By Dr Leon Tressell
On Monday 14th March the British Supreme Court denied Julian Assange the right to appeal his extradition to the United States. This judgement continues the British judiciary’s subservience to the interests of American imperialism as it perpetuates the grave miscarriages of justice inflicted on the WikiLeaks publisher over the last ten years. An esteemed panel of three judges refused Julian’s permission to appeal on the basis that “the application does not raise an arguable point of law.”
Stella Morris, the partner and mother of Assange’s young children, has lambasted the decision of the Supreme Court and explained why the US continues its persecution of a journalist: “Whether Julian is extradited or not, which is the same as saying whether he lives or dies, is being decided through a process of legal avoidance – avoiding to hear arguments that challenge the UK courts’ deference to unenforceable and caveated claims regarding his treatment made by the United States, the country that plotted to murder him, the country whose atrocities he brought into the public domain. Julian is the key witness, the principle indicter, and the cause of enormous embarrassment to successive US governments.’’
The High Court in January and now the Supreme Court in March have both refused to consider the deeply troubling circumstances in which a requesting state (in this case the United States) can give assurances regarding the treatment of a person after the conclusion of a full evidential hearing. We should recall that in January 2020 Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition to the US on the grounds that he would be a high risk for suicide due to the appalling conditions in the American penal system.
In the words of Assange’s partner Stella Morris, “A system that allows this is a system that has lost its way.’’
Julian Assange’s case will now go back to the Westminster court, which will then refer the decision for extradition to that beacon of enlightened tolerance, the British Home Secretary Priti Patel. Julian’s legal team will have the right to submit evidence to the Home Secretary, arguing the case against Julian’s extradition to the United States where he will face charges that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
According to Julian Assange’s legal team, he does have other legal options: “It will be recollected that Mr Assange succeeded in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on the issue subsequently appealed by the US to the High Court. No appeal to the High Court has yet been filed by him in respect of the other important issues he raised previously in Westminster Magistrates’ Court. That separate process of appeal, of course, has yet to be initiated.’’
The Biden regime is continuing with the extradition process that was initiated by the apparently lawless Trump, which is in flagrant violation of the First Amendment of the US constitution.
Stella Morris has observed that the United States is persecuting a journalist for doing his job, which in this case was to inform the public about grave violations of international law:
“Julian was just doing his job, which was to publish the truth about wrongdoing. His loyalty is the same as that which all journalists should have: to the public, not to the spy agencies of a foreign power. He published evidence that the country that is trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; that it committed gross violations that killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children; that it tortured and rendered; that it bombed children, had death squads, and murdered Reuters journalists in cold blood; that it bribed foreign officials and bullied less powerful countries into harming their own citizens; and that it also corrupted allied nations’ judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. For this, that country wants him in prison for 175 years.’’
Sadly, the Western media appears to be completely uninterested in this travesty of justice. Even worse, in many respects, has been the failure of the British Labour Party leadership to speak out in defence of Julian Assange. This shameful silence reveals the moral bankruptcy of the Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.
The British labour movement has a long and distinguished history of defending the victims of state-sponsored political persecution. It should follow the example of the National Union of Journalists, which has unequivocally condemned the imprisonment of Julian Assange and called on all trade unions to join the campaign against his extradition.
The life of Julian Assange is literally on the line. He has suffered a stroke in prison while his mental health has been greatly impacted by the psychological torture that he has suffered. Time is not on the side of Julian Assange. The clock is ticking: what are you going to do?
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.
Main image: Julian Assange. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgcomsoc/14953880621. Author: Cancillería del Ecuador, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
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