The Voice of Russia John Robles September 29 2012 Part II
This is part 2 of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks organization, which he gave to The Voice of Russia.
A lot of things that pertain to the way the Swedish authorities and the Swedish prosecutor’s office and the foreign office have been handling this matter, is suspicious. One thing that of course is very suspicious is the total denial of the Swedish authorities to grant him some kind of certainty and guarantee that he will not be extradited further to the United States from Sweden on the basis of his work in WikiLeaks.
It has been claimed by the Foreign Minister in Sweden, Carl Bildt, that the Executive in Sweden cannot do that. Prominent academics and experts have pointed out that it is totally incorrect. It is the decision of the Executive whether to extradite or not.
Sure! There was the news report yesterday that papers were released (these were declassified documents) and that Julian was called an “enemy of the state” by the United States Government. Can you comment on that?
What we published yesterday, and produced, were documents that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Those documents pertain to an investigation into, ah, possible wrongdoing by U.S. service personnel stationed in the UK. A woman that had shown support for the WikiLeaks cause and for Bradley Manning and was therefore investigated for the possibility of having handed information over to the WikiLeaks. In the documents it is said that the crime being investigated was defined as “communicating with the enemy”. So, in that context the enemy supposedly is WikiLeaks. It is a very worrying sign if it is true that the US military has categorically defines WikiLeaks as the enemy, it will place WikiLeaks in the same category as Al Qaeda.
Unbelievable! You have no concerns for your own safety, being there in the United States, with all that happening?
I’m a journalist and I have been a journalist for 25 years and a journalist cannot be controlled by fear.
Sure, I hear you! Regarding Ecuador again, have there been any signs of movement as to how he is going to be transferred? Or have you heard anything, have they discussed that?
No, I mean there is an ongoing dialogue between the countries where the Ecuadorian authorities are putting a great effort into finding a solution, as I’ve mentioned earlier. They have said of course that the UK authorities must accept the rights of the Ecuadorian authorities to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange and grant him safe passage to go to Ecuador. The UK authorities are still maintaining that, ah, their commitment to the European arrest warrants and European cooperation supercedes any such consideration which is of course a very damaging thing to the image of human rights because, I mean, Julian has been granted an asylum on the basis of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. And let’s hope that there will be progress and as long as people are discussing and having a dialogue I’m certain that in the end there will be a positive outcome and justice will prevail.
Listen, are you still having problems with the banking blockade and your servers being attacked? Or have they quieted down on that?
No, at the moment we are of course continuing our fight against the banking blockade, by legal means, and it has been painstaking and a very costly fight. But we are continuing that, not just for WikiLeaks’s sake but for the sake of countering the financial powers in the world who have taken upon themselves to impose this totally illegal blockade on a media organization, which is unprecedented and has to be fought. We are now waiting, in the next coming days, for the outcome from Brussels where more than a year ago we and our partner in Iceland, filed a complaint against the credit card companies for infringing the anti-trust laws of the European economic area, and the European Union. And we hope that the Anti-Trust Division of the European Commission will take up a formal investigation into the wrongdoing of the credit card companies and punish them severely for what their doing.
Have you heard anything from the Australian Government? Have they been in contact with you or Julian? Or are they still being quiet?
Well it’s very worrying, and it is very disappointing to Julian, that the Australian authorities have not shown enough support and he has condemned the fact that the Australian authorities are not protecting him as a citizen of the country, and it has raised grave concerns among many Australians that think that the Australian authorities have abandoned him. And there is a great pressure upon the Government in Canberra to make ammends and change the position.
Was this discussed by Julian when he was in contact with the UN?
He’s mentioned that fact in his presentation.
How is he? The world wants to know. I know you speak with him regularly. How is Julian?
Julian is holding up pretty well and he is in good spirits, and he is a dedicated person and he is not caving in and will of course see this to the end. He’s been under very tough circumstances for a very long time now, under house arrest before he entered the Embassy. But, ah, he is revolutionary and not unaccustomed to rough conditions. So, he will hold out as long as necessary.
Okay, I see…
Julian mentioned in his presentation yesterday a very important thing which is the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration and he was referring to Obama’s speech to the UN, a day earlier, where Obama tried to gain some credit for support to the Arab Awakening, which in our view is nothing more than hypocrisy if you consider the fact that his own administration was supporting the dictators that were overthrown up until the last moment; the Ben Ali Government until the very end in January 2011 and Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt a little later.
So, it is quite surprising that he would stand before the United Nations and claim some kind of support for the Arab uprising against those dictators whom his own Government and previous governments had supported relentlessly, as very good allies throughout the years. And I’m certain that if that US support of those dictators had not been in place, we would have seen these sort of uprisings, as we witnessed last year, much earlier. So, it is nothing but hypocrisy to claim some sort of credit for supporting the Arab uprising.