05 June, 2012
Will Julian Assange’s show make the Guinness Book of Records? Quite likely, especially if you think of all the people interrogated over their ties with the whistleblower before or after they talked to the WikiLeaks founder.
“The FBI is apparently collecting evidence to indict Julian Assange before a grand jury. Sweden must not be the final destination of the designed extradition,” sources close to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange told RT.
The Cypherpunks episode of The Julian Assange Show has not even premiered on RT, but a pot of trouble is already boiling and Jeremy Zimmerman, a co-founder of cyber freedoms group La Quadrature du Net, has got a taste of it.
Jeremy Zimmerman was detained on his way from the US to France after filming the episode of Assange’s show, during which he was interviewed with two other Cypherpunks movement activists.
Zimmerman was grabbed by “self-identified FBI agents,” reports the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website. After that he spent several hours in quite another sort of the interview. The officers asked him about various details regarding Julian Assange. When he asked about his rights, the cyber activist was threatened with arrest and imprisonment.
“We have confirmed US authorities have this week detained and interrogated multiple Europeans about Assange,” reads the WikiLeaks Tweet.
Smari McCarthy, a co-founder and board member of the Icelandic Digital Freedoms Society, has also been stopped while entering the US, the source adds. McCarthy was approached by three US officials in Washington DC, and asked to become an informer.
At the moment McCarthy’s whereabouts are unknown, though he maintains communication with the Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.
In earlier incidents, Nabeel Rajab, a Bahraini human rights activist, was beaten up at Bahrain’s international airport on his return from Lebanon in April. Then he was detained for half a day.
The Bahraini authorities have not commented on the reasons behind the arrest, but it took place directly after Rajab appeared on Episode 4 of The Julian Assange Show. In the episode, Rajab said that on the same day he announced on his Twitter account that he was going to appear on RT his house was surrounded by almost 100 policemen armed with machine guns – but luckily he was not there at the time.
Fears are high these are not random incidents, but that evidence against Julian Assange is already being collected in the US. American senators and top officials have repeatedly accused the scandal-stirring whistleblower of espionage and terrorism, some even saying he should be tried by a court martial and sentenced to death.
Following the UK Supreme Court ruling last week that Assange should be extradited to Sweden, where he is to be interviewed about sex crime allegations, the concern is that the Scandinavian country will not be his final destination and that he will then be extradited to the US, where he might well face indictment before a grand jury.