Karin Olsson writes: Julian Assange’s circus has pulled off another breathtaking stunt: he has won political asylum in Ecuador. Assange’s flight from Sweden, a decent democracy with a largely excellent justice system, takes ever more absurd forms. After the decision of Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, the Swedish Twitterverse filled with mocking jokes.
Assange has few fans left here. On the contrary, his unholy alliance with Ecuador’s political leadership casts a shadow over what was, despite everything, his real achievement: to reveal shattering news through the revolutionary medium of WikiLeaks.
Patiño praised Assange as a fighter for free expression, and explained that they had to protect his human rights. But Ecuador is a country with a dreadful record when it comes to freedom of expression and of the press. Inconvenient journalists are put on trial. Private media companies may not operate freely.
President Rafael Correa is patently unable to tolerate any truths that he does not own. Reporters Without Borders has strongly and often criticised the way that media freedoms are limited in Ecuador. Assange is a plaything for the president’s megalomania. [Continue reading…]