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U.S. Seeking to Question Detained Activist Ola Bini in Ecuador

U.S. authorities have been given permission from Ecuador to question activist and programmer Ola Bini.

Ola Bini | by Måns Sandström

Bini has been detained for over two months and was arrested on the same day that the South American nation rescinded the asylum of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. It is widely believed that the programmer was imprisoned as part of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s ongoing vendetta against Wikileaks.

U.S. investigators will interview Ola on June 27 for as yet undetermined reasons, with speculation being that the interview will concern Bini’s association with Wikileaks and the U.S. regime’s attempts to build their case against Julian Assange. Ecuadorian officials contend that he was arrested for his part in an organised “plot” against the discredited Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, a claim completely denied by Bini and his representatives. Ecuador has not charged the activist with any crime.

“Nothing in this story connects Ola Bini with any crime”

David Kaye, the United Nations’ special investigator on freedom of expression

Ola Bini had arrived in Ecuador in 2013 following a transfer from Chicago as part of his work at the tech firm Thoughtworks. It is following this transfer that Ecuador contends he became a member of an “espionage network” linked to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and in conjunction with the former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

Moreno has come under heavy pressure at home after the release of the INA Papers in the spring of this year exposed a sizeable corruption scandal surrounding his Presidency. The Ecuadorian regime contends that the leak was part of a “plot” to destabilize the government by the so-called “espionage network”, critics stating that the claims of a plot are mere attempts to deflect from the leak itself.

Released in between February and March, the INA Papers are a leak of information from Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Whatsapp, Telegram and Gmail accounts that show evidence of extensive corruption and a lavish lifestyle, including his possession of secret bank accounts. Moreno believed Assange was responsible for the leak, a belief that has been publically rejected by Wikileaks. Bini is believed to have travelled to see Assange at least 12 times in London, an association that critics contend put a target on his back.

Privacy groups and supporters have accused Ecuador of a vendetta against Ola Bini through his friendship with Assange and embarrassment over the INA Papers, nothing that the activist has been imprisoned without charge and with no public evidence presented against him. Instead of campaigning for his release, it appears now that the U.S. wish to use his circumstance to obtain information and even testimony in their own machinations against Assange and Wikileaks.



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