Julian Assange is being treated with little regard to acceptable legal process and rights

By Jim Hayes

The latest news on Julian Assange is that he has been holed up at Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom in isolation since his arrest on 11 April.

He has not been allowed to have any visitors. His mother has been denied access and has called his treatment “outrageous.”

Authorities have gone so far as to deny Julian Assange access to lawyers, until the issue was forced. He was finally allowed a visit on 26 April.

This an abuse of legal process and it underlines the fact that he has indeed become a political prisoner.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has continued to adopt a hard-line stance and go as far as to effectively support the treatment. The official position is that he will not be treated any differently from anyone else. The point is he is being treated differently, and the Australian government is complicit in carrying out political persecution.

The application by the United States for extradition puts the final piece of evidence on the case. Despite years of denial that an arrest would lead to this and the accusation that Assange was trying to escape justice, Assange’s claim that this is a ruse to persecute him, has been proved correct.

Here we have two governments participating in a process, leading to where a third renditions and charges someone who is not a citizen of it, in clear violation of international law and norms. There is even little substance to it in United States Law.

It is why there is talk about the bizarre charge of accusing Assange of helping Chelsea Manning break the code to access the documents passed on and subsequently made public by WikiLeaks. It is bizarre because Chelsea manning already worked in the field and knew how to gain access. It is alleged that Chelsea Manning asked for assistance. It dosn’t make sense.

Consequently, this accusation can only be taken as a subterfuge to get attention of the real story.

Legal niceties will most likely be side-stepped by having the defendant before a selected judge, limiting legal representation, making evidence inadmissible and curtailing public access. The British and Australian governments know very well that in the United States, tribunals such as this, can and will be set up when Washington desires. It was the case with the trials relating to Guantanamo Bay.

These governments also know that there is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United sates which clearly forbids extradition “for political purposes.” They know that this is being violated.

In addition, the United States could apply its practice of keeping prisoners incarcerated in isolation for a very long time, as they are now doing to former CIA contractor Joshua Schulte, who has been held for over a year, for leaking documents about CIA hacking of computers and related spying operations.

Julian Assange is to face the British court on 2 May and there is a very good chance that he will face the hostile judge he went before on 11 April, district judge Michael Cole. A fair hearing is unlikely.

Chelsea Manning had her application for bail turned down a month ago, because she refused to testify against Assange.

The world, and especially Australia, have a duty to act against this miscarriage of justice. This is not only an attack on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, but on all of us.

This is an attack on journalism, an attack of free speech, as well as a denial of our right to know about wrongdoing by those who have and abuse power.

We have a right to demand that our government pay attention to the decency of defending basic human rights and stand against their abuse.

We have a right to demand that our government pay attention to the decency of defending basic human rights and stand against their abuse.

Hacker? No, no, no!’ Vaughan Smith says Assange’s activity was nothing but journalism

Video from RT

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