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March 2, 2021

WikiLeaks activists rally supporters in several nations

Pro-free-speech rallies were scheduled in several international cities Saturday to protest the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being held in a prison on the outskirts of London on suspicion of sex crimes unrelated to his controversial website.

A Spanish website that supports WikiLeaks’ cause urged protesters Saturday to gather in the capitals of Spain, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, the Netherlands and Colombia to demand Assange’s release. “We seek the liberation of Julian Assange in United Kingdom territory,” the website said. The website called on protesters to gather in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville, and other Spanish cities. Similar rallies were held in Assange’s native Australia on Friday. Protests were also scheduled in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday, according to Justice for Assange, a website that collects and lists rally information. Demonstrators are scheduled to continue their protest at London’s Westminster Court and the Swedish Embassy on Monday and Tuesday. Support for WikiLeaks has also been voiced by several world leaders, including Brazil’s outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. U.N. Human Rights commissioner Navi Pillay also showed her support for Assange and criticized what she called policies of “intimidation” against him.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday expressed hopes that the “deplorable” leaks would not harm U.S. relations with other countries in calls with Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.


The latest WikiLeaks cable reveals fears of anti-Catholic violence in the UK after the Pope offered to accept conservative Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church, Channel 4 reportted. The cable, dated 30 Nov 2009, shows the concerns of London’s Vatican ambassador, France Campbell, that there would be an anti-Catholic backlash in the UK over the offer. A second earlier cable, dated 9 Nov, revealed that Campbell had told US ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, that the Catholic church would face “unforeseen obstacles” if many Anglicans did in fact take up the offer. It cited him as saying that this transition of Anglican converts could “overwhelm the financial resources of many dioceses.” According to the Nov. 30 cable, Campbell felt the Vatican had acted without considering what its move would mean for the Church of England, mother church for the world’s 80 million Anglicans, or their spiritual leader Williams.


Russia was hunting the killers of Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but KGB officials were assured by British intelligence the matter was “under control”, according to a claim in the latest Wikileaks release, The Telegraph reports. A leaked US diplomatic memo contains claims by a former KGB officer that Russian officials had known about individuals moving radioactive substances into London before the dissident spy was killed, in 2006. The disclosure, the latest cable to released by Wikileaks, could reignite the deep diplomatic row that followed the assassination. Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who lived and worked in Britain, was poisoned in November 2006 using polonium-210, a rare radioactive isotope, a killing blamed by his associates on Russian agents.

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