Let’s get right to it. Earlier today, Julian Assange had his internet access severed.
Here’s a translation of the statement from the government of Ecuador, in whose embassy he’s been trapped since 2012:
The Government of Ecuador suspended the systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the citizen remains in an international protection situation for six years due to the risk to his life and integrity.
The measure was adopted in the face of Assange’s failure to comply with the written commitment it assumed with the Government at the end of 2017, for which it was obliged not to issue messages that implied interference with other States.
The Government of Ecuador warns that the behavior of Assange, with its messages through social networks, puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations. Therefore, to prevent potential damage, the embassy in London interrupted this March 27 communications abroad to which Assange has access.
The Executive also keeps open the way to the adoption of new measures in the face of breach of commitment by Assange.
The excuse for this egregious act against Assange is his social media activity “puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations.” Naturally, we must ask what Assange has been tweeting about lately that prompted some bigger country, or countries, to force Ecuador’s hand. The answer is Catalonia.
I’ve been following Assange’s tweets closely following the revelation that German police seized Catalonia’s elected President Carles Puigdemont on behalf of Spain. Assange provided some much needed context and commentary about the disturbing incident over Twitter in recent days. Here are a few examples that likely ruffled the feathers of various EU governments….
The tweets above were quite informative, especially to someone like me who’s a U.S. citizen and had no understanding of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and its obvious potential for abuse. Clearly, the government of Spain (and possibly Germany & the UK) put an enormous amount of pressure on Ecuador behind the scenes since they don’t like it when people with large platforms challenge their silly, authoritarian narratives.
The fact these governments are so terrified of a guy holed up in an embassy tweeting his political opinions tells you how weak and insecure these governments really are. The first word that popped into my mind when I heard the news wasn’t outrageous, although it is outrageous. The very first word that came to mind was pathetic. The Spanish state is acting like a petty two-bit dictator that can’t handle some Twitter criticism. Embarrassing. Pathetic. Deranged….