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Hallucinations Are Much More Common Than We Think

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When certain experiences fall outside of societal norms, people tend to keep their personal events to themselves. For instance, you probably don’t hear people walking down the street talking about their hallucinations as candidly as they do, say, their dreams.

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But new research has found that the former is actually much more common among the general population than most people realize.

A study examining over 7,400 people in the UK discovered that 4.3% of participants had reported having experienced visual or auditory hallucinations in the past year, including people without mental disorders. This proves the phenomenon isn’t limited to people with psychosis.

“There is a general idea in psychiatry that hallucinations are a feature of psychosis,” explained lead researcher Ian Kelleher from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, “but when we looked at a whole range of mental health diseases we found that hallucinations are symptoms that occur in a wide range of mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety.”

Borderline personality disorder was used as an example of a psychotic disorder for this study, which, like many other mental issues, has a heavy stigma that sufferers see and hear things that aren’t there. The results of this recent study challenge the stigma, however, dismantling the idea of a divide.

The researchers reviewed data from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity survey, and found that a significant amount of participants had been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

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To determine if hallucinations were more common among people with a psychotic disorder as opposed to those without, the team looked at how many people with borderline personality disorder reported seeing or healing things that other people couldn’t over the last year compared to participants with non-psychotic depression or anxiety.

Their results showed that hallucinations weren’t greater or more apparent in those with borderline personality disorder than in those with a non-psychotic mental disorder. Additionally, more than 4% of every single respondent reported hearing or seeing things that others couldn’t, leading the team to suggest that hallucinations aren’t exclusively symptoms of psychosis.

“Hallucinations are more common than people realize. They can be frightening experiences, and few people openly talk about it,” Kelleher explained. “Our research is valuable because it can show them they are not alone and that having these symptoms is not necessarily associated with having a mental health disorder. It breaks the taboo.”

Such findings support the results of a bigger study published in 2015, which analyzed data for more than 31,000 people from 19 countries. Researchers found that about 5% of the general population reported experiencing hallucinations, regardless of having a mental illness or not.

“We used to think that only people with psychosis heard voices or had delusions, but now we know that otherwise healthy, high-functioning people also report these experiences,” explained lead researcher John McGrath, from the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia.

These studies reveal the potential inaccuracy of symptoms associated with mental health disorders, and highlight just one of many problems with stigmatizing people who suffer from mental illness, both from a scientific perspective and a moral one.

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Awareness

The Power of Peppermint: 15 Health Benefits Revealed

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it was originally published. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    A favourite herbal medicine of the ancients, peppermint leaves have been found in Egyptian pyramids dating back to 1,000 BC. Modern scientific investigations have now confirmed that this remarkable plant has over a dozen healing properties.

In our continuing effort to educate folks to the vast array of healing agents found in the natural world around us, we are excited to feature peppermint, a member of the aromatic mint family that you may already have squirreled away somewhere in your kitchen cupboard. While most have experienced peppermint as a flavoring agent, or perhaps as a comforting cup of herbal tea, few are aware of its wide range of experimentally confirmed therapeutic properties.

The ancients certainly were aware of the mint family’s medicinal value, having been used as herbal medicines in ancient Egypt, Greek and Rome thousands of years ago.[i]  Dried peppermint leaves have even been found in several Egyptian pyramids carbon dating back to 1,000 BC.

Today, modern scientific investigations are revealing an abundance of potential health benefits associated with the use of different components of the peppermint plant, including aromatherapeutic, topical and internal applications.

Most of the human research on peppermint performed thus far indicates this plant has great value in treating gastrointestinal disorders, including:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Since the late 90’s it was discovered that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are safe and effective in the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disorder.[ii]  This beneficial effect extends to the pediatric community. In one children’s trial 75% of those receiving peppermint oil had reduced severity of pain associated with IBS within 2 weeks.[iii] Another 2005 trial in adults concluded that “Taking into account the currently available drug treatments for IBS Peppermint oil (1-2 capsules t.i.d. over 24 weeks) may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.”[iv]  In another 2007 trial 75% of patients receiving peppermint oil saw an impressive 50% reduction of “total irritable bowel syndrome score.”[v] Most recently, a study published January of this year found that peppermint oil was effective in relieving abdominal pain in diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome.[vi]
  • Colonic spasm – Peppermint oil has been studied as a safe and effective alternative to the drug Buscopan for its ability to reduce spasms during barium enemas.[vii] [viii]
  • Gastric Emptying Disorders – Peppermint has been found to enhance gastric emptying, suggesting its potential use in a clinical setting for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.[ix]
  • Functional dyspepsia – A 2000 study published in the journal Ailment Pharmacology and Therapy found that 90 mg of peppermint oil and 50 mg of caraway oil resulted in 67% of patients reporting “much or very much improved” in their symptoms of functional dyspepsia. [x]
  • Infantile Colic: A 2013 study found that peppermint is at least as effective as the chemical simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic.[xi]

Click here to save your spot and get instant access to GreenMedInfo founder Sayer Ji’s interview! 

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Other studied applications include

  • Breastfeeding Associated Nipple Pain and Damage: A 2007 study found that peppermint water prevented nipple cracks and nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers.[xii]
  • Tuberculosis: A 2009 study found that inhaled essential oil of peppermint was able to rapidly regress tuberculous inflammation, leading the authors to conclude: “This procedure may be used to prevent recurrences and exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis.”[xiii]
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever): A 2001 preclinical study found that extracts of the leaves of peppermint  inhibit histamine release indicating it may be clinically effective in alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis.[xiv]
  • Shingles Associated Pain (Post-Herpetic Neuralgia): A 2002 case study found that topical peppermint oil treatment resulted in a near immediate improvement of shingles associated neuropathic pain symptoms; the therapeutic effects persisted throughout the entire 2 months of follow-up treatment. [xv]
  • Memory problems: A 2006 study found that the simple aroma of peppermint enhances memory and increases alertness in human subjects.[xvi]
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: A 2013 study found that peppermint oil was found to be effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at reduced cost versus standard drug-based treatment.[xvii]
  • Prostate Cancer: Preclinical research indicates that peppermint contains a compound known as menthol which inhibits prostate cancer growth.[xviii] [xix]
  • Radiation Damage: Preclinical research indicates peppermint protects against radiation-induced DNA damage and cell death.[xx]  [xxi]
  • Herpes Simplex  Virus Type 1: Peppermint has been found to have inhibitory activity against acyclovir-resistant Herpes Simplex virus type 1.[xxii] [xxiii]
  • Dental Caries/Bad Breath: Peppermint oil extract has been found to be superiorto the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine inhibiting Streptococus mutans driven biofilm formation associated with dental caries.[xxiv] [xxv] This may explain why powdered peppermint leaves were used in the Middle Ages to combat halitosis and whiten teeth.

Peppermint is actually a hybridized cross between Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata),[xxvi] the latter of which has also been researched to possess remarkable therapeutic properties, such as the ability to exert significant anti-androgenic effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome[xxvii] and ameliorating the related condition of mild hirsutism, marked by excessive hair growth in females.[xxviii]

Like all plant medicines, extreme caution must be exercised when using extracts and especially essential oils.  Also, remember that more is not always better. A recent study on the use of rosemary in improving cognitive performance in the elderly found that a lower ‘culinary’ dose (750 mg) was not only more effective in improving cognition (as measured by memory speed) than a higher dose, but the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant memory impairing effect.[xxix] This illustrates quite nicely how less can be more, and why an occasional nightly cup of peppermint tea may be far superior as preventive strategy than taking large ‘heroic’ doses of an herb only after a serious health problem sets in.


Resources

  • [i] A. Sustrikova, I. Salamon, Essential oil of peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) from fields in Eastern Slovakia., 2004: Zahradnictvi Horticultural Science 31(1): 31-36
  • [xxvi] The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs, Alex Frampton, The Reader’s Digest Association, 2009

Originally published: 2018-08-31

Articule updated: 2019-05-21


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Awareness

25 Reasons to Avoid the Gardasil Vaccine

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It has been 13 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supplied fast-tracked approval for Merck’s Gardasil vaccine—promoted for the prevention of cervical cancer and other conditions attributed to four types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The agency initially licensed Gardasil solely for 9- to 26-year-old girls and women, but subsequent FDA decisions now enable Merck to market Gardasil’s successor—the nine-valent Gardasil 9 vaccine—to a much broader age range—9 to 45 years—and to both males and females.

As a result of Gardasil’s expanding markets not just in the U.S. but internationally, the blockbuster HPV vaccine has become Merck’s third highest-grossing product, bringing in annual global revenues of about $2.3 billion. However, Gardasil’s safety record has been nothing short of disastrous. Children’s Health Defense and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. have just produced a video detailing the many problems with the development and safety of Gardasil. Please watch and share this video so that you and others may understand why Mr. Kennedy refers to Merck’s methodologies as “fraudulent flimflams.”

What follow are 25 key facts about Gardasil/Gardasil 9, including facts about the HPV vaccines’ clinical trials and adverse outcomes observed ever since Merck, public health officials and legislators aggressively foisted the vaccines on an unsuspecting public.

Inappropriate placebos and comparisons

  1. A placebo is supposed to be an inert substance that looks just like the drug being tested. But in the Gardasil clinical trials, Merck used a neurotoxic aluminum adjuvant called AAHS instead of using an inert saline placebo.
  2. Among girls and women who received the vaccine and among girls and women who received AAHS, an astonishing 2.3% in both groups experienced conditions indicative of “systemic autoimmune disorders,” many shortly after receiving Gardasil.
  3. Multiple scientific studies associate aluminum not just with autoimmune diseases but with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well as behavioral abnormalities in animals.
  4. Merck lied to study participants, falsely saying that the clinical trials were not safety studies, that the vaccine had already been found to be safe and that the “placebo” was an inert saline solution. [Source: The HPV Vaccine on Trial  (photo evidence, pp. 6 and 12).]
  5. When Merck conducted clinical trials for its next HPV vaccine formulation, Gardasil 9, it used Gardasil as the “placebo” in the control groups, again relying on the lack of an inert placebo to mask safety signals.
  6. The 500 micrograms of aluminum adjuvant (AAHS) in Gardasil 9 are more than double the amount of aluminum in Gardasil; this raises the question of whether Gardasil 9’s heavy reliance on the Gardasil trials for comparison is justifiable.
  7. The World Health Organization states that using a vaccine (rather than an inert substance) as a placebo creates a “methodological disadvantage” and also notes that it may be “difficult or impossible” to assess vaccine safety properly without a true placebo.

Inappropriate inclusion and exclusion criteria

  1. In the only Gardasil trial in the target age group (11- and 12-year-old girls) with a control group design, fewer than 1200 children received the vaccine and fewer than 600 served as controls. This single trial involving fewer than 1800 children set the stage for the vaccine’s subsequent marketing to millions of healthy preteens all over the world.
  2. The Gardasil clinical trials had numerous exclusion criteria. Not allowed to participate in the trials were people with: severe allergies; prior abnormal Pap test results; over four lifetime sex partners; a history of immunological disorders and other chronic illnesses; reactions to vaccine ingredients, including aluminum, yeast, and benzonase; or a history of drug or alcohol abuse—yet Merck now recommends Gardasil for all of these groups.

Inadequate monitoring

  1. Some of the study participants—but not all—were given “report cards” to record short-term reactions such as redness and itching. The report cards monitored reactions for a mere 14 days, however, and Merck did not follow up with participants who experienced serious adverse events such as systemic autoimmune or menstrual problems.
  2. Injured participants complained that Merck rebuffed their attempts to report adverse side effects. In numerous instances, Merck maintained that these “weren’t related to the vaccine.”
  3. Half (49.6%) of the clinical trial subjects who received Gardasil reported serious medical conditions within seven months. To avoid classifying these injuries as adverse events, Merck dismissed them as “new medical conditions.”
Annual deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. are 2.3/100,000. The death rate in the Gardasil clinical trials was 85/100,000—or 37 times that of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer risk-benefit ratio not worth it

  1. The median age of cervical cancer death is 58 years. Gardasil targets millions of healthy preadolescents and teens for whom the risk of dying from cervical cancer is practically zero. Interventions for healthy people must have a risk profile that is also practically zero.
  2. Annual deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. are 2.3/100,000. The death rate in the Gardasil clinical trials was 85/100,000—or 37 times that of cervical cancer.
  3. With 76 million children vaccinated at an average cost of $420 for the three-shot Gardasil series, the cost of saving one American life from cervical cancer amounts to about $18.3 million dollars. By contrast, the value of a human life according to the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS’s) National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is $250,000—the maximum amount that the government program will award for a vaccine-related death.
  4. According to Gardasil’s package insert, women are 100 times more likely to suffer a severe event following vaccination with Gardasil than they are to get cervical cancer.
  5. The chances of getting an autoimmune disease from Gardasil, even if the vaccine works, are 1,000 times greater than the chances of being saved from a cervical cancer death.
  6. Women in Gardasil clinical trials with evidence of current HPV infection and previous exposure to HPV had a 44% increased risk of developing cervical lesions or cancer following vaccination.
  7. Women who get the Gardasil vaccine as preteens or teens are more likely to skip cervical cancer screening as adults, mistakenly assuming that HPV vaccination is a replacement for screening and that the vaccine will eliminate all risk.
Since Gardasil came on the U.S. market in 2006, people have reported over 450 deaths and over 61,000 serious medical conditions from HPV vaccines to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Fertility effects

  1. Accumulating evidence points to Gardasil’s potentially severe adverse effects on fertility, including miscarriage and premature ovarian failure.
  2. Merck never tested the vaccine for fertility effects. However, Gardasil and Gardasil 9 clinical trials showed high spontaneous miscarriage rates of 25% and 27.4%, respectively—significantly higher than the background rates of approximately 10%-15% in this reproductive age group.
  3. Polysorbate 80 and sodium borate (Borax) are associated with infertility in animals. Both are Gardasil ingredients, and both were present in the one clinical trial protocol that professed to use a benign saline placebo.

Post-licensing

  1. In 2015, Denmark opened five new “HPV clinics” to treat children injured by Gardasil. Over 1300 cases flooded the clinics shortly after their opening.
  2. Since Gardasil came on the U.S. market in 2006, people have reported over 450 deaths and over 61,000 serious medical conditions from HPV vaccines to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
  3. Merck lied to VAERS about the case of Christina Tarsell’s death, falsely claiming that her doctor blamed a virus instead of Gardasil. [Source: The HPV Vaccine on Trial  (p. 144).]

The vaccine that should never have been licensed

As suggested in the conclusion to the 2018 book The HPV Vaccine on Trial, the rollout of Gardasil in 125 countries worldwide has illustrated—in an all-too-real and shocking manner—the phenomenon that prompted Hans Christian Andersen to write “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Around the world, over 100,000 Gardasil-related adverse events have now been reported to the FDA and WHO, and accounts continue to multiply of “scandal, lawsuits, severe injuries, and deaths.” For almost 200 years, Andersen’s story has taught readers about the need to speak the truth, pay attention to evidence and listen to children. The rosy narrative manufactured for the dangerous Gardasil vaccine must not be allowed to hold sway any longer. It is time, in the words of the HPV Vaccine on Trial authors, to proclaim—loudly—that “the Emperor has no clothes.”

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Wikileaks: Ecuador is Being Run By “Criminals & Liars.” Assange’s Entire Legal Defense Given To The United States

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Three weeks before the U.S. deadline to file its final extradition request for Assange, Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow U.S. prosecutors to help themselves to Assange's belongings.

  • Reflect On:

    How do the global elite have the right and power to do what they do to people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden? Do we really live in a democracy when small groups of people in power can basically make decisions that go against the majority?

What’s happening with Julian Assange is heart-breaking. He’s a hero, just like Edward Snowden. Government secrets are kept, not to protect ‘national security’ as commonly claimed, but rather to protect political and corporate interests. After all, the United States is evidently run by a small group of corporations. These corporations have a huge influence when it comes to dictating government policy, and they do not like those who disclose their secrets. For years, Wikileaks has been leaking documents that’ve exposed major corruption within multiple governments, including the United States and basically the entire western military alliance. They’ve exposed that our world operates very differently than how it’s been presented, and they’ve never had to retract a single story. They exposed the invisible government, or “the real menace of Republic,” a term coined by John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City. Hylan has said that the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.”  (source)

Transparency is what Julian Assange is all about, and the American empire and even the global empire have been desperately trying to keep their secrets and prosecute anyone or anything that threatens their secrecy. That’s what this is all about. And they proved that with Chelsea Manning.

It’s not just people like Assange who are being demonized and hunted, it’s alternative media as well. The war on ‘fake news’ that’s been happening for the last little while has resulted in alternative media outlets being labeled as ‘fake’, even if they’re presenting credible information and sources. Any media outlet who even questions a controversial issue has been labeled as ‘wrong’ or ‘fake.’

What is happening to Assange is extremely unjust, and should serve as a massive ‘wake up’ call for anyone who isn’t already ‘awake.’ Truth and free press threaten the ability of the global elite to continue their cycle of creating problems and then proposing solutions in order to achieve their desired outcome. Some of the biggest leaks WikiLeaks has made were when they revealed the connections between terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS to the western military alliance, and more specifically to the US government. Current presidential candidate and Congresswoman at the time, Tulsi Gabbard, even introduced a bill to stop this from happening.

We saw arms deals and the funding/support of terrorist organizations that the US claimed to be fighting against. This is a great example of how the global elite funds and creates a problem in order to justify a desired outcome (in this case it was heightened national security measures back home to protect people from ‘the war on terror’ and justify their infiltration of another country for ulterior motives).

I could go deeper into this, but the bottom line is that the arrest of Julian Assange comes at the hands of the criminals around the globe he was exposing, and it’s ironic that they are using their power and influence over mainstream media to portray Assange as the one who needs to be put behind bars.

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The Latest Update On Assange

Below is the latest update from the Wikileaks team via a recent press release.

Three weeks before the U.S. deadline to file its final extradition request for Assange, Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow U.S. prosecutors to help themselves to Assange’s belongings.

Neither Julian Assange nor U.N. officials have been permitted to be present when Ecuadorian officials arrive to Ecuador’s embassy in London on Monday morning.

The chain of custody has already been broken. Assange’s lawyers will not be present at the illegal seizure of his property, which has been “requested by the authorities of the United States of America.”

The material includes two of his manuscripts as well as his legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment. The seizure of his belongings violates laws that protect medical and legal confidentiality and press protections.

The seizure is formally listed as “International Assistance in Criminal matters 376-2018-WTT requested by the authorities of the United States of America.” The reference number of the legal papers indicates that Ecuador’s formal cooperation with the United States was initiated in 2018.

Since the day of his arrest on April 11, 2019, Mr. Assange’s lawyers and the Australian consul made dozens of documented demands to the embassy of Ecuador for the release and return of his belongings, to which they received no response.

Earlier this week the UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy, who met with Mr. Assange in Belmarsh prison on April 25, asked to be present to monitor Ecuador’s seizure of Assange’s property. Ecuador inexplicably refused the request, despite the fact that since 2003, Ecuador has explicitly committed itself to granting unimpeded open invitations for UN special rapporteurs to investigate any aspect of their mandate in Ecuadorian jurisdiction.

The seizure and transfer of Mr. Assange’s property to the U.S. is the second phase of a bilateral cooperation that in January and February saw Ecuador arranging U.S. interrogations of past and present Ecuadorian diplomats posted to the embassy of Ecuador in London while Mr. Assange was receiving asylum. The questioning related to the U.S. grand jury investigation against Assange and WikiLeaks. As part of phase one of the cooperation, the United States also asked Ecuador to provide documents and audiovisual material of Assange and his guests, which had been gathered during an extensive spy operation against Assange inside the embassy.

On Friday, President Lenin Moreno initiated a state of emergency that suspends the rights of prisoners to “inviolability of correspondence, freedom of association and assembly and freedom of information” through Executive Decree 741.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks said:

“On Monday Ecuador will perform a puppet show at the Embassy of Ecuador in London for their masters in Washington, just in time to expand their extradition case before the U.K. deadline on 14 June. The Trump Administration is inducing its allies to behave like it’s the Wild West.”

Hrafnsson continued:

“Ecuador is run by criminals and liars. There is no doubt in my mind that Ecuador, either independently or at the behest of the US, has tampered with the belongings it will send to the United States.”

Baltasar Garzon, international legal coordinator for the defence of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, said:

“It is extremely worrying that Ecuador has proceeded with the search and seizure of property, documents, information and other material belonging to the defence of Julian Assange, which Ecuador arbitrarily confiscated, so that these can be handed over to the agent of political persecution against him, the United States. It is an unprecedented attack on the rights of the defence, freedom of expression and access to information exposing massive human rights abuses and corruption. We call on international protection institutions to intervene to put a stop to this persecution.”

Lawyer for Mr. Assange, Aitor Martinez, whose confidential legal papers were photographed with a mobile phone by embassy workers as part of a spy operation against Mr. Assange in October 2018, said:

“Ecuador is committing a flagrant violation of the most basic norms of the institution of asylum by handing over all the asylee’s personal belongings indiscriminately to the country that he was being protected from–the United States. This is completely unprecedented in the history of asylum. The protecting country cannot cooperate with the agent of persecution against the person to whom it was providing protection.

Ecuador has now also refused a request by the UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy, Joe Cannataci, to  monitor and  inspect the cooperation measure. Ecuador’s refusal to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur defies the entire international human rights protection system of the United Nations. Ecuador will from now on be seen as a country that operates outside of the system of safeguards of rights that defines democratic countries.”

Ecuadorian defence attorney for Mr. Assange, Carlos Poveda, said:

“In the face of countless abuses, and acting on provisions in domestic legislation and international human rights instruments, the defence has challenged the execution of this measure. All applications have been rejected. While the prosecution office proclaims its commitment to human rights protections, there has been no transparency and the investigation is conducted in secret. Without justification, and absent of all legal criteria, the measure shows the interest in obtaining information that the United States can use to proceed with its flagrant persecution. Meanwhile Ecuador has hinted that it too intends to proceed with investigations. Meanwhile, to date our criminal complaints of espionage against Julian Assange remain unprocessed, despite the gravity of the facts reported.”

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