Julian Assange is being slowly killed - #35
Fight against extradition continues, but meanwhile Assange has suffered a stroke.
Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange is dying in prison.
That’s the depressing reality which has faced us since the High Court ruling on Friday. The decision brought Assange a step closer to being extradited to the Unites States.
Assange is being charged with doing true and accurate journalism which exposed the war crimes, torture and other machinations of the US empire. The US wants to prosecute the journalist — who is not even a US citizen — with its Espionage Act. As journalist and Wikileaks expert Kevin Gosztola explains in his piece on the ruling:
He faces 18 charges — 17 of which are charges under the Espionage Act.
The Espionage Act is a US law passed in 1917 that the Justice Department has increasingly wielded against media sources who share “classified” documents or talk about sensitive information with journalists.
The High Court on Friday overturned the earlier decision of a lower court to block block Assange’s extradition to the US. Assange’s team immediately announced that they would be appealing to the UK’s Supreme Court.
Assange’s fiancé Stella Morris called Friday’s ruling a “grave miscarriage of justice.” She said: “How can if be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?”
In September, it was revealed that the US had made plans to kidnap or even murder Assange from the UK.
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Amnesty International’s Europe director Nils Muižnieks said that assurances given by the US to the British government that Assange would not be mistreated in jail were “not worth the paper they are written on.” The High Court based its new ruling mostly on those assurances. Gosztola’s article explains in detail why they can’t be trusted.
Editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson said, “Julian’s life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient. This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower.”
Stella Morris also revealed that Assange suffered a stroke soon after the ruling, and that this was the second time this has happened to him.
My Work this Week
I reported this week for The Electronic Intifada that three activists from the group Palestine Action have been ruled not guilty of criminal damage against Israeli drone maker Elbit. The group currently has a dozen cases pending in the courts, but this is the first to actually come to trial:
Palestine Action activist Sarah said in the group’s statement following the not guilty verdict on Monday [6 December]: “Throwing this paint may not protect Gaza. What protects Gaza is stopping the bombing. Elbit produces weapons, tanks and drones used to commit crimes against humanity and this is what is unlawful.”
Assange would be immediately freed and showered with awards and praise in any functioning democracy. But, unfortunately, we do not live in such a country. Another court case this week, however, showed that despite the corruption in high places, some lower-level judges can still administer a degree of justice in this country.