Dear Prime Minister, Dear Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dear Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Dear Home Secretary,
We write to you as legal practitioners and legal academics to express our collective concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting.
I never expected to be writing something like this. I am an ordinary person, recently semi-retired from a career in the pharmaceutical industry and biotech, where I spent over 30 years trying to solve problems of disease understanding and seek new treatments for allergic and inflammatory disorders of lung and skin. I’ve always been interested in problem solving, so when anything biological comes along, my attention is drawn to it. Come 2020, came SARS-CoV-2. I’ve written about the pandemic as objectively as I could. The scientific method never leaves a person who trained and worked as a professional scientist. Please do read that piece. My co-authors & I will submit it to the normal rigours of peer review, but that process is slow and many pieces of new science this year have come to attention through pre-print servers and other less conventional outlets.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz transits the Strait of Hormuz as the flagship of US Carrier Strike Group, Sept 18, 2020 (US Navy photo)
The US Fifth Fleet announced on September 18 that a Carrier Strike Group comprising USS Nimitz passed through the Strait of Hormuz with the guided-missile cruisers USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea and guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett. After a gap of some ten months, a US aircraft carrier is being deployed to the Persian Gulf.
Friday gave us the most emotionally charged moments yet at the Assange hearing, showed that strange and sharp twists in the story are still arriving at the Old Bailey, and brought into sharp focus some questions about the handling and validity of evidence, which I will address in comment.