Julian Assange Free – but it’s not over just yet

BSNEWS editor Alison Banville: In 2019 I attended a talk in London by UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, who, after visiting Julian in Belmarsh prison, was so shocked by his deteriorated condition that he immediately spoke out declaring that Julian’s life was at risk: “In my view, this case has never been about Mr. Assange’s guilt or innocence, but about making him pay the price for exposing serious governmental misconduct, including alleged war crimes and corruption. Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”

Melzer stated that Julian showed “all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture” and goes on to severely admonish the UK government: “Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law.” Read more here. Melzer was just as passionate in person when I saw him talk in London, so outraged was he by the scale of the injustice and by Julian’s torture. Every single person who sat in that audience, and all of Julian’s supporters around the world who have campaigned relentlessly on his behalf, will have been celebrating the news of his release today. But, as Stella Assange has posted in her X posts as her husband’s plane flew into US airspace to touch down on the remote island of Saipan: ‘Saipan is a remote US overseas territory. He will be entering the United States. Julian won’t be safe until he lands in Australia. Please keep tracking his flight.’

Even now, Stella is relying on Julian’s supporters around the globe to keep him safe from the clutches of the criminals he exposed, expressing her thanks strongly yesterday: ‘words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU- yes YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. tHANK YOU. THANK YOU.’

As I write Julian has entered the federal building in Saipan to plead guilty to one count of espionage, a travesty of course but necessary to save his life as Craig Murray explains:

‘The guilty plea is of course coerced in the extreme and nobody should take it seriously. It gives a chance to claim hollow victory to the odious Biden regime, at the cost of a terrible precedent in law classifying journalism in espionage. But the precedent is only in a court of first instance so is not binding. I should be plain I have always advised Julian and Stella to take a plea deal if offered and get out of jail. I have no doubt this was a life or death choice. I also believe we will be grateful for the still greater contributions Julian’s immense intellect and capacity for radical thought will make to human development in the future.’

Julian Assange is a hero, and never has that overused word been so appropriate. What he has been through we cannot imagine. He has endured year upon year of persecution, not only by the state but at the hands of the British mainstream media whose craven subservience to power he so thoroughly exposed. He stands today the only real journalist among them. They should all hang their heads in shame. It is because of them that the war crimes Julian revealed were allowed to happen.

I’ll finish by quoting Henry David Thoreau whose words from his seminal 1849 essay Civil Disobedience are deeply relevant:

‘Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man
is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts
has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be
put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put
themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the
Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his
race should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable, ground,
where the State places those who are not with her, but against her- the only
house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think
that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear
of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not
know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently
and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own
person.’

Below, Owen Jones on Youtube:


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