I have only recently learned of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment also known as the U.N. CAT law or convention against Torture. Under this law, I have found a few things that may have been overlooked in regards to the illegal detainment of Julian Assange. According to article one found here:
“For the purpose of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.”
In the case of Julian Assange, with 8 years arbitrary detention 6 of which have been without fresh air, sunlight or proper medical care and the complete isolation of over 8 months this past year, his situation certainly is considered torture under international law. In fact, the U.N. has ruled twice in favor of Assange, finding the U.K. has detained Assange illegally as seen here:
“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” said Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the expert panel.
“The Working Group maintains that the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation,” Mr. Hong added.
However, it has not been brought in front of the U.N. the current state of torture Assange is suffering. The funny thing is that the U.K. parliament itself ratified the U.N. CAT law and yet they continue to violate it by keeping an uncharged man imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Documentation of this ratification can be seen here.
According to Wikipedia seen here:
“The Committee against Torture (CAT) is a body of human rights experts that monitors implementation of the Convention by State parties. The Committee is one of eight UN-linked human rights treaty bodies. All state parties are obliged under the Convention to submit regular reports to the CAT on how rights are being implemented. Upon ratifying the Convention, states must submit a report within one year, after which they are obliged to report every four years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations.” Under certain circumstances, the CAT may consider complaints or communications from individuals claiming that their rights under the Convention have been violated.”
In essence, Assange’s lawyers could bring the current situation to the Committee and very possibly stop the U.K. from being able to arrest him until the case is finalized by the U.N. If, in fact, the committee were to find Ecuador and the British authorities in violation of the current law, Assange would most certainly be allowed to leave the premises as a free man.
Another legal matter that needs to be addressed is a Habeus Corpus sent to the United States State Department and any court that has jurisdiction in this case. Upon investigating this, I found this at Cornell university’s law site found here.
“A writ of habeas corpus is used to bring a prisoner or other detainee (e.g. institutionalized mental patient) before the court to determine if the person’s imprisonment or detention is lawful. A habeas petition proceeds as a civil action against the State agent (usually a warden) who holds the defendant in custody. It can also be used to examine any extradition processes used, the amount of bail, and the jurisdiction of the court.”
By then proving, without Assange being arrested, that his current detention is not only unlawful but extradition has been ordered by the United States government. Assange would not need to be physically present at these proceedings but could appear via satellite link. Upon proving there is an extradition order, Ecuador’s hands become tied due to Assange being a citizen of that country and cannot evict him from the Embassy. This would also open the doors to what charges he faces in the United States.
Also under the United Nations CAT Law, explanation seen here:
“The UNCAT defines what is meant by torture, bans the use of torture, cruel and degrading treatment, bans refoulement (the extradition of individuals at risk to countries where they may face torture), requires governments to actively prevent torture, requires governments to investigate torture allegations, requires governments to provide remedy to torture victims and establishes an appropriate UN committee to deal with issues of redress, monitoring and investigation.”
In other words, because Assange faces the possibility of torture named out in the Stratfor emails seen below, he cannot be extradited to the United States under this law.
Another reason the torture of Assange by the United States may be inevitable is the nomination of “Bloody” Gina Haspel as CIA head. She is known for her participation in the CIA torture program that was banned after being exposed by John Kiriakou. Therefore, Julian Assange is in grave danger if he is extradited.
I am suggesting to the legal team of Assange that they look into this. It may be helpful in their endeavors to free their client.