Recurring ‘Unity4J’ Online Solidarity Vigil Set To Kick Off This Weekend
As Assange enters his third consecutive month of solitary confinement, a series of ongoing online vigils inspired by the viral #ReconnectJulian event is to be held on June 2nd, under the banner “Unity4J.” Supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks will unite again, to demand Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange’s communications and freedom be restored. The #Unity4J events will take place monthly, on the first weekend of the month.
This weekend’s vigil will be broadcast live from the following link:
Disobedient Media previously reported on the first online vigil held for Julian Assange after his communications were cut off by the Ecuadorian government on March 28. This writer participated for the full length of that ten-hour vigil and was honored to participate with the brave whistleblowers, activists, comedians and journalists who raised their voices together in support of Assange. Since that time, numerous letters and petitions have been signed, calling for Assange’s isolation to end. A short compilation of the ReconnectJulian vigil can be viewed below:
This author described Assange’s current predicament as both solitary confinement and torture, noting that he had been documented to have been suffering from the ill-effects associated with isolation prior to the cut in communications. Disobedient Media also detailed that as little as fifteen days in severe isolation is considered torture under the United Nation’s Nelson Mandela rules. Despite this, at this time, the Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief has more than quadrupled that limit.
The Intercept recently reported that former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa also assessed the current restrictions on Julian Assange’s contact with the outside world as torture. The Intercept conveyed Correa’s sentiments: “Denial of visitors is, Correa said, “a clear violation of his rights. Once we give asylum to someone, we are responsible for his safety, for ensuring humane living conditions.” But “without communications to the outside world and visits from anyone, the government is basically attacking Julian’s mental health.”
Correa was joined in his assessment of the situation by former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, who was reported to have said: “I do not think the measure is proportionate. I think Ecuador probably thought this has been done before, let’s do it again. And I do not think it has been done in a responsible manner… We are seeing now access in general to Julian is being restricted. I understand it is open-ended. There is no set date for a reconnection.”
The Ron Paul Institute also spoke out against Ecuador’s treatment of the Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief, writing: “Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.”
The World Socialist Website and the Courage Foundation have warned that Assange may be in danger of losing asylum, a concern refuted by Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, who said the asylum would continue, “with conditions,” as reported by Telsur. Despite Moreno’s statements, Disobedient Media has noted that after Assange’s communications were cut, Ecuador signed a military deal with the United States. Telesur described the agreement, writing that it was expected to result in a US military presence in Ecuador.
With all of this in mind, the upcoming vigil is an especially important opportunity for the voices against Assange’s continued isolation to be raised and heard. The Unity4J press release directs media inquiries to Suzie Dawson, via private message on Twitter: @Suzi3D or to this author on Twitter via @Elizabethleavos or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.