WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange’s threat of extradition to the US became even more imminent yesterday as the High Court ruled in favour of the US. The US won its appeal and overturned a previous ruling in January that Assange cannot be extradited because of concerns over his mental health.
Assange is charged in the US with 17 counts of ‘conspiracy and espionage’ after he obtained and published thousands of classified documents exposing the war crimes of the US and the UK in their bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
For exposing the war crimes of imperialism, Assange, if convicted in the US, faces up to 175 years in a high-security ‘Supermax’ prison.
The ruling classes of the US and the UK are determined to teach Assange a lesson, to make him an example, a warning to journalists across the world of what will happen to them if they expose imperialism’s horrific bloodthirsty operations.
Outside the court yesterday, Julian Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris said: ‘The UK imprisons journalists. They are imprisoning Julian on behalf of a foreign power which is taking out an abusive, vindictive prosecution against a journalist.’
Assange was arrested in London in April 2019 after seeking asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in west London for more than six years.
Assange had been granted asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 after losing his battle against extradition to Sweden on trumped up charges of ‘rape and sexual assault’, which were subsequently dropped. Nevertheless he was dragged out of the embassy by police and charged with ‘skipping bail’. ‘Skipping bail’ on dropped charges!
For skipping bail he has been dealt the harshest of sentences. He has spent almost three years languishing in Belmarsh High Security prison since April 2019, where the most dangerous criminals and murderers are incarcerated.
Now the US has overturned the decision not to extradite Assange. Now the case will go back to the District Court where all the evidence about the medical risks to Assange will be re-heard. The Assange team can then appeal to a higher court, the Supreme Court and then the European Court of Human Rights.
All of this is a lengthy legal process and with each day in jail Assange’s health is deteriorating. Years of incarceration have taken a toll on Assange, his physical and mental health is becoming progressively worse. He must be released now!
Both the Tory party and the Labour leader have done their damnedest to push the extradition of Assange, while the real imperialist war criminals have been let off scot-free or even been rewarded for their crimes.
There are no charges facing ex-president George W Bush, or ex-Labour leader Tony Blair, both guilty of launching a war on Iraq, and killing millions of people, with cruel sanctions, based on the lie that Iraq had ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. The war itself resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqi men, women and children.
Renowned film maker Ken Loach has spoken out supporting the screening of the new Juan Passarelli film highlighting Julian Assange’s political incarceration titled ‘The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange.’ Loach condemned Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for his role in the Assange case while he was public prosecutor.
When Starmer was the Director of Public Prosecutions he flouted legal precedents by advising Swedish lawyers not to question Assange in Britain: a decision that resulted in his incarceration in Belmarsh and the looming threat of extradition and a US show trial.
Leaked emails from August 2012 show that, when the Swedish legal team expressed hesitancy about keeping Assange’s case open, Starmer’s office replied: ‘Don’t you dare get cold feet’.
The Labour Party is not going to campaign for the release of Julian Assange, its leader played a role in his incarceration. The British Courts are part and parcel of the ruling class and the capitalist state … they have no intention of freeing Assange. For exposing the murderous actions of the imperialist British and US state machines, they want him to rot in hell.
Assange is a political prisoner. It is not a legal battle that will free him but a political struggle waged by millions of working people.
The way forward is clear. To free Assange, every trade union in the country must come out in a general strike. Such an action would definitely free Assange! This is the action that the TUC leaders must be forced to take to block any attempt to fly Assange to the USA.