Exclusively for the DCMSara Vivacqua interviewed Stella Assange, wife of journalist and political prisoner Julian Assange, in London.
Despite being together since 2015 and having two children, Stella and Julian only got married last year, in a restricted ceremony at Bellmarsh prison, a maximum security prison on the outskirts of London, where Julian is incarcerated in solitary confinement.
Stella drew parallels between the persecution suffered by President Lula and that of Julian Assange, spoke about the need for public mobilization for her husband’s freedom and thanked President Lula for having become, for a long time, a voice that does not remain silent in the face of the will of the US and UK against him.
Daughter of a Spanish mother and a Swedish father, Stella Assange was born in 1983 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied Law at the University of London and has Masters in Refugee Law from the University of Oxford and in International Law from the Complutense University of Madrid. She currently lives in London with her children and works as a lawyer.
An excerpt from the interview follows. The translation is by Edward “The Indoctrinator” Magro:
Diário do Centro do Mundo: Do you see any relationship between Lula’s case and Julian’s case and what should we expect from the British court?
Stella Assange: It is clear that the case against Lula was a political case, it was a lawfare case like Julian’s, but it was another instance of lawfare. Before the revelations about the Lava Jato case, it was unusual how much Judge Moro was quoted in the US media. All of a sudden they were talking a lot about this judge and of course that was part of the process when we saw what happened, what was revealed about how the US was involved in the case.
In Julian’s case, as early as July 2010, even before the first warrant for Julian’s arrest was issued by Sweden, the US State Department was already working with its closest allies in Europe telling them to “find a way to stop this guy”, “find a way to file a lawsuit against him”.
But the US State Department, of course, was directing its allies to use the criminal justice system as a way to further its political goals, in this case to silence Julian. And that’s what we’ve seen happen since 2010, and the attack on Julian has been on many different fronts: political attacks on his person, financial blockade by Wikileaks, and a front through which the United States has used and abused the legal system and the justice system. criminal to arrest him and try to silence him.
But the complete material was published, even with Julian arrested.
At the time, the US was trying to shut him up because they already knew what Julian and Wikileaks were going to publish about Iraq and the State Department, and so they were desperately trying to stop it from happening. Anticipating the risk, Wikileaks partnered with other publications. Daniel Ellsberg [analista militar norte-americano que forneceu ao New York Times os Pentagon Papers – documentos do Pentágono com os crimes dos EUA na Guerra do Vietnã] had a backup, so even if something had happened, as it did, all the material would have been published.
When Lula was about to be arrested, speaking to a crowd of supporters at the Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São Bernardo, he said “I am surrendering myself to prison because they can no longer arrest me because I am an idea, which beats in the heart of each one of you”. I usually say that, while the persecution of Lula was authoritarian, I consider the persecution of Julian totalitarian, it’s a different scale. I don’t know if you agree with that.
Julian’s case is about Julian himself, it’s about the separation of our family, it’s about Julian’s survival, but it’s also about the larger principles that Julian and Wikileaks embodied boldly, protecting the activities of journalism, fighting for the right of people to the truth, to know that the governments were committing crimes, that they were covering up war crimes, and of course, disclosure was a way of holding them accountable for their actions.
In Italy, President Lula asks where the “free press” is to defend Julian Assange who faces extradition for exposing U.S. crimes. pic.twitter.com/8NT3vBnWAE
— Live News (@LiveNews) June 22, 2023
If Julian remains imprisoned, suffering torture, if we allow the fracturing of all these ideals that we’ve fought so hard and for so long, and which have long been a principled ideal that underpins the kind of world we want to live in, then it all falls apart. .
How do you see Lula’s personal commitment to this fight?
Well, I would like to personally thank President Lula from the bottom of my heart for repeatedly bringing Julian’s defense to the agenda, for supporting him for so long, a long time ago, not just recently. I think he understood, even before experiencing the same fate, that Julian is a political prisoner, a geopolitical prisoner.
Julian tried, and indeed succeeded, to bring to light the criminality and corruption that were being committed against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and also the violation of long-standing principles and agreements, for example, in relation to Brazil like you mentioned.
This is crucial because we have witnessed over the years that Julian has been persecuted and mistreated, the legal system has failed to resist political pressure and that, in a situation like this, in a case as cruel as this one, it is necessary that people in Lula’s position , not only in terms of Lula’s political influence, but also in terms of moral standing, manifest themselves, because the attack on Julian is really an attack on the democratic world and will drive the sad change from a world in which democratic ideals prevail to a world in that they will be despised. This means that we, as a global community, are at a time when, if those long-standing principles of human rights, democracy, broad freedom are not respected and in fact despised, our entire edifice of autonomous and free living will collapse.
I am very grateful to Lula because, when he speaks, the world listens. The press listens when he calls her a coward, you can be sure they are listening and they need to hear it, they need to hear it to their face. As Lula is a global leader, and there is no doubt about it, he has a type of leadership that changes the course of history, interferes in the direction and makes possible a new political reality. I think that many people around the world, many governments and the press are listening carefully to what Lula is saying.