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The threats facing Assange | SocialistWorker.org.

The government of Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after British courts ruled that he should be handed over to the Swedish government for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.

Swedish officials claim they only want Assange to answer questions, but Assange fears that the U.S. government will take the opportunity to demand his extradition to face some form of charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents, possibly under Washington’s strengthened anti-terrorism laws.

As evidence of U.S. scheming, Assange and his supporters point to the vitriolic statements of U.S. officials following the release of evidence of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan along with other revelations–and to the persecution of whistleblower Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier accused of passing some of the most damning documents to WikiLeaks. Assange has been fighting Sweden’s attempts at extradition in the British courts–with the latest negative court ruling, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and asked for asylum.

While some of Assange’s supporters have wrongly made light of the allegations against him, others on the left have dismissed Assange’s fears that the U.S. would like to put him on trial. In an article for his blog Lenin’s Tomb, British socialist Richard Seymour, author of American

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