Having been 6 times to the Ecuadorian Embassy myself, twice over the weekend, I am disgusted at this article by the Guardian. They surely show with actions how little they care for human rights and human dignity.
It is not surprising that there is no comments section to the article. So, here is mine:
Maybe Ms Barton, since you took the trouble to enter the pen of supporters (ex press pen) you could have taken the trouble to read the hand written messages of many supporters. If you would have, you could not have been so callous. But you did not bother did you?
I looked up your name in the Guardian and saw some of the other articles you have written. All of them seem to have comments open for the public bar this one... maybe you should get a hint that whoever gave you this job has stiched you up... poor Ms Barton, used in such manner, being humiliated, all dressed up in a red dress with lots of flowers... is it meant to resemble some kind of Scandinavian style pattern? what a contrast with the professional looking profile picture on your article.
I also note that you mainly write about music and film... what possessed you to enter the realm of politics?
Is this what Guardian editors do now? designate to News/Media, the Human Rights case of the decade? How tabloid like behaviour and using their writers for settling scores... why don't you just tell us your name Mr Guardian... hiding behind Ms Barton.
Here is a list of Ms Barton's other articles:
Our mercy mission for Julian Assange
31 Jul 2012: The Wikileaks boss's mum is worried about how he's getting on holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. We decided to drop round with a few goodies for him
London's unique and glorious music scene is unlike any other city's
26 Jul 2012:
The Olympics offer us a chance to celebrate the capital's musical heritage, and the genres that could only have been inspired by its diverse, overlapping cultures
Amy Winehouse: only now can we glimpse her legacy
Amy Winehouse, February 2007 19 Jul 2012:
Like many other dead artists, it's easy to remember the late singer as a tragic caricature. But that betrays her real musical worth
The Internet Cat Video Film Festival: my idea of heaven
12 Jul 2012:
As part of the Walker Art Gallery's Open Field project in Minneapolis this summer, the ICVFF is a glorious celebration of those feline YouTube classics
Skegness braced for backlash after graffiti campaign in battle of resorts
22 Jun 2012: Lincolnshire resort has upset Blackpool and Brighton but is hoping guerrilla advertising and festival will attract new tourists
Julien Temple: the dark side of Glastonbury
The Shangri-La zone at last year's Glastonbury 13 Jun 2012:
There is no festival this year. But luckily, the director has made a film about the 'frightening, liberating' world of the festival's Shangri-La area
Happy hour again: Paul Heaton tours UK pubs on his bike
6 Jun 2012: Ex-Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton is going on a tour of Britain, cycling from gig to gig. He tells Laura Barton why he can't write lyrics unless he's in Hull – and tunes unless he's in Gran Canaria 38 comments
These Very Important People: who do they think they are?
22 May 2012:
Comedians Morgana Robinson and Terry Mynott have revived TV impressionism – and they have no shortage of ridiculous celebrities to send up
Warm up the record player! Laura Barton returns to Alan's
Laura barton in Alans 14 May 2012:
Last month, Laura Barton wrote about her favourite and much-missed record store. When Alan's reopened, they asked her along to man the till
Hand sanitisers: saved by the gel?
13 May 2012: Antibacterial hand sanitiser has spread from the hospital ward to the high street – and its producers are making a killing. But who really needs it? 195 comments
Think Jack White has a problem with women? You don't know rock'n'roll
27 Apr 2012:
Laura Barton: The former White Stripes star shouldn't be decried for his supposed attitudes but celebrated for his masculinity
Music Weekly podcast: the Rudimental truth – plus author Richard King
AlunaGeorge Audio (42min 10sec), 27 Apr 2012:
Richard King on the madmen and mavericks who made independent music. Plus a visit from Rudimental
Wildbirds & Peacedrums preview their show at A Room For London – video
Wildbirds & Peacedrums Video (5min 48sec), 26 Apr 2012:
Swedish experimental jazz-folk-rhythm duo Andreas Werliin and Mariam Wallentin - husband and wife team Wildbirds & Peacedrums - talk to Laura Barton
Who wants the G-spot to be easy to find?
26 Apr 2012: Laura Barton: A cosmetic gynaecologist in Florida may have located 'a clearly defined sac', but the great fan-dance of female arousal won't end 445 comments
The records shops that shaped our lives
The Legendary Alan's Record Shop in Wigan 15 Apr 2012:
They were tiny, tatty – and terrific. For Record Store Day on Saturday, our pop writers remember the shops where they first fell in love with music
Our mercy mission for Julian Assange
Tuesday 31 July 2012 20.00 BST The Guardian
The Wikileaks boss's mum is worried about how he's getting on holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. We decided to drop round with a few goodies for him
Laura Barton outside the Ecuadorian embassy with our hamper of treats.
Laura Barton outside the Ecuadorian embassy with our hamper of treats. Photograph: Martin Godwin
On a rain-speckled street just behind Harrods stands a line of low metal barriers. Tethered to their frame are numerous homemade placards supporting freedom of speech, felt-tipped tributes to democracy, and several pictures of Julian Assange.
The reason for this impressive craft display is that the building opposite is the Ecuadorian embassy – the bolthole for the past seven weeks of Wikileaks founder Assange since he sought political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault.
This week Assange's mother, Christine, expressed concern for her son's welfare. "He's under a lot of stress," she told the Washington Post. While she was heartened to learn that he has access to a treadmill, and that his friends "turn the music on and encourage him to dance with them" she was dismayed by her son's lack of access to natural light, and expressed her intention to send him "things like a sunlamp".
Poor Julian. It can't be easy to be confined to one building, no matter how prestigious the postcode. This is no slight to Ecuadorian culture – this is, after all, the great nation that gave us sanjuanito dancing, ceviche and Christina Aguilera, but every once in a while a person might crave a little variety.
And so we decided to assemble a collection of items that Assange might be missing, and deliver them.
There is surprisingly little in the public domain that illustrates Assange's private tastes and passions – beyond, of course, that famous OKCupid profile, in which he spoke of his desire to find a "spirited, erotic, non-conformist" woman with "innate perceptiveness and spunk" – and really there are limits to my dedication to investigative journalism.
So instead we packed our hamper with a selection of edible items not native to Ecuador – Kellogg's cornflakes fortified with vitamin D to compensate for the lack of sunlight in Assange's life, a jar of Vegemite (as an antipodean, Julian was likely to spurn Marmite), a packet of chocolate-chip cookies, and a punnet of clementines.
Recalling that Bill Keller, editor of the New York Times, once remarked upon Assange's questionable hygiene and the fact he wore "filthy white socks" we added three pairs of crisp, white sports socks and a shower gel in the "feelgood fragrance of eucalyptus and citrus oils" that promised to be both "revitalizing" and "refreshing." And for those times when Assange tires of the hurly-burly of activism, the Penguin Pocket Sudoku, and the Lonely Planet guide to Ecuador, and a copy of the Guardian.
Last but not least, a chocolate Olympic gold medal, to help him join in the fun.
"No you can't see him," the police officer on the steps of the embassy says flatly as I stand in the rain with our magnificent hamper. I look crestfallen. "But you can hand that over at the reception," he relents, and so I trot up the steps and through the broad glass doors, to where a second police officer and two men in grey suits stand looking faintly baffled.
"Hallo!" I say cheerfully. "We've heard that Mr Assange is missing the outside world, and so we've brought him this special hamper!" The sterner of the two suits – picture an Ecuadorian Danny DeVito – looks me up and down and then frowns. He rings a bell to a side door and while we wait for someone to answer he stares fixedly at the hamper. Though his face suggests suspicion and perhaps derision, it may mask a secret awe at the dazzling array of socks and sudoku.
The woman who answers the door is a little more enthusiastic. "We will have to check this," she says. She takes the hamper and assesses each item in turn — the cornflakes, the cookies, the chocolate gold medal. "OK," she nods finally. "We will pass it on." I beam at her. "Thank you!" I say. "We hope he enjoys it. And that the socks fit."http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/shortcuts/2012/jul/31/our-mercy-mission-for-julian-assange?CMP=twt_fd