Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aussie Outlaws

Australia has two black eyes in the past two years as regards outreach and citizen support services.

The country appears to have done little or nothing to protect Julian Assange, editor of WikiLeaks, from intimidation & harassment.

Sweden has filed charges  xxx

Sweden has issued a European Arrest Warrant that Julian Assange be detained. Supposedly, the detention and extradition is for further questioning by the Swedish Prosecution Authority over allegations of sexual misconduct. But WikiLeaks reporting has so embarrassed top officials worldwide that it's been suggested Assange is in danger of sudden rendition to the USA, or assassination.

Whatever the case, Assange is a citizen of Australia -- and his government seems to have done squat to help anyone.

The second Australian case is Ben Zygier, imprisoned by Israel, held incommunicado, and a suspected suicide in December 2010. Zygier had apparently changed his name to Ben Allen for espionage purposes; he was also known as Ben Alon, Benjamin Burrows & Benji (link).  More recently he's been referred to as "Prisoner X" because of assorted mysteries regarding his identity, crime(s), and mode of death in custody two years ago. Until this week the Australian Government was quiet about the uncommon incarceration and death. But The Guardian (UK) reports Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade has now "launched a review into how its diplomats handled the case." To prevent reporting about the case, the Israeli government had imposed a gag order until today that began in March 2010, nine months before Zygier's still-unexplained death. Treatment of the Australian, held in secret without charge, has brought Israel's secret prison system back into the spotlight (link)And Australians now ask if their government did enough for the detainee before he died (link) ...