Julian Assange and the Russian Visa

by Joseph W

Russia Today reports:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may visit Moscow in three weeks, Israel Shamir, the founder of the ‘Friends of WikiLeaks’ fund, said in an interview to Russian RSN radio station. According to Shamir, Assange already has the visa and is willing to visit Russia. He did not specify the aim of the trip. The Russian ‘Friends of WikiLeaks’ fund will be officially registered in three weeks. The fund is collecting money to help the whistleblowing website, which became scandalously famous after the release of thousands of secret US documents and diplomatic cables.

However, this may not actually go ahead.

Interfax reports:

The legal counsel to the founder of Wikileaks has denied reports that Julian Assange has obtained a Russian visa and plans to visit Russia soon.

As the radio station Ekho Moskvy reported on Thursday, Julian Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens has said that his client is limited in his movement, and cannot leave the UK before the end of the legal proceedings concerning his possible extradition [to Sweden].

Earlier on Thursday, several media outlets reported that Assange may visit Russia, and reportedly already has a Russian visa.

As has been previously reported, Assange was arrested in Britain at the end of December 2010, and was released from prison on a £240,000 bail with tough conditions: his passport was confiscated, he was forbidden to leave the house where he is staying, he must report to the police every day, and he also has to wear an electronic bracelet. Following his release, Assange lives in the house of journalist Vaughan Smith on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk.

It is expected that the process by which it may be decided on extradition Assange in Sweden, will be held on February 6-7.

Were it not for the visa issue, I wonder if Assange would be happy to travel to Russia as the guest of a neo-Nazi.

After all, Assange gives “Israel Shamir” interviews, passes him unredacted cables to use in any way he likes, repeats Shamir’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and defends Shamir in the liberal press.

There is another issue besides the neo-Nazi connexion.

As some left-liberals praise Wikileaks for its passive role in assisting Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, it is surprising that more left-liberals are not calling Julian Assange to account for the active role that Wikileaks has played in helping Lukashenko in his continuing war against Belarus’ opposition.