Britain’s shameful treatment of a political prisoner

22 October 2019 — True Publica

Britain's shameful treatment of a political prisoner

By TruePublica: Britain is no better than any other despotic regime if this is how it treats a journalist/whistleblower in custody. It makes no matter what your personal views on Julian Assange are. He is a political prisoner and like any other prisoner in the hands of the British state he should be treated with at least some dignity and respect. Assange is not a violent criminal.

In May 2019, Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture said – “My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

On 18th October:

John Pilger said –

I saw Julian Julian Assange today in Belmarsh prison. He is denied the tools to prepare his defence against extradition to America.

Yesterday, October 21st – in court:

Amnesty International said:

Today, Julian Assange is expected to appear for his full extradition hearing. Were Assange to be extradited to the USA where he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations, UK would be in breach of its obligations under intn’l HR law.

Tristan kirk – Courts Correspondent – London Evening Standard said:

“Today in court, Julian Assange struggled to say his own name and date of birth as he appeared in the dock. He claimed to have not understood what happened in the case management hearing, and was holding back tears as he said: “I can’t think properly”.

Reuters journalist Andrew MacAskill in court said:

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared confused at a court hearing on Monday, struggling to recall his name and age in his first public appearance in months”

John Pilger said:

“I was in court today to watch magistrate Vanessa Baraitser’s studied contempt for law and justice, as she denied Julian #Assange time to prepare his defence against America’s oafish, cowboy case to extradite him. An enfeebled Julian struggled to expose her. Stand with him please.”

Craig Murray – Former UK Ambassador said:

“I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest, he has lost over 15 kg in weight. But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.”

“His legal team said Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process”

What example does this set to despots around the world when talking of human rights?

Who is Britain to lecture anyone or country on civil liberty when prisoners are treated in such a way?

If this can happen to Assange – who is next?

At best – this is a stain on the justice system and a shameful example of the modern-day government of Britain in a globalised world.

As so many people keep saying – its embarrassing being British these days.

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