Julian Assange confirms he sent ‘experimental’ parcel to notorious Jaw jail, where Nabeel Rajab is serving sentence for organising pro-democracy protest
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sent an "experimental" protest package fitted with a GPS tracker and secret spy camera to jailed Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab, the organisation has said in a statement on its website.
The “live parcel” was posted on Monday from the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, where Assange is voluntarily holed up due to fears he will be extradited to face charges, to Rajab in the notorious Jaw Prison in Bahrain.
It contains statements requesting Rajab's release by WikiLeaks, Human Rights First, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Australian Senate and the US Department of State and is being monitored via the GPS, according to the organisation.
“Through a hole in the parcel, the camera documents and live-tweets its journey through the postal system, letting anyone online follow the parcel’s status in real-time,” a statement on the WikiLeaks website says.
“The images captured by the camera are transferred to this website and the Bitnk Twitter account in real time. So, as the parcel slowly makes its way to Jaw Prison in Bahrain, anyone online can follow the parcel's status in real time.”
The organisation says the purpose of the parcel is to test whether it will reach Rajab or be removed from the postal system and whether there is still a communication channel to the prisoner.
Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), was jailed for two years in August, 2012, for organising pro-democracy protests.
Hundreds of activists have been arrested since the beginning of an uprising against the Sunni-minority rulers that broke out in early 2011.
BCHR says at least 89 people have been killed by security forces in the tiny kingdom since February 2011.
"Nabeel's commitment to the moral importance of [Bahrain's pro-democracy] movement cannot be doubted," Assange said in an online statement.
"Along with many other Bahrainis, he has given over his life and freedom for the reform of his country. Together, they have given everything. It is the regime that must now give ground.”
Co-founder of Mediengruppe Bitnik, the Zurich-based digital art and hacktivist group behind the parcel project, said it was an experiment.
"We are trying to overcome certain boundaries and get to places that people usually have a hard time accessing," Carmen Weisskopf said.
The group already has successfully sent a similar package to Assange in the embassy to break what they described as a police siege.
Assange has been living in the embassy for over a year after seeking refuge there amid fears he would be extradited to the US over his role in the publication of incriminating government documents provided to WikiLeaks by former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.