Their publication is right on time. Over 17,000 documents just revealed by WikiLeaks rip a gaping hole in the internal dynamics of the ultra-conservative Spanish Catholic organization Hazte Oir and its international arm, CitizenGO, organizations on the forefront of the battle against the rights of the LGBT community, against euthanasia, abortion and women’s rights.
They come in the midst of ongoing political and religious wars against the rights of the LGBT community in Italy and countries like Hungary. Hazte Oir and CitizenGO are part of the coalition of associations behind the World Congress of Families, which in 2019 was held in Verona with Matteo Salvini as one of the speakers. They also serve as a nursery for candidates for the Spanish far right party Vox. These files allow journalists and researchers to document in detail, and over the course of more than a decade, the relationships between Hazte Oir and a well-known network whose members range from American far-right Catholic and Christian organisations to Russian ultra-conservatives like Konstantin Malofeev and Alexey Komov. They also allow reconstructing the network of donors, from the United States to Spain to Italy, and the relationships with the highest echelons of the Vatican. Finally, the database contains files on the infamous secret Catholic organization El Yunque. Il Fatto Quotidiano will be publishing a full investigation based on these files in tomorrow’s print and online edition.
“As ultra right-wing political groups have gained strength in recent years, with increasing attacks on women’s and LGBT rights, it is valuable to have access to documents from those who have lobbied for those changes on a global basis”, investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor of WikiLeaks, tells il Fatto Quotidiano: “The people have the right to know where political policies are hatched”. As the organisation returns to publishing, its founder, Julian Assange, remains in the high-security prison of Belmarsh, in London. He has been imprisoned there since April 2019, as he waits for British authorities to decide whether to extradite him to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison for publishing secret US documents exposing war crimes and torture. Last January, the British judge Vanessa Baraitser denied his extradition exclusively on the basis of his serious mental health conditions. Last month, however, the United States was granted permission to appeal. The hearing is due to start next week in London. As WikiLeaks reveals files shedding light on Catholic ultraconservatives fuelling far-right policies and parties, Julian Assange’s life and freedom are on the line.