UK Judge Rules for Assange Against Trump Regime’s Extradition Request

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UK Judge Rules for Assange Against Trump Regime’s Extradition Request

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

The Trump regime has been going all-out to imprison Julian Assange longterm in the for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

His long ordeal tells other truth-telling journalists that they may be mistreated in similar fashion for exposing US high crimes dark forces in Washington want suppressed.

In 2010 and 2011, Assange, aided by Chelsea Manning, exposed Bush/Cheney regime aggression by publishing detailed truth-telling information on its war OF terror, not on it through its rules of engagement collateral murder.

He also published hard truths from the Afghan War Diaries, Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, and the Guantanamo Files.

In 2017, after Trump regime pressure on Assange to provide politically useful information to DJT failed, he was unjustifiably indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 spurious charges.

It was the first time that the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act was used to indict a publisher of journalism.

In Assange’s case, it was done extraterritorially. He’s an Australian citizen, publishing from the UK.

Indicting someone this way was unprecedented — aided and abetted by UK complicity, partnering with the US to frame Assange for journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

Henceforth, other journalists everywhere will be vulnerable to similar mistreatment if their investigative journalism reveals US crimes of war and against humanity.

On Monday, UK District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser surprised by rejecting the Trump regime’s request to extradite Assange to the US, saying:

“I have decided that extradition would be oppressive and I order his discharge.”

Her detailed ruling was 132 pages in length that took considerable time to prepare.

While maintaining the myth that Assange would receive a “fair trial” in the US, Baraitser also claimed that if Trump’s extradition order was approved, “special administrative measures” while incarcerated in the US would negatively affect his mental health.

Her alleged concern for Assange’s emotional well-being is hollow.

Throughout his long ordeal in Ecuador’s London embassy and in harsh Belmarsh prison confinement, she was indifference toward his mistreatment.

She failed to condemn how he was unjustifiably dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy in April 2019, then abused in the city’s Belmarsh prison since that time.

In December 2019, Doctors for Assange by open letter to Australian authorities said the following:

He’s gravely affected by a “medical emergency.”

He “risk(s) death due to (appalling) conditions of his detention in a UK prison.”

He requires urgent medical treatment in “an appropriate hospital setting.” 

Without proper care needed immediately, he may “die in a UK prison.”

“(T)he United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (earlier) concluded” that conditions under which he’s held “constitute torture.”

“Medical experts have repeatedly advised the UK Government of potentially catastrophic consequences should it fail to facilitate adequate medical care for Mr Assange.”

Separately, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Nils Melzer condemned his “collective persecution,” adding:

Besides his deteriorating physical condition, he shows “symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

Clearly aware of the above assessments, why did Baraitser not address the protracted ill effects on his physical and mental health?

Why did she not rule against what amounted to months of torture that risked Assange’s death if not stopped.

Why did she go along for many months with unacceptable harshness for the “crime” of truth-telling investigative journalism?

Why did she not expedite proceedings to rule for Assange’s release from gulag hell where held for the US based on spurious charges?

Throughout years of punishing isolation in Ecuador’s London embassy to remain free from witch hunt prosecution in the US to many months of brutalizing incarceration in Britain since April 2019, why didn’t she end his unjustifiable long ordeal and set him free?

Only now on Monday did she rule that she’s “satisfied” that under harsh conditions in the US, “Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate, causing him to commit suicide with…”single minded determination,’ ” adding:

“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.”

Having made this ruling, it’s no longer legally permissible to keep him locked in prison hell. 

Baraitser should order his immediate release — at least on bail pending what happens next.

In response to her ruling, a US Justice Department statement said the following:

“While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised (sic),” adding:

The US will “continue to seek” Assange’s extradition. 

A member of his legal team, Edward Fitzgerald, said US prosecutors indicated that they’ll appeal Monday’s ruling to Britain’s High Court, likely to its Supreme Court if necessary so Assange’s fate remains unresolved.

Pending appeal, Judge Baraitser said on Wednesday she’ll consider a bail application on his behalf.

On Monday in London, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed concern about a Trump regime appeal.

With less than three weeks left in his tenure, he called on Trump to “end this now,” adding:

“The fight is not over.” Nor will it be “until Julian (is free to go) home.”

Director of international campaigns for Reporters Without Borders Rebecca Vincent said:

“…Assange (was) targeted for his contributions to journalism and until the underlying issues here are addressed, other journalists, sources and publishers remain at risk.”

Monday inside and outside London’s Old Bailey was a moment of hope for ending Assange’s long ordeal, but it’s not over.

Nor will it be until he’s free from incarceration and bogus charges against him.

In mid-December, I called on Trump to pardon Assange before his tenure ends as he’s done for others dozens of times before.

Or at least commute his politicized indictment. Speech, media, and academic freedoms are too precious to lose.

When journalists are punished for truth-telling, all of the above are at risk.

Last month, I said in March 2020, Chelsea Manning was released from politicized confinement.

The judicial ruling came after being unjustly imprisoned for invoking her constitutional right of silence.

She refused to be part of grand jury proceedings that aimed to crucify Julian Assange unjustly.

For now at least, she’s free. He’s not. 

Will Trump do the right thing by reversing injustice against him?

There’s time until January 20 to end his long nightmare once and for all.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My two Wall Street books are timely reading:

“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”

www.claritypress.com/product/how-wall-street-fleeces-america/

 

“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”

www.claritypress.com/product/banker-occupation-waging-financial-war-on-humanity/

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.