Julian Assange Lawyer: “It’s Time This Is Ended.”

By Jerry Alatalo

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“But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.”

– H.L. MENCKEN (1880-1956) American editor, critic, lexicographer

Lawyer for Julian Assange – Jennifer Robinson – talks to “Going Underground” host Afshin Rattansi.

une 19, 2018 marked the 6th year of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s detention, his kidnapped-by-government status, at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Any legal arguments by British authorities for not releasing him unconditionally are totally bogus and without merit, yet Mr. Assange remains imprisoned in London, essentially for a flimsiest of bail infractions – associated with a non-existent crime.

It is clear beyond doubt that Julian Assange is an innocent man. That is … unless publishing the truth is now against the law. It is clear beyond doubt that United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, United States President Donald Trump and other world leaders are willing to allow the continued unjust detainment and silencing of Julian Assange, showing the world and humanity that their exercise of power over journalists who expose the dark, illegal practices of their governments is more important than strict adherence to the most basic rules of law and fairness.

Julian Assange is an innocent man. He is an innocent man whose lifetime (or current incarnation if ones holds to the idea of reincarnation) coincides with the rapid rise of the internet as an unprecedented powerful tool for communication among people the world over. Many have utilized the internet to disseminate inconvenient, disturbing and previously secreted facts resulting in millions becoming much more aware of reality on Earth, and Julian Assange – because the facts his media organization WikiLeaks has exposed are to a great extent aggravating and constraining the world’s wealthiest and most powerful criminals – has become the #1 target, the “poster boy” example, for those criminals’ vicious retribution.

Julian Assange’s freedom means the continued exposure of the criminals and the potential end to their criminality, and in particular the crimes related to wars of aggression, identified at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II as the “greatest crime of them all”. One might reasonably suggest that those world leaders who go along with the continued detention of Julian Assange, or fail to speak out for his being released immediately with guaranteed shielding from extra-judicial re-“arrest”, are by their actions identifying themselves as either 1st level, genuine war criminals or, equally as reprehensible, silent accomplices.

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Assange’s 6-years-long, highly publicized, unjust, legally untenable situation are as plain as day for all to see, yet – despite years of time passing since the “case” has actually been thrown out of court – the injustice still stands, the man’s physical, mental and spiritual health are at greater and greater risk with each passing day, and nobody on Earth seems able to make the necessary “executive decision” … of doing the right thing – to simply free Julian Assange.

Ms. May of the United Kingdom, Mr. Trump of the United States, Mr. Turnbull of Australia, Mr. Moreno of Ecuador and those leaders silent in the face of this monumental injustice carried out against Mr. Assange – a man perceived as a genuine, rare hero by millions around the Earth, – might think seriously about the extent to which their recalcitrant stubbornness and persistence in defying the wish of those millions for freeing Assange is inevitably self-defeating.

Those world leaders might seriously consider the profoundly negative consequences of stubbornly rejecting the will of “the people”, and accepting the plain fact that Mr. Assange should rightly and immediately be granted his freedom. Those world leaders might “get the clue”, finally admit the man’s innocence, and acknowledge, then act upon, the wisdom contained in the words of Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson:

“It’s time this is ended.”

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(Thank you to GoingUnderground RT – YouTube)

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2018: The Year Of Peace.

A Plea to Reinforce Peace: Calling for Activation of the International Criminal Court’s Exercise of Jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression

(Cross-posted from Coalition for the International Criminal Court)

By Jutta F. Bertram-Nothnagel September 2017

The long-awaited decision by the Assembly of States Parties to enable the International Criminal Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression is urgently needed and cannot happen soon enough. As spelled out with more detail by article 8 of the Rome Statute, the crime is committed by a person in a position effectively to control or to direct the political or military action of a State and requires the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of a State act of aggression which, by its gravity, character and scale, amounts to a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations: The armed force of a State is unleashed upon another State with no justification in sight. Not at all in the defense of a country, not at all in the defense of a people, but in the service of a crime that cries to heaven, soldiers are ordered to shoot and bomb a made-up ‘enemy’. Without good cause under the law of nations, they are misused as tools of the crime and turned into its cannon fodder.

Heroism and comradeship are exploited for hypocrisy and the expansion of power. The victim State is trampled, its territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence smashed into conceptual smithereens. Lives are ruined and families decimated. The human right to peace must not be recognized! Freedom is the freedom of the aggressor. Nightmares keep morphing into relentless reality, – See Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (last amended 2010), art. 15 bis (3), 15 ter (3); see also Resolution RC/Res.6 of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, pp 6. “Nightmares keep morphing into relentless reality, – combatants returning in wheel chairs or body bags, sailors sunk in the oceans, pilots ripped from the skies, and civilians sacrificed and euphemized as ‘collateral damage’ ”.  Instead of laughter from fields and gardens, last prayers from ditches and rubble. All ‘normal’ war, – no war crimes necessary!

The degradation and slaughter of body and soul violate human dignity to its very core. The urgency for activating the Court’s authority over the crime can scarcely be exaggerated. Everything possible must be done, and must be done now, to prevent crimes of aggression. First, the world is faced with catastrophic threats to its environmental, social and economic sustainability, requiring global cooperation to address them. Each armed conflict disrupts such cooperation. Second, we are sitting on the most horrific powder keg of all times. Since the dawn of the age of nuclear weapons, the numbers of civilian deaths argued to be proportionate to military objectives and thus acceptable ‘collateral damage’ has crept up into the unfathomable. We are talking crimes against humanity that make the devil blush.

Continue reading “2018: The Year Of Peace.”

Ending War Now: A Proposal.

By Jerry Alatalo

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“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that hold out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”

– ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) Last written words, April 1955; quoted by Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden in “Einstein on Peace.”

iven the massive shift of world collective consciousness emergent after, among other astonishing developments, U.S. President Donald Trump’s arguably intended-to-provoke and dangerous Jerusalem announcement – and especially considering the dramatic response by member states at the United Nations (UN), now would seem the perfect storm, confluence-of-events time for the world’s genuine peacemakers to conduct an energetic push towards long-overdue reform of the UN, and making wars of aggression punishable. Or, in plain-speak, now is the opportune time to end forever in all its dimensions impunity for war criminals.

In the United States, as an example, the Constitution allows for adjustments by the people as time goes by and societal conditions evolve, and the supreme U.S. law-of-the-land document has endured the amendment process several times when deemed necessary. Similarly and invariably, the world and humanity evolves and conditions change to the point of requiring necessary actions correspondent to newly developed circumstances.

Let us call the proposed United Nations reform to the UN Charter a similar legally binding amendment, or treaty, or instrument, but – no matter the name and/or process necessary for bringing about truly effective legal enforcement on a global level – the vital point of such an initiative is making wars of aggression an action individuals (historically, in most instances the wealthiest and most powerful) will certainly think long, hard and twice about, because they are (now) subject to prosecution and punishment. This describes the basic foundation of deterrence, the legal term fully understood by any man or woman with a reasoning, functioning brain.

The reform we propose is as simple as simple gets, yet at the same time tremendously consequential in its potential:

Make it mandatory for each United Nations member state to sign the Rome Statute and agree to come under the legal jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, or face their nation’s expulsion from the United Nations – period. Perhaps it is beneficial at this point to look at the history-changing example of what the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and its hundreds of global support groups accomplished:

  • An unprecedented, binding United Nations treaty passed in July 2017 making nuclear weapons illegal
  • The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee’s deciding upon and rightly honoring ICAN as the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

May we suggest that a similar effort to end impunity for war criminals, embodied in and anchored on the simple United Nations reform just described, led by a new globally supported organization with the name “International Campaign to Abolish War”, would become the next recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for year 2018? It’s safe to say every human being on Earth would gladly welcome elimination of both nuclear weapons and wars of aggression from the Earth.

Most men and women who pass this way and read these words feel the extraordinary nature of current events in aspects equally historical, international, and spiritual, and especially in the sense of intensifying inevitableness. Both ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and 85-year old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, Setsuko Thurlow, spoke passionately to the world after accepting the organization’s richly-deserved 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

In her acceptance speech on behalf of ICAN, Ms. Fihn clearly and powerfully articulated that widespread, growing sense of inevitableness, when she said:

“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen.”

ICAN’s name suggests the sole goal of the organization is abolition of nuclear weapons from the face of this Earth. But it could reasonably be asserted: given the likelihood any escalation of violence today approaching the destructive levels of World War I and World War II would involve the use of nuclear weapons – so in the ultimate, classic logic sense ICAN’s vision is all about total abolition of both nuclear weapons and war.

Many are comparing the international situation today as more dangerous than that which existed during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and it’s likely somewhere in the 90-99% range that men and women who come to read these words will agree. One senses that humanity is closing in fast on the time of its greatest moral decision, or has even already arrived at its most crucial collective rendezvous with destiny in recorded history. The decision upon which civilization now will depend for their very lives to continue, and begin again for those to come in future generations, is whether to take right action or not.

Creating a workable plan to effectively abolish war forever is clearly taking right action.

There is only one human family. Arguably, an overwhelming majority of people the world over wish to carry out their lives in human-created conditions guaranteeing their opportunities for experiencing some significant level of love, peace and harmony. War is undeniably in the way, and represents the absolute obstacle to achieving humanity’s highest vision. There is only one simple, yet immeasurably profound and unavoidable question. Why not take right action toward ending war; taking into account the current dangerous, worrying state of world affairs and international relations, shouldn’t such necessary action be starting now?

Transnational Justice Matters: An ICC Overview

Student at National Law University in Dehli Rakesh Roshan’s insightful article discussing the International Criminal Court raises the question of what means are available to convince non-ICC nations United States, Russia, China, India and others to sign the Rome Statute and agree to come under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Imagine you as a citizen of your town or city are deterred by laws against committing brutal crimes, but that citizens in the town or city next to yours have no similar laws, no deterrence against the same brutal crimes, and that citizens in the town or city next to yours commit brutal (war) crimes – with impunity.

That simple analogy makes clear why universal ICC membership as a goal is possibly the most important challenge facing this generation of humanity on Earth.

World peace is possible.

International Law Square

By Rakesh Roshan*

On 1st July 2017, the International Criminal Court completed 15 years. While there are 24 cases that have been brought before the Court, it has only managed to convict 4 individuals in all these years, but it is hoped that it carries to deliver universal justice in an unprecedented manner.

Picture1.pngSource: About ICC

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