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 Cousage 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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Free Yourself By Freeing Assange

I found myself weeping This morning, on my knees in mourning for Assange’s current situation. An innocent man whose health has deteriorated to the point he’s kept on a prison hospital ward, with issues from being mobbed and isolated for 7 years. He has asked every person who has visited him to save his life. Yet even after serving his time, they will hold him in a high security prison with murderers and terrorists. He has no access to the things he needs to defend himself against extradition, he is in solitary confinement awaiting extradition where he faces hell. This is unheard of in extraddition cases but the injustice rages on in this case as they attempt to make him an example.

Nils Melzer recently tweeted:

It’s true that while the establishment destroys our rights so they can control the narrative, the media follows along like rats following the Pied Piper to their death. They will report to annihilate Assange’s character on everything but the crimes he’s exposed.

As my friend and.vlogger Stephen Perret stated on Twitter recently:

“The best journalist in the world is an Aussie. If truthful journalism was a simple sport, Australian media would be celebrating Julian Assange 24/7. But because he exposed serious crimes against democracy, we get smears, lies, nothing positive & no compassion. #WeAreAllAssange”

The treatment of Assange by the UK government is a disgusting display of injustice and blatant disregard for human rights. If they can do this to him, they can do this to you!

According ECPMF seen here:

A visibly fatigued and emaciated Assange greeted Melzer and his team during their visit on 9. May. It had been 28 days since Assange’s arrest. He was wearing a plain blue jumper and grey joggers.

Melzer and his team’s visit lasted for four hours. For three of those four hours Melzer and two medical experts, Professor Duarte Nuno Vieira from Portugal and Dr. Pau Perez-Sales from Spain conducted a medical assessment of Assange.

It followed the ‘Istanbul Protocol’. The protocol’s full name is the ‘Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’

Melzer tells the ECPMF that at first, “after what this man [Assange] had gone through, I didn’t know what to expect.”

“From a medical perspective, both doctors concluded that his state of health was critical, and that it might deteriorate rapidly if he is not stabilized. And that’s exactly what happened.”

Two weeks after their visit, and 49 days into Assange’s detention, Assange was relocated to the hospital wing of Belmarsh. And a court hearing, on his extradition to the U.S., had to be postponed. It was deemed Assange was not medically fit to participate in the proceedings, even via video link.

What Assange is going through in prison is “psychological torture”, Melzer says emphatically. He came to this conclusion after his visit and published an official UN statement repeating this.

At the end of his visit, Melzer asked Assange whether he had anything further to say.

“‘Yes’, he said, ‘please save my life.’”

Those words haunt me every day. A courageous, strong man crying out for help. It breaks my heart and makes me even more ready to fight. I lack the funds to do what I wish I could. I would lobby every day, hold protests and confront Congress men and women with the facts. I would go to the DOJ and ask for an audience until ssomeone would listen. If I could I would stand outside Maralago and make sure every person saw my protest to free Assange. Unfortunately, I am just a small town Midwest girl with a lot of heart.

Very simply, the persecution and unjust torture of Julian Assange is not about his publishing….
It’s about government controlling the narrative, the establishment taking power from the people and government overreach
Free yourself! #FreeAssange

Assange To Remain Behind Bars After Prison Term Ends on September 22nd

Assange appeared in court again via video link in a loose fitting t-shirt today. It appears his lawyers chose not to apply for bail. The judge ordered he remain in jail because of his history of absconding. His sentence will have been served September 22nd.

The question many of us are asking is why didn’t Wikileaks alert us to this court hearing? Why didn’t his lawyers apply for bail? It is unusual for a defendant being held on remand to remain in jail.

Assange should be free.

John Bolton Resigns After Trump Asks Him To

John Bolton has resigned or so he says. Trump sent out a tweet this morning regarding this situation with the war-mongering National Security Advisor. The President claims, however, that he informed his services were no longer needed. Was he fired or did he resign?

Trump also said he would be choosing someone new as early as next week.

It is actually wonderful news to those who feared war with Iran, Syria and even Russia. John Bolton seemed to be always screaming for war in his tweets. The big scare now is who he will choose to replace him. So far, Trump’s choices seem to lean towards Deep State and are looking for catastrophic results.

The other question is will he choose a Pro-Assange advisor or one who doesn’t support him like Bolton? Will he finally replace the egotistic, ex-CIA director, Mike Pompeo, who is screaming for Assange’s head like Hero Antipas’ stepdaughter did?

The future remains to be seen.

We Are In Danger, Not Just Assange

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I want you to imagine that you get the breaking news story of your life. Someone has brought you a video of the mob and a police officer murdering an entire family. You know exposing the mob will endanger but you feel you have to do it. Then this person brings you thousands of documents showing the corruption of the mob. You start going through these documents to keep the innocent safe but two other news outlets release the documents before you get the chance to redact them. They release the passwords to said documents against your explicit instructions To your shock and amazement, you are being blamed for the innocent’s names being released.

Suddenly, your whole life is being torn to pieces and you now allegedly raped two women. The police department holding the allegations drop the case, only to be reopened again twice.

Now you are facing life in prison because the state decided you are the one who committed the crime, not the mob…

Yeah, it sounds crazy but this is what happened to Julian Assange on a grander scale.

Assange is more than an award-winning journalist and publisher. He is a free speech advocate and a human rights activist. He is currently awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face the rest of his life in prison or worse yet, the death penalty. We all know he’s innocent. That in fact, he’s a hero who has been tortured for truth. Yet the ruling elites want to make human example. Why? Fear.

All activism requires free speech. Julian Assange remains imprisoned & tortured, for using free speech to inform the public about crimes committed by the powerful. Julian’s freedom is, therefore, crucial to the viability of all activism. If they can silence Assange, they can silence us all. That’s why we must all unite.

John Pilger gave a message from Assange on Sunday at the protest featuring Roger Waters of Pink Floyd (article can be seen here):

Message from Assange delivered from Pilger:

It’s not just me. It’s much wider. It’s all of us. It’s all journalists and all publishers who do their job who are in danger.

Journalist John Pilger has delivered a stark warning from WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who said that his persecution is intended to kill dissent. “Speak up now,” Pilger said, or face “the silence of a new kind of tyranny.”

“The danger Julian Assange faces can easily spread to the present and past editors of the Guardian, the New York Times, Der Spiegel, El Pais in Spain, the Sydney Morning Herald, and many other newspapers and media outlets that published the WikiLeaks revelations about the lies and crimes of our governments,” Pilger continued.

“By defending Julian Assange we defend our most sacred rights,” Pilger warned. “Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny.”

“In the fight to save the life of Julian Assange, there are reasons to believe using free speech is making an impact. We see an escalating clampdown on free speech suggesting the establishment is fearful of us and we see more people coming forward to support him”, said Stephen Perret on Twitter. “We speak up to free Julian Assange. Waiting passively to see what happens will only bring greater tyranny. We must democratically demonstrate the power of free speech to end Julian’s inhuman persecution! We are ordinary people doing the work of the mass media.”

In fact, by saving Assange, we save our own lives, our children’s lives, and future generations. Even when the establishment knows it is wrong, they lack the humility and ethics to admit it. As long as we do not hold them accountable they will never admit their error in imprisoning Assange. So it is up to us to stand up and make them listen. It is no longer a social media fight but must be fought in the streets peacefully through protests, voting, letters, and phone calls. If your elected officials won’t answer back, keep calling, show up at their offices, FIGHT!

We are one step away from giving up our rights to protest, to speak our mind and for our media to lose the ability to expose the lies and criminal behavior of our governments. Show you care. Silence is complacency!

Beautiful Protest Featuring Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in London on Monday

A heartfelt stand to Free Assange was attended by around a thousand supporters yesterday in London as Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, John Pilger and Julian’s own brother Gabriel Shipton spoke. Waters played “Wish You Were Here” in honor of Julian Assange who still languishes in Belmarsh Prison.

Pilger said they are currently fighting to get him in a different prison under better conditions and that Assange had recently had his first exercise outside. Pilger also stated:

“The behavior of the British government toward Julian Assange is a disgrace. A profanity on the very notion of human rights…”

‘All of us are in danger’: John Pilger delivers warning from Julian Assange.

******
“The moment that we fall silent, it’s over. By defending #JulianAssange we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now, or wake up one morning to the silence of a new tyranny. The choice is ours.”

“It’s not just me. It’s much wider. It’s all of us. It’s all journalists and all publishers who do their job who are in danger.”

– Julian Assange to John Pilger.

Video can be seen here.

Roger Waters said in his speech:

“How do we put ourselves in the position of a Julian Assange in solitary confinement? … It’s called empathy.”

“I think the treatment of Julian Assange by the British government brings shame on Britain’s reputation. Because Julian Assange in my opinion is the most important journalist anywhere in the world.”

Gabriel Shipton, brother of Assange, said the British prison system is “working its hardest at crushing any hope” Julian Assange has left.

Waters performance can be seen here.

Hopefully Julian knows our hearts are with him and we are fighting to save his life.

The Story Of A Hero: Man Is Walking 280 Miles For Julian Assange and Catalan Political Prisoners

Jorge is an activist but definitely not your typical one. For one thing, he has been on hunger strike 16 times for different causes. He currently has been for 60 days but that was not enough for this hero. This time he has chosen to walk from Strasbourg to Brussels for Catalonia,free speech,free press, and Julian Assange.

He has met incredible people along the way. According to this article seen here on Cyber Guerilla:

Knowing that when the regular media is silent about these events, the only way to do something is to get attention to the subjects by yourself. From the normal people, those who matter, not the big shots at the top. So he decided to do what no person had done before, to go on a hunger strike and walk between the 2 main EU buildings, 450 kilometers, and to not eat until he would have reached his end destination.

All of this to give one single message to those in power:

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

We do not forget.

And now, the EU parliament in Brussels can expect Jorge. And Jorge doesn’t arrive alone. Because he is supported by more people than they would be willing to piss off.

Talking to Jorge he is very grateful to those who help motivate him to fulfull his cause and for spreading the word. We don’t see enough in the media about real heroes like Jorge. So here’s a big shout out to a man wo pursues his causes with all he has. Thank you Jorge for all you do!

A Desperate Call to Action to Free Assange

There is not a minute that goes by in my waking hours that I do not mourn the horrific rights violations of Julian Assange. Through isolation, limited access to friends and family and no possible way to defend himself, he is slowly deteriorating in prison. Though many of us fight hard daily, the powers that be are very strong. It is agony knowing his health is quickly diminishing in prison.

Unfortunately, the odds are against him and that is why we must spread the word and educate everyone around us. The U.S. is powerful and corrupt and run by an evil shadow government. By spending trillions on weapons of warfare, it is no longer a Republic but a military regime. An empire who allows the criminals to walk free or get off with just a slap on the hand and destroys the truthtellers that expose them.

While murderers and child molesters are sentenced to short terms, Assange faces 175 years for simply publishing the truth about U.S. war crimes. What kind of justice is that? The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves as the citizens of the U.S. stand back and allow tyranny to move in and destroy their rights. Everything the 13 colonies fought for is disintegrating.

The obvious bias in this case guarantees an unfair sentencing and possibly his death. Assange does not deserve to die in prison! He deserves awards and the Nobel Peace Prize. Most of all, he deserves to be with his family.

As a free people we must stand up to the obvious disregard for free press and our rights and demand Assange be freed. We cannot allow this travesty to continue but must end it and end it soon. This is a call to action, not just mumbling. We must unite as one and free Assange.

Writing Campaign And Example Letter to The Governor of Belmarsh Prison Regarding The Unfair Treatment of Julian Assange

It has come to light in the article by 21st Century Wire seen here, that it is necessary to start a writing campaign to Rob Davis OBE governor of Belmarsh Prison. The fact that Assange is being treated as though he is a dog who has bitten his owner is obvious in the abuse he is receiving. See below for example letter and addresses.

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that Julian Assange is being denied certain inalienable rights in your prison. Such rights include access to legal documents in order to fight in his defense, a laptop for the same purpose, access to the prison library and continuous access to his lawyers in order to prepare his defense.

This is not only a violation of due process but also an encroachment on his human rights. Even murderers get proper access to their lawyers.

Article 6.3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which is of particular significance for prisoners (Assange clearly qualifies a political prisoner) and states that detainees must:

“… have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of their defence…”

The Council of Europe (CoE) has produced a definition of what this means in a guide on Article 6 of the ECHR:

  1. The “facilities” which everyone charged with a criminal offence should enjoy include the opportunity to acquaint himself, for the purposes of preparing his defence, with the results of investigations carried out throughout the proceedings.
  2. In order to facilitate the conduct of the defence, the accused must not be hindered in obtaining copies of relevant documents from the case file and compiling and using any notes taken

The CoE human rights guidelines have also set out in its European Prison Rules that:

23.6 Prisoners shall have access to, or be allowed to keep in their possession, documents relating to their legal proceedings.

Fair Trials, the global criminal justice watchdog, explains:

“A person facing criminal charges must have the time and facilities to prepare a defence. This right exists at all stages of the proceedings and encompasses the right to documents, files, and information as well as a guarantee of confidential communication with counsel.

Sir, please let this man keep his dignity and allow him his basic rights as an individual. Please allow him more visitors, time to prepare his defense and the adequate tools to do so. Take a moment to visit him as he is losing weight.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Addresses below:

Rob Davis OBE
Western Way
London
SE28 0EB

Tel: 020 8331 4400
Fax: 020 8331 4401

rob.davis@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

When A Journalist Like Assange Is Villified and Tortured, We Have Returned To The Past

Assange isolated and torture in Belmarsh prison, treated worse than a criminal when he is a hero is an example of how far our society has fallen backward. The only thing missing is the Coliseum and quite frankly we have the equivalent on television, movies and video games. They are just not reality. Why must the world repeat history and it’s downfalls again and again? Do we never learn?

It really does seem that we are bound to repeat the same mistakes of our ancestors over and over. How many empires have had to be overthrown in history for doing exactly what we are repeating today?

Assange tried to change that. He was a revolutionary. He wanted to see good happen in the world instead of the constant evil. He exposed the corruption within and brought it into the light. For that, we owe him. We owe him his freedom. We need to give him back his life. We need the millions to stand strong together and tell our governments no more. No more rights violations. No more attacking us through a journalist. Free Assange!!!!