August 5, 2021

Swedish parents believe he was arrested in Ecuador for his friendship with Assange

Swedish parents believe he was arrested in Ecuador for his friendship with Assange

Dag Gustafsson and Görel Bini Gustafsson, parents of the Swedish computer expert Ola Bini, believe that their son was arrested in Ecuador for "the friendship" he had with Julian Assange and for having "a lot of computers and electronic equipment", but they assured that is part of WikiLeaks.

"My belief is that, one, he has been arrested for being a friend of Julian Assange, which is no secret, and two, for having a lot of computers and electronic equipment," he told Efe Gustafsson in a hotel interview today. of the Ecuadorian capital.

He considered that "that was enough for the Government and the Police (of Ecuador) to detain him," but "that is a violation of human rights because they can find thousands of Ecuadorians, perhaps not Assange's friends, but with computers."

Bini, 36, of Swedish nationality, was arrested last Thursday – the same day that Ecuador suspended Assange's asylum at his embassy in London – as an alleged member of an "espionage network" that was infiltrating official sites and obtain electronic information, according to the Ecuadorian Government.

Ecuador maintains that this network could have been directed from its Embassy in London, where Assange tried to install an "espionage center", in the words of President Lenin Moreno.

His private secretary, Juan Sebastián Roldán, said in an interview with Efe that Bini, a computer expert who arrived in Ecuador six years ago from the company ThoughtWorks, visited the founder of WikiLeaks on "fourteen" occasions, the last time in " January".

In pretrial detention for 90 days, Bini was visited on Tuesday for ten minutes by his parents, who arrived from Sweden on Monday after learning of his son's detention.

"He is physically well but worried and a little bit in shock, he does not understand why he is in prison and he is worried about his personal safety," the mother stressed.

His parents plan to stay in Quito at least until the next hearing, scheduled for the end of this week or early next because his Ecuadorian lawyer, Carlos Soria, filed an appeal with a provincial high court about their conditions of arrest.

"We hope that this changes the situation, from prison to house arrest, or even better that it be released," the father said.

Bini came to Ecuador after working for five years in Chicago for the same company, which is dedicated to free software projects in order to improve the privacy of users on the Internet.

For his work he used to make numerous trips, especially to Brazil, where he had technical programmers, although his house was in Quito.

"Ecuador was his home, he liked this," said his parents about this stage of his life, and recalled that he has a younger brother who also lived in the country for "a year or a year and a half" and returned to Sweden with his girlfriend Ecuadorian

Little is known about his son's businesses, who only say that "he is not a hacker", but a "regular guy interested in software and computers".

"His interest or focus of interest is the digital aspect of human rights, freedom of expression and personal integrity on the internet, that was his passion for life!" Said Gustafsson.

A "passion" that a few years ago approached Assange, now imprisoned in London and awaiting a decision on his extradition to the United States. for the dissemination of hundreds of thousands of secret documents.

Asked by Efe about that friendship, they say they do not know "when" or "how" it was created, but they knew that they have visited it.

"Ola has friends all over the world, and they will raise their voices for him because he is one of the most righteous people in the world," his father said.

"Since childhood he has a strong conscience of good and evil, and has raised his voice to defend what is right and has not accepted injustice and evil," he said.

A "good" that saw the need for greater privacy on the Internet in order to prevent governments from spying on citizens, a mission that he supported through encryption programs, since last year from another company created in Quito, Digital Autonomy Center (CAD).

His mother said that in his prison visit he told them "what he has been doing and will continue to do when he leaves," because "he has not been doing anything that they accuse him of," according to his father.

In Ecuador, the computer came from the USA with his Swedish wife, but he got divorced and has an Ecuadorian girlfriend.

His passion for martial arts also took him to Japan last Thursday, when he was arrested at the Quito airport.

Despite occasionally wearing a look similar to that of the founder of Wikileaks, and various information on the network, Gustafsson stresses that it has no relationship with that organization.

"He has no relationship whatsoever, as a computer expert he became interested in Wikileaks, like so many others, but nothing more than that," he insisted.

Daniela Brik


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