Moscow likens treatment of Assange to ‘cannibalism’
Russia's Foreign Ministry has lashed out at the treatment of Julian Assange by some Western governments, claiming that the jailed WikiLeaks founder is being punished for publishing the truth about American atrocities.
“The actions of recent years are real ‘cannibalism’ shown by our Western partners,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Wednesday, answering a question about Russia’s official position on Assange.
“This is no longer about double standards or about trampling the principles and ideals [the West claims to champion]”, she added, calling the West’s treatment of Assange “revenge” for his decision to share with the world the information that shed light on “lies and deception” by multiple governments.
“One way or another, this is a person committed to the principles of freedom of speech, which is of fundamental importance for international relations. With his life and deeds, he defended the very values that many only issue statements about,” said Zakharova.
Assange spent years trapped inside the embassy of Ecuador in London, before a new government in Quito revoked his asylum. He was dragged out of the embassy by British police in April 2019, and has been kept at the Belmarsh maximum-security prison ever since. His health has deteriorated considerably, and his fiance Stella Moris recently revealed that he had suffered a stroke back in October.
Zakharova noted that Assange had become a “completely different man” as a result of his captivity, deprived of fresh air, walks and sunlight.
If this is part of the mindset of Western civilization, then everything else about it is canceled automatically. There cannot be any other interpretation.
The UK high court ruled last week to allow his extradition to the US, where he faces “espionage” charges for publishing documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.