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China Berates US’ Double Standards on Free Speech after Assange Verdict
By Staff, Agencies
China has berated the US for its blatant double standards on human rights and freedom of speech days after a UK High Court approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US.
Speaking at a press conference on Assange’s extradition to the US where he has been indicted on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he has taken note of media reports saying that the Assange case fully exposes double standards of the US on the issue of the freedom of speech.
“It seems that anyone can enjoy “freedom of the press as long as they refrain from criticizing or disclosing the unspeakable crimes committed by the US. Otherwise, they may end up behind bars like Mr. Assange,” Wenbin said.
The US government, which had challenged a decision made in January against his extradition, on Friday won an appeal at Britain’s High Court over the extradition of Assange.
Assange is accused of 18 counts related to WikiLeaks’ release of vast troves of confidential US military records, including classified military and diplomatic files in 2010 about US bombing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq that proved highly embarrassing for Washington.
The High Court’s ruling once again proved the US and the UK’s cozy relationship and their aligned foreign policy orientation in suppressing the freedom of speech.
Slamming the verdict against the noted whistle blower, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said when the US once again calls for safeguarding freedom of the press and speech, “people will remember what happened to Assange.”
Hua Chunying, director general of China’s information department and foreign ministry spokesman, also lashed out at the Biden administration over Assange verdict.
“If Mr Assange were a Chinese and had leaked damning information about China, his fate would be totally different -- he'd be invited to the WhiteHouse & State Department and hailed as a hero on HumanRightsDay,” she tweeted on Monday.
She said Assange was charged for “revealing how the US military had killed 15,000+ civilians in unreported incidents during the Iraq war, tortured foreign nationals aged 14-89 in Guantanamo spied on UN chief & senior foreign diplomats, instigated coups in other countries, and meddled in the Yemen war which took thousands of lives.
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