Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been without internet access since October when it was decided that his online presence might interfere with the 2016 US presidential election, and his internet access was unceremoniously switched off. But will the spirit of Christmas prevail with Assange being given internet freedom again?
WikiLeaks has managed to survive this crisis, although it is unclear when Julian Assange will have internet access again. On Monday, October 17, The Guardian reported that the Ecuadorian government temporarily severed Julian’s internet privileges.
Hoping that Santa brings Julian internet access this Christmas. @MashiRafael
— FREE ASSANGE (@AssangeFreedom) December 23, 2016
On October 18, Ecuador stated that they “respect the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states.” While The Guardian also remarked that it wasn’t immediately clear who was the responsible entity for this decision, the Ecuadorian government did make a statement on Twitter where they said that Assange’s internet access had been “intentionally severed by a state party.”
While Julian Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy since June 2012, WikiLeaks has continued to carry on with their work, although one can imagine that since October that may have been made a much more difficult task without allowing Assange use of the internet. At one point, after Julian hadn’t been physically seen for some time, the internet reacted with fear, provoking many to start a campaign where they frantically asked WikiLeaks to show them “proof of life.”
While WikiLeaks assured all that Julian Assange was safe, that wasn’t enough for many, and WikiLeaks finally had to make a statement imploring everyone to give the matter a rest. While all of this was going on, the WikiLeaks organization continued to function.
In December, Julian Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, made her own statement on the matter and said that she was “angry and sad” that her son had been detained for so long without charges, as reported by the Inquisitr. With Assange a citizen of Australia, Christine implored the Australian government to step in and finally take action, saying that the silence from the government “indicates a complete lack of sovereignty.”
With Julian Assange’s internet access cut, not only does it make his work that much more difficult, but he is also unable to communicate with his children and family. His children have gifted him with a cat, lovingly known as Embassy Cat, but one can certainly say without fear of disapproval that his children have not asked for this and the least the Ecuadorian government could do would be to put him back online again so that he can Skype with his family over Christmas.
According to The Express, when 49-year-old actress Pamela Anderson last visited Assange, she made crystal clear that she, too, was also worried about the effect that his imprisonment and lack of internet access was having upon Julian and his family.
“I really believe in him and think he’s a good person, and I’m concerned about his health, his family, and I just hope that by some miracle he’s set free.”
Despite all that has happened to Julian Assange over the past months, he has continued to discuss his important work with WikiLeaks, and he recently appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show, according to the Washington Post. Hannity conducted a 25-minute interview with Assange, which was extremely informative and enlightening, and also showed all of the “proof of life” supporters that Julian is indeed still walking among us.
Just one of the many subjects broached during Sean Hannity’s show was the lack of importance of traditional media today and a discussion of just how obsolete they have become and why.
“They’re increasingly not very important. I think Trump has even made this statement that they’re a paper tiger in this election, and the new publications on the internet feed directly to the people.”
While the good work of WikiLeaks continues to go on, we can only but hope that the powers that be find some Christmas cheer in their hearts this year and gift Julian Assange with internet access once again.
[Featured Image by Rick Rycroft/AP Images]