Russia’s top MP calls out Western hypocrisy on Assange — RT World News

The WikiLeaks founder would have been seen as a “fighter for truth and freedom” if his revelations had alarmed Moscow or Beijing, according to Vyacheslav Volodin.

Countries that support the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States will not remain rule-of-law countries if the extradition eventually occurs, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said in a Telegram post on Monday.

Volodin added that the situation surrounding the seized amount is an example of the lies, double standards and hatred shown by Washington, London and Brussels.

Assange, now in his fifth year in London's Belmarsh maximum security prison despite not having been convicted of any crime, faces 175 years in prison in the US for publishing documents via WikiLeaks detailing alleged illegal US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. And in other places. The files were leaked to him by former American soldier Chelsea Manning.

Volodin pointed out in his post that published records and documents prove Washington's involvement in coups and incitement to wars. The leaked documents also allegedly show that the US National Security Agency eavesdropped on several European heads of state, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Assange “Washington’s crimes have been exposed. The world’s dominant power does not tolerate this kind of thing, and destroys anyone who disagrees with it.” Volodin argued. The whistleblower would have been labeled a “fighter for truth and freedom” if his revelations had concerned Russia or China rather than the United States, according to the MP.

The fact that a person remains in a maximum security prison without being proven guilty 'Nothing less than a scandal' The lawmaker added.

Assange was first arrested by British police in 2010 under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by Sweden over allegations of sexual crimes. He denied the accusations and claimed that they were a pretext for his extradition to the United States. In 2012, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, only to be arrested again in 2019 after Ecuador revoked his political asylum.

The WikiLeaks founder is now awaiting the UK Supreme Court's decision on his appeal against his extradition. He was unable to attend or even watch the final procedures remotely due to the sharp deterioration in his health condition.

In the United States, Assange faces 17 charges under the Espionage Act and a possible 175-year prison sentence. The Espionage Act has never before been used to prosecute anyone who published – but did not steal – classified material. Former US President Barack Obama refused to press charges against the Australian journalist for this very reason, arguing that Assange's activity was protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

He added, “His extradition would be a flagrant violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to freedom of expression.” Volodin warned.

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