judges

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Breaking: Julian Assange wins right to full appeal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/05/2024 - 9:50pm in

Wikileaks founder wins further opportunity to fight extradition after court unconvinced by US ‘assurances’ regarding freedom of speech

The High Court has decided that Julian Assange can appeal against his extradition to the US, after judges were unconvinced by false US ‘assurances’ that he would not be denied an argument on freedom of speech grounds. Assurances that he would not be put to death were accepted by the court, despite the exposure of earlier US plots to kill him extrajudicially.

Demonstrators at the High Court as they waited for news

The fight is far from over, but for now no extradition will take place – though Assange will remain unjustly imprisoned. The US should drop this disgraced case, which should have been abandoned or thrown out of court when its main witness admitted he had lied all along.

The crowd’s reaction after the court’s finding was announced

Congratulations to Mr Assange, his family and supporters for winning this respite and potential step to his freedom and victory for journalism, human rights and government accountability.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

MAYDAY: Assange extradition decision tomorrow – get there if you can, watch live if not

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/05/2024 - 7:36am in

Wikileaks founder faces court tomorrow to find out if UK will give in to disgraced US extradition case – supporters have asked for you to join them at the High Court if possible and will be streaming live from London

Julian Assange faces the High Court tomorrow in London to find out whether judges will agree a disgraced US request to extradite the Wikileaks founder to the US to face 175 years in maximum-security jail. The US case fell apart when its main witness admitted he had been lying the whole time, but the UK state has continued to hold and punish Assange pending extradition for revealing US war crimes, despite known US plots to kill him – plots that the court has already refused to admit as new evidence.

His campaign has asked anyone who can get there to gather tomorrow at the High Court by 8.30am and will also be running a live-stream of developments from 6.30am, which will run below as soon as it goes live:

Video will go live from 6.30am on Monday 20 May

Freedom for Assange is a moral imperative, but it is also essential for all our freedom, as governments try to increase suppression of information vital to democracy and justice and to make Assange an example to intimidate other journalists into silence.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

US refuses to say it won’t kill Assange

Wikileaks journalist remains imprisoned as US continues to pursue discredited extradition case – and refusal to give binding guarantee would result in his immediate release if UK justice system was fit for purpose

The US has refused to give a specific, binding guarantee to a UK court that it will not execute journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has been held for years in solitary confinement in Belmarsh prison while he fights the US government’s attempt to extradite him so it can imprison him for years beyond his lifespan, after Assange exposed war crimes in Iraq by the US military.

The case should have been laughed out of court three years ago, when the main US witness admitted he had been lying all along in his claim that Assange induced him to hack US systems. Instead, Assange has been submitted to what former UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer described as sustained psychological torture – and still faces the likelihood of imprisonment for more than a century.

His recent appeal was adjourned to give the US time to affirm properly that it would not kill him if he was extradited, a sick joke when there has been longstanding evidence of US plans to murder him outside the US.

The judges even refused to admit fresh evidence of the US’s plans to assassinate Assange, instead offering the US another opportunity to have him in their hands if they would promise not to put him to death. The US.

But Assange’s wife Stella has revealed that the US has refused to say that it will not kill him and has offered only a boilerplate statement about the death penalty, while denying Assange the free speech protections it would offer to any US citizen:

The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the First Amendment, and a standard assurance in relation to the death penalty.

It makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution’s previous assertion that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a U.S citizen. Instead, the US has limited itself to blatant weasel words claiming that Julian can “seek to raise” the First Amendment if extradited.

The diplomatic note does nothing to relieve our family’s extreme distress about his future – his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in US prison for publishing award-winning journalism.

The Biden Administration must drop this dangerous prosecution before it is too late.

The US statement says the death penalty will be ‘neither sought nor imposed’, but this is non-binding and meaningless given its previous attempts to kill him. The refusal to guarantee there will be no death penalty in Assange’s specific case should mean under UK and European human rights laws that the extradition is immediately refused by the UK court and Assange should already be free. Even if the assurances had been given, the likelihood that the US’s treatment of Assange would lead to his death should be enough to quash the bid.

The fact that he is not yet free of the threat of extradition, let alone walking around in the freedom he should have, is a damning indictment of the state of UK justice and democracy.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Assange: justice denied again as court declines to admit new evidence of US murder plots

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/03/2024 - 12:27am in

Wikileaks founder will remain in Belmarsh prison while judges seek further meaningless ‘assurances’ from US

The High Court has this morning again denied justice to persecuted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Despite admitting that the US is denying Assange’s rights to free speech and is pursuing him in a way that it would not pursue one of its own citizens, judges have decided to keep Assange in Belmarsh prison while it asks for further ‘assurances’ that the US will not kill him – even though there has been longstanding evidence of US plans to murder him outside the US.

Shamefully, the court has also declined to admit fresh evidence of US plots to assassinate him, claiming that the evidence is irrelevant because the US’s incentive to murder Assange would not apply if it had him in custody, as Declassified UK has pointed out:

The extradition case should have been laughed out of court three years ago, when the main US witness admitted he had been lying all along in his claim that Assange induced him to hack US systems. Instead, Assange has been submitted to what former UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer described as sustained psychological torture – and still faces the likelihood of imprisonment for more than a century in US retaliation for Wikileaks exposing its war crimes in Iraq and as a deterrent to other journalists who might expose its crimes in future.

Shame on the UK and its travesty of justice and democracy. Free Julian Assange. Protect real journalism.

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Cartoon: Trump shopping network

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 24/02/2024 - 9:50am in

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coup, courts, judges

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Video: protests for Assange as British justice goes on trial in extradition case

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/02/2024 - 10:31am in

Up to 2,000 gather for ‘last chance’ to stop disgraced US case allowed so far by courts – but system seems stacked against Wikileaks founder, press freedom and public’s right to know

Protestors outside the court on Tuesday

Up to two thousand protesters gathered to demonstrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice today in London, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his legal team are fighting in what may be their last chance to avoid his extradition to the US, where the Biden administration wants to lock him in a high-security prison for the rest of his life for the ‘crime’ of exposing the actions of the US military.

Wikileaks embarrassed the US by revealing the wanton slaughter of Iraqi civilians – and the US wants its vengeance. To the UK’s shame, successive UK governments and courts have been all too eager to let the Americans have their way, despite the US case collapsing in disgrace when its main witness to Assange’s supposed ‘hacking’ of US systems admitted he had been lying the whole time – and plots by senior US officials to assassinate him. The admission should have seen the US laughed out of court, but UK judges granted its request anyway.

Protesters massed to show their solidarity with the Australian journalist, who has been imprisoned in Belmarsh prison since 2019 after a long effective incarceration in the Ecuadorian embassy while the UK and US governments conspired against him and even bugged supposedly sacrosanct meetings with his lawyers:

Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson gave the protest crowd a lunchtime update on the ‘absurd’ proceedings, which kept observers down to a handful despite the importance of the case, preventing even human rights groups from attending:

As with all the hearings so far, the case against Julian Assange appears to be stacked. After the farce of the collapsed US case being granted anyway, Assange’s appeal was denied by a judge with deep security service connections.

In the current case, one of the two judges was a lawyer for the Secret Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Defence, with clearance for access to ‘top secret’ information – and the other judge is the twin sister of right-wing former BBC chair Richard Sharpe, who resigned after an inquiry into his arrangement of an £800,000 loan for Boris Johnson before his appointment.

Activist Steve Price, who represented Skwawkbox at the demo, summarised the day:

On a cold day thousands gathered to lobby the court and raise public awareness of this situation. This morning at the RCJ, the chant of the day was “There’s only one decision – no extradition!” The demo was noisy, very colourful, with a visible but low-key police presence and many passing drivers honking horns in solidarity.

Speakers included three Labour MPs – Richard Burgon, Zara Sultana and Apsana Begum, alongside Chris Hedges, Andrew Feinstein, Stella Assange and Julian’s brother and father, as well as lawyers, Reporters without Borders (RwB) and Wikileaks’ editor-in-chief. John Pilger, the great Australian journalist, was remembered with great affection.

Julian’s brother said the Australian Parliament voted by two thirds criticising the UK and USA and demanding he be released and returned to his home country. Two of the lawyers, as well as RwB noted that this case has enormous implications for freedom of the press globally and there are obvious parallels with how journalists have been deliberately targeted by Israel in Gaza.

The magistrate back in January 2021 decided Julian should be released solely on the grounds that he might kill himself, but this was overturned by the Home Secretary. There are a number of legal grounds his team will advocate for refusing the extradition. He has been detained in Belmarsh (in solitary confinement) for nearly 5 years, spent 7 years before that confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy. His health has deteriorated, it’s a form of torture, they’re slowly killing him. He is believed to be too ill to attend court today?

They want to extradite him for the crime of journalism, for exposing their hypocrisy, their dirty secrets, their war crimes.

Keir Starmer, the ‘human rights lawyer’, as he never tires of reminding everyone, has never spoken in Assange’s defence. As Director of Public Prosecutions, his actions are murky – because the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) destroyed its records of them and destroyed notes of what it destroyed. However, it is known that in the case of another extradition the US wanted – that of autistic hacker Gary McKinnon – Starmer flew in a rage to the US to apologise to his US government contacts as soon as then-PM Theresa May quashed the extradition on humanitarian grounds. The CPS and Sweden also destroyed records of their communications when the CPS was pressuring Sweden to continue to pursue Assange’s extradition there – no doubt a stepping stone to getting him to the US – on discredited rape allegations. Despite the destruction of evidence, it is known that the CPS told Swedish counterparts not to ‘dare’ drop its request and refused Sweden’s offer to come and interview Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Assange’s family and team have asked everyone who can make it to the court to continue demonstrating throughout the duration of the hearing to try to keep up pressure on the authorities. The Establishment’s relentless assault on Julian Assange is a war not just against him, but against press freedom and the right of the public to know what its supposed representatives are doing and to hold them to account.

The UK justice system has a last chance to show it is fit for purpose. If it happens, it looks as though justice will have to be wrung out of it. Absolute solidarity with Julian Assange and all persecuted journalists everywhere.

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Video: Webbe challenges govt over support for Israel already flouting ICJ ruling. Meaningless reply

Leicester East MP continues strong record on Gaza and Palestinians, challenging government to say what it is doing to obey ICJ when Israel is already murdering hundreds more civilians – and government continues abject collusion

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe has been one of the few MPs to stand up strongly for Palestinians and to challenge the government over its complicity in Israel’s genocide and other war crimes in Gaza. In Parliament today, during urgent questions, she asked the Tories what they are doing to protect Palestinians when Israel is already killing hundreds of Palestinians a day and intensifying its genocidal incitement despite the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) explicit order to take every measure to prevent them being killed.

The answer was utter, meaningless platitudes:

In fact, the UK continues to aid and abet Israel in its wanton slaughter of innocent Palestinians and to impede the arrival of desperately needed food, fuel and medical supplies – while attempting to accelerate then death rate from hunger and disease still further by smearing the UN relief agency UNRWA. The UK, like the US, has cut off its funding to the vital relief organisation on which millions of desperate Palestinians are relying, despite Israel’s long record of blatant and already-discredited lies to excuse its actions – and the prospect of a change of government sometime this year promises more of the same, as so-called ‘Labour leader’ Keir Starmer is just Pavlovian in his support for the apartheid colonisers.

Few MPs bothered even to turn up to the ‘urgent question’ session.

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Starmer STILL silent on ICJ genocide judgment against Israel

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 28/01/2024 - 6:14am in

Friend of war crimes just ignoring damning order against murderous regime

‘What judgment?’: Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer’s reaction to the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) damning judgment yesterday, which put Israel formally on trial for genocide – with even the Israeli judge agreeing on two of the points – and ordered the occupier regime to stop killing Palestinians in Gaza and take a list of measures to protect them, has been deafening silence.

Starmer, who has previously declared himself an unconditional Zionist, has supported Israel’s ‘right’ to commit war crimes and has helped the Tories (blue version) to defeat parliamentary efforts to call for a ceasefire. And as Israel ranted and raved and most of the world applauded South Africa’s stand for humanity and against mass murder, Starmer’s social media account hasn’t even acknowledged the existence of the court’s findings, some thirty hours after they were announced.

But he has found time, as Israel continued to slaughter and maim hundreds of civilian women and children, to tweet about Holocaust Memorial Day and blether repeatedly about anti-social behaviour (especially in ‘hotpots’):

Starmer’s latest nauseating post is a claim that it is a ‘privilege to reaffirm Labour’s commitment to “Never Again”’ – clearly that should end with ‘unless you’re Palestinian’. Coward and genocide enabler.

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