Saturday 31st of July 2021


al weiweial weiwei

                                                The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says he’s hypocritically been removed from a British exhibition because he chose to design a piece that addressed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s incarceration in a London prison.   

‘One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’ is a flowery way of saying actions can be interpreted differently, depending on your viewpoint.

It’s a scenario acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has often encountered and, unfortunately, is in again.

He fled his homeland for being deemed too controversial for the state’s strict censorship. He’s recounted how he was arrested, beaten by Chinese police, placed under house arrest and then imprisoned for tax evasion.

On his release, he described being subjected to psychological torture, being detained in a tiny room with constant light and two guards never more than 30 inches away, even when he used the bathroom. 

In 2019, he fled to Berlin, but didn’t stay long, “I don’t like a state or culture that so obeys authority”, he declared, adding: “They would say in Germany you have to speak German. They deeply don’t like foreigners.” 


He now resides in the picturesque city of Cambridge in the east of England. So it was understandable when last year The Great Big Art Exhibition asked a world famous artist, who called the UK home, to take part.

However, Weiwei is no longer part of the project despite his reputation being used to draw attention to it. 


Because he wanted to feature in the exhibition a postcard with the image of Julian Assange’s treadmill. The WikiLeaks founder used it for exercise during his almost seven-year spell in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, where he’d sought refuge. 

The exhibition hopes to encourage Britons to make art and display it in their windows, a tonic to beat the gloom of the pandemic. Weiwei opted for his contribution to be a Postcard for Political Prisoners, which members of the public could send to political prisoners around the world, their addresses supplied by Amnesty.

Although people could send it to themselves to display in their own window if they wished.

Weiwei wanted to inspire them to engage in art-activism, a practise that has made him globally admired.

However, his idea was rejected.

Weiwei claims that Sally Shaw, the director of Firstsite, who are leading the project, “seemed too afraid to give us a straight answer” and added: “I think the reason is related to Assange who has been incarcerated in HM Prison Belmarsh in London since his arrest on April 11, 2019, and that they don’t want to touch on a topic like Assange.”

Shaw has denied Weiwei’s claims: “The sending of a postcard takes us away from this intention. I must assure you, sincerely, that this is in no way a reflection of our appreciation of the idea itself, which is remarkable and profound, and equally our esteem for Weiwei and his work.”

Weiwei has managed to break a glass ceiling, his art is widely admired for the aesthetic and then also its deeper meanings – very few artists share that ability. To have someone like him involved would undoubtedly have elevated the credibility and sophistication of the project.

Weiwei said of the rejection: “I feel ashamed that nowadays all art does is whitewash. My artwork has once again proven how the art world is corrupt.”




Assange is a figure who, despite the best endeavours of the British establishment, won’t disappear. He remains locked up in Belmarsh despite America’s extradition request being denied. He is behind bars because bail was controversially denied, while an appeal is mounted by the US government.

The whole matter is a stain on the British justice system, as Assange is guilty of nothing but revealing atrocities committed by America’s armed forces.

That’s why Weiwei’s latest artistic beacon is to be lauded.

In the same way British society lauded Weiwei when he was standing up to causes that suited them.

Back in 2011, Foreign Secretary William Hague called for China to release him “immediately.” The same year, someone called Boris Johnson wrote a column entitled ‘The world must speak up over the detention of Ai Weiwei.’ (Not sure we’ll get a similarly-entitled one now about Assange, do you?).

Former Prime Minister Theresa May even personally got involved when she was Home Secretary to issue him with a six-month visa after he was only offered a 20-day permit due to being detained for political reasons in China. 

The prestigious Tate Modern in London also rapturously received and hosted Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds– millions of handcrafted porcelain seeds which explored “the complexity of the Chinese individual’s relationship with society, the authorities and tradition.” 




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By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz


The Western world has a very high opinion of itself and its supposed values, and its treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a lie of it all.  

Truth. Justice. Freedom. Democracy. We are taught from an early age that these are the sacred values our society upholds with the utmost reverence, and that we are very fortunate to have been born in a part of the world which holds such virtue.

You see this haughty self-righteousness pop up on a daily basis in the most influential circles on earth, from the way US presidents are still to this day referred to as the “leader of the free world”, to US Secretary of State Tony Blinken recently babbling about the “shared values” of the “free and open rules-based order”, to Magnitsky Act manipulator Bill Browder recently referring to the US-centralized power alliance as “the civilized world” in a bid to get Australia up to pace with the rest of the empire’s China hawkishness.


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Efforts to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison in the UK were ramped up this week ahead of the G7 summit with an action in Geneva, a petition, and an intervention by the UN special rapporteur on torture. 

Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris, Geneva Mayor Frederique Perler, and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer called for the journalist’s release and an end to US extradition proceedings against him on Friday.

Melzer, who also serves as the Swiss human rights chair at the Geneva Academy, called Assange’s incarceration “one of the biggest judicial scandals in history” and referred to the WikiLeaks founder, as well as whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, as the “skeletons in the cupboards of Western countries.”

“It is the story of a man being persecuted in our part of the world for having told the truth,” Melzer said. “He has exposed war crimes, he has exposed torture, he has exposed corruption. It’s an inconvenient truth.

“Are you teaching your children that it’s a good thing or a bad thing to tell the truth?” he continued, concluding that he cannot leave his children a world “where it has become a crime to tell the truth because, once that has happened, we are living in tyranny.”

A temporary monument to Assange, Snowden, and Manning was unveiled in Geneva on Friday. The mobile art installation, made by Italian artist Davide Dormino in 2015 and dubbed ‘Anything to Say?’ shows the three figures standing on chairs with a fourth empty chair next to them. A petition set up by the Geneva Press Club also went live, demanding Assange’s immediate release.

“In the name of respect for inalienable human rights and the values promoted by human rights organizations based in Geneva,” the Geneva Press Club called on the British authorities “to refuse the extradition of Julian Assange and to restore his freedom” and for the US government “to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange.”

The Geneva Press Club also called on democratic states such as Switzerland “to ensure Julian Assange [has] a territory of refuge where he can protect himself from new prosecutions.”

Though he has not been found guilty of any crime, Assange has spent over two years in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, a maximum-security jail which has housed some of the UK’s most infamous and dangerous criminals, including several high-profile terrorists, serial killers, and rapists. Assange remains at Belmarsh despite a judge ruling in January that he could not be extradited to the United States due to mental health concerns.


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they are killing him...

The U.S. State Department is pushing to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain, where Biden is now meeting with leaders during the G7 summit. A U.K. judge blocked Assange’s extradition in January, citing serious mental health concerns. Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if brought to the U.S., where he was indicted for violations of the Espionage Act related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. We speak with Assange’s father and half-brother, who are on a tour of the United States to advocate for his release. “The G7 meeting is based upon values, and yet they have, just a few kilometers down the road, a foremost journalist in jail,” says John Shipton. Assange is a victim of “an abusive process” meant to punish him for his journalism, adds Gabriel Shipton. “The situation there is really dire, and Julian is suffering inside that prison.”





This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.  

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. By the way, you can sign up for our daily news digest email by texting the word “democracynow” — one word, no space — to 66866 and get our headlines and news alerts. That’s “democracynow” — one word — to 66866.

The U.S. State Department has pushed to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain, where he has been locked up for over two years after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was taking refuge. President Joe Biden is now meeting with world leaders in the U.K. during the G7 summit. A U.K. judge blocked Assange’s extradition in January, citing serious mental health concerns. Assange was indicted for violations of the U.S. Espionage Act related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. He faces up to 175 years in prison, if brought to the U.S.

On Thursday, the British Parliament held a debate on the safety of journalists, where Labour lawmaker Richard Burgon addressed Assange’s case.

MP RICHARD BURGON: I appeal to President Joe Biden, now in the country for the G7, to drop the charges so that the extradition is called off.

AMY GOODMAN: This comes as Julian Assange’s father and brother are on a nationwide tour of the United States to advocate for the founder of WikiLeaks’ release. They’re joining us now here in New York. John Shipton is Julian’s father. Gabriel Shipton is a filmmaker and Julian’s brother.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Thanks so much for joining us. Gabriel, let’s begin with you. First of all, did it surprise you to hear Julian’s case brought up in the British Parliament? And talk about where the case stands. The extradition was denied by a judge in January, yet he’s still in the maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

GABRIEL SHIPTON: I think I wasn’t surprised to hear it brought up in the Parliament. There’s quite a large support group for Julian in the U.K. Parliament. I think it’s got almost 30 members. So, that group is advocating for the charges to be dropped and the extradition to be stopped.

So, where Julian’s case is at, at the moment, you know, as you said, his extradition was rejected on the 4th of January, and his bail was refused on the 6th of January. So, the U.S. has appealed the extradition rejection, and it’s been six months now since Julian — since that extradition rejection, and we still don’t know when there will be an appeal date. So Julian has just been sitting in Belmarsh Prison for six months, not knowing when there will be an appeal heard.

So, really, what I think we’re seeing is an abuse of process to keep Julian imprisoned. And, you know, he hasn’t had any visits since October. The prison is in a COVID lockdown. So, the situation there is really dire, and Julian is suffering inside that prison, for basically just — he’s on remand. He has no sentence. So, why is he in that prison? I just don’t understand.

AMY GOODMAN: John Shipton, you’re Julian Assange’s father. When was the last time you got to see him?

JOHN SHIPTON: Good morning, Amy.

Sometime ago now, March last year, I had visited. Since then, it’s not been possible. There was one visit of Julian’s children to the prison, and Stella, his partner. But they had to be separated during the visit by two meters — or two yards, in your money. And Julian had to wear full PPE. Now, Julian is in his cell 23 hours a day. The guard said to Julian, “If your children embrace you or Stella embraces you, you will have to spend the next two weeks in lockdown, 23 hours a day in your cell.” You can see that there’s comic ironies and difficulties all the time in the treatment of Julian. But that was the last visit. Gabriel visited in October last year. So, it’s a very uncomfortable situation.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to Nils Melzer, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, who visited Julian Assange in London’s Belmarsh Prison several years ago.

NILS MELZER: I spoke with him for an hour just to get a good first impression. Then we had a physical examination for an hour by our forensic expert, and then we had the two-hour psychiatric examination. And all three of us had the same impression — and, well, I had certainly an impression, and the medical doctors had a diagnosis, that they — we all came to the conclusion that he showed all the symptoms that are typical for a person that has been exposed to psychological torture over an extended period of time.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Nils Melzer, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, often shortened to the U.N. special rapporteur on torture. John, explain what your son is going through, the kind of isolation he’s faced. He’s been at Belmarsh for several years, but, before that, also in a sense, to say the least, very isolated, though could see more people — we at Democracy Now!, I went to see him a number of times to interview him, and before, when he was under house arrest — all this because the U.S. wants him in the United States to try him under the U.S. treason act. Can you talk about his mental state of mind now and why he does the work he does as a publisher of WikiLeaks, and what he faces?

JOHN SHIPTON: Well, Amy, the circumstances are, of course, described by Nils Melzer very accurately. The mobbing, the smearing, the constantly not knowing where he’s staying — there’s no end to it, so you can’t count on one day being able to see your children — over the number of years, has accumulated to a situation where Nils Melzer accurately describes it as psychological torture.

This circumstance is — well, it’s easily fixed. The G7 meeting is based upon values, and yet they have, just a few kilometers down the road, a foremost journalist in jail. And so, they can be genuine about basing the new world order on values and release Julian. That would be something sincere.

As to Julian, what motivates him, always Julian rejects, and has a sort of a natural leaning towards, injustice, so wherever there’s an injustice. Also to right injustices requires speaking truthfully. The third thing is that freedom only comes about through knowledge. So, once you accumulate knowledge and talk to your friends, you are able then to make proper decisions and understand the circumstances that you’re in or your community is in. So, those three elements seem to be, to me, the prime motivating forces in the manifestation of Julian in the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Julian applied for bail. I mean, the judge ruled he was a suicide risk. She would not extradite him to the United States, Gabriel. And yet he has been denied bail. Can you talk about the significance of this? Why is he being held in London right now? And are you concerned that Joe Biden, now president of the United States, said — when he was vice president, he likened Julian to a “high-tech terrorist”? That was the strongest criticism of the Obama administration. Have you had any dealings with the Biden administration at this point?

GABRIEL SHIPTON: I think, you know, why Julian is still in prison, he’s being punished like this as an example to everyone else, everyone else who might think about speaking truth to power, that this is what will happen to you. You know, this is the extent that you will be pursued. So, if you think about publishing truth or truthful information, this is an — you know, Julian is the example of what will happen. So, this chilling effect is already in place by what we’re seeing, you know, what we’ve seen happen to Julian over the last 12 years of his detainment.

We were here in January this year trying to see the Biden administration. We did have some contact through an intermediary, with the human rights people in the administration, who — you know, we got a letter in to them, and they said, “Let’s meet after the 20th of January.” But, obviously, a lot’s happened since then, and the Biden administration has a lot to deal with at the moment.

But really, I think this has to come from the DOJ, you know, Merrick Garland. This is a Trump-era prosecution. And, you know, under — an independent DOJ, under Obama, found that this prosecution, they couldn’t prosecute Julian because of what they called The New York Times problem, and so they didn’t pursue the case. And at the end of —

AMY GOODMAN: What’s The New York Times problem?

GABRIEL SHIPTON: — Obama’s term, you know, Obama-Biden’s term, Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Chelsea Manning is the leaker that Julian is charged — that the Espionage Act charges are relating to, to Julian. So, that was a clear signal from the Biden-Obama presidency that this prosecution wasn’t going to go forward. And it was only under Trump — and it was the Trump DOJ, Jeff Sessions and then William Barr, who opened up this prosecution. And so, you know, we’re just asking Biden and Merrick Garland to just revert to the independent DOJ under Obama’s position that this prosecution was detrimental to a free press and First Amendment and the Constitution, which is — you know, I think we find it quite ironic that two Australians are traveling the country, traveling the U.S., talking about a free press and the First Amendment.

AMY GOODMAN: John, if you can talk about what Julian released, the kind of information, the, ultimately, millions of documents, on the Afghan War, on the Iraq War, the State Department cables? And if you could start by talking about a video we have shown a number of times, because WikiLeaks made this available? It was a video that Reuters had requested for years. It’s about what happened to their two employees. Namir Noor-Eldeen, their 22-year-old up-and-coming videographer, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, father of four, 40 years old, were in this area of Baghdad called New Baghdad, and they were being taken around by the community to show what had happened in their community the day before, a bombing. And a U.S. Apache helicopter comes overhead and opens fire on this group of men below, killing both Reuters staffers, as well as the community members. Can you talk about the significance of this video coming out, that Chelsea Manning had made available to WikiLeaks, and other examples?

JOHN SHIPTON: Well, yes. That video is sort of like fundamental to a change in understanding of the United States and its allies in Iraq and their destruction of that country. So, that is a pivotal point. So we understand, from that, that the occupation of Iraq was a tragedy, and that the ongoingness of that tragedy is in the Iraq War files. So, the Iraq War files revealed that 15,000 civilian deaths had happened and that were unreported in the current literature, but they were in the Iraq War files.

One of the really important revelations in the diplomatic cables was that there is an attack by a group of soldiers on a house outside Baghdad wherein the entire family was destroyed and killed. Contemplating this crime, the soldiers called in an airstrike and obliterated all evidence of those murders and destroyed the house. When this cable was seen, after the release by WikiLeaks, when it was seen by the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi parliament gathered together the courage to refuse the status of forces agreement that the United States and its allies had put before them. As a consequence of that refusal, the United States and its allies withdrew their troops from Iraq. So, in this circumstance, as we can see, a profound thing about the leaks and the publication of those leaks, that it brought about peace, and it ended a war.

There are several more examples of that. So, there’s an — an American lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, set up an organization named Reprieve. And using the Guantánamo Bay files, Clive was able to go to Guantánamo Bay and secure the release of prisoners who were there under circumstances that they’re innocent of any crime and had been sold to the United States Army and moved to Guantánamo Bay. Twenty-two of those prisoners were children at the time. So, that’s another circumstance.

A third one, if I could illustrate, this time concerns the United Kingdom’s removal of the entire population of the Chagos Islands in order to provide the United States with an air base called Diego Garcia. Using the revelations in the cables, the people of the Chagos Islands and their lawyers were able to take a case to the International Court of Justice and win. Despite the United Kingdom’s appeal, they continued to prevail.

So, there’s three examples of what a leak can bring about and the importance of these revelations. And finally, that those documents are in a searchable library, so that, ongoing, they can be used to further people’s desire for justice and to deepen the understanding of the people of the United States of the involvement of their Pentagon and their foreign policy, their involvement, and the exercise of that foreign policy and the disaster that it’s brought to parts of the world.

AMY GOODMAN: John Shipton and Gabriel Shipton, I’d like to thank you so much for being with us. You are on this tour across the United States, brought here by the Courage Foundation, arrived in Miami, doing events here in New York, in Philadelphia, D.C., Boston, Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, as you travel the country. Next up, Philly today. Thanks so much for spending this time with us. John Shipton is the father of Julian Assange; Gabriel Shipton, a filmmaker and Julian’s brother.

This is Democracy Now!,, The Quarantine Report. When we come back, we talk about Germany apologizing for its role in the first genocide of the 20th century in its former colony now known as Namibia. But descendants are saying that Germany’s offer of development aid is a pittance and are calling on the Namibian government to reject it. Stay with us.


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With the brother and father of the jailed WikiLeaks co-founder on a US tour to raise awareness of Julian Assange’s plight, legendary Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters challenged Joe Biden to end the journalist’s prosecution. 

Assange's father John Shipton and brother Gabriel are traveling across the US this month to press the Biden administration to drop its charges, and highlight the threat to worldwide press freedom this prosecution poses. Joining them in New York this week was Roger Waters, who told RT on Friday why he’s fighting for Assange.

“He is being held up as an example: Keep your mouth shut or this will happen to you,” he said.

They’re trying to kill Julian Assange because he spoke the truth, and it’s disgusting.

After seven years holed up in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, a change in power in the Latin American country saw British police officers allowed inside to arrest the WikiLeaks founder in 2019. He has languished in Belmarsh Prison since then, denied bail, even though a judge ruled in January that he could not be extradited to the United States due to concerns over US prison conditions.


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UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer denounces the Assange affair as an international scandal of judicial misconduct, and breakdown of the rule of law


by Professor Dr iur. et phil. Alfred de Zayas*


It may appear unnecessary to repeat the truism that democracy depends on transparency and accountability, and yet, how often has the democratic order been betrayed by our leaders in the recent past? How often have the medias abandoned their watchdog function, how often have they simply accepted the role of an echo-chamber for the powerful, whether government or transnational corporations? Among the many scandals and betrayals of democracy and the rule of law we recognise the persecution of inconvenient journalists by governments and their helpers in the media. Perhaps the most scandalous and immoral example of the multinational corruption of the rule of law is the “lawfare” conducted against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who in the year 2010 uncovered war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States and its NATO allies in Afghanistan and Iraq.


  In a world where the rule of law matters, the war crimes would have been promptly investigated, indictments would have been issued in the countries concerned.  But no, the ire of the governments and the media focused on the journalist who had dared uncover these crimes.  The persecution of this journalist was a coordinated assault on the rule of law by the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden, later joined by Ecuador. The instrumentalisation of the administration of justice – not for purposes of doing justice, but to destroy a human being pulled more and more people into a joint-criminal conspiracy of defamation, trumped-up charges, investigations without indictment, deliberate delays and covers-up.


  In April 2021 my college, Professor Nils Melzer, the UN Rapporteur on torture, published a meticulously researched and methodically unassailable documentation of this almost incredible saga. His book can well be called the “J’accuse” of our time, reminding us how our authorities have betrayed us, how four governments colluded in the corruption of the rule of law. Like Emile Zola, who in 1898 exposed the web of lies surrounding the scandalous judicial framing of the French Colonel Alfred Dreyfus in France, Nils Melzer shocks us 122 years later with proof of how countries that are ostensibly committed to the rule of law and human rights can betray the democratic ethos with the complicity of the mainstream media.  Melzer writes about “concrete evidence of political persecution, gross arbitrariness on the part of the administration of justice and deliberate torture and abuse.”1 This is an enormously important book because it requires us to abandon our “comfort zone” and demand transparency and accountability from our governments. Indeed, it is scandalous that none of the four governments involved in the frame-up cooperated with Professor Melzer and only answered with “political platitudes.” Me too, I experienced the same lack of cooperation from powerful countries to whom I addressed notes verbales concerning violations of human rights – none of them responded satisfactorily.


  Melzer reminds us of Hans-Christian Andersen’s fable “The King’s new clothes”. Indeed, everyone involved in the Assange frame-up consistently maintains the illusion of legality and repeats the same untruths, until an observer says – but the king has no clothes! That is the point. Our administration of justice has no clothes and instead of advancing justice, it colludes in the persecution of a journalist, with all the implications that this behaviour has for the survival of the democratic order. Melzer convinces us with facts – that we are living in a time of “post-truth”, and that it is our responsibility to correct this situation now, lest we wake up tyranny.2 



1 Nils Melzer, Der Fall Julian Assange, Piper Verlag, Munich 2021, p. 14. See also

2 Ibid. pp 326-331.



* Professor Dr iur. et phil. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy, UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order 2012–2018



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When US vice president Kamala Harris visited Mexico, a demonstration took place in the Mexican capital on June 8 in front of the National Palace. During the protest, representatives of the #24F Coalición Vida y Libertad Julian Assange movement demanded the release of the journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and spoke against his extradition to the United States and the police harassment against him. “Secrets, censorship and fear are tools used by tyrannies to control us because a well-informed population cannot be controlled. We are gathered here today to send our thoughts to the vice-president Kamala Harris and that she deliver these thoughts to US president Joe Biden. This country calls itself a defender of democracy but we now see this country attacking the principle of freedom of speech in their fight against Julian Assange,” said the demonstrators as quoted by the Mexican news channel La Jornada.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Julian Assange’s fianceé Stella Morris claimed that the global reputation of the United Kingdom is being damaged as long as he remains locked up in a maximum security prison. She also expressed hope that continuing pressure from human rights organizations could cause the Biden administration to change its policy towards Julian Assange. The publication reiterates that the British judge rejected the arguments put by Assangeʼs lawyers about freedom of the press and also refused bail.

The French newspaper Le Monde published an article by Assange’s lawyer Eva Joly called “Julian Assange will die in prison for exposing war crimes”. In the article she comments on the lack of interest in Assange from the mainstream media and his deteriorating health as a result of being incarcerated. Assange, whom Le Monde in 2010 named ‘Person of the year’, remains in isolation in Britain’s high security Belmarsh prison, which is home to some of the worst criminals and terrorists and is often referred to as Britain’s Guantanamo. An international group of six dozen doctors have tried to draw attention to the deteriorating physical and mental health of Julian Assange while he remains in prison. They genuinely believe that he may “die in prison”. Despite all of this the silence from the world press on this matter continues, even though the very same global media wrote countless articles about the war crimes committed by the Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to the documents provided by Assange and his team.

Le Monde points out that after the revelations from WikiLeaks, Assangeʼs life  turned on its head. The Swedish prosecutor general launched an investigation on rape charges (which he categorically denied), while the United States launched an espionage case against him and continues to push its allies to condemn Assange as criminally liable. That is why Assange initially decided to seek refuge from extradition to America disguised as a Swedish arrest warrant, at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. Later, Assange had his refugee status revoked by the Ecuador government and he was detained at the embassy in London, despite the fact that the Swedish authorities had dropped all rape charges against him. According to Assange’s lawyer the democratic system must now prove that it is capable of protecting human rights and the rights of one individual in this case. “Our media and the general public cannot continue to turn a blind eye: A man is dying in Belmarsh prison. And along with him also our honor,” said Eva Joly.

On January 4 at the Old Bailey in London judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to extradite Julian Assange to the United States. However, it was reported in The New York Times that the Biden administration will continue to push for his extradition to the United States from Britain. In early February more than 20 American organizations called on the US department of justice to end the persecution of Assange. According to them, the charges against him threaten the freedom of the press because most of the actions he is charged with in the indictment are routine practices for journalists. This appeal was signed by Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In January of this year, French MP Sereine Mauborgne proposed the idea of giving medical assistance and political asylum to Julian Assange, by sending a request to the Minister of justice of France Eric Dupont-Moretti. The current situation in which Assange find himself is a cause of great concern to human rights organizations as well as French citizens, said Mauborgne.

Mexico is also ready and willing to grant Assange with political asylum, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in January.

In March of this year Assange received a personal message of support from Pope Francis.

OSCE representatives on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir urged the British authorities not to extradite Assange to the United States, where he would face a prison sentence of up to 175 years.

The Russian foreign ministry and general public slammed the condemnation against Assange as totally shambolic.

The author of this article simply cannot comprehend the obvious disconnect between this passivity in relation to Assange and the usual rhetoric of most politicians in Europe and the US presenting themselves as ‘fighters for democracy’, freedom of the press and human rights. At the same time they have actively fanned the flames regarding the legal detention in Russia of Alexei Navalny on large scale embezzlement charges, which is punishable under part 3 of Article 33 and part 4 of Article 160 of the Russian criminal code. Or for the detention in Belarus of the creator of the Telegram channel NEXTA  Roman Protasevich, who partook in armed clashes in the Donbass on the side of Kiev as part of a neo-Nazi “Azov’ battalion, while using his social media platform to work against the government. If similar offenses had been committed in the West, would they not have been similarly charged and prosecuted? What is the difference between the actions by Protasevich and those who organized the storming of the Capitol on January 6 who are on trial in Washington today?


Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.




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Julian Assange’s case should’ve ended as soon as a UK judge denied his extradition to the US, Jeremy Corbyn, former Labour leader, told RT as he joined other MPs to demand a meeting with the WikiLeaks founder in a London prison.

A group of British members of parliament have come to the walls of Belmarsh maximum-security prison in south-east London on Tuesday to protest the lack of transparency in Assange’s case.

The MPs said their requests to meet with the founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblower website, who is wanted by Washington on espionage charges over the publication of classified documents on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay prison and others, have been denied repeatedly.

They also handed a letter that had the signatures of 20 deputies from four parties under it and detailed their demands to the prison authorities.

Corbyn insisted that he didn’t see any valid reasoning for their requests to talk with Assange to be rejected. “The governor is trying to claim there’s discretion on it. We don’t think there’s discretion,” he explained.

The politician, who led the Labour Party between 2015 and 2020, said that over the years he had visited inmates in many prisons, including Belmarsh, as a member of parliament. “It’s perfectly normal that MPs are granted with due process a facility of a visit,” he said.

“We now want a group of us to talk to Julian, probably via video link, in order that we can discuss his case and help to form our own opinions and encourage other members to understand their role in what I hope would be a very strong campaign to prevent his extradition away from this country.”


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