In reply to John Donnellan’s latest shrill attempt to besmirch Julian Assange’s character, it is important to highlight that no charges related to accusations from a trip Assange made to Sweden in 2010 were ever laid.
Exhaustive investigations were conducted and concluded. These investigations included two days of Assange being grilled by Swedish authorities in 2016, a year before any statute of limitation ran out. This interviewing occurred without the requirement for Assange to travel to Sweden. Assange was right to question the need to go to Sweden for police interviewing, something Swedish authorities eventually conceded. This did not in any way inhibit Swedish authorities meticulously exploring the matter.
Is Mr Donnellan privy to information nobody else is aware of? Was he in Stockholm in 2010 hunched wide-eyed by a window?
The outcome of Swedish police investigations was unequivocal: no grounds existed to pursue charges. Donnellan suggests people should be harshly punished for merely being accused of criminality.
Imagine a legal system based on Donnellan’s premise that accusation alone merits the meting out of punishment. That is the abandonment of rule of law. That is the dystopian lawlessness of Orwell’s 1984, where any persons daring to question authority are themselves labelled a criminal.
In a week that saw Drew Pavlou physically removed from our houses of parliament for being classified as ‘high risk’, and former politician Danny Lim having his cheek fractured by police after being arrested for peacefully protesting on the streets of Sydney, it is apt we consider Julian Assange and the spread of state-sanctioned persecution, meted out to those people with the courage to exercise their right of free speech.
It is time people woke up to the rising thuggery of the state apparatus, and the concerted attacks on our civil liberties by a governance system captured by corrupted global market interests. This is what Julian Assange has been tirelessly warning us of for decades. This is what Wikileaks continues to bring to the light of public scrutiny. This is why Assange, and his fight for transparency and disclosure of government and media, stands alongside like-minded historical figures who shared his vision of freedom from oppression.