By Jim Hayes
On 3 May United Nations experts accused the United Kingdom of breaching Julian Assange’s human rights and for his release from prison.
The WikiLeaks publisher is being held in the nation’s maximum security prison and stopped from attending the hearing over the application by the United states for his extradition, and can only participate through a video link. He is being treated as if he is a violent risk. His ability to defend himself compromised, and he is being kept in virtual isolation. This is a clear abuse of legal process.
Being sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for the minor offense of skipping bail, is another glaring abuse of legal process. One which has the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) seriously worried.
In a statement issued on Friday 26 April, the working group said that it “regrets that the government has not complied with its opinion and has now furthered the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr Assange.
“It’s worth recalling that the detention and subsequent bail of Mr Assange in the UK were connected to preliminary investigations initiated in 210 by a prosecutor in Sweden. It is equally worth noting that the prosecutor did not press any charges against Assange and that in 2017, after interviewing him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, she discontinued the investigation and brought an end to the case.
“The Working group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April in Belmarsh prison, a high security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence. This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards.
“The WGAD reiterates its recommendation to the government of the United Kingdom, as expressed in opinion 54/2015, and its 21 December 2018 statement, that the right of Mr Assange to personal liberty should be restored.”
This statement makes it even clearer than it was before, that an Australian citizen is being subjected to a serious miscarriage of justice, and that, by its inaction to try to bring this to an end, the Australian government is implicated in this miscarriage of justice, against a person it has a duty to offer adequate protection.
It should have acted long ago and interceded over the Swedish allegations and ensured he had a fair hearing and was treated with proper regard to his rights.
Julian Assange claimed all along that he did not turn up to court for the extradition to Sweden hearing, because it would result in his extradition to the United States. Although this has been denied up to now, the unfolding of events have proved that Julian Assange was right.
The handling of his removal from the embassy and actions since, indicate that the United Kingdom is involved in a conspiracy with the United States to have him taken there, and is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to make it happen.
It is an even a more serious denial of human rights. There is already a charge to have him tried for helping Chelsea Manning to avoid detection for leaking secret documents. This charge is to circumvent legal restrictions on the extradition. Once on United states’ soil, further charges are likely., and this could include charges that bring the possibility of a death sentence.
By remaining silent and doing nothing about it, the Australian government looks like it is taking part in the miscarriage of justice.
This holds to question its commitment to upholding basic human rights, and this is a threat to all Australians. Do it to one and you can do it to others.
If the Australian government can intervene in other cases that give it the photo shoot that it wants, it can intervene in this one.
It also puts the onus on Australian citizens to stand up for their rights, and this involves demanding that Julian Assange is treated properly, freed and allowed to return to Australia.
Sign the petition to to be sent to Donald Trump to have the charges dropped.
This is how you can write to Julian Assange.
•Please write short personal letters only. Material is read by Belmarsh security
•You must include your full name & address on back of envelope.
•Include blank paper & blank envelope with return postage.
•Please include one action you’ve taken to #ProtectJulian