Julian Assange is facing extradition to the United States after he was forcibly dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London by police mid-April this year. On the 1st May, he was imprisoned for breaching bail conditions. His sentence is now done and Julian Assange now represents something else other than just a political prisoner.
In mitigation, Mark Summers QC said his client was “gripped” by fears of rendition to the US over the years because of his work with whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
Sentencing him, Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange it was difficult to envisage a more serious example of the offence. In reality, his ‘offence’ was nothing more than publishing embarrassing documents that rightly framed America for their actions in foreign lands – of war crimes.
As of 22nd September, Julian Assange had officially finished his jail sentence. There is no Swedish charge or request for his extradition from Sweden, as those flimsy sexual allegations are no longer required to capture Assange. They now have him.
We should not forget what the continued imprisonment of Julian Assange means. And we should not forget that it adds another piece of information about the British state and its so-called legal system.
While the mainstream media are captivated by Boris Johnson’s philandering and abuse of public office while Brexit rages on, Assange is a political prisoner – nothing more, nothing less.
Assange’s crime is publishing secrets of the US state, revealing war crimes. The judge was entirely wrong to assert that Assange was somehow escaping justice by hiding in an embassy – he was on the run from a state with about as much integrity as China or Russia when it comes to such matters. Assange is in a maximum-security prison full of terrorists, murderers and worse – but from what is understood – in solitary confinement, without access to his legal team or medical assistance. This breaks the norms of international law.
In the meantime, we should also not forget that Britain simply rejected an International Court of Justice ruling where British occupation of the Chagos Islands was found unlawful by a majority of 13 to 1, with all the judges from EU countries amongst those finding against the UK.