- Date published:
4:14 am, October 26th, 2019 - 36 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, human rights, police, prisons, Spying, suppression orders, surveillance, uk politics, us politics - Tags: julian assange
Craig Murray reports on the horror of Julian Assange’s treatment by British so-called “justice.” Read it and don’t weep. You can see why Murray resigned from the UK foreign service; their diplomacy is just as bad.
On the International Day in Support of Torture Victims Professor Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, wrote a backgrounder on the issues surrounding Assange and offered it to the Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek. It’s a good summary to that date.
Murray brings it up to date with his account of Assange’s appearance in a UK Court to establish the timetable for his extradition hearing. As Murray explains:
The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.
Chelsea Manning is also being held in solitary confinement, and fined $1,000 a day, for refusing to testify against Assange in a grand jury hearing in the US.
Murray goes through the details of the court appearance and its decisions. It’s well worth reading in full but in summary:
The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.
In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.
I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.
Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?
On World Press Freedom Day this year the UK High Commissioner Laura Clarke organised a public panel discussion in Wellington where she was challenged by Alex Hills, peace activist and long-time campaigner for Assange’s freedom. You can watch Alex’s challenge here:
In the video Richard Harman leaps to support Laura Clarke by stating that the Guardian’s Luke Harding has declared that Assange is not a journalist. Again I prefer to believe Craig Murray:
The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.
Assange is a publisher. His crime in the eyes of the surveillance states is to bring into the public domain matters they would prefer to keep hidden. The unseemly haste in his case seems to be to avoid his defenders being able to bring evidence from spanish courts. The refusal to address the fundamental issues of whether he is liable for rendition is inexcusable.
We should be grateful to Craig Murray and Alex Hills for their staunch attempts to bring these matters to public attention.