Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire speaks out on behalf of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire has joined a growing number of people who are calling on Ecuador to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.
The Internet whistleblower is living inside that country's embassy in London to avoid being extradited to face sex charges in Sweden.
Assange's supporters maintain that the Swedes are pursuing him on flimsy evidence—with the real objective being to ship him to the United States where he will rot in a U.S. prison for releasing diplomatic cables.
"American media have reported that the U.S. Justice Department and the Pentagon have conducted a criminal investigation into 'whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group’s release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act'," Maguire wrote today in an article on the Common Dreams site. "Mr. Assange’s only crime is that he cared enough about people to respect their right to truth, and had the courage and bravery to print the truth. In the process, he embarrassed powerful governments."
Maguire won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 in connection with her work to end the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, a French nonprofit organization has stepped up to help WikiLeaks in its efforts to avoid going broke in the face of a blockade by large financial institutions.
VISA and Mastercard won't process contributions from its cardholders. But the Fund for the Defence of Net Neutrality, which is based in France, has agreed to receive donations through a French payment service called Carte Bleue.
There's no word yet on whether the U.S. corporate giants will try to sabotage this effort to remain on good terms with the Obama administration, which has been embarrassed by the WikiLeaks revelations.
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