The social media giant has given no reason to Christine Assange who had turned to Twitter to campaign for the liberty of her son...
Christine Assange with Ecuador chancellor Ricardo Patiño in Quito, July 30, 2012. (Flickr)
The Twitter account of Christine Assange, the mother of the arbitrarily detained founder of WikiLeaks, has been restricted, she told Consortium News on Tuesday.
“My Twitter account has been ‘blocked due to ‘unusual activity,'” Ms. Assange wrote in a text message. Twitter, however, has provided her no reason for its action.
Ms. Assange is a prolific user of Twitter in her campaign to free her son who has been a refugee in the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012.
Twitter has posted the following message on her page:
While a user can access her page by agreeing to view her profile, Ms. Assange told Consortium Newsshe is unable to post new Tweets to her account.
Her last post, at 11:55 am on Tuesday in Australia, where she lives, is a retweet of an article published about her son. She posted 12 tweets in the past 24 hours.
“Interesting that it followed on from a day of my tweets about free speech and calling on journalists globally to stand up for Julian,” Ms. Assange said in a text message.
Clinton and Bolton
In the past ten days, Ms. Assange tweeted direct replies to Hillary Clinton and John Bolton, the U.S. national security adviser. Bolton had tweeted on March 9: “US military should use #Wikileaks for cyber warfare target practice. Take down their capabilities & prevent further harm to nat’l security.”
Ms. Assange’s reply to Bolton is no longer visible under his tweet. Nine replies to Bolton are now “unavailable.” Ms. Assange said in a text message that her reply began by calling Bolton’s tweet, “Fascist talk.”
Twitter uses algorithms unknown to the public to remove, block, suspend or restrict accounts of its users. Like other social media companies, Twitter has come under intense U.S. congressional pressure to censor accounts deemed hostile to U.S. interests.
Julian Assange has remained in the embassy to avoid arrest by British authorities for skipping bail from an investigation by Sweden that has since been dropped. Has not been charged with a crime by either Sweden or Britain.
Assange was granted political asylum by the previous government of Ecuador seven years ago. The current government, however, has made it known it wants him to leave and has made various moves to force him out. His contact with the outside world has been restricted. Twitter deleted his account on March 28, 2018. British authorities have not permitted him to leave the embassy for urgent medical treatment without being arrested.
Assange fears that if he is arrested by London police once he leaves the embassy that he will be extradited to the United States where a secret grand jury is preparing an indictment against him, most likely under the Espionage Act. Grand jury proceedings are still underway in an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom.