Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Case of Assange

How do you define cruel and unusual punishment? Is it just physical or is psychological a much worse scenario? Imagine your father, or brother, or son unable to speak to you while his health deteriorates in solitary confinement unable to talk to anyone? Visits are limited to 2 a month and then after he serves his term a judge decides to keep him in a high security prison denying him bail before the judged was even asked. Then you find out he hasn’t received any of his mail in over a month. Yes, folks this is cruel and unusual punishment and it is happening right before your eyes in the U.K. However, you can’t just hold the U.K. responsible as the U.S. is bullying them in this case to destroy Assange. He is emaciated, and slowly losing hope.

According to the latest article by the Courage Foundation on defend.wikileaks.org seen here:

In a surprise “technical hearing” at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 13 September 2019, Julian Assange was told that he will continue to be detained at HMP Belmarsh to the United States’ extradition request even after his bail sentence ends on 22 September 2019.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who will preside over Julian’s extradition hearing, told Assange, who appeared by video-link,

“You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.”

In fact, as Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, who was in the courtroom, explained in an interview, the judge decided on her own to discuss Julian’s bail at what was supposed to be merely a “technical hearing.”

Judge Baraitser “decided to hear a bail application case which wasn’t before her,” Shipton said, “which she promptly refused.” When asked who brought the bail application, he said, “She made it herself.”

Julian Assange is currently being held in solitary confinement at HMP Belmarsh. He remains in the health ward and is only transported in and out of his cell under so-called ‘controlled moves’, meaning the prison is locked down and hallways are cleared. Furthermore, the prison hasn’t delivered mail to him for over a month, and Julian is unable to call his parents or his US lawyer. Continuing to imprison him beyond his sentence furthers this inhumane treatment and should be condemned.

It is obvious the U.K. judiciary system is taking directions from someone higher up. The judge also used the term absconded when Assange sought political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London. The use of the word abscond is not an appropriate term in his case.

Definition of abscond

intransitive verb

formal

: to depart secretly and hide oneself

abscond derives from Latin abscondere, meaning “to hide away,”

The U.K. government always knew exactly where Julian Assange was. He was not in hiding. In fact, from personal experience, I can tell you and show you he was constantly under London surveillance by London police.

Julian Assange did not abscond.

As stated in the same article referenced above:
Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 explicitly because of the likelihood that he would otherwise be at serious risk of extradition to the United States, which has now realized Assange’s fears with an indictment threatening 175 years in prison for journalistic activity. The judge’s claim that Assange “absconded” further ignores the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s multiple statements ruling that Assange has been arbitrarily detained.

We should all be up in arms in this.

The Tower of London Has Moved to HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, London

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