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Thread: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

  1. Link to Post #181
    South Africa Avalon Member arwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Ron Paul asks: Are the US and UK trying to kill jailed Julian Assange?

    Quote Former Congressman Ron Paul says US and UK authorities 'could be trying to kill Julian Assange' and compares his treatment to murdered prisoner Otto Warmbier as the U.N. warns the WikiLeaks founder is showing symptoms of 'psychological torture'

    The Libertarian and former politician put forward his theories on 'Ron Paul Liberty Report'

    Paul believes Assange's treatment during his time at the Ecuadorian Embassy and now his transfer to Belmarsh prison could lead to him dying behind bars

    Paul goes on to compare Assange's treatment by the US and British governments to Otto Warmbier, who died after being released from prison in North Korea

    He also launches a stinging attack on journalists for not reporting the serious of Assange's condition, which was first reported by a Swedish newspaper

    Paul claims Assange's health has deteriorated because of the demands for extraditing him

    A U.N. expert who visited Assange in prison says 'public ridicule, humiliation, and death threats in the UK have amounted to psychological torture'

    Assange was found too unwell to appear by video-link as scheduled at Westminster magistrates' court
    Full article and video available here.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Swedish court rejects request to detain Assange in absence over rape allegation

    June 3rd, 2019

    https://www.rt.com/news/460960-swedi...ejects-arrest/
    Last edited by Iloveyou; 3rd June 2019 at 17:05.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Woah! If there was any doubt this is a concerted attack on press freedoms (and military whistleblowers/leaks), there isn’t now. The feds have raided ABC’s headquarters in Sydney for their Afghan Files reports (Brits, for anyone who isn’t familiar with the ABC, they’re media partners with the BBC.).

    The Guardian: ABC raid: how the AFP's search warrant played out, one tweet at a time

    Scott Morrison (snake), echoing Theresa May, from ABC: Scott Morrison grilled on press freedom after AFP raids on ABC, journalist Annika Smethurst

    ABC: ABC raid: AFP leave Ultimo building with files after hours-long raid over Afghan Files stories (The Afghan Files are at the bottom of the report)

    What the hell? Stunning development.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 6th June 2019 at 01:59.
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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Stunning is right Rachel. A very, very disturbing development. Since when did exposing war crimes become a criminal offence? I'm appalled.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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  9. Link to Post #185
    UK Moderator and Librarian Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    "I have looked Julian Assange in the eye when he explained what happened, and believed him. I have not had the same opportunity with Sofie Wilen, and quite possibly she is equally honest in her account of events and I would believe her too."

    ________________________________________

    A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
    5 Jun, 2019 by Craig Murray
    ________________________________________

    When, eight years late, the European Arrest Warrant request for Assange was finally put before a Swedish court, the court refused to issue it.

    Readers of this blog are amongst the very few people who have had the chance to learn the information that the original European Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange from Sweden was not issued by any court but by a prosecutor; that this was upheld in the UK Supreme Court despite the Court’s open acknowledgement that this was not what the UK Parliament had intended by the phrase that the warrant must come from a “judicial authority”; and that the law had been changed immediately thereafter so it could not be done again.

    Consequently in seeking a new European Arrest Warrant against Assange, Swedish prosecutors had finally, eight years on, to ask a court for the warrant. And the court looked at the case and declined, saying that the move would be disproportionate. It therefore remains the case that there is no Swedish extradition warrant for Assange.

    This is a desperate disappointment to the false left in the UK, the Blairites and their ilk, who desperately want Assange to be a rapist in order to avoid the moral decision about prosecuting him for publishing truths about the neo-con illegal wars which they support.

    The problem is that the evidence of sexual crimes was always extremely, extremely weak to anybody who took the trouble to examine it – which is why the same false left were desperate to convince us that it was wrong to examine the evidence as the “victim” must always be believed, a strange abandonment of the entire principle of justice.

    In the lesser charge which fell through the statute of limitations, Anna Ardin claimed that during the act of sex Julian Assange had deliberately torn the condom with his fingers. But the torn condom she produced to police had none of Assange’s DNA on it, a physical impossibility.

    In the remaining charge of “rape, less serious”, Sofie Wilen alleges the following. She had consensual sex with Assange in her bed. She then dozed and was “half asleep” when Assange started having sex with her again. He states that she was fully awake and responsive through a series of sexual acts.

    I have looked Julian Assange in the eye when he explained what happened, and believed him. I have not had the same opportunity with Sofie Wilen, and quite possibly she is equally honest in her account of events and I would believe her too.

    They had both been drinking. The difficulty is that this scenario is incapable of proof. A private sexual act that everybody agrees started and was consummated as fully consensual, but then continues or resumes as one partner is drifting off or has drifted off, but the other partner says they were still awake, absent a recording is quite simply incapable of proof either way.

    What is beyond doubt true is that Sofie Wilen had no thought she had been raped when she met police to ask if Assange could be compelled to take an HIV test – a visit to the police which had been encouraged by Anna Ardin (she of the faked condom evidence). Ardin was present during Wilen’s police interview.

    At the police station on 20 August, Wilen texted a friend at 14.25,
    “did not want to put any charges against JA but the police wanted to get a grip on him.”
    At 17.26 she texted that she was,
    “shocked when they arrested JA because I only wanted him to take a test”.
    The next evening at 22.22 she texted,
    “it was the police who fabricated the charges”.
    Despite this, Ms Wilen’s lawyer is adamant that she now does wish a prosecution to proceed. The problem is that question of proof. As the court has seen, there is none.

    Julian Assange was interviewed in detail in Sweden before he was given permission to leave Sweden when the case was dropped by the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm. When it was reopened by another prosecutor (possible in Sweden), who issued the European Arrest Warrant, Assange at all times during his detention in the UK declared his willingness to be interviewed again, and eventually was interviewed over two days in the Ecuadorean Embassy in November 2016.

    Julian Assange has never tried to avoid the investigation in Sweden. His concern was always that the whole thing was cooked up as a ruse to get him into custody for extradition to the USA. Events have proved this to be true.

    To return to Sweden, the remaining question at issue is a very simple one. Was Sofie Wilen awake and responsive when sex was resumed, as Julian Assange insists, or was she “half-asleep” as Sofie says? Exhaustive questioning both in Stockholm and London has failed to produce an answer which could convince a court to issue a warrant. Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson is now going to apply to interview Assange again. I genuinely cannot see what she feels this is going to achieve, unless she hopes to harass an ill man into a false confession.

    The Swedish courts have finally injected a note of realism. The evidence Assange broke any law in Sweden has never stacked up. At some point, this poisonous farrago of prosecutorial grandstanding and Swedish sexual politics needs to be brought to a close.
    Last edited by Tintin; 6th June 2019 at 12:35.
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    UK Moderator and Librarian Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Woah! If there was any doubt this is a concerted attack on press freedoms (and military whistleblowers/leaks), there isn’t now. The feds have raided ABC’s headquarters in Sydney for their Afghan Files reports (Brits, for anyone who isn’t familiar with the ABC, they’re media partners with the BBC.).

    The Guardian: ABC raid: how the AFP's search warrant played out, one tweet at a time

    Scott Morrison (snake), echoing Theresa May, from ABC: Scott Morrison grilled on press freedom after AFP raids on ABC, journalist Annika Smethurst

    ABC: ABC raid: AFP leave Ultimo building with files after hours-long raid over Afghan Files stories (The Afghan Files are at the bottom of the report)

    What the hell? Stunning development.
    Well done Rach I was going to alert all to this yesterday, but, was overtaken by events.

    It is [yes Valerie] a shocker/stunning in the very worst sense imaginable.

    Here's another related story, her initial report:

    Source: Pressreader.com

    ________________________________________

    When The Sunday Times asked an intelligence source about the proposal, the source said such reforms allow cyber spies to secretly access digital information on Australians with-out detection, including financial transactions, health data and phone records. “It would give the most powerful cyber spies the power to turn on its own citizens,” the source said. The letter also details a proposal for coercive “step-in” powers, meaning the intelligence agency could force government agencies and private businesses to “comply with security measures”.

    ________________________________________

    The Sunday Times · 29 Apr 2018 · ANNIKA SMETHURST


    LET US SPY ON AUSSIES - Secret push for sweeping new home security powers

    The Sunday Times · 29 Apr 2018 · ANNIKA SMETHURST

    TWO powerful government agencies are discussing radical new espionage powers that would see Australia’s cyber spy agency monitor Australian citizens for the first time. Under the plan, emails, bank records and text messages of Australians could be secretly accessed by digital spies without a trace, provided the defence and home a airs ministers approved.

    The power grab is detailed in top secret letters between the heads of the departments of home a airs and defence.

    TWO powerful government agencies are discussing radical new espionage powers that would see Australia’s cyber spy agency monitor Australian citizens for the first time. Under the plan, emails, bank records and text messages of Australians could be secretly accessed by digital spies without a trace, provided the Defence and Home Affairs ministers approved.

    The power grab is detailed in top secret letters between the heads of the Department of Home A airs and Department of Defence which outline proposed new powers for Aus-tralia’s electronic spy agency — the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

    The Secretary of the Department of Home A airs Mike Pezzullo first wrote to the Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty in February outlining the plan to potentially allow government hackers to “proactively disrupt and covertly remove” onshore cyber threats by “hacking into critical infrastructure”.

    Under current laws the ASD — whose mission statement is “Reveal Their Secrets — Pro-tect Our Own” — must not conduct an activity to produce intelligence on an Australian. Instead, the Australian Federal Police and domestic spy agency ASIO have the power to in-vestigate Australians with a warrant and can ask ASD for technical advice if they don’t have the capabilities they need. The Attorney-General is responsible for issuing ASIO warrants but the agency’s operation falls under the umbrella of Home Affairs.

    Under the proposal, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Defence Minister Marise Payne would tick o orders to allow cyber spooks to target onshore threats without the top law officer knowing.

    Last month the proposal was compiled in a top secret ministerial submission signed by ASD boss Mike Burgess. The proposal outlines scenarios where cyber spies would use of-fensive tactics to “counter or disrupt cyber-enabled criminals both onshore and o shore”. “The Department of Home A airs advises that it is briefing the Minister for Home Affairs to write to you (Ms Payne) seeking your support for a further tranche of legislative reform to enable ASD to better support a range of Home Affairs priorities,” the submission states.

    But The Sunday Times understands Mr Dutton has not yet written to Ms Payne and no for-mal proposal for legislative amendments has been presented to Government. In a statement, a spokesman for Ms Payne said: “There has been no request to the Minister for De-fence to allow ASD to counter or disrupt cyber-enabled criminals onshore.”

    When The Sunday Times asked an intelligence source about the proposal, the source said such reforms allow cyber spies to secretly access digital information on Australians with-out detection, including financial transactions, health data and phone records. “It would give the most powerful cyber spies the power to turn on its own citizens,” the source said. The letter also details a proposal for coercive “step-in” powers, meaning the intelligence agency could force government agencies and private businesses to “comply with security measures”.

    The intelligence source said ASD could compel companies and government agencies to hand over data or security information. In his letter, as shown to The Sunday Times, Mr Pezzullo says the move could help battle child exploitation networks and transnational criminal syndicates including terror networks “onshore and offshore”.

    “Further legislative reform could enable the Australian Signals Directorate to have a stronger role in support of the Home A airs portfolio and our law enforcement eff- orts against online, cybercrime and cyberenabled criminal threats facing Australia,” he wrote.

    “Traditional law enforcement does not have the technical capacity to fully identify, detect and disrupt systemic transnational organised crime and is ordinarily limited to depen-dence on foreign law enforcement partners.”

    A government source said: “I am horrifed.

    “The only reason it’s not going ahead with ease is because there are good people who didn’t sign up to do this against Australian citizens. There is no actual national security gap this is aiming to other than a political power grab.”
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Belmarsh Prison Inmate Provides Photos of Julian Assange, Says the ‘Internet is the One Thing They Can’t Control’

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/201...-cant-control/

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    It is [yes Valerie] a shocker/stunning in the very worst sense imaginable.
    Could someone more familiar with these events explain to someone who can barely find Australia on a map (well, not quite that bad) what's so shocking about them?

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Paul, as I understand it, Australia's version of America's feds, raided a major news station for eight hours and took any "evidence" they felt like taking regarding a story reported two years ago by two journalists from that station, on war crimes in Afghanistan.

    As I've always understood it, the press's job IS to report on such transgressions. For most of my life, at least everyone pretended journalists were protected in such circumstances.

    Now, there seems to be no pretense whatsoever and the suppression of real reporting is being carried out by the Feds in blatant confiscation of material gathered by the reporters. In the interest of "national security".
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Since the link above leads to a labyrinth:

    Photos of Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison Leaked by Fellow Inmate

    Cassandra Fairbanks The Gateway Pundit
    Thu, 06 Jun 2019 17:52 UTC


    Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

    The Gateway Pundit has obtained exclusive testimony, as well as photos, from a fellow inmate of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside London's highest security prison.

    The inmate, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent multiple photos of Assange from inside Belmarsh maximum security prison and spoke to The Gateway Pundit about the WikiLeaks founder's situation using a contraband phone he has inside.

    Assange is imprisoned in the United Kingdom and faces eighteen charges under the Espionage Act in the United States for his publication of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. If extradited and convicted, he could be face a maximum sentence of 175 years for the "crime" of publishing material that the US government did not want the population to know.

    Along with the photos from inside the prison, the inmate pushed a fundraiser - causing supporters to worry that he was attempting to extort WikiLeaks or harm Assange by violating his privacy. The Gateway Pundit reached out to him to get his side of the story.




    Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

    This reporter spoke to the inmate through a series of online messages and a phone call for multiple hours on Wednesday evening. At the beginning of the conversation I asked him if he was a prisoner or someone who works there - and if his motive was to extort money from the organization.

    "I'm in prison right now," he said, sending a photo from inside his cell. "Extort him for what reason? He exposed the biggest scandals in the world. Whose side do you think someone in prison would be on? The government who have us locked up in here or a fellow prisoner who actually doesn't deserve to be here?"

    The inmate said that he believes that Assange needs his story told properly and is attempting to do what he can to help. He said that he hoped publishing the photos would lead to more people reading about his case.

    When asked if they were attempting to sell the photos, the inmate claimed that The Sun had offered him $10,000 for them, but he declined because the publication was not interested in telling Assange's story properly. He said that he was only willing to share what he had to say, and the accompanying photos, with an outlet that supports his fellow inmate - and reiterated that his goal was simply to raise awareness of the truth of Assange's case.

    The photos feature Assange prior to his illness and being moved to the prison's hospital wing last month. We have not been able to verify if Assange is aware of the existence of the photographs.

    The Gateway Pundit was not asked for, nor did we provide, any compensation for the interview or permission to use the photos.

    "I want his case to be understood fully, in detail," the inmate told TGP. "I want people to know why exactly the USA wants him and what good he has done for the world."

    The prisoner said that while Assange can only spend £6 a week, he is in need of commissary money. Multiple people close to WikiLeaks asserted that this is false and he has more than enough in his account.

    "That's the story with the pictures," he added. "He needs canteen money and a much better legal team."




    Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison. A fellow inmate is raising funds for his defense. 'He doesn't deserve to be here.'

    While some of the photos revealed his prison cell and the conditions, we have opted not to share those as they may violate his privacy. The photos reveal a thin blue mattress within a scarce and very small cell.

    The photos of Assange himself reveal considerable weight loss since I last visited him in the Ecuadorian embassy in March.

    After viewing photos of Assange prior to entering the prison, the inmate remarked "it's true. Belmarsh has sucked the life out of him."

    Speaking generally about how Assange is viewed by the other inmates, the prisoner said that he is well liked among the prison population. "Everyone's got a million questions for him - like 'is the illuminati real?' He's probably heard that question a million times," the inmate said, along with laughing emojis.

    The prisoner said that there is a highly influential QC (a British lawyer) named James Scobey that prisoners who support WikiLeaks want to obtain for Assange's case. "He is known in prison for winning a lot of cases, but doesn't come cheap. We've inquired about his schedule for the next year and decided to launch this support campaign."

    Scobey was ranked by the UK Bar as a "leading individual" in 2019 and has placed in the UK's Legal 500 multiple times. He is described on the Garden Court Chambers website as "a highly experienced leading counsel with a wealth of experience in defending cases of gravity across a broad spectrum of criminal work. He is instructed regularly in cases of murder, armed robbery, multi-handed conspiracies (involving the importation and supplying of Class A drugs) and fraud."

    We reached out to Mr. Scobey asking if he has been contacted about his services or the fundraiser. His office responded by saying that they had not heard anything as of yet.

    "This case won't be won in a courtroom," the inmate said, asserting that it will be won with a positive campaign of public pressure showcasing who he is.

    The inmate also said that security officers in the prison have been spreading rumors and gossip about the Assange rape case among the inmates, saying things like "you don't know what he's in here for" to stir the pot. Though he is concerned about the rumors, he does not believe the guards are trying to get Assange hurt - he believes they are simply uninformed about the Swedish investigation and believe the smears from the media.

    The award-winning publisher is under investigation in Sweden for sex crimes, which he and many of his supporters believe was a setup to get him into the nation where he could be more easily extradited to the United States. The case involves consensual sex with two women, who later found out he had slept with both. One of the women had claimed that Assange had continued to have sex with her after a condom broke - a crime in Sweden - but the condom she provided to the police had no DNA from her, Assange or anyone else on it.

    Swedish authorities attempted to drop the investigation in 2013, but was pressured to keep it open by the British government - further fueling speculation that it is a political hit job. A Crown Prosecution Service had even brazenly emailed Swedish prosecutors telling them, "Don't you dare get cold feet!!!"

    "He isn't going to win this case through the law, he's going to win it because there's public outcry," the prisoner explained. He noted that the mainstream media is controlled by the government and said that "the internet is the one thing they can't control," sounding a bit like Assange himself.

    "The same people who run the mainstream newspapers are basically the ones running the USA, but they don't own the internet," he said.

    On a bright note, the inmate explained that prison isn't like the movies and he believes that Assange is safe from anyone who would want to harm him. "You can't sneeze without permission," he said.

    The prisoner stated that Assange is still currently in the hospital wing of the prison. He also said that Assange very much appreciates all the letters he is receiving from supporters and that there was one day when nobody in the roughly 300-person unit received mail - except for him.

    "All of the post was for Assange," he said. "About 500 letters and it was all for him. It made him smile."

    Lawyers for Assange were unable to confirm or deny any of the claims.

    While we cannot confirm the authenticity of any of the inmate's statements or motives, the fact that the photos managed to get out of the highest security prison in the UK at all is stunning it itself.

    Prior to his arrest, Assange spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to receive proper medical treatment, and the lack of sunshine and fresh air took a toll on his system. Doctors who visited him there wrote an article for the Guardian pleading for him to be allowed to go to the hospital for treatment, headlining their account "We examined Julian Assange, and he badly needs care - but he can't get it."

    The doctors wrote,
    "experience tells us that the prolonged uncertainty of indefinite detention inflicts profound psychological and physical trauma above and beyond the expected stressors of incarceration. These can include severe anxiety, pathological levels of stress, dissociation, depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, among others."
    The prisoner was most adamant that he wanted the world to read the UN's report last week which found that Assange had been the victim of psychological torture.

    Last week, the UN issued a scathing report in which Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said that Assange has been exposed to psychological torture and warned that the award-winning publisher could face the death penalty if he is extradited to the United States.

    Melzer visited Assange along with two medical experts who specialize in examining potential torture victims on May 9.

    "I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future," Melzer continued.

    Melzer also wrote that "there has been a relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr. Assange, not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Sweden and, more recently, Ecuador."

    "In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination."

    Speaking about the visit that he and the medical professionals had with Assange earlier this month, Melzer said that it was obvious that his health had been seriously impacted by the "extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years."

    "Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma," the UN report said.

    "The evidence is overwhelming and clear," the findings continued, "Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture."

    The report concluded with a condemnation of the actions of these governments in working to deliberately abuse him.

    "In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution, I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law," Melzer said. "The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!"

    In 2016, after 16 months of investigation, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) concluded that Assange is the victim of arbitrary detention. Not only did the group of lawyers and human rights professionals release an opinion that Assange should be released, they also determined that he should be compensated by the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom for "deprivation of liberty."

    Prior to the release of the UN report, the publisher's mother, Christine Assange tweeted that the "UK Gov is unlawfully slowly killing my son!"

    "They made him very ill by refusing him ANY access to life sustaining fresh air, exercise, sun/VitD or proper medical care for 6 YEARS of illegal Embassy detention," she tweeted at the United Nations Twitter account. "Then against ALL medical advice threw him into a prison cell."

    WikiLeaks has not yet responded to the photos. We will update this story if a statement is made available.


    Related: How to write to Mr. Assange at HMP Belmarsh: Write To Julian
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Quote Posted by Did You See Them (here)
    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Belmarsh Prison Inmate Provides Photos of Julian Assange, Says the ‘Internet is the One Thing They Can’t Control’

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/201...-cant-control/
    I’m suspicious about this story. Keeping in mind that this case can be won or lost due to public opinion/pressure (no faith in a fair trial) and that it came out shortly after Nils Melzer’s damning report, and before that the news that Julian had been hospitalised. This caused a surge of public outcry and a sense of urgency from his supporters.

    Ok, and now RT has published this video -



    The photos first released are screen shots from that video. We see Julian having social interaction, chatting and smiling (window and a couple of books). This comforts his concerned supporters, it’s not quite as bad as we had feared, while it gives anti-Assange folks reason to see he’s not as sick as has been reported. Suspicious timing but here’s where **** doesn’t add up for me...

    Note the date on the footage. It’s wrong, sure, and perhaps this can happen with a phone under certain circumstances (no sim at the time, whatever) but when has anyone ever seen a phone camera display the date on the video footage? I’ve never seen that, I’ve only seen that on video cameras (on vid cams the date needs to be set and you can easily choose to set it to display date or not).

    I don’t think this was filmed on a contraband phone, I think it was a hidden video camera. So at this point I was thinking the prisoner was lying or it wasn’t a prisoner but a guard who filmed it.

    Note also the last little clip in the video of Julian’s cell, the time stamp read 4:11 and the stamp on the first part of the video is 5:53. The times are wrong but the duration shows the duration as spanning almost two hours, the inmates can only leave their cell for one hour per day. The person filming the cell at he end of the vid, earliest on the time stamp, is alone. A lot of questions there but this is another factor that causes me to think it was a guard.

    But here’s where it gets weirder and far more confusing for myself personally. When I watched the RT video earlier this morning, the date stamp was bigger and yellow (like we saw all the time on older video cameras) and the man Julian was talking to wasn’t blurred out. Not long ago I noticed this had changed to what we see now. I didn’t take screenshots so I can’t prove it and I’m even starting to doubt myself now because it’s confusing, I don’t get why they would have done that, but I’m sure I saw that.

    So IDK what’s going on here but I’m calling BS unless someone can explain the presence of a date and time stamp on a video recorded on a phone. The photos that were first released are cropped, so we can’t see if there was a date stamp on those. Did the inmate lie about the photos being from a phone? Was it a guard with a hidden camera? Did RT put the time stamp on, and if so, why? No way of knowing that without proof I suppose.

    Maybe Julian knows who filmed this and with what because at one point it appears that he spots the camera and after that it appears he’s tries to subtly check it out. Anyway, worth noting, keeping a critical eye out on things like this that shift public perception.

    I know nobody wants to hear it, we love The Intercept, but I swear Glenn Greenwald is a shill (suspected it after Reality Winner got arrested and certain after a recent interview about Julian). Same with Laura Poitras who made the documentary, “Risk”. They’re colleagues and are sowing seeds of doubt about whether or not Julian can be trusted (their BS line - Assange will use intel agency tactics to survive). You don’t have to believe me, just watch...until Julian is free or jailed for life, Julian’s enemies will be working to turn the public against him, it’s subtle but powerful, and Greenwald and Poitras are shills, and there will be others.

    If they’re successful, very few will give a **** about Julian by the time they lock him away.

    It’s a fight for our perception and the prize is Julian and the fall of WikiLeaks, don’t be fooled.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 8th June 2019 at 01:58. Reason: Clarified
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    2 possibilities -
    1. the date stamp on the camera has no proper date set, and left to default settings (from date of purchase or factory settings).
    2. As JS had previously reported, he was taken out of the embassy before the trump election and the blackout, had not been seen on the balcony since, placed in this facility, and hence the video with the correct date recorded his presence. He was then brought back for the extraction hoax show drugged up.

    I sure hope it was the 1st possibility.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    "Thordarsson stole tens of thousands of dollars from WikiLeaks, and impersonated Julian Assange in order to carry out the embezzlement."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Latest (sic) news - presumably - from WikiLeaks' own news page which can be viewed here.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    US DoJ preparing to file additional indictment against Julian Assange based on testimony by convicted conman
    07 June 2019

    The star witness in the pending new indictment of the US DoJ against Julian Assange is a convicted fraudster and FBI informant Sigurdur Thordarson.

    The United States Department of Justice is preparing a new superseding indictment against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange before the extradition deadline on June 14th.

    Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported that Sigurdur Thordarson was flown to the United States last week where he was "comprehensively interrogiated", in preparation for the filing of a new superseding indictment against Julian Assange by the end of next week.

    NOS reported that on May 6th this, FBI Special Agent Megan Brown, who leads the FBI investigation against Assange, travelled to Iceland together with prosecutor Kellen Dwyer from the Eastern District of Virginia, to re-interrogiate FBI informant Thordarson with the help of Icelandic police. Dwyer's cut-and-paste error led to revelation in November 2018 that the Department of Justice had indicted Assange.

    On May 27th, US authorities flew Sigurdur Thordarson to Washington D.C. for further interrogiations, where he remained until June 1.

    Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks:
    "The Trump administration is so desperate to build its case against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it is using a diagnosed sociopath, a convicted conman and sex criminal, who was exposed by the highest levels of the Icelandic government as an FBI informant and who was involved in an entrapment operation in 2011 against Julian Assange."
    Thordarson, who was recently released from prison, agreed to be interrogated to help build a case against Assange. Thordarson had served a three-year sentence for multiple counts of embezzlement and fraud, including against WikiLeaks and sex crimes against nine minors. Thordarsson stole tens of thousands of dollars from WikiLeaks, and impersonated Julian Assange in order to carry out the embezzlement.

    As part of the criminal prosecution of Thordarson in Iceland, he was examined by a forensic psychiatrist who diagnosed him as a sociopath.

    Thordarson told NOS that the interrogations focused on his own communications with fellow FBI-informant Hector Monsegut (aka "SABU"). These contacts involve an operation by the FBI that was exposed as an "entrapment" operation "against Julian Assange" by the Interior Minister of Iceland, Ogmundur Jonasson, as reported by the Daily Mail in 2013.

    While the case would collapse in the U.S. due to the prosecution's reliance on testimony by Thordarson and Monsegur, who are not credible witnesses, the United States can conceal their witnesses identities during UK extradition proceedings in order to boost their chances of winning. This will make it impossible for Assange to challenge the credibility of the witnesses during UK extradition proceedings, which will commence on 14 June.

    In 2011, the Icelandic government expelled "eight or nine" FBI agents and prosecutors who had flown from the Eastern District of Virginia because they were conducting unauthorised activities on Icelandic soil against Assange and WikiLeaks. The episode was reported in the New York Times in 2013.

    By contrast, the current Icelandic government has cooperated with the Trump Administration's efforts to build a case against WikiLeaks.

    Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor of WikiLeaks, yesterday sent a letter demanding an explanation from Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Foreign Minister Guolaugur Por Poroarson, Justice Minister Pordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir, Chief of the National Police Haraldur Johannessen, and General Procescutor Sigriour J. Friojonsdottir regarding the Icelandic governments participation in what is widely recognised to be a US-led political persecution against foreign members of the press including Icelandic citizens, for their role in exposing war crimes and other illegal activities during consecutive US administrations.

    Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer presented his findings that a "collective persecution" is underway against Assange, after having conducted an investigation into the situation of the WikiLeaks publisher, who is arbitrarily detained in Belmarsh prison in London.

    The rapporteur told Australian public radio ABC that Assange's health was in serious decline and that there is a "very real" risk that he could die in prison.

    The first substantive US extradition hearing will be held in London on 14 June.
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    British Home Secretary signs extradition order to send Julian Assange to US

    RT

    Published time: 13 Jun, 2019 09:02

    Edited time: 13 Jun, 2019 10:33
    Get short URL


    © Global Look Press / /ZUMAPRESS.com / Wiktor Szymanowicz; © REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

    Britain's Home Secretary has revealed he has signed a request for the extradition of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, where he is accused of violating the Espionage Act.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Sajid Javid said that he signed and certified the papers on Wednesday, with the order going before the UK courts on Friday.
    He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.
    The US justice department has filed 17 new charges against the Australian journalist. In May, he was additionally charged with one count of conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, to gain access to the US Pentagon network.

    Assange is currently serving a prison sentence in the UK for jumping bail. The 47 year-old was too ill to appear last month at the latest hearing at Westminster magistrates court in relation to the US request.

    The hearing has been rescheduled for Friday and, depending on the state of his health, may take place at Belmarsh prison, where he is being held.

    The journalist spent over six years living under asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, out of fear Britain would hand him over to the US. He was forcibly dragged out of the building in April after the South American nation decided to evict him.

    His arrest and subsequent imprisonment prompted much public outcry. Human rights activist Peter Tatchell believes a near maximum sentence of “50 weeks is excessive and disproportionate.”

    The WikiLeaks co-founder’s health has been of particular concern to his supporters. His lawyer, Per Samuelson, told reporters after visiting Belmarsh at the end of May that “Assange’s health situation... was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”

    The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, who visited Assange in Belmarsh, claimed that he showed clear signs of degrading and inhumane treatment, which only added to his deteriorating health.

    The publishing of the Iraq War footage showing a US Apache helicopter shooting dead 12 people, including two Reuters staff, is one of the most significant and talked-about exposures made by his WikiLeaks organization.

    Just one week before Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2016, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails showing that top party figures had collaborated to ensure that Senator Bernie Sanders did not win the nomination. The leaks forced DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to resign.


    Related:
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Julian Assange to appear in court after Javid signs US extradition request

    Quote:
    Javid said: “It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts.”

    The 47-year-old Australian was too ill to appear last month at a hearing at Westminster magistrates court in relation to the US request. The hearing has been rescheduled for Friday, and depending on Assange’s condition, may take place at Belmarsh prison where he is being held.

    Link: https://www.theguardian.com/media/20...zen.yandex.com
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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    This feels like they are dragging this out as long as possible to keep in him Belmarsh. It seems they want him to die there so no extradition takes place. This is also how they can control a dead man switch event.

    It wouldnt surprise that if he dies, we dont actually find out about it so they can gauge a dead man event( I really hope Assange has a dead man switch) and we find out later than when it actually occurs.

    This will allow Qult people to pretend Donald is not actually a pawn because technically extradition didnt happen, even though his admin has requested it. They will claim that they were trying to extradite for safety so they could finally drain the swam or whatever.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    The Guardian : Julian Assange to face US extradition hearing in UK next year (February 2020)

    Quote Julian Assange will face a five-day US extradition hearing in February next year, a judge has ruled.

    The WikiLeaks founder faces an 18-count indictment, issued by the US Department of Justice, that includes charges under the Espionage Act.

    At Westminster magistrates court on Friday, the chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, ordered that a full extradition hearing should begin on 25 February.

    Ben Brandon, representing the US, formally opened the case, a day after an extradition request was signed off by the home secretary, Sajid Javid.

    “This is related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States,” Brandon told the court.

    As Brandon ran through a summary of the accusations against Assange, including that he had cracked a US defence network password, Assange, appearing by video link, protested: “I didn’t break any password whatsoever.”

    Assange, 47, who was dressed in a grey T-shirt, had a white beard and was wearing black-framed glasses, said 175 years of his life was at stake and defended his website against hacking claims, saying: “WikiLeaks is nothing but a publisher.”

    His lawyer, Mark Summers QC, described the case as “an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights”

    His legal team also said he was challenging the 50-week sentence in Britain for skipping bail he is serving after he spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London attempting to avoid extradition to Sweden.

    Assange is accused in the US of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer.

    Outside the court, his supporters protested against the UK’s treatment of him. A crowd of around a dozen people held banners, with some chanting “Justice for Julian Assange” and “Defend freedom and democracy.”
    Financial Times : UK court to decide on Assange extradition to US in February

    Quote A London court will decide in February whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to the US to face 18 criminal charges in connection with the leak of thousands of classified documents relating to US military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Assange appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday by video link from Belmarsh prison, where he is currently serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail and fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.

    Assange is fighting the US extradition request which was certified by UK home secretary Sajid Javid on Thursday — although the final decision will rest with the British courts.

    Wearing a grey T-shirt and glasses, Assange told the London court that “175 years of my life is effectively at stake” and said he had not seen the latest indictment containing 18 US allegations against him.

    These include one count of computer hacking as well as 17 charges accusing him of violating the Espionage Act. These carry a maximum penalty of 10 years for each offence.

    Ben Brandon, the barrister acting for the US government, told the hearing that the 18 charges covered “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”, and claimed that Assange’s actions had created a “grave risk” for human intelligence sources, including human rights defenders.

    Speaking from prison, Assange asked the court to clarify the US allegations that claim he “cracked a password” on a US defence department computer network. He insisted he had not hacked any password and defended WikiLeaks as nothing more than a “publisher”.

    Mark Summers QC, Assange’s lawyer, told the court that the case raised “profound issues” and represented an “outrageous and full frontal assault on journalistic rights”.

    The court heard that Assange’s lawyers had to post documents to him because he had no access to a computer at the prison.

    The case has raised concerns in the US about press freedom and protections for those who publish leaked classified information.

    Dozens of Assange supporters gathered outside the court on Friday, chanting and holding banners to protest against his extradition.

    At next year’s hearing Assange is likely to argue that his removal to the US breaches his human rights. The US-UK extradition treaty has a standard exception for so-called political offences, which typically includes espionage.

    Westminster Magistrates’ Court does not need to decide his innocence or guilt but simply whether the case meets the legal test for extradition. Assange can then challenge any ruling through a lengthy appeals process.

    Assange also faces rape charges in Sweden, but this month a Swedish court declined to arrest him in his absence, ruling that he should be questioned in the UK over the allegations rather than extradited to Sweden. He will next appear in court in October.
    Last edited by Clear Light; 15th June 2019 at 14:23. Reason: Added second news report

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    The Guardian : Julian Assange to face US extradition hearing in UK next year (February 2020)

    Quote Julian Assange will face a five-day US extradition hearing in February next year, a judge has ruled.
    Next f'n year - an inhumane delay - leaving Assange locked up in Belmarsh mean while.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by Clear Light (here)
    The Guardian : Julian Assange to face US extradition hearing in UK next year (February 2020)

    Quote Julian Assange will face a five-day US extradition hearing in February next year, a judge has ruled.
    Next f'n year - an inhumane delay - leaving Assange locked up in Belmarsh mean while.
    Inhumanity and trauma is not an individual problem. The information in this video is indicative of the insanity that has been normalized and the cruelty embedded in the social fabric.

    EP.761: Dr. Gabor Maté- Julian Assange is Guilty of TELLING THE TRUTH!


    Is it OK to go after journalists for telling an unwelcome truth? If we don't support Assange, I think our complicity gives this idea social credit?

    Last edited by Delight; 18th June 2019 at 03:39.

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    Default Re: Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador tears up asylum deal

    UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer Becomes One of Assange’s Most Vocal Advocates

    “Here [in Assange’s case] we are not speaking of prosecution but of persecution. That means that judicial power, institutions and proceedings are being deliberately abused for ulterior motives.” — Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture

    On May 9, UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, visited WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison, where he is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence for a minor bail violation. Melzer was accompanied by two medical experts who specialize in the examination of possible victims of torture as well as the documentation of symptoms, both physical and psychological. The team was able to speak with Assange and conduct a medical assessment following a set of guidelines known as “The Istanbul Protocol,” a tool designed to help UN workers and others investigate, document, and report incidents of torture and ill-treatment.

    The results were shocking.

    According to Melzer, the evidence is overwhelming that Assange has been “deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively [more] severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the effects of which he described as psychological torture. Melzer also found that Assange has been exposed to:

    Quote persistent, progressively [more] severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy; and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.”
    The UN Rapporteur admitted that he had been reluctant to investigate Assange’s case, not because he felt that Assange was a “bad actor” but rather because he had been “affected by the same misguided smear campaign as everybody else.” But as he delved deeper into the case he found that Assange had been subjected to a “relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation,” during which time no government involved tried to intervene or protect him.

    Quote In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.” (UN release)
    As a result of the limited number of outside influences to which Assange was exposed, as well as his confinement to a small, controlled environment within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than seven years, Melzer believes that it’s possible to determine the causes of Assange’s symptoms with a high degree of certainty. He found that four nations have “contributed to medical effects” that Melzer and his team observed: Sweden, the U.K., Ecuador, and the U.S.

    A UN statement about Melzer’s findings was released on May 31, and since that time Melzer has become one of Assange’s most active and vocal advocates, taking part in well over a dozen interviews about his health, legal difficulties, judicial bias, and more. Below is a summary of 12 different interviews he has given over approximately the last three weeks.

    Sweden

    Melzer has frequently spoken about the “elephant in the room,” which he describes as the United States’ attempts to have Assange extradited in order to make an example out of him. Essentially every judicial proceeding Assange has faced since 2010 has revolved around this threat.

    His legal troubles began in August 2010, when Sweden opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape and molestation. However, rather than contact Assange directly for questioning, Swedish authorities publicized the case despite the fact that Swedish law strictly prohibited them from doing so. Upon learning about the investigation, Assange immediately went to the police and made a statement, after which the case was closed owing to a lack of evidence.

    Days later the case was reopened by a different prosecutor and Assange remained in Sweden until the end of September in order to assist with their investigation. On September 15, 2010, Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny granted Assange permission to leave the country; so, despite an almost decade-old narrative that Assange “fled” Swedish charges (he was never charged) by hiding out in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, that is absolutely and categorically not true.

    It’s also important to note that, when Assange left Sweden, authorities seized his belongings at the airport, including a laptop and other electronics; at which point, had the Swedish prosecutor been so inclined to keep him in the country for questioning, they could have seized him right then and there. Instead, they allowed him to leave.

    Once Assange was in the U.K., Sweden requested that he return for questioning, which aroused suspicion owing to the fact that, as Melzer pointed out, the country has a history of cooperating with the U.S. government and turning people over to it without due process, some of whom were rendered and later tortured. Assange feared, correctly, that the “elephant in the room” lay hidden behind Sweden’s request.

    He offered to cooperate with Swedish officials if they would guarantee no extradition but they refused to do so, a disingenuous move that not only prevented Assange from defending himself but made clear how little Swedish authorities respected or, perhaps, believed the alleged victims’ stories. Assange also offered to be questioned by video link but they declined.

    After the U.K. Supreme Court upheld a Swedish extradition request (over questioning in the case, not charges) in May 2012, Assange, again, under the credible fear that Sweden would extradite him to the U.S., entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he sought asylum for political persecution.

    He continued to try to assist Swedish officials and offered to be questioned at the Embassy but Sweden refused, despite having previously questioned at least 44 other individuals by video link or traveling for in-person interviews. The Swedish government’s outlandish refusals only fueled speculation that it was working on behalf of the United States. The investigation was finally closed in 2017, but was resurrected by Swedish officials last month.

    Melzer points out that the reopened case is not about a violent and/or forced sexual encounter but rather the allegation that Assange purposely tore a condom during consensual sexual relations. The condom was later examined by authorities, who were unable to detect any DNA on it, including Assange’s. This is what Sweden describes as “rape,” and what it has used repeatedly to publicly characterize Assange as a rapist.

    Emails between the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) and Sweden also show that the U.K. pressured Marianne Ny to keep the investigation going despite the fact that there have never been any charges or evidence, leading Melzer to suggest that there are alternative motives behind the case.

    Sweden made it impossible for Assange to cooperate without risking being extradited to the U.S., while his reputation, credibility, and human dignity have been “gravely affected by these allegations,” reported Melzer. As stated earlier, the case was reopened last month, making it virtually impossible to believe that this isn’t about the “elephant in the room.”


    Almost 10 years of judicial and public abuse

    Since WikiLeaks published “Collateral Murder” and the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs in 2010, Melzer reported that there has been a “sustained and concerted effort by several States” to get Assange extradited to the U.S., and an “endless stream of humiliating, debasing and threatening statements in the press and on social media.” Inappropriate statements have also been made by “senior political figures and even by judicial magistrates involved in proceedings against Assange.”




    Reuters reported that Melzer “declined to identify judges or senior politicians whom he accused of defaming Assange,” but you don’t have to look very far to find them:

    According to Melzer, all of this has led up to a level of stress that would be unbearable for anyone and, as he put it:

    Quote Here we are not speaking of prosecution but of persecution. That means that judicial power, institutions and proceedings are being deliberately abused for ulterior motives.”
    The UN Rapporteur repeatedly condemned Assange’s treatment in various interviews, stating that he is “appalled at the sustained and concerted abuse this man has been exposed to at the hand of several democratic States over a period of almost a decade.” Although Ecuador’s abuse of Assange didn’t start until Lenin Moreno came to power in 2017, since that time government officials deliberately harassed him in an attempt to get him to leave the embassy or to “trigger a health crisis that would justify his expulsion” from the embassy and into British hands.

    Neither of those things occurred but President Moreno did expel him from the embassy and suspend his Ecuadorian citizenship without due process of law on April 11, 2019.


    The torture of Julian Assange
    According to Melzer, Assange has been gravely affected “by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he’s been exposed to” over a long period of time and the “evidence is overwhelming and clear” that he is being psychologically tortured, confirming what many already believed or reported.

    Melzer and his team determined that Assange is also suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, with symptoms of “chronic anxiety, permanent severe stress and agitation” (no relaxation or satisfactory sleep for months, possibly years).

    During Melzer’s meeting with Assange, the UN Rapporteur found him to be “agitated, under severe stress, and unable to cope with his complex legal cases,” and since his imprisonment, his ability to focus has been compromised. He was also “extremely jumpy,” and Melzer found it difficult to have a “structured” conversation with him.

    Britain Sweden Julian Assange

    Assange’s concern was that he couldn’t rely on fair judicial proceedings in either the U.S. or Sweden and that he had no means or time to prepare for the “multiple, complex legal proceedings that are expanding as we speak,” Melzer said. This — accompanied by the hostile, degrading, and humiliating treatment he’s been subjected to, consistently, for almost a decade — has led to “severe stress…and psychological trauma.”

    The psychiatrists that accompanied Melzer to the prison noted that Assange needs access to a psychiatrist who isn’t part of the prison system — someone he can trust — and that “if he doesn’t get that and if the pressure on him is not alleviated rapidly,” further deterioration could occur and prolonged effects could result in permanent damage such as irreversible cardiovascular damage — or worse.

    Assange’s condition is extremely serious and when he was asked whether Assange could actually die in prison if his calls are ignored, Melzer responded:

    Quote Absolutely. Yes, that’s a fear that I think is very real…it has to stop here and it has to stop now.”

    The concept of (dis)proportional treatment

    During Melzer’s interview with Going Underground, he explained the concept of proportional treatment and how it has factored into Assange’s case. Proportionality is best described as the idea that the severity of the punishment should fit the seriousness of the crime, a concept that has not been applied throughout Assange’s judicial proceedings.

    Take, for instance, Sweden’s reopening of its investigation of Assange. As previously stated, he was accused of ripping a condom during a consensual sexual encounter, yet no DNA was ever found on the condom and no evidence suggests this happened. This is what Sweden has used to cast him as a rapist in the public’s eye, despite the presumption of innocence and Swedish law forbidding the government to expose details about the case, such as the accused’s identity.

    The UN Rapporteur — a Swiss academic and law professor at the University of Glasgow who has authored several books on international law — explained that any prosecutor confronted with this case would likely conclude that the condom looked planted, owing to the absence of any witnesses (except Assange and the woman), any evidence of physical harm, any DNA, and any transfer of STDs. Melzer stated:

    Quote There is no evidence and the prosecutor will know from the beginning, it’s predictable that Julian Assange will have to be acquitted because of presumption of innocence…In these circumstances it is disproportionate to pursue this preliminary investigation for almost a decade.”
    Meanwhile, as noted above, Sweden refused to guarantee that it wouldn’t extradite Assange; refused to question him in such a manner that would guarantee his safety, such as by video link or in person at the embassy in London; and refused to do so despite having conducted similar interviews with individuals under investigation in the same manner. Sweden also refused without explanation.

    Then, on April 11, 2019, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno expelled Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy with no due process, while he was “unconstitutionally stripped of his citizenship.” Moreno’s decision led to Assange’s arrest by British authorities and Melzer questioned, “What country can [deny you] asylum and citizenship without due process?”

    Within three hours of his arrest, Assange was brought to court for a hearing, for which he was granted a mere 15 minutes to prepare with his attorneys, the same amount of time that the hearing lasted. While in front of the judge, his lawyer tried to object based on the “strong conflict of interest” on the part of the judge, who had previously upheld Sweden’s arrest warrant (culminating in the bail violation) and would be overseeing Assange’s extradition case. They asked that the conflict be investigated.

    In an extraordinary display of bias and unprofessionalism — perhaps even judicial misconduct — the judge refused to take into account the conflict of interest as well as Assange’s credible fear of being extradited and the fact that Ecuador had given him political asylum, which it contravenes the UNHCR Cessation Clauses to revoke while the threat that gave rise to it remains. Instead, he called Assange a “narcissist” and sentenced him to 50 weeks in a high-security prison for a minor bail violation — and that is the epitome of disproportionality.

    Melzer believes that:

    Quote We all have to take a step back and ask if all of these proceedings are fair…we also have to take a step back and ask if the narrative is right — rapist, narcissist, selfish, ungrateful, hacker — and scratch the surface a bit and see what’s underneath there.”
    U.K. complicity in Assange’s torture

    Melzer noted, as we all have, that Assange’s extradition case is being handled by Emma Arbuthnot, the same judge who refused to withdraw Sweden’s 2010 arrest warrant last year despite the fact that the investigation had already been closed. She’s also married to Lord Arbuthnot — the former U.K. minister of defense; former chairman of the defense committee; director of SC Strategy, which is owned by the former head of MI6; and a member of the advisory board for Thales, one of the largest arms manufacturers and dealers in the world.

    What makes this situation even more questionable is the fact that Lord Arbuthnot was exposed in WikiLeaks’ publications and that alone — the fact that a judge with such a gross conflict of interest as this has been allowed to sit for not one, but two of Assange’s cases — contributes to the psychological torture, intense stress, and anxiety he’s already experiencing, explained Melzer.

    Melzer’s belief is that the U.K. government has “failed to show impartiality and objectivity towards Mr. Assange that is required under the rule of law,” and his concern is that if the government fails to investigate “inappropriate statements, conflicts of interest,” or other sources of bias, his extradition hearing will be nothing more than a “fig leaf for his already pre-judged refoulement [the forced transfer of refugees to a country that is likely to persecute them] to the United States.”

    Besides judicial bias and persecution, the U.K. is currently limiting Assange’s access to case documents, as well as to his lawyers, which obstructs his ability to prepare a proper defense. Apparently, he’s not even allowed to have legal documents in his prison cell, nor a computer to work on so he can stay in contact with his attorneys and draft statements.

    Multiple legal proceedings that are “piling up” add to Assange’s stress and inability to cope with the demands of his proceedings, stated Melzer, who concluded: “Human Rights law requires that the defendant get enough time to prepare his defense.”

    Extradition to the United States

    Melzer’s greatest concern about Assange being extradited to the United States is that he will not receive a fair trial and that he’ll be “exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights,” including but not limited to torture and cruel and unusual punishment. He believes that Assange would likely be “subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, to very harsh detention conditions, and to a psychological environment which would break him eventually.”

    Assange is currently facing 18 charges in the United States, 17 of which fall under the Espionage Act for doing what journalists do everyday. Melzer believes that “the main narrative in this affair really is the United States wanting to make an example of Mr. Assange in order to deter other people from following his example.”

    Britain WikiLeaks Assange

    Wikileaks editor Kristinn Hrafnnson speaks to the media ahead of a court hearing over a U.S. request to extradite Assange, May 2, 2019 Frank Augstein | AP
    Subjecting Assange to a harsh sentence, severe prison conditions, and solitary confinement for journalism “amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and [is] in violation of international law as well as the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution,” said Melzer. And prosecuting him for doing what every good investigative journalist and publisher does would be a gross violation of the First Amendment.

    The meaning of a fair trial
    During his interview with Chris Hedges on RT’s program On Contact, Melzer explained what is meant by a “fair trial” and why he doesn’t think Assange will get one in the United States. First, a fair trial requires that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but Melzer argues that both public and political opinion has been so tainted against him that it seems absurd to think that Assange would be afforded due process, that his rights would be protected, or that he would face an unbiased judge and jury.

    Second, a fair trial requires equality before the law but when the government fails to prosecute those who commit war crimes while prosecuting those who expose them, there is no equality before the law.

    As Melzer pointed out, no U.S. officials or military soldiers have ever been charged for gunning down innocent Iraqis, including children, and two Reuters journalists during a 2007 Baghdad airstrike, a crime that was exposed in WikiLeaks’ “Collateral Murder” video. Additionally, no one has been charged for the CIA’s torture program despite the U.S. government’s obligations under the Convention Against Torture. It’s hardly surprising then that the United States has a dismal track record when it comes to enforcing the prohibition of torture. “The only person being prosecuted here seems to be the one that actually exposed all of these crimes,” stated Melzer:

    Quote The government really loses any credibility…that’s where — why I say prosecution then becomes persecution because there is no longer the rule of law… These are proceedings that are fundamentally skewed against the defendant.”
    As an example of equality under the law, Melzer pointed to two Reuters journalists who had been imprisoned in Myanmar for exposing the massacre of 10 Muslims by Myanmar’s military. Although they were sentenced to 10 years in prison, the soldiers were also prosecuted and sentenced. Both were also later pardoned. But in Assange’s case, one needs only to look at the treatment (torture) and sentencing (35 years in prison) of Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower who leaked U.S. government crimes — and the fact that no one has ever been charged for those crimes — to realize that it’s “utterly unrealistic” to think Assange might be given a fair trial, acquitted, or given a light sentence.

    When asked if he thought Assange had committed a crime, Melzer responded that he didn’t think so: although one could try and build a case against him for trying to help someone (unsuccessfully) break a code, “it’s a bit like charging someone for trying to exceed the speed limit but not succeeding because the car is too weak.”


    Australia

    Even Australia isn’t off the hook, according to Melzer, who believes that they have been a “glaring absentee” in Assange’s case. He stated that they have failed to “take steps to protect their national — certainly not from justified criminal prosecution — but to protect him from this kind of excessive, almost persecution that he’s experiencing currently.”



    Media culpability and the threat to a free press
    Melzer admits that he was reluctant to investigate Assange’s case because he had been affected by media propaganda and that it wasn’t until he started to “scratch the surface” of it that he realized how little substance there was to the stories — but how much spin and manipulation lay beneath.

    He urged everyone to look deeper into the case and warned us that we have been deliberately misled about Assange. From The Canary:

    Quote The predominant image of the shady ‘hacker,’ ‘sex offender,’ and selfish ‘narcissist’ has been carefully constructed, disseminated and recycled in order to divert attention from the extremely powerful truths he exposed…”
    It can’t be emphasized enough how insightful Melzer’s interview with The Canary was in terms of the media’s accountability and how Assange’s case will affect a free and protected press:

    Quote In today’s information age, the media have an extraordinary power to shape public opinion…The media are a veritable ‘fourth power’ in the state next to the traditional branches of government, controlling not only what is said and shown, but also what is not disseminated…media outlets and individual journalists…have contributed significantly to spreading abusive and deliberately distorted narratives about Mr. Assange.”
    Melzer went on to say that the media has failed to challenge governments or hold officials accountable for criminality and corruption and that they have created conditions that are ripe for violating Assange’s “most fundamental rights without provoking public outrage.”

    He warned against Assange’s extradition in the UN’s released statement because it would raise concerns over the criminalization of investigative journalism, and in The Canary interview he stated that it would “establish a dangerous precedent of impunity threatening freedom of press and opinion worldwide.”


    Melzer’s recommendations

    Since his medical assessment of Assange, Melzer has sent out four official letters to Sweden, the U.K., Ecuador, and the United States urging them to “refrain from further disseminating, instigating or tolerating statements or other activities prejudicial to Assange’s human rights and dignity.” He also asked that they take measures to provide Assange redress and rehabilitation and that he not be extradited to the U.S. or any country that refuses to guarantee no extradition.

    All our countries have violated the Convention on Torture and are directly involved in the “sustained and concerted abuse” inflicted on Assange. Melzer believes that if Assange has really committed a crime, he has the right to develop a defense with his attorneys and a guarantee that his rights will be protected. The UN Rapporteur would also like to see an “independent observation” on how Assange’s judicial proceedings are handled, as well as his health stabilized, and that he be given time to recover before having to face the monumental court proceedings ahead of him.

    Melzer’s personal belief is that Assange should be released, compensated, and rehabilitated by the four involved States because he has suffered enough.

    Nils Melzer | Julian Assange torture

    Nils Melzer after his visit with Julian Assange on May 31, 2019. Photo | Denis Balibouse
    The opinions of Melzer, whether personal or professional, should not be taken lightly. In addition to being appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 2016, he is the current human rights chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and served as a legal adviser, delegate and deputy head of delegation with the Red Cross for 12 years, during which time he worked in conflict zones.

    He has an extensive background in humanitarian work and, according to the European Parliament, he specializes in “targeting and the use of force, cyber-conflict and the regulation of private military and security companies.” His focus also includes work on “international legal challenges arising in the contemporary security environment,” and he has authored several books — such as Target Killing In International Law, which examines the legality of targeted killing — as well as academic papers like “Cyberwarfare and International Law,” which discusses the humanitarian aspects of cyberwarfare as well as how international law pertains to it.

    To say that Melzer is qualified in his field would be an understatement and his report on Julian Assange and the role that Sweden, the U.K., Ecuador, and the United States have played in the psychological torture and deteriorating condition of Julian Assange should be taken with the seriousness it deserves.


    In summary
    The UN Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, concluded that Julian Assange is and has been for years psychologically tortured and that available evidence strongly suggests Sweden, the U.K., Ecuador, and the United States are responsible for the “sustained and concerted abuse inflicted” upon him. Each of these countries have failed to protect the Australian publisher from “serious abuse, insult, and intimidation by media and other private actors within their jurisdiction.”

    Quote By displaying an attitude of complacency at best, and of complicity at worst, these governments have created an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr. Assange’s uninhibited vilification and abuse.”
    Additionally, Assange is being denied the right to fair judicial proceedings and due process — including the U.S. secret grand jury indictment; the Swedish government’s continued investigation and dissemination of “Assange is a rapist” propaganda; U.K. judges’ overt bias and conflicts of interest; and lastly, Ecuador’s termination of his asylum status and citizenship. Melzer recently wrote on Twitter:

    Quote In U.K. courts #Assange is insulted as a ‘narcissist’; jailed for seeking asylum; facing US extradition for journalism’ prosecuted by CPS known to have instigated his persecution; under a judge with known conflict of interest; under a Govt having prejudged him.”
    As of now, Melzer believes that the most logical explanation for the “sustained systematic failure of the judiciary” under which Assange has suffered is that the U.S. is trying to make an example of him in an effort to deter others from doing what it is that WikiLeaks and Assange do: publishing the truth.

    For Melzer, it’s almost inconceivable that there are “so many layers of so profoundly skewed and bias[ed] steps in the judicial proceedings” for this to be a coincidence. He doesn’t believe Assange would receive a fair and impartial trial in the U.S. and the case raises serious concerns about a free press.

    “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!” declared Melzer.

    A full extradition hearing has been set for February 2020.

    Feature photo | Menyalastudio | Shutterstock

    Jjimmysllama is an independent researcher and writer who provides balanced, critical analysis with a focus on the Boston bombings, Magnitsky Act, and WikiLeaks. She is currently trying to stay warm in the Midwest. You can read more of her work at jimmysllama.com and find her on Twitter at @jimmysllama.

    by Jimmysllama

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