Lawyer Tells DOJ
WikiLeaks Julian Assange And The Trump Russia Link: 5 Facts You Should Know About Figure At Center Of Scandal
Hillary Clinton Indicted Over WikiLeaks? Julian Assange May Not Have ‘Evidence’ Against Clinton After All, Report Says
New Donald Trump Russia Hacker Scandal: Putin Agents Hit Private Email Of Trump’s Political Enemies, Report Says
WikiLeaks In Turkey Doxxes Almost Every Woman In The Country After Failed Coup — Lives Now In Danger, Experts Fear
The Donald Trump Russia Connection: 5 Facts You Should Know About Candidate’s Possible Ties To Putin
Facebook Reportedly Blocked WikiLeaks Links To DNC E-Mails
“This has nothing to do with politics or corruption,” Dr. Nayef al-Fayez, told the AP, also confirming that a cancer patient he treated was a victim of the leaks.
Another doctor of a patient whose files were leaked, Dr. Adnan Salhab, told the press organization, “This is illegal what has happened. It is illegal!”
But Julian Assange, on the WikiLeaks Twitter account, appeared to blame the AP revelations on the Saudi government’s “media manipulation strategies.” So far, Jill Stein has not commented publicly on the new revelations.
[Photos by Kirsty Wigglesworth & Erik Kabik/Associated Press]