By Leon Tressell
Two years ago award-winning journalist Julian Assange was imprisoned in Belmarsh maximum security prison on remand. Over this period Assange has suffered great damage to his physical and mental health. According to Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur for Torture, Julian Assange is a victim of psychological torture who should be released immediately.
Instead the UK government has ignored its obligations under international law and continues to detain Assange at the behest of the United States.
Back in January of this year, Julian Assange won his case against extradition to the United States. Despite this, he continues to be held in Belmarsh supermax prison as the US has taken its time to submit its appeal against this decision.
In September 2021 at the High Court in London, the US Department of Justice won the right to appeal its defeat in January on five separate grounds. Its appeal will be heard on 27th and 28th October.
If the US loses its appeal, then it will make it very difficult for the Justice Department to continue with the extradition of Assange.
However, if the United States manages to get the January decision of magistrate Vanessa Baraitser overturned, then Julian Assange will be in great danger of extradition to the US where he faces charges that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Now more than ever it is imperative that people of good conscience, who believe that those who commit war crimes should be held to account, raise their voices in support of Julian Assange.
Please make every effort to keep this case in in the forefront of the attention of both politicians and the public by publicising the protests below. If you are able to attend please encourage others to come along with you.
Demonstration: Saturday 23rd October, 1pm, assemble at BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place for a march to the High Court.
On the day of the appeal, Wednesday 27th October, 9am, assemble outside the High Court, the Strand.
Leon Tressell is a geo-political historian who has written extensively about the new Cold War between the US and Russia/China as well as the persecution of whistle blowers such as Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.
All images reproduced with permission of the Defend Assange campaign
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