Silence from Australia as UK and US continue detention of Assange, 1,000 days on
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Reporters Without Borders marked the thousandth day that Julian
Assange has been detained in London’s Belmarsh
maximum security prison on Wednesday, with a
message highlighting that the Wikileaks founder has been
targeted not for any crimes, but for his “contributions to
British police stormed the Ecuadorian embassy
on 14 April 2019 and arrested Assange on behalf of both UK
and US authorities. And while the sentence for a minor local breach
of bail offence expired in September that year, he’s since been
remanded on behalf of Washington.
Over the last two years, Doctors for
Assange have been warning the UK and Australian
governments that the WikiLeaks founder’s mental and physical
health has deteriorated to such a degree that if he isn’t
released from his torturous prison setting, he could die in
Although Assange’s failing health is no secret.
original extradition hearing resulted in a January 2021
finding that saw District Judge Vanessa Baraitser uphold
Washington’s entire case against the journalist, but then
further rule he wouldn’t be sent to the US, as it couldn’t
guarantee he wouldn’t take his own life in its harshest prison
This then paved the way for the US to simply provide the UK High
Court on appeal, with assurances that it wouldn’t subject
Julian to its severest detention conditions.
But Washington also reserved the right to change its mind on
this point, after it has the Australian citizen in its custody.
in December, the highest court in Britain ruled this was good
enough for it.
There are many aspects to the prosecution and the treatment of
Assange that are on the nose. The US is trying to extradite him
17 espionage charges, and one count of computer hacking, due to
alleged crimes conducted outside of its jurisdiction and
partially on false evidence.
Yet, it’s clear that Washington wants to get their hands on
the multi award-winning journalist because he published volumes of
classified US government files over 2010 and 2011, which revealed
thousands of American war crimes and questionable diplomatic
And while the Obama administration eventually dropped the
pursuit of the Townsville-born man, Trump picked up the case in
2017, after Assange had gotten hold of the CIA’s Vault 7 hacking
manual and exposed the extralegal capabilities the intelligence
agency has to surveil the globe’s citizens.
The publishing of Vault 7 led Trump-appointed CIA head Mike
Pompeo to label Wikileaks a “non-state hostile intelligence
service”, and the White House went on to contemplate
kidnapping Assange in London, or even assassinating him, prior to
its taking the
criminal justice route.
Assange’s legal team filed to appeal the greenlighting of US
extradition to the UK Supreme Court
in late December. While, on Wednesday this week, WikiLeaks
supporters gathered out the front of Belmarsh gaol to mark his
thousandth day inside and to call for his immediate release.
But back in his home country not much was said about the plight
of the Australian son. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has
consistently refused to publicly broach the journalist’s
prolonged detainment in London, even with the stark disregard for
due process involved in his case.
Indeed, it would be expected that an official in the position
that Morrison holds would attempt to intervene as an Australian
citizen is slowly tortured in a very public manner to the point
that he may lose his life, especially when it’s this
nation’s two closest allies conducting the assault.
Then again, a great number of Australians have lost faith and
respect in the Australian government, with its tendency to no
longer adhere to democratic principles, or even to follow the rule
of law, which is the exact sort of politicking Assange has been at
pains to expose.
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