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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures as he speaks on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, in London, Friday May 19, 2017.

    German MPs Visit 'Most Important Whistleblower' at Ecuadorian Embassy in London

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    With the risk of Julian Assange being extradited to the US to stand trial apparently rising, German parliamentarians Sevim Dagdelen and Heike Hansel met with the WikiLeaks chief December 20.

    The pair — both members of Die Linke and the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee — attended to pass on "greetings of solidarity" from their party and Assange's "many supporters in Germany", and discuss the prospect of a "humanitarian solution" to his effective solitary confinement at the diplomatic building.

    Outside, the pair — who'd waited seven months for permission to visit Assange — spoke to a small assortment of reporters and supporters, saying their "new friend" had been "really happy" to see them — they may well have been his first 'outside-world' visitors for eight months — and hugged them "tightly" when they departed.

    ​Dagdelen also revealed Assange has been presented with a "strict set of rules" running to eight pages, severely restricting his activities at the Embassy, leaving his only means of contact a telephone — usage of which is in itself highly restricted — and he spends "80 percent" of his time at the Embassy in effective total isolation from people, banned from making any political statements of any kind publicly. Breach of these rules, she said, could "lead to an immediate end to his political asylum in the embassy".

    "No journalist should be detained for publishing the truth. Publicizing war crimes isn't a crime. I've never seen such a problem in such a case in the world, when someone claiming political asylum from another country is not allowed to say his own opinion. His life is being made difficult. Nowhere in the western world is there a journalist who has been detained like this. This is against international law, which everyone must respect. No other publisher or editor has been arbitrarily detained like this. It's a shame for the Western world and so-called Western values. It must be stopped. Europe must act," Dagdelen said.

    ​She added that she was "very afraid" of rumors the Ecuadorian government was seeking to end his asylum, and they urged authorities to "keep their achievement alive" and not allow Assange to be deported to any country against his will, where he may face "persecution".

    "We are ashamed the German parliament and government has not given asylum to Julian or other journalists in danger in Europe or elsewhere in the world," she concluded.

    Worsening Relations

    Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in December 2017 — but his relations with the government haven't been positive seemingly ever since, with authorities cutting off his internet access and all visitors other than his legal team. In a perverse twist, it was revealed in December "exceptionally misleading" testimony provided to the House of Commons' 'fake news' inquiry by a trio of Spanish experts — two of whom are connected to the shadowy Integrity Initiative — may have contributed to the decision.

    ​While Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has said the "road is clear" for Assange to leave the Embassy as he has received assurances from the UK government he will not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty, Dagdalen noted Assange hadn't received official confirmation of these promises, and "fears" he'll be extradited to the US as a result.

    "We have to say thank you to Julian Assange. He's the most important whistleblower. We ask for international protection for whistle blowers, and call upon the United Nations to start a campaign to that effect. We express solidarity with Julian and wish to see him in a safe country," Hansel added.

    The pair — both members of Die Linke and the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee — attended to pass on "greetings of solidarity" from their party and Assange's "many supporters in Germany", and discuss the prospect of a "humanitarian solution" to his effective solitary confinement at the diplomatic building.

    Outside, the pair — who'd waited seven months for permission to visit Assange — spoke to a small assortment of reporters and supporters, saying their "new friend" had been "really happy" to see them — they may well have been his first ‘outside-world' visitors for eight months — and hugged them "tightly" when they departed.

    ​Dagdelen also revealed Assange has been presented with a "strict set of rules" running to eight pages, severely restricting his activities at the Embassy, leaving his only means of contact a telephone — usage of which is in itself highly restricted — and he spends "80 percent" of his time at the Embassy in effective total isolation from people, banned from making any political statements of any kind publicly. Breach of these rules, she said, could "lead to an immediate end to his political asylum in the embassy".

    "No journalist should be detained for publishing the truth. Publicizing war crimes isn't a crime. I've never seen such a problem in such a case in the world, when someone claiming political asylum from another country is not allowed to say his own opinion. His life is being made difficult. Nowhere in the western world is there a journalist who has been detained like this. This is against under international law, which everyone must respect. No other publisher or editor has been arbitrarily detained like this. It's a shame for the Western world and so-called Western values. It must be stopped. Europe must act," Dagdelen said.

    She added that she was "very afraid" of rumors the Ecuadorian government was seeking to end his asylum, and they urged authorities to "keep their achievement alive" and not allow Assange to be deported to any country against his will, where he may face "persecution".

    "We are ashamed the German parliament and government has not given asylum to Julian or other journalists in danger in Europe or elsewhere in the world," she concluded.

    Related:

    Integrity Initiative: Spanish Cluster Misled UK Parliament Over Assange, Russia
    Ecuador Can't Guarantee UK Won't Extradite Assange, Prosecutor General Says
    Assange Suggests Facing Espionage in Ecuadorian Embassy in London
    Court in Ecuador to Consider Appeal of WikiLeaks Founder Assange on Wednesday
    Tags:
    Assange handover, Assange, free speech, extradition, Wikileaks, Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange, Germany, United Kingdom, Ecuador
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