Assange extradition delayed – but no call for celebration yet

Last Updated: March 28, 2024By

A temporary hope for the future of journalism and freedom of speech was dashed rather quickly on Tuesday:

I nipped over to Craig Murray, whose information on the Assange case has always been high-quality (this is why the people of Blackburn need him as their MP after the next general election)

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I went to Jonathan Cook for more comment and clarity:

The full tweet states:

BREAKING: Yet another abhorrent decision today by the British judiciary, violating the principle of due process, in the continuing political show trial of Julian Assange.

Despite recognising that the US is committed to denying Assange the most basic of free speech rights; that it is discriminating against him on the basis of his nationality, as a non-US citizen; and that he is under real threat of the death penalty in the US penal system, the UK appeal court is still not prepared to free him. Instead it is seeking yet more assurances from the US about Assange’s treatment should he be extradited.

In the meantime, he will stay caged in the high-security Belmarsh prison – he’s been there for five years now – under a regime the former UN expert Nils Melzer has described as sustained psychological torture.

This case has never been about the legal facts. It has always been about buying time. To disappear Assange from public view. To vilify him. To smash the main publishing platform for whistleblowers to expose state crimes. And very possibly to provide a final solution to the problem Assange posed to state impunity by killing him from the sustained stress of endless incarceration and trial.

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture has also made a statement about the ruling:

Here’s the gist:

“I remind the Government of the United Kingdom of its responsibility under international law to ensure that Mr Assange’s extradition is in full compliance with the absolute prohibition of refoulement – the forcible return of individuals to countries where they may face torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

“Whatever happens next in this process, Mr Assange’s legal team must be given time to consider their options including a possible injunction from the European Court of Human Rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which protects individuals from being sent to where they would be at risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.”

To This Writer, it seems that whatever happens next, the process is likely to move to the ECHR – and continue for however long it takes for that court to decide on his fate.

Meanwhile, Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh Prison under conditions that suggest he is suffering psychological torture right now.

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