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Zizek: Assange turns 50 in jail – a reminder of a Western democracy paradox he exposed, where non-freedom gives a sense of freedom

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Today, WikiLeaks co-founder Assange is celebrating his 50th birthday, being held at the Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London as Washington seeks his extradition to the US, where he could be jailed for up to 175 years if found guilty.

When Belarus forced a Ryanair plane en route from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk in order to detain opposition activist Roman Protasevich, this act of piracy was met by global condemnation. However, we should remember that Western powers did exactly the same in 2013, when the plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria. It was done under order of the US, which had alleged that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, trying to get from Russia to Latin America. To add insult to injury, Snowden was not on the plane.

Against his will, Assange became a symbol of this dark side of Western democracies, a symbol of our struggle against the new digital forms of control and regulation over our lives which are much more efficient than the old “totalitarian” ones. Many Western liberals point out that........

© RT.com

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