By Abena Osagyefo Boateng.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
No matter what, the treatment of Julian Assange has become the measuring road of press freedom in the West, especially the United States of America (USA).
So far, the West led by the USA and Britain, by their treatment of Assange, have succeeded in criminalizing journalism especially what has been misnamed “investigative journalism”. He has been maltreated, thrown into jail, denied bail, tortured and is about to be extradited to the USA for trial as a criminal.
What did Assange do?
He simply collected information on the criminal activities of occupiers of the White House and their intelligence agents against the interests of peoples around the world and published them. The activities he exposed included telling bare-faced lies, criminal assassinations of innocent people, the sabotage of the economic and social life of peoples around the world, the blatant violations of the rights of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, the commission of genocide in Afghanistan and Iraq and many more.
The West appears to have no interest in the prosecution of the criminals who lied, tortured and killed innocent citizens of the world. Its main interest is in silencing the chap who made us know that these atrocities have been committed and by who.
Western leaders and their institutions insist that Assange must be made to suffer because he has made their criminal secrets public even as they also insist that all governments must be guided by democratic principles including transparency, probity and accountability.
The duplicity is obvious to even the casual observer but it is brought into full relief when one looks at the stance of western governments on developments around the world. They assassinated Salvadore Allende and installed Pinochet in Chile because they claimed that the Socialist Government then was not democratic. They assassinated Patrice Lumumba, overthrew the Nkrumah government, bombed Libya and Syria and continue to impose an illegal blockade on Cuba and Venezuela for amongst others allegedly not promoting press freedom.
As the West continues to hound Assange, its propagandists are all over the place accusing China of undermining press freedom in Hong Kong and other parts of the country. They point to the criminal prosecution of those calling for subversion of the Chinese state as evidence of a clamp down on the media.
The West and its leaders must know that their commitment to press freedom is being measured by the treatment of Assange.
Assange is our measuring rod and nothing more!