UK Rejects Assange Release Request Amid COVID-19 Crisis, But Frees Thousands Of Others

uk-rejects-assange-release-request-amid-covid-19-crisis,-but-frees-thousands-of-others

06-04-20 09:41:00,

Via ConsortiumNews.com,

Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is not eligible for an early Covid-19 release from prison with other inmates because he is not serving a criminal sentence, the Australian Associated Press has reported.

British Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said Saturday that some low-risk inmates, weeks from release will be let go with monitoring devices to help avoid a further outbreak of Covid-19 in the nations’ prisons.

Belmarsh Prison in London, file image.

So far 88 prisoners and 15 staff have tested positive for the virus in British prisons. More than 25 percent of the nations’ prison staff are quarantining themselves. 

“This government is committed to ensuring that justice is served to those who break the law,” Buckland said in a statement. “But this is an unprecedented situation because if coronavirus takes hold in our prisons, the NHS could be overwhelmed and more lives put at risk.”

The Ministry of Justice told the AAP that Assange won’t be among those released because he isn’t serving a custodial sentence

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

Britain will release about 4,000 nonviolent inmates from their prisons to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Justice announced Saturday.

The ministry described prisoners eligible for release as “low-risk offenders,” noting those convicted of violent or sexual offenses will not be considered.

Inmates will be tracked electronically and required to stay home, officials said. — The Hill

In other words, because he has not been convicted of a crime, and is instead only being held on remand pending the outcome of the U.S. extradition request, he must remain in Belmarsh prison with high-risk inmates–the most serious and hardened criminals. 

WikiLeaks Ambassador Joseph Farrell released this video:

#Assange is locked up in what is becoming a vortex of infection with no self-defense. We don’t have the luxury to allow this to happen. Don’t let a him be a sitting duck for a virus that knows no bounds”

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Liefern Sie Assange nicht aus! (Petition)

liefern-sie-assange-nicht-aus!-(petition)

06-04-20 09:02:00,

Unterzeichne die Petition
Liefern Sie Assange nicht aus!

Liefern Sie Assange nicht aus!

To the government of the UK

Julian Assange hat der Welt durch Wikileaks einen großen Dienst erwiesen, indem er amerikanische Kriegsverbrechen, das Ausspionieren von Verbündeten und andere schmutzige Geheimnisse der mächtigsten Regime, Organisationen und Unternehmen der Welt dokumentiert hat. Das hat ihm nicht zu höchstem Ansehen in Amerika verholfen. 

Jetzt unterzeichnen!

Assanges Verfolgung, die Verfolgung eines Herausgebers für die Veröffentlichung von Informationen[1], die wahrheitsgemäß und eindeutig im Interesse der Öffentlichkeit erfolgte, – und deren Inhalte in großen Zeitungen auf der ganzen Welt ebenfalls verbreitet wurden – , stellt eine Gefahr für die Pressefreiheit überall dar, zumal die USA ein Recht auf Verhaftung und Verurteilung eines Nicht-Amerikaners geltend machen, der seinerzeit nicht auf amerikanischem Boden war und weiterhin nicht ist.

Er hat einige Jahre Asyl in der ekuadorianischen Botschaft in London erhalten, aber wurde im April nach einem Regierungswechsel an die britischen Behörden ausgehändigt, um von dort aus weiter in die USA ausgeliefert zu werden. Das Urteil ist bereits klar: Wenn nicht die Todesstrafe, dann droht die Unterbringung in einem Hochsicherheitsgefängnis und die schlechte Behandlung wie im Fall Chelsea Manning. Die bloße Auslieferung von Julian Assange an die Vereinigten Staaten würde gleichzeitig den endgültigen Tod der Pressefreiheit im Westen bedeuten.

Deshalb lautet unsere Forderung an die Regierung Großbritanniens: Liefern Sie Assange nicht an die USA aus! Garantieren Sie seine Menschenrechte. Darüber hinaus ermutigen wir als EU-WählerInnen die europäischen Staatschefs, proaktive Maßnahmen zum Schutz eines gefährdeten Journalisten zu ergreifen. Die Welt schaut immer noch hin.

Jetzt unterzeichnen!

[1] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/

Unterzeichne diese Petition

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Julian Assange denied bail by London court

julian-assange-denied-bail-by-london-court

25-03-20 02:48:00,

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by a London court after his lawyers argued that the Covid-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to his health in light of his pre-existing conditions.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that the global pandemic “does not provide grounds” for Assange’s release.

Also on rt.com
Julian Assange’s lawyers to apply for release on bail, citing risk of Covid-19 — WikiLeaks

The judge also cited Assange’s “past conduct” which she said “shows the lengths he is prepared to go to avoid extradition proceedings,” according to the AAP’s reporter in court.

Assange bail application:- US govt lawyers: Assange is a flight risk, gov’t to protect prisoners from virus.- Defence lawyers: Assange at higher-risk from virus and no longer a flight risk.- Judge: rules against bail.#Assange#Covid19UK

— Marty Silk (@MartySilkHack) March 25, 2020

With her comment on Assange’s “past conduct,” Baraitser was likely referring to the whistleblower’s decision in 2012 to seek asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange entered the embassy in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual assaults – which have since been dropped – and to the US, where his lawyers say he would face an unfair and politically-motivated trial for exposing US war crimes. 

Lawyers for the US government had argued that Assange was a flight risk, though with most of the world on some form or other of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s unclear where Baraitser thinks Assange would have been able to flee to.

His defense team argued he was not a flight risk, but is in high danger of the virus, due to his health conditions.

Also on rt.com
‘Doctors for Assange’ worry he may die in UK prison having ‘effectively been tortured to death’

Assange is wanted in the US on 18 criminal counts of conspiring to hack government computers and breaking espionage laws. He has been held at London’s top security Belmarsh prison since April when he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy by British police.

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Fall Assange: Whistleblowerin Manning begeht in Haft Selbstmordversuch | Anti-Spiegel

fall-assange:-whistleblowerin-manning-begeht-in-haft-selbstmordversuch-|-anti-spiegel

12-03-20 02:40:00,

Die Whistleblowerin Manning hat in Haft einen Selbstmordversuch unternommen. Das zeigt, welches Schicksal auch Julian Assange blühen könnte.

Manning hat 2010 WikiLeaks Hunderttausende geheime Militärdokumente zukommen lassen, die US-Kriegsverbrechen bewiesen haben. Anstatt jedoch die Kriegsverbrecher in den Reihen der US-Armee zu bestrafen, wurde Manning zu 35 Haft verurteilt, 2017 aber von Präsident Obama begnadigt.

Aber die Begnadigung war wenig wert, denn seit Mai 2019 sitzt sie wieder in Haft. Sie sollte gegen Assange aussagen und hat die Aussage verweigert. Daraufhin wurden hohe Strafen gegen sie verhängt und sie sitzt seitdem de facto in Einzelhaft. Einzelhaft ist jedoch über einen langen Zeitraum eine Form der psychischen Folter, die auch gegen Assange selbst angewendet wird.

Die Folgen sind sowohl bei Assange, als auch bei Manning sichtbar. Assange ist bei Gerichtsverhandlungen nur noch ein Schatten seiner selbst und Manning leidet unter Depressionen und Panikattacken. Diese Foltervorwürfe stören jedoch niemanden im Westen. Für Kritiker des Systems gelten die Menschenrechte im Westen offensichtlich nicht.

Manning hat den Selbstmordversuch überlebt und soll am Freitag planmäßig zu einer gerichtlichen Anhörung erscheinen.

Zu Assange selbst gab es vor einigen Tagen ein bemerkenswertes Interview im Spiegel. Der Spiegel hatte Sevim Dagdelen interviewt. Die Abgeordnete der Linken hat den Prozessauftakt gegen Assange in London beobachtet. Sie sprach von einem Schauprozess.

Bemerkenswert war das Interview deshalb, weil Dagdelen alles das sagen durfte, was die Kritiker des Verfahrens gegen Assange vorbringen. Mir ist generell aufgefallen, dass der Spiegel zu Assange nie ein eigenes Wort der Kritik schreibt, aber doch immer wieder Interviewpartner die Dinge sagen lässt, die gesagt werden müssen.

Da der Spiegel sonst nicht so schüchtern ist, wenn es zum Beispiel darum geht, Verstöße gegen Menschenrechte in Russland oder anderen „Feindstaaten“ anzuprangern, wirft das den Verdacht auf, dass man in der Spiegel-Redaktion eigentlich gerne Partei für Assange ergreifen möchte, sich aber nicht traut. Würde der Spiegel sich zu Assange genauso deutlich äußern, wie er es zum Beispiel im Sommer 2019 bei dem Fall des russischen Journalisten Golunow getan hat, dürfte die Redaktion wohl ein paar Probleme bekommen. Aber die Situation von Assange ist ungleich schlimmer, als es die von Golunow zu irgendeinem Zeitpunkt war.

Daher lässt der Spiegel im Fall Assange Interviewpartner die Wahrheiten aussprechen,

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Julian Assange: The Power of Truth – Global Research

julian-assange:-the-power-of-truth-–-global-research

09-03-20 10:52:00,

Julian Assange – an innocent journalist/publisher – is being constantly strip-searched, handcuffed and confined either in an iron cell in the infamous Belmarsh prison or in a glass cage during his show trial. The aim is to make Assange feel and look powerless. Ironically the news of the torture and weakened body of Julian Assange and his unfair trial has generated a tremendous political movement for his freedom.

Today this movement is a global movement and is rising to the level of the international campaign which saved Nelson Mandela’s life in preventing the death sentence and ultimately making his freedom possible. Although Assange is in isolation and confined in a tiny cell, certainly he is not alone. A few yards from his prison, there are people of all walks of life; artists, intellectuals, workers, youth and democratic-minded people who proudly hold their signs up high in defense of Julian Assange. Today, the line of justice for Assange has crossed the UK borders and has reached the four corners of the world. The power of truth is frightening the shameful authorities in London, Washington, and Canberra!

Is it possible to see Julian Assange unchained and FREE? The legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg believes that without whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and publishers like Julian Assange “we would not have a democracy”, and in their defense, he says: “It is now up to us to make sure that the First Amendment is preserved.” The great Roger Waters clearly points out that: “The ruling class,… the corporate world, the rich people, the people who run everything, the people who tell [U.K. Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and Donald Trump what to do” are responsible for the imprisonment of Julian Assange.

He tirelessly campaigns for Assange’s freedom because he believes he is “representing the thoughts of ordinary people who believe in the law, freedom, and the freedom of the press and free speech.”

Professor Noam Chomsky emphasizes that “Assange in courageously upholding political beliefs … performed an enormous service to all those in the world who treasure the values of freedom and democracy.”

John Shipton, Assange’s father, logically and rightly so is concerned that his son’s extradition to the U.S. is nothing but a “death sentence”.

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Seth Rich, Julian Assange, & Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know The Truth About The Stolen DNC Files?

seth-rich,-julian-assange,-&-dana-rohrabacher-–-will-we-ever-know-the-truth-about-the-stolen-dnc-files?

07-03-20 08:47:00,

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The American Herald Tribune,

The media is doing its best to make the Seth Rich story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense.

In its latest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but.

The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks,

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Ein Resümée der Anhörung zu Assange in London

ein-resumee-der-anhorung-zu-assange-in-london

03-03-20 05:37:00,

Letzte Woche war am Dienstag im Gerichtssaal in Belmarsh, London Julian Assanges Verteidigung mit der Darlegung der Eröffnungsargumente an der Reihe. Insgesamt hatte man den Eindruck, dass es Assanges sehr gut vorbereiteten Verteidiger Mark Summers gelang, das Anliegen vseines Mandanten detailliert und überzeugend darzustellen. Zuerst hörten wir Anwesenden, dass Julian Assange seit dem Vortag elfmal Handschellen angelegt wurden, er sich zweimal einer Leibesvisitation unterziehen musste und in fünf verschiedenen Zellen untergebracht war. Leider wurde hiervon in den Medien fast gar nichts gemeldet. Die weitere Anhörung zog sich dann noch bis Donnerstag hin. Ein Bericht aus dem Gerichtssaal in London, von Moritz Müller.

2. Verhandlungstag Dienstag 25. Februar 2020

Um in den Gerichtssaal im Woolwich Crown Court zu kommen, in dem der Westminster Magistrates Court tagt, muss man sich früh anstellen, damit man einen der 24 Publikumsplätze in diesem historischen Verfahren ergattert, weil auch sechs der Plätze für Assanges Angehörige reserviert sind. Als ich um halb sieben eintraf, stand Patrick Hennigsen von 21stcenturywire als erster in der Schlange, dicht gefolgt von drei Vertretern von Reporter ohne Grenzen, unter ihnen der deutsche Geschäftsführer Christian Mihr. Von ihnen erfahre ich, dass sie sich jetzt für Julian Assange einsetzen, auch wenn sie in ihm keinen Journalisten sehen. Ganz ohne Grenzen geht es bei dieser Nichtregierungsorganisation also doch nicht zu. Aber auch sie empfinden die Art und Weise, wie der Zugang für Beobachter bei diesem Prozess organisiert ist, als Zumutung, und anscheinend ist der Zugang für die Öffentlichkeit sogar in Erdogans Türkei besser geregelt.

Wir werden nämlich bis zur 18. Person durch das Tor eingelassen, aber vor dem Eingang zum Gebäude wiederholt sich das Zählen bis Nummer 18, wie noch drei weitere mal an diesem Tag vor der Besuchergalerie des Gerichtsaals. Leider haben wir am Eingang keinen Zettel mit Nummern für diesen Tag bekommen, so dass unserer nun um einige Prominente angewachsene 18er Gruppe an diesem Tag fünf Mal untereinander kämpfen muss, um Einlass zu erlangen. Obwohl dies nur eine Randbemerkung ist, passt es doch in das Bild dieser unsäglichen Affäre. Am ersten Tag müssen die Zustände am Eingang wegen des größeren Andrangs noch um einiges wilder gewesen sein, so dass man sich an den Untergang der Titanic erinnert fühlte. Morgen soll es in London regnen, was die Platzerlangung hoffentlich erleichtern wird.

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Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know the Truth About the Stolen DNC Files?

seth-rich,-julian-assange-and-dana-rohrabacher-–-will-we-ever-know-the-truth-about-the-stolen-dnc-files?

01-03-20 08:27:00,

Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher. Credit: Public domain/Gage Skidmore/ Flickr

The media is doing its best to make the Seth Rich story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense. In its Iatest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but. The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks,

 » Lees verder

Assange Extradition: Can a French Touch Pierce a Neo-Orwellian Farce? – Global Research

assange-extradition:-can-a-french-touch-pierce-a-neo-orwellian-farce?-–-global-research

28-02-20 07:59:00,

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

As chronicled by the painful, searing reports of Ambassador Craig Murray, what’s taking place in Woolwich Crown Court is a sub-Orwellian farce with Conradian overtones: the horror…the horror…, remixed for the Raging Twenties. The heart of our moral darkness is not in the Congo: it’s in a dingy courtroom attached to a prison, presided by a lowly imperial lackey.

In one of Michel Onfray’s books published last year, “Theorie de la Dictature” (Robert Laffont) – the top dissident, politically incorrect French philosopher starts exactly from Orwell to examine the key features of a new-look dictatorship. He tracks seven paths of destruction: to destroy freedom, impoverish language, abolish truth, suppress history, deny nature, propagate hate, and aspire to empire.

To destroy freedom, Onfray stresses, power needs to assure perpetual surveillance; ruin personal life; suppress solitude; make opinion uniform and denounce thought crimes. That sounds like the road map for the United States government’s persecution of Assange.

Other paths, as in impoverishing language, include practicing newspeak; using double language; destroying words; oralizing language; speaking a single language; and suppressing the classics. That sounds like the modus operandi of the ruling classes in the Hegemon.

To abolish truth, power must teach ideology; instrumentalize the press; propagate fake news; and produce reality. To propagate hate, power, among other instruments, must create an enemy; foment wars; and psychiatrize critical thinking.

There’s no question we are already mired deep inside this neo-Orwellian dystopia.

John “Paradise Lost” Milton, in 1642, could not have been more prophetic, when he wrote “Those that hurt the eyes of the people blame them for being blind.” How not to identify a direct parallel with Le Petit Roi Emmanuel Macron’s army, month after month, willfully blinding protesting Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests in the streets of France.

Orwell was more straightforward than Milton, saying that to talk about freedom is meaningless unless it refers to the freedom to tell people what they don’t want to hear. And he put it in context by quoting a line from Milton: “By the known rules of ancient liberty.”

No “known rules of ancient liberty” are allowed to penetrate the heart of darkness of Woolwich Crown Court.

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Julian Assange, the Glass Cage and Heaven in a Rage: Day Four of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange,-the-glass-cage-and-heaven-in-a-rage:-day-four-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

28-02-20 03:02:00,

Thursday, February 27, Woolwich Crown Court.  The first round of extradition hearings regarding Julian Assange’s case concluded a day early, to recommence on May 18th.  It ended on an insensible note very much in keeping with the woolly-headed reasoning of Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is of the view that a WikiLeaks publisher in a cage does not put all heaven in a rage.  On Wednesday, Assange’s defence had requested whether he would be able to leave the confines of his glass cage and join his legal team. As Assange had explained in response to his nodding off during proceedings, “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers.”  There was little point in “asking” if he could follow proceedings without enabling his participation.

This was not a point that fell on reasonable ears.  The judge felt it came too close to a bail application, and was initially refused as posing a potential risk to the public.  Gibberish was duly thrown at counsel for both sides, with “health and safety”, “risk assessment” and “up to Group 4” featuring as meaningless terms on the obvious: that Assange could pose no threat whatsoever, as he would be in the continuous company of security guards.  As former UK diplomat Craig Murray observed, “She started to resemble something worse than a Dalek, a particularly stupid local government officer of a very low grade.”

According to the judge, to permit such a measure of access between Assange and his team effectively constituted a departure from court custody, a striking nonsense of Dickensian dimensions.  Not even the prosecution felt it unreasonable, suggesting that one need not be so “technical” in granting such applications.

Thursday’s proceedings reaffirmed Judge Baraitser’s stubborn position.  Her first gesture was to permit Assange a pair of headphones to better enable him to hear the proceedings, followed by a brief adjournment to see if his hearing had, in fact, improved.  Assange was unimpressed, removing them after 30 minutes.

Her stretched reasoning found Assange sufficiently accessible to his lawyers despite his glassed surrounds; he could still communicate with them via notes passed through the barrier.  “It is quite apparent over the past four days that you have had no difficulty communicating with your legal team.”  The judge was willing to permit Assange a later start in proceedings to enable a meeting with the legal team and adjourn should the defence wish to meet their client in a holding cell.

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This Assange “Trial” Is A Self-Contradictory Kafkaesque Nightmare

this-assange-“trial”-is-a-self-contradictory-kafkaesque-nightmare

28-02-20 10:55:00,

The first week of the Julian Assange extradition trial has concluded, to be resumed on May 18th. If you haven’t been following the proceedings closely, let me sum up what you missed:

The prosecution is working to extradite Assange to the US under a US-UK extradition treaty, a treaty whose contents the prosecution now says we should ignore because they explicitly forbid political extraditions. The prosecution says it doesn’t matter anyway because Assange is not a political actor, yet in 2010 the US government that’s trying to extradite him labeled him a political actor in those exact words. Assange’s trial is taking place in a maximum security prison for dangerous violent offenders because that’s where he’s being jailed for no stated reason and despite having no history of violence, which means he’s kept separate from the courtroom in a sound-resistant safety enclosure where he can’t hear or participate in his own trial. The magistrate judging the case says he can’t be allowed out of the enclosure since he’s considered dangerous, because he’s been arbitrarily placed in a prison for dangerous violent offenders. The magistrate keeps telling Assange to stop speaking up during his trial and to speak through his lawyers, yet he’s being actively prevented from communicating with his lawyers.

Make sense?

No?

Not even a tiny bit?

Oh. Okay. Let me explain.

A British human rights and law reform organisation found that keeping a defendant locked in a sound-resistant glass cage apart from the courtroom, as they’re doing to Assange currently, necessarily breaches their right to a fair trial. https://t.co/FG61rIu1ur

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) February 27, 2020

It’s common in British courtrooms to have something called a “dock”, a place where defendants sit separately from court proceedings. Not all UK courtrooms have docks, and not all docks are the “secure” glass cabinet type which Assange is kept in; they can also be open wooden enclosures. Because Assange is being kept without explanation in a maximum security prison normally reserved the most dangerous violent offenders and terrorism convicts, his trial is taking place in a cage that is very much the “secure” type (so much so that he’s been complaining that he can’t hear the proceedings in his own trial through the bulletproof glass),

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Julian Assange verurteilt Gericht: Keine Beratungen mit seinen Anwälten zugelassen

julian-assange-verurteilt-gericht:-keine-beratungen-mit-seinen-anwalten-zugelassen

28-02-20 10:42:00,

Von
Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan

28. Februar 2020

Am Mittwoch, dem dritten Tag der Anhörungen über den Auslieferungsantrag der USA gegen Julian Assange vor dem Amtsgericht von Westminster, protestierte der WikiLeaks-Herausgeber Julian Assange im Rahmen des Prozesses vor Gericht mit einer mutigen Erklärung gegen die offene Missachtung seiner juristischen Grundrechte.

Der WikiLeaks-Gründer Julian Assange in einem Gefängnistransporter auf dem Weg zum Westminster Magistrates Court in London am 20. Dezember 2019 [Quelle: AP Photo/Frank Augstein]

Assange meldete sich am dritten Tag der Anhörung in seinem Auslieferungsverfahren vor dem Belmarsh Gericht von der Anklagebank aus. Dem mehrfach preisgekrönten Journalisten werden in den USA Verstöße gegen den Espionage Act (Spionagegesetz) vorgeworfen, weil er Kriegsverbrechen, illegale Massenüberwachung und Folterungen der USA enthüllt hat. Ihm drohen in den USA bis zu 175 Jahre Haft.

Dass Assange seit fast zwölf Monaten im Hochsicherheitsgefängnis Belmarsh nahezu in Isolationshaft gehalten wird, verstößt gegen das völkerrechtliche Verbot von Folter und willkürlicher Inhaftierung. Dies insbesondere, weil er sich nur in Untersuchungshaft befindet.

Als das Verfahren am Mittwochmorgen begann, informierte Distriktrichterin Vanessa Baraitser das Gericht, dass Assange „unter Einfluss von Medikamenten“ stehe und „Schwierigkeiten dabei haben könnte, dem Verfahren zu folgen“. Kurz nach 14 Uhr fragte sie Assanges Anwältin Gareth Peirce, ob ihr Mandant sich noch konzentrieren könne oder eine Pause benötige.

Daraufhin stand Assange selbst von der Anklagebank auf, stellte sich vor das kugelsichere Glas, das ihn vom Rest des Gerichts trennt, und erklärte Peirce unter sichtlicher psychischer Beeinträchtigung, er werde von den Gefängniswärtern ständig überwacht: „Ich kann nicht mit meinen Anwälten sprechen oder sie um Erklärung bitten, ohne dass die Gegenseite es sieht.“

„Die Gegenseite hat täglich fast hundertmal mehr Kontakt zu ihren Anwälten … Warum fragt man mich, ob ich mich konzentrieren kann, wenn ich mich schon nicht beteiligen kann?“

Assange, der einen Großteil der letzten drei Tage über Schwierigkeiten hatte, dem Verfahren zu folgen, erklärte gegenüber Peirce: „Ich bin bei diesem Verfahren so sehr ein Teilnehmer, wie ich Zuschauer in Wimbledon bin.“

Baraitser reagierte mit unverhohlener Feindseligkeit auf Assanges Intervention. Sie erklärte, Assange habe kein Recht, sich vor Gericht zu äußern, solange er nicht direkt befragt werde, und ordnete eine kurze Unterbrechung an. Als das Verfahren weiterging,

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 4 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-4-–-defend-wikileaks

27-02-20 07:37:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 4
Judge denies Assange’s request to sit with his lawyers

First week of hearings ends early; to return in earnest May 18th

The first week of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court has ended a day earlier than expected, with District Judge Vanessa Baraitser denying Julian Assange’s request to leave the glassed box known as a secure dock in the back of the courtroom.

Assange had asked to leave the dock to sit with his legal team so that he can have legally privileged conversations with his lawyers throughout the proceedings. “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers,” he said. “What is the point of asking if I can concentrate if I cannot participate?”

But the judge rejected the request, arguing that Assange has ample access to his lawyers to whom he can pass notes through the slotted glass barrier. She said she’s willing to start proceedings later so that Assange can meet with his lawyers in the morning and to adjourn court when the defense would like to meet with their client in a holding cell.

The defense explained this would unduly extend the proceedings and render them incoherent, as the court may have to break every three minutes for a twenty-minute break. When the judge said that was an exaggeration of what would be required, the defense reminded the court how lengthy and complicated is the process to take Assange to and from his holding cell. Nevertheless, Assange’s request was denied.

Prosecution claims Assange and WikiLeaks aren’t “political”

Earlier today, concluding its arguments from yesterday against the defense’s claim that Assange cannot be extradited for a ‘political offense,’ the prosecution said just because a charge is “espionage” doesn’t mean that it is necessarily political. Prosecutor James Lewis QC argued that an offense should only be considered ‘political’ if the accused was attempting to change a head of state.

“The Court does not need to resolve these issues, but they demonstrate that any bare assertion that WikiLeaks was engaged in a struggle with the US Government was in opposition to it or was seeking to bring about policy change would need to be examined far more closely.”

But Assange was clearly working to change US policy.

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Whistleblower Assange im Glaskäfig: „Wie in Wimbledon auf der Tribüne“

whistleblower-assange-im-glaskafig:-„wie-in-wimbledon-auf-der-tribune“

27-02-20 02:41:00,

Politik

15:12 27.02.2020(aktualisiert 15:13 27.02.2020)

Zum Kurzlink

Wikileaks-Gründer Julian Assange wird in London der Prozess gemacht. Für internationale Beobachter und Familienangehörige des Whistleblowers stehen nur wenige Plätze im Gerichtssaal zur Verfügung. Assange selbst sitzt isoliert hinter Glas und hat so gut wie keinen Kontakt zu seinen Anwälten.

Noch bis Freitag laufen die Anhörungen der Verteidigung und der Anklage im Prozess gegen Wikileaks-Gründer Julian Assange in London. Es geht um seine Auslieferung an die USA, wo ihm ein weiterer Prozess und bis zu 175 Jahren Haft drohen. Assange hat auf der von ihm mitbegründeten Internet-Plattform Wikileaks unter anderem Video-Material veröffentlicht, das beweist, dass US-Soldaten im Irak und Afghanistan Kriegsverbrechen begangen haben.

16 Plätze für die ganze Welt

Die Anhörungen der Anwälte der Verteidigung und der Anklage im Falle Assange finden im Gerichtssaal 2 des Woolwich Crown Courts in London statt. Für die Öffentlichkeit stehen insgesamt nur 16 Plätze bereit. Diese teilen sich Familienangehörige von Assange und internationale Prozessbeobachter.

​Aus Deutschland sind Sevim Dagdelen, Außenexpertin der Fraktion Die Linke und Heike Hänsel, stellvertretende Vorsitzende der Linksfraktion als Prozessbeobachterin in London. Martin Sonneborn, Europaabgeordneter und Vorsitzender von „Die Partei“ hat seinen Bürochef Dustin Hoffmann nach London geschickt. Alle drei twittern über die unwürdigen Zustände im Gerichtssaal und die unmenschliche Behandlung Assanges.

Handschellen und Leibesvisitation

Die Anwältin des Angeklagten Jennifer Robinson berichtete am Montag, dass Assange am ersten Tag seiner Auslieferungsanhörung elf Mal mit Handschellen gefesselt und zweimal nackt einer Leibesvisitation unterzogen wurde. ​Robinson erklärte außerdem, dass Assange “der Zugang zu seinen juristischen Papierenverweigert und sie ihm weggenommen“ worden seien.

#JulianAssange war seit gestern in 5 verschiedenen Zellen inhaftiert, 11 mal wurden ihm Handschellen angelegt, 2mal gab es nackte Leibesvisitationen und seine ihm persönlich zustehenden privaten Unterlagen wurden bei Verlassen u Betreten des Gefängnis konfisziert. #FreeAssange

— Heike Hänsel (@HeikeHaensel) February 25, 2020

Isoliert im Glaskäfig

Die Verhandlung darf der Angeklagte nur in Handschellen in einem Glaskäfig verfolgen, ohne sich unmittelbar mit seinen Anwälten austauschen zu können. Der Anwalt der Anklage ist dagegen in ständigem Kontakt mit drei Vertretern von US-Behörden, die an der Verhandlung teilnehmen.

Am Mittwoch wurde der Angeklagte von der Richterin gefragt,

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First They Came for Assange… – Activist Post

first-they-came-for-assange…-–-activist-post

27-02-20 02:28:00,

By Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.)

“WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”
~
Donald Trump, October 10 2016, Wilkes-Barre, PA

“This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.”
~ Donald Trump, October 31, 2016 in Warren, MI

Back in the day, not so long ago, The Donald loved him some WikiLeaks. He said so on at least five occasions out on the campaign trail – in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan. That was when WikiLeaks, ostensibly at least, served his purposes by releasing hacked DNC emails that were rather unflattering to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The MAGA crew must’ve agreed with him regarding the Julian Assange-headed web publication at the time: Trump carried all four battleground states, which propelled him into the White House. He’s had more than three years, now, to acclimate to his new digs and, somewhere along the way, pulled a 180 on Assange, whom his administration now labels “an enemy of the state who must be brought down.” So it is that this week, Assange began the fight – perhaps, quite literally, for his life – in the UK against the Justice Department’s stated intent to extradite and try him in the United States.

A journalist, a publisher, has been labeled by the U.S. Government as an “Enemy of America.” Now that’s dangerous language with scary historical precedent in America and abroad. Recall that the term has been used against “unfriendly” press elements by others: the military junta in Myanmar; Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez; Russia’s Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, President Richard “The press is your enemy” Nixon; and, you know, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, for starters. In our own history, press suppression, especially in times of war, is as American as apple pie. During World War I, the (still on the books) 1917 Espionage Act was used to wage all-out combat against any and all critical media sources. Sometimes persecution bordered on the Orwellian absurd. For example, in September 1918, even The Nation was banned from the mail for four days by the US Postal Service simply for criticizing the pro-war labor leader Samuel Gompers.

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Julian Assange, Political Offences and Legal Restraints: Day Three of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange,-political-offences-and-legal-restraints:-day-three-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

27-02-20 11:03:00,

Wednesday, February 26, Woolwich Crown Court.  Today, the focus shifted to the protagonist himself and the nature of the US-UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, a contentious document that shines all too favourably for US citizens.   

Julian Assange, whose deteriorating condition has been noted for months by psychologists, doctors and UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, has been making a fist of it in the dock, despite being in Kafkaesque isolation.  Exhaustion, however, is manifest.  Judge Vanessa Baraitser has been keeping an eye on Assange’s demeanour, prodding his lawyers at one point to inspect him.  His eyes had closed, his attention seemingly wavering.  A point of permanent frustration for the WikiLeaks founder has been the din the hearings are causing and the distance, physical and symbolic, from his legal team.  “I am as much a participant in these proceedings I am at Wimbledon.” 

The structural impediments he has had to face have been profound, a point he was keen to make to the bench.  “I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers.  There are unnamed embassy officials in this court room. I cannot communicate with my lawyers to ask them for clarifications without the other side seeing.”

The singular nature of Assange’s case has not struck the judge as sufficient grounds to accept special measures.  The defence team insists, not unreasonably, that legal advice given to him be kept privileged.  This is a particularly sore point, given the surveillance efforts conducted by UC Global SC in Assange’s place of abode for some seven years, London’s Ecuadorean embassy.  This involved audio and film footage on lawyers visiting and discussing case matters with Assange relayed to servers accessible to the Central Intelligence Agency.  “There has been enough spying on my lawyers already.  The other side has about 100 times more contact with their lawyers per day.  What is the point of asking if I can concentrate if I cannot participate?”  

To these points the judge remained dismissive, annoyed at his intervention in the absence of testifying.  “I can’t make an exception in your case.”  A brief recess did follow, permitting Assange to leave the dock for a backroom consultation with his legal team.  True to form in this entire charade,

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Highlights from the Assange Trial Thus Far | The Vineyard of the Saker

highlights-from-the-assange-trial-thus-far-|-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

26-02-20 09:41:00,

Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here are the most informative excerpts that I have noted from the best news-reporting from journalists who have been attending at the trial:

CRAIG MURRAY, “Day 2”:

For the defence, Mark Summers QC stated that the USA charges were entirely dependent on three factual accusations of Assange behviour:

1) Assange helped Manning to decode a hash key to access classified material.

Summers stated this was a provably false allegation from the evidence of the Manning court-martial.

2) Assange solicited the material from Manning

Summers stated this was provably wrong from information available to the public

3) Assange knowingly put lives at risk

Summers stated this was provably wrong both from publicly available information and from specific involvement of the US government.

In summary, Summers stated the US government knew that the allegations being made were false as to fact, and they were demonstrably made in bad faith. This was therefore an abuse of process which should lead to dismissal of the extradition request. …

This comprehensive account took some four hours and I shall not attempt to capture it here. I will rather give highlights. …

On 1) Summers at great length demonstrated conclusively that Manning had access to each material a) b) c) d) provided to Wikileaks without needing any code from Assange, and had that access before ever contacting Assange. …

After a brief break, Baraitser [the judge] came back with a real zinger. She told Summers that he had presented the findings of the US court martial of Chelsea Manning as fact. But she did not agree that her court had to treat evidence at a US court martial, even agreed or uncontested evidence or prosecution evidence, as fact. …

The bulk of Summers’ argument went to refuting behaviour 3), putting lives at risk. … Summers described at great length the efforts of Wikileaks with media partners over more than a year to set up a massive redaction campaign on the cables. He explained that the unredacted cables only became available after Luke Harding and David Leigh of the Guardian published the password to the cache as the heading to Chapter XI of their book,

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 3 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-3-–-defend-wikileaks

26-02-20 09:40:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 3
Defense: Julian Assange cannot be extradited for a political offense

Assange on lack of access: “I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am watching Wimbledon”

In day three of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in London, the defense argued that the WikiLeaks publisher must not be sent to the United States because the US-UK Extradition Treaty precludes extradition for a “political offense.”

Article 4 of the 2003 treaty, which was ratified in 2007, says, “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.”

But the US government claimed that the judge must rely on domestic UK law, rather than the international Treaty. Even if the offenses Assange is accused of in the extradition request are political, the prosecution said, “he is not entitled to derive any rights from the [US-UK Extradition] Treaty” because it has not been incorporated into domestic law.

The same year the Extradition Treaty was written, the UK Parliament passed the Extradition Act 2003, a UK domestic law that does not feature a bar to extradition for political offenses. But in 2007, the US-UK Extradition treaty was ratified in the United States, without removing the political offense exemption. “Both governments must therefore have regarded Article 4 as a protection for the liberty of the individual,” the defense argues, “whose necessity continues (at least in relations as between the USA and the UK).”

The US government claims that for the Treaty to take precedence over the domestic Act would deny Parliamentary sovereignty. “There’s no such thing as a political offense in ordinary English law,” the prosecution said, “it only arises in context of extradition.”

The defense fundamentally disagrees. “True the 2003 Extradition Act itself provides no ‘political offence’ bar,” the defense says, “but authority establishes that it is the duty of the Court, not the executive, to ensure the legality of extradition under the terms of the Treaty. “

Defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC says that the judge must take the political exemption into account,

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Assange blasts court for preventing communication with lawyers, alleges legal team is being SPIED on

assange-blasts-court-for-preventing-communication-with-lawyers,-alleges-legal-team-is-being-spied-on

26-02-20 04:50:00,

On the third day of his extradition hearing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has rebuked the court for preventing him from communicating with his legal team, saying his prosecutors have “100 times more contact hours each day.”

Amid a prosecution argument about whether or not he stands charged with “political offenses” Assange stood and told the court that “the problem is I cannot participate, I cannot privately communicate with my lawyers.” 

Also on rt.com
Assange detention illegal under English, European and international law, defense argues

Judge Vanessa Baraitser responded to the 48-year-old journalist and publisher by saying she would not allow him to address the court: “Mr Assange, generally defendants do not have a voice.”

The Australian continued to try and get his point across so the magistrate adjourned the court for five minutes while the defense team held a ‘private’ meeting. 

“The other side must have something like 100 contact hours each day,” Assange said upon the conclusion of the adjournment, before adding that his legal team is being spied on.

There is already enough spying on my lawyers as it is. There are a number of unnamed embassy officials here. There are two microphones in here. What’s the point of asking if I can concentrate if I can’t participate?

“I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am at Wimbledon,” Assange wistfully joked while alleging that there was a microphone in the glass defendants dock. 

The defense team asked for Assange to be removed from the dock so that he could sit with them; prosecutors reportedly didn’t object but the judge felt the security team might. 

“It is your call Madam,” the prosecutors said. Defense counsel Edward Fitzgerald argued that Assange is “no threat to anyone,” adding: “He is a gentle man of an intellectual nature. There’s no reason for him not to sit with us.”

Also on rt.com
Assange lawyer brings up claim US mulled ‘kidnapping and poisoning’ of publisher – here’s what we know

The judge then asked whether they would like to submit a formal bail application to make that a reality.

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Julian Assange Against the Imperium: Day Two of Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange-against-the-imperium:-day-two-of-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

26-02-20 01:40:00,

The second day of extradition hearings against Julian Assange and by virtue of that, WikiLeaks, saw Mark Summers QC deliver a formidable serve for the defence at Woolwich Crown Court.  “It’s difficult to conceive of a clearer example of an extradition request that boldly and blatantly misstates the facts as they are known to be to the US government.”  The targets were, respectively, allegations by the US Department of Justice that Assange attempted to conceal Chelsea Manning’s identity for nefarious purposes and second, that WikiLeaks was reckless as to the potential consequences of harm in releasing unredacted State Department cables in 2011.

The position WikiLeaks has taken on the latter position goes back to the problematic, rocky relationship it has had with The Guardian over the years.  In November last year, the paper took the position that Assange had to “be defended against extradition to the United States in a case that digs at the foundations of freedom of democracy in both Britain and the US, and could see him sentenced to a total of 175 years.”  History, however, shows a more fair-weather friend disposition, especially amongst a few of the paper’s journalists.

The Guardian was one of a select number of international outlets WikiLeaks had partnered with in what was intended to be, according to Summers, a harm minimisation process of release.  Initial cable publications in November 2010 heeded the principle of redaction, so much so that John Goetz of Der Spiegel considered them “extreme”.  Goetz’s statement was duly read by Summers: “These were more extreme measures than I had ever previously observed as a journalist to secure the data and ensure they could not be accessed by anyone who was not a journalist.”

To the claim of reckless publication, it was submitted that journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh revealed the relevant password in their book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy that led inexorably to the indiscriminate release of the cables.  The password granted access to the encrypted file with the full trove of unredacted cables, though this fact was only picked up by the German publication Der Freitag in August 2011.  James Lewis QC, representing the Crown Prosecution Service,

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Assange detention illegal under English, European and international law, defense argues

assange-detention-illegal-under-english,-european-and-international-law,-defense-argues

26-02-20 01:31:00,

Day three of the Julian Assange extradition hearing is focusing on whether the allegations against Assange amount to “political offenses.” If so, it would likely be outside of the judge’s jurisdiction to approve extradition.

Kicking off proceedings at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday, defense counsel Edward Fitzgerald argued that 17 of the 18 counts with which the WikiLeaks founder has been charged fall under the US Espionage Act, which makes them political on face value. He added that the 18th count, of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, was in order to carry out the other alleged offenses.  

Also on rt.com
UK inexplicably bars WikiLeaks editor from extradition hearing day after Assange handcuffed 11 times & STRIPPED twice

Discussing the policy of not extraditing for political offenses, Assange’s lawyer said: “It is an essential fundamental protection, which the US puts in every single one of its extradition treaties.”

Fitzgerald said that political defence from extradition goes back 100 years and is standard in treaties based on the UN model, including the European Union convention on extradition, the Interpol convention and many others.

The more we research this, the more one sees this is a universal norm.

He also noted that while the US adds the ‘political defense’ extradition provision into all of its treaties, authorities there only take issue when it is invoked against them, despite using it to protect US citizens from extradition to hostile nations.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson provided a video update from outside the court, saying that the case should be thrown out. “This is in contravention to all international treaties, to European Convention on Human Rights to UN treaties,” he said.

You do not extradite on political offences. It’s clear that one of [sic] political offences is espionage.

Presiding judge Vanessa Baraitser said during the close of Tuesday’s proceedings that, although Article 4.1 of the US/UK Extradition Treaty cited does forbid political extraditions, this does not, in fact, appear in the UK Extradition Act – the only legal document which has force in court.  

Picking up that point on Wednesday,

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NZZ beschimpft Assange – und muss eine Replik publizieren

nzz-beschimpft-assange-–-und-muss-eine-replik-publizieren

26-02-20 09:03:00,

In Titel und Lead identifiziert sich die NZZ mit den Verleumdungen der Gastautorin. © nzz

Urs P. Gasche / 26. Feb 2020 –

Die NZZ identifizierte sich mit verleumderischen und ehrverletzenden Aussagen gegen den UN-Sonderberichterstatter über Folter.

Die NZZ-Redaktion erlaubte einer Gastautorin, dem Schweizer Rechtswissenschaftler und UN-Sonderbeauftragten über Folter, Nils Melzer, prominent auf einer ganzen Seite «absurde» Aussagen zur Isolationshaft Assanges zu unterschieben und ihn einer «Verschwörungstherorie» zu bezichtigen. Zudem habe ausgerechnet der UN-Sonderberichterstatter über Folter einen «lockeren Umgang» mit dem Begriff der Folter. «Beunruhigend» sei, dass seriöse Medien und prominente Personen des öffentlichen Lebens bereit seien, Nils Melzer Glauben zu schenken.

Diese und viele weitere happigen Vorwürfe verbreitete die NZZ-Redaktion, ohne dem massiv Angegriffenen Gelegenheit zur Stellungnahme zu geben, wie es der Schweizerische Presserat in solchen Fällen vorschreibt.

Noch bedenklicher: Die NZZ setzte den grossen Titel und den Lead über der ganzen Seite nicht in Anführungszeichen, um sie als Aussagen der Gastautorin zu kennzeichnen, sondern machte sie zu eigenen Aussagen der NZZ. Für viele Leserinnen und Leser, welche bei vielen Artikeln nur die Titel und Leads lesen, war klar, dass die NZZ zum Schluss gekommen ist, dass Assange «ein wenig glaubwürdiges Opfer» sei und die erhobenen Anschuldigungen bezüglich des Verfahrens gegen Assange «einer kritischen Überprüfung nicht standhalten». Die Professorin aus Berlin unterstellte dem UN-Sonderberichterstatter schwere Verletzungen seiner Sorgfalts- und Neutralitätspflichten sowie mangelnde Fachkompetenz bei der Auslegung von Folter.

Bei der Gastautorin der NZZ handelte es sich um Tatjana Hörnle, Direktorin der Abteilung für internationales Strafrecht am Max-Planck-Institut in Freiburg und Professorin an der Humboldt-Universität Berlin. In der NZZ schrieb sie, Assange sei weder in der Botschaft Ecuadors noch während der langen Isolierhaft in einem Londoner Gefängnis «psychologisch gefoltert» worden. Die Isolation in der Botschaft habe Assange «selbst gewählt». Hörnle kritisierte scharf den «lockeren Umgang» mit dem Begriff der Folter, den Melzer verwende. Dessen harte Kritik an der Strafuntersuchung in Schweden als «abgekartetes Spiel» bezeichnete Hörnle als reine Verschwörungstheorie.

In einem Interview mit dem Online-Magazin «Republik» fasste Melzer seine Untersuchungsergebnisse wie folgt zusammen: «Julian Assange hat Folter aufgedeckt,

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Assange lawyer brings up claim US mulled ‘kidnapping and poisoning’ of publisher – here’s what we know

assange-lawyer-brings-up-claim-us-mulled-‘kidnapping-and-poisoning’-of-publisher-–-here’s-what-we-know

26-02-20 08:31:00,

The US government plotted to kidnap or kill Julian Assange while he was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a UK court was told yesterday during the WikiLeaks publisher’s extradition hearing. What do we know so far?

Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told Judge Vanessa Baraitser that the US wanted to make the WikiLeaks founder’s death look like an accident and that US intelligence agencies worked with Spanish company UC Global to extensively spy on Assange inside the embassy. 

‘Extreme measures considered’

Fitzgerald claimed that recordings were collected every 14 days and handed over to US intelligence services. The surveillance even included footage of Assange meeting with his legal team, breaching attorney-client privilege, he said.

“There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Assange in the embassy,” Fitzgerald told the court. 

Assange’s lawyers have long-warned that kidnapping or extraordinary rendition could be on the table for Washington if the US could not get to him any other way.

Witness #2 will testify that: “extreme measures” such as kidnapping or poisoning Assange were discussed among personnel involved in the espionage operation

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 24, 2020

The source of the claim heard in court on Monday is a whistleblower known only as ‘witness two’, responsible for exposing UC Global owner David Morales and his role in the surveillance operation for “the dark side” — meaning the US government. The witness described the Americans as “desperate.” 

One suggestion was that the embassy door could be left open, which could make a kidnapping look like an “accident.” There wasn’t as much information given about the poisoning claim.

‘Kidnapping’ plan?

This was not the first time claims had been made that the US considered such extreme measures for dealing with Assange.

In a 2019 presentation on the technical aspects of the surveillance operation, German hacker Andy Muller-Maguhn, who had visited Assange inside the embassy, claimed that kidnapping and poisoning were options for the US government and that all doors and windows in the embassy were documented so various options could be explored.

The surveillance was so intense that bugs were even implanted in a fire extinguisher and in a bathroom that Assange used,

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 2 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-2-–-defend-wikileaks

25-02-20 07:28:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 2
Defense debunks US claims of reckless dump and Assange-Manning conspiracy

Mark Summers QC, arguing for Julian Assange’s legal defense, spent the second day of Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court thoroughly debunking two key allegations the US government makes against Assange in its extradition request. The US has alleged that Assange attempted to help Manning conceal her identity, and it has alleged that Assange and WikiLeaks released the full unredacted State Department cables in 2011 with a reckless disregard for the harm it could cause.

Guardian journalists to blame for unredacted cables’ release

A day after the CPS’ lawyer James Lewis QC, acting for the US, made dramatic claims of harm caused by WikiLeaks’ September 2011 publication of the unredacted State Department cables, the defense explained what really happened: The Guardian journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh published a password that irreversibly released the unredacted cables into the world.

Before detailing this disclosure, Mark Summers reminded the court that WikiLeaks entered into a partnership with several mainstream media outlets to responsibly handle and redact the material. WikiLeaks and these media partners engaged in a harm minimization process in which WikiLeaks, on some occasions, redacted even more than other outlets. Beginning to release the documents in November 2010, WikiLeaks and its partners continued to redact names and prepare cables for publication over the next several months.

Then in February 2011, Harding and Leigh published “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,” in which they disclosed a password to an encrypted file containing the full unredacted cables. Harding and Leigh did not off-handedly or subtly reveal the password; the password was the title of a chapter in the book.

If there was any doubt about whether the chapter title was the password, the index at p 322 tells you that that is in fact the password. In court, the defense had to point this out to the prosecution’s James Lewis, who laughed incredulously.

The password disclosure went unnoticed for several months, until August 2011. On 25 August 2011,

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Julian Assange: internationale pers schiet wakker, hopelijk niet te laat? – DeWereldMorgen.be

julian-assange:-internationale-pers-schiet-wakker,-hopelijk-niet-te-laat?-–-dewereldmorgen.be

25-02-20 07:23:00,

Van maandag 24 tot vrijdag 28 februari 2020 vergadert de Britse rechtbank die moet oordelen over het verzoek tot uitlevering aan de VS van Australisch staatsburger Julian Assange. In Groot-Brittannië en Australië gingen grote steunmanifestaties door. Meer dan 2000 journalisten ondersteunen de eis voor zijn onmiddellijke vrijlating. Beter laat dan nooit, maar het risico dat het te laat zal zijn is aanzienlijk.

Meer en meer journalisten en media-woordvoerders in Groot-Brittannië, Australië, Duitsland, Spanje, Frankrijk en andere landen spreken hun verontwaardiging uit over de gevangenhouding van Julian Assange in een gevangenis in Londen. Zij vrezen dat zijn uitlevering aan de VS en veroordeling tot levenslange gevangenisstraf een gevaarlijk precedent is voor de persvrijheid in heel de wereld.

Zijn zaak kwam in een stroomversnelling na het rapport van Nils Melzer, VN-Speciaal Rapporteur voor Foltering in december 2019 (zie zijn getuigenis in Media negeren behandeling Julian Assange en Chelsea Manning tot eigen schade en schande).

De VS eigenen zich eenzijdig het recht toe een niet-Amerikaans journalist, die actief was buiten de VS, te veroordelen op basis van een Amerikaanse wet voor het verspreiden van geheime informatie over de VS. Als hij wordt uitgeleverd en veroordeeld is dit een precedent zonder historisch voorgaande.

Eender welke journalist, waar ook ter wereld, die voortaan nog Amerikaanse staatsgeheimen onthult, loopt dan het risico uitgeleverd te worden aan de VS. Het is de eerste maal dat de VS de Espionage Act van 1917 gebruikt om een journalist te vervolgen (voor meer achtergrond over Assange zie onder meer vorige artikels op deze website sinds 2013 tot op heden):

Vonnis Manning levensgevaarlijk voor kritische journalistiek

The WikiLeaks Files – The World According to US Empire

VN oordeelt: “Vrijheidsberoving Julian Assange is illegaal”

Lot Julian Assange ligt volledig in handen van collega-journalisten en media

De rechtszaak startte oorspronkelijk in een grote rechtszaal in het centrum van Londen, maar de rechter besliste de zaak te verplaatsen naar de kleine zaal van een lokale rechtbank vlakbij Belmarsh Prison, waar Assange wordt vastgehouden.

Er is slechts plaats voor een 25-tal toehoorders. Bijna de helft van die zitjes wordt ingenomen door Amerikaanse advocaten die de Britse openbare aanklager begeleiden.

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Julian Assange and the Imperium’s Face: Day One of the Extradition Hearings – Global Research

julian-assange-and-the-imperium’s-face:-day-one-of-the-extradition-hearings-–-global-research

25-02-20 01:20:00,

If we are to believe it, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, the man behind showing the ugliness of power, is the one responsible for having abused it.  It is a running theme in the US case against this Australian publisher, who has been given the coating of common criminality hiding the obvious point: that the mission is to make journalism on official secrets, notably those covering atrocity and abuse, a crime.

The first day of full extradition hearings against Assange at Woolwich Crown Court was chocked with a predictable prosecution case, and a robust counter by the defence.  Central to the prosecution’s case for extradition to the US is the emphasis on the ordinariness of Assange’s alleged criminality, to diminish the big picture abuses of empire and focus on the small offences of exposure.  In so doing, that seemingly insurmountable problem of journalism becomes less important.  If you publish pilfered material from whistleblowers, you are liable, along with those unfortunates who dared have their conscience tickled.

As James Lewis QC advanced at London’s Woolwich Crown Court,

“What Mr Assange seems to defend by freedom of speech is not the publication of the classified materials but the publication of the names of the sources, the names of the people who had put themselves at risk to assist the United States and its allies.”

Here, the rhetorical shift is clear: there were those who assisted the US, and Assange was being very naughty in exposing them via the State Department cables and the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs.  In doing so, he had also conspired with US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack a password and conceal his identity in accessing and downloading relevant files.

Relegating Manning to the status of wooed conspirator was a ploy convincingly swatted by defence barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC. He merely had to consult Manning’s own court martial, in which she clearly stated that “the decisions I made to send documents and information to the WikiLeaks website were my own decisions and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

According to Lewis, the disclosures by WikiLeaks had grave consequences.  Fascinatingly enough, enough, these were not the sort identified by Pentagon studies which took a less punitive view on the subject. 

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USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 1 – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange:-extradition-day-1-–-defend-wikileaks

24-02-20 08:40:00,

USA v Julian Assange: Extradition Day 1

Julian Assange’s full extradition hearing began today at Woolwich Crown Court at Belmarsh with the prosecution pleading for the media to stop characterizing the US effort as a politicized war on journalism, and it ended with Assange’s defense providing a comprehensive summary of the many reasons that journalists, human rights activists, and defenders of a free press have been sounding the alarm.

Assange, appearing thin in a grey suit, sat alone behind glass behind both legal benches, taking notes. Early in the proceedings, he looked up to the public gallery and raised a fist.

James Lewis QC, arguing for the Crown Prosecutorial Service, which acts on behalf of the United States in its extradition request, explicitly asked journalists covering the case not to report on it as a matter of free speech or the right to publish. Lewis worked continuously to narrow both the defense’s arguments and the judge’s focus, portraying the indictment as solely a matter of exposing informants in the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables.

In the afternoon, defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC laid out in detail the ways in which the extradition proceedings constitute an abuse of process, because they have been brought for ulterior political purposes, as an attack on freedom of speech, and fundamentally misrepresent the facts in order to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces torture, unusual and degrading treatment.

CPS Makes Dramatic Claims, Without Evidence

The CPS made dramatic claims of damage to the United States’ interests around the world, claiming that the unredacted publications put local informants at risk. But when it came time to detail that damage, the prosecutor ultimately had to admit that the US government has not been able to prove any deaths have resulted from WikiLeaks’ publications.

The prosecution then spent the rest of the morning recounting each charge, repeatedly claiming that Assange “aided and abetted” Chelsea Manning’s procurement of classified cables for the purposes of publishing.

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Day 1 of Assange’s US extradition hearing: What you need to know

day-1-of-assange’s-us-extradition-hearing:-what-you-need-to-know

24-02-20 07:13:00,

Opening arguments were made on the first day of the US extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with the prosecution claiming his leaks risked lives while the defense argued that his case was politically motivated.

Monday’s hearing lasted six hours, including breaks, and Judge Vanessa Baraitser heard arguments from James Lewis QC, representing the US government, and Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Assange.

The journalist’s supporters amassed outside Woolwich Crown Court, loudly chanting, holding ‘free Assange’ placards and blowing vuvuzelas. Inside the courtroom, Assange sat clean-shaven, with a new haircut and wearing glasses and a gray suit.

Also on rt.com
Palestinian flag, Yellow Vests, Anonymous masks: Wide range of protester groups join demonstration in support of Assange (PHOTOS)

Speaking to the gathered media, Assange’s father John Shipton condemned what he called the “ceaseless malice” directed at his son by US and UK authorities. He cited a determination by UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, who said that Assange had been subjected to prolonged “psychological torture.” 

Assange spoke : said he was struggling to hear proceedings and he cannot concentrate ( none of us can hear well !)

— NADIRA TUDOR (@nadiratudor) February 24, 2020

Such was the swell of support for Assange on the street that the noise from protesters could be heard from inside the courtroom. This prompted Assange himself to comment on the level of noise, saying that while he appreciated the support and understood that people “must be disgusted,” the sound was making it difficult to concentrate on proceedings.

Journalists themselves also complained on Twitter that the sound quality in the courtroom was not good, although the situation seemed to improve as the hearing went on.

‘Lives at risk’

As arguments got underway, Lewis claimed for the prosecution that revelations made by WikiLeaks had put political dissidents and journalists in danger, but no names of supposed victims were offered.

Lewis said unnamed persons had “disappeared” following the leaks, but admitted there was no proof that their disappearances were linked. He also argued that journalism was not an excuse for breaking laws.

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Assange’s US extradition hearing begins: What’s it all about and how did we get here?

assange’s-us-extradition-hearing-begins:-what’s-it-all-about-and-how-did-we-get-here?

24-02-20 03:29:00,

A London court is set to begin hearings to determine whether or not jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to the US on charges of conspiracy where he faces life in prison.

Assange has languished in London’s top security Belmarsh Prison since he was dragged from London’s Ecuadorian Embassy by British police in April last year and subsequently slapped with 18 charges under the US Espionage Act, which could see him sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

The Australian journalist and whistleblower had, for the seven years prior, been living in the London embassy, where he had sought asylum after skipping bail in relation to a Swedish sexual assault investigation, which he and his lawyers maintain was politically motivated (and which was later dropped).

Now, Assange’s fate is hanging in the balance in the Woolwich Crown Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser hearing arguments for and against his extradition. The hearing is expected to last until Friday.

Also on rt.com
‘Journalism is not a crime’: Australian MP says charges against Assange must be dropped after visiting him in UK prison

Assange’s lawyers have long argued that he would not receive a fair trial in the US and that the case against him is purely political, amounts to criminalizing the legitimate activities of journalists, and poses a threat to free speech.

WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 but came to prominence in 2010 when it published a classified video showing a US military helicopter killing around 12 people, including two Reuters journalists.

The video was part of a massive cache of military material leaked to the whistleblower site by former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in prison before her 35-year sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in 2017.

Manning was jailed again in 2019 (and remains behind bars) for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks, saying she would rather “starve to death.”

Assange’s critics say that his activities do not amount to journalism and pose a threat to the national security of the US. During the 2016 US presidential election, WikiLeaks angered the US establishment, releasing leaks from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which showed party leaders trying to restrain Bernie Sanders.

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USA v Julian Assange Extradition Hearing – Defend WikiLeaks

usa-v-julian-assange-extradition-hearing-–-defend-wikileaks

23-02-20 05:00:00,

USA v Julian Assange Extradition Hearing

When:

Part 1: 24th February -28th February
Part 2: 18th May – 5th June

Where:

Woolwich Crown Court/Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court, which is adjacent to HMP Belmarsh (See travel advice)

Magistrate:

Vanessa Baraitser

Defence team:

Solicitor Gareth Peirce (Birnberg, Peirce & Partners); lead Barristers Edward Fitzgerald QC, Doughty Street Chambers, Mark Summers QC, Matrix Chambers

Case Overview

The US is seeking to imprison Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing the 2010/2011 leaks, which exposed the reality of the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror”: Collateral Murder (Rules of Engagement), Afghan War Diaries, Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, and The Guantanamo Files.

The US began its criminal investigation against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in early 2010. After several years, the Obama administration decided not to prosecute WikiLeaks because of the precedent that this would set against media organisations. In January 2017, the campaign to free Mr. Assange’s alleged source Chelsea Manning was successful and President Obama gave her a presidential commutation and freed her from prison.

In August 2017 an attempt was made under the Trump administration to pressure Mr. Assange into saying things that would be politically helpful to the President.

After Mr. Assange did not comply, he was indicted by the Trump Administration and the extradition request was set in motion. Chelsea Manning was re-imprisoned due to her refusal to cooperate with the grand jury against WikiLeaks.

President Trump has declared that the press is “the enemy of the people.” It is the first time the 1917 Espionage Act has been used to indict a publisher or journalist. Press Freedom organisations have emphasised that the indictment criminalizes normal newsgathering behaviour. The indictment applies the Espionage Act extraterritorially. Assange was publishing from the United Kingdom in partnership with UK media and other European and US press. The indictment opens the door for other journalists involved in the 2010 publications to be prosecuted. The USA will make the extraordinary claim that foreigners are not entitled to constitutional protections, so Julian Assange cannot benefit from the First Amendment.

FAQs

Will Julian be in court?

Yes, he will be present in the court room every day.

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Assange’s Persecution Has Exposed Media Depravity The World Over

assange’s-persecution-has-exposed-media-depravity-the-world-over

22-02-20 11:50:00,

This is the speech I gave at a demonstration last night in Melbourne for Julian Assange, whose extradition trial begins February 24th.

Julian Assange started a leak outlet on the premise that corrupt and unaccountable power is a problem in our world, and that problem can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt and unaccountable power responded by detaining, silencing and smearing him. His persecution has proved his own thesis about the world absolutely correct.

Power is the ability to control what happens. Absolute power is controlling what people think about what happens. Humans are story-oriented creatures, so if you can control the stories that the humans are telling each other about what’s going on, you can control those humans.

This is the power of narrative management. This is why governments and billionaires use propaganda, advertising, buy up media conglomerates and fund think tanks, employ public relations and spin doctors, buy up troll armies and bot farms: because they know that those who control the narrative, control the world.

You can do whatever you like, as long as you can control what people think about what you’re doing.

No one understands this better than Julian Assange. He famously said that if wars are started by lies, then they can be stopped by truth. That’s the basis of WikiLeaks. Bringing truth to the public in the most pristine and revolutionary way possible. They made it so people could leak documents to them safely, and then they released them with minimal redactions and editorial. Like many online innovations it cut out the middle man, and the middle man, in this case, are the media spinmeisters who normally present information with an overlay of establishment-friendly narrative.

You know the ones. The ones that are like, “Here’s what I found out, but more importantly, this is what you should think about what I found out”.

It had immediate effects. Global reach, exposing the most corrupt roots of the most powerful people in an environment where the growing alarm at the GFC, climate change and endless war meant that people were hungry for the truth about why these things are still happening despite their unpopularity and despite our every effort to stop them.

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