Arrests Of Julian Assange And Omar Al Bashir
Julian Assange arrested
UK: The Founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, was arrested on Thursday by the UK police soon after the Ecuadorian embassy gave up his asylum status. Assange was living inside the Ecuadorian embassy for the past seven years, following the extradition request from the US for his involvement in leaking thousands of classified documents including files related to the US targeting civilians during the Iraq war, along with Chelsea Manning. His fellow whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who is under political asylum in Russia, reacted to the arrest as a “dark moment for press freedom”.
Assange mentioned in an earlier interview that he believed he would not get a fair trial with laws such as the espionage act. The charges and the case against Assange will not end with Assange, or Wikileaks, but will also have repercussions with regards to actions against journalists, whistleblowers, and press freedom in general. As for Wikileaks, probably Jacob Appelbaum who was a guest at the Cinema for Peace Gala Berlin 2019 and editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson will take a stronger role now.
Crimes against humanity convict Al Bashir arrested.
Sudan: After months of massive protests by the Sudanese civilians, the military has finally arrested and removed Al Bashir from the presidency. However, the protestors reject the military’s decision of a two year transition rule by the military. They claim it is as if the regime conducted the coup themselves creating a false sense of the solution. The military has further stated that it will not extradite Al Bashir to the ICC.
World leaders, including UN Secretary-General, are urging the authorities for a peaceful transition to a new civilian government. The brutal crimes of Al Bashir and the regime are documented in the film “The Heart of Nuba”, which won the Cinema for Peace Most Valuable Documentary of the Year award in 2019. Replacing Omar Al Bashir with a military rule for two years is nothing close to what the Sudanese people have been demanding. After the persistent continuation of protest by the Sudanese people, the military leader also had to step down on Friday evening. Will the people's demand for a 'civilian government by and for the people' be met in Sudan?
Cinema for Peace founder Jaka Bizilj previously served at the UN Security Council as an adviser to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who reported on Bashir's crimes against humanity - while Sudan was a member of the Council, proving the absurdity of the system and the need for urgent reform of the UN.