Campaign has won Julian Assange’s right to appeal

By Joe Montero

Two days ago, Julian Assange scored an important win in London, where the High Court ruled that his legal team have the right to lodge an appeal against the attempt by Washington to extradite him to the United States, continuing mistreatment, and life imprisonment. This is big time global news because of its potential implications.

Big media in Australia, led by the Murdoch empire, has chosen to downplay this, displaying a response that says a lot more about itself as a peddler of its own political barrow than this issue. Its primary business isn’t to objectively report the news but to peddle its own interests.

The Assange story merits close and serious attention because it’s appropriately and widely recognised as an assault on freedom of the press and an assault on basic human rights. Most journalists get this. So does their union the Media entertainment and Arts Alliance in Australia and its counterparts overseas. But the media bosses actively engage in censorship of what is not convenient to those holding power. The gulf between proper journalism and the wishes of tycoons has widened greatly.

Julian Assange’s wife reacts after high court ruling in extradition case
Video from The Guardian

Recognition of Julian Assange’s right to appeal by the British High Court marks a major turning point in his long-term incarceration, because up till now, British courts have enthusiastically played to a script written in Washington. In doing so, they turned the idea of British justice into a farce, repeatedly violating what are supposed to be its own legal norms.

The idea that one could not be imprisoned for years without charge and conviction because of the resumption of innocence until proven guilty was turned on its head. Julian’s right to defend himself was restricted. Imprisonment in ongoing solitary confinement, widely defined as a form of torture, has been the reality.

Telling the truth about wrongdoings of those with power has been criminalised, and big media, along with the political elite, has played a huge role in justifying ad normalising it. And this should be of concern to every decent person.

In this context, the decision that the failure of Washington to grant Second amendment protection to Julian Assange and to not be discriminated against for being an Australian citizen is an important reversal. This deserves to be broadcast widely.

British High Court grants WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange the right to appeal U.S. extradition

Video from Democracy Now

An incredibly important truth is that this is this is the result of the weakening position of the persecutors and strengthening of the campaign to free Julian Assange. The balance has tipped. Public opinion has been won over. most now realise that this case is one of clear political persecution, which is a serious threat to democratic rights for all of us.

If justice and the application of the letter of the law had been the objectives, the case would have been put to an end at the start. That it wasn’t, testifies that the legal system is far from impartial when it comes to threats to the interests of the privileged.

The mistreatment of this Australian journalist and editor would not have continued for years otherwise. By failing on this, the British court system has tarnished its reputation. Even more damage has been caused to the image of the United States around the world as the self-proclaimed number one defender of freedom and democracy. considerable price to pay.

Assange and WikiLeaks were charged with stepping on the toes of the privileged through exposing their abuses. Julian Assange had to be made an example of and used as a deterrence to stop others doing the same. This was the unstated objective of the political elite, legal establishment, and big media owners. Ultimately, it’s this objective which has suffered an important set back.

The win was much more due to the actions taken over the years by many, than it was about the said virtues of the British court system. This is what ultimately succeeded in dragging in the critical mass needed, including enough of the political establishment, to make a huge difference. Assange’s persecutors may be reaching the point where their best option now is to retreat.

Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty: Action by many brought about the British Supreme Court’s decision to allow the appeal

There is a good chance that by the time the appeal is in the courtroom, the campaigning for the United States presidential election will be in full swing. The Joe Biden this is building a focus on Donald Trump as a threat to freedom and democracy. Continuing the persecution of Assange will creates a double standard withe the potential to undermine this and contribute to a defeat.

Add to this the expected fall of British Prime Minister Risha Sunak soon after.

The possibility of winning Julian Assange’s freedom is now within reach.

From here begins the appeal process. A date for a new hearing will be set, and this is where the next stage of the battle will begin. There are no guarantees. The battle is not over yet. Jumping the next hurdle requires all Assange’s supporters to lift the campaign to a new and higher level.

The pressure on the British government and court, and on the administration in Washington must be stronger still. They must find themselves in a place where they have no other option but to free Julian Assange and retreat from their intent to stifle free speech.

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