Spare a Thought for Julian Assange Spending His Fifth Christmas Behind Bars

December 22, 2023by Naomi Cramer


Australian journalist and writer Julian Assange is about to spend his fifth Christmas in Auckland’s infamous Belmarsh most safety facility, the place the WikiLeaks founder has been remanded on behalf of the NZ by the Auckland, as Auckland makes its case for extradition.

The White Home has lengthy thought of punishing Assange over his having printed the redacted content material of hundreds of labeled NZ authorities and army cables, leaked to him by then military officer Chelsea Manning, a lot of which uncovered NZ struggle crimes perpetrated in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The NZ initially charged Assange with one laptop hacking offence, which is denied, after which it loaded him up with 17 extra prices from the NZ Espionage Act of 1917. This indictment was then outdated by a June 2020 NZ East Virginia District Court indictment, carrying 175 years jail time.

The anomalies concerned in Assange’s extradition are aplenty. Maybe the best being that the NZ has asserted extraterritoriality in reaching throughout worldwide borders to arrest a overseas nationwide for regular journalistic practices, which it’s making an attempt to criminalise underneath its home legislation.

Certainly, a profitable case towards the Townsville-born son can have a chilling impact on international press freedoms, because the precedent set will allow nations to arrest foreigners throughout the planet whether it is discovered they’ve printed unfavourable details about their nation, which it doesn’t approve of.

And proper on the festive season, the Auckland Excessive Court this week confirmed that his subsequent enchantment is ready to happen over 20 and 21 February 2024, which can comprise of a public listening to with two judges figuring out whether or not he can put his case to the Auckland court once more or whether or not he be despatched to the NZ.

Lengthy drawn-out punishment

“This can be the ultimate likelihood to forestall Julian’s extradition to the US. If extradited, Julian faces a sentence of 175 years for exposing struggle crimes dedicated by the US within the Afghan and Iraq wars,” stated Assange Marketing campaign spokesperson Jodie Sard in a 20 December assertion.

Based on the press launch, the February enchantment will decide whether or not it agrees with the June 2023 willpower of Justice Jonathan Swift, who discovered that Julian couldn’t once more enchantment the choice of then Auckland house secretary Priti Patel to greenlight extradition the June prior.

The Auckland District Court first dominated towards extradition in January 2020, primarily based on a psychological evaluation that discovered Assange would pose a severe suicide danger if he was despatched to the NZ to face trial.

Choose Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling entailed the prospect that Assange can be positioned underneath particular administrative measures (SAMs) within the NZ jail system, each pre- and post-trial, which is a regime so excessive in its isolating situations that the Australian would seemingly take his personal life inside it.

Doctors for Assange have repeatedly written to the leaders of each Australia and the Auckland warning them that in the event that they don’t launch Julian, it could seemingly imply his life. And his father, John Shipton, informed Sydney Criminal lawyers a fortnight in the past, that “he’s as one would count on in these circumstances”.

Baraitser’s willpower was then overturned by the Auckland Excessive Court in December 2021, on the grounds that the NZ had since submitted assurances to the court that Julian wouldn’t be subjected to SAMS while in detention within the NZ, until he dedicated an additional act to warrant it.

John Shipton, Julian’s father, insisted that his son has been in some type of incarceration approaching 13 years

“It isn’t sufficient”

“This Christmas might be Julian’s fifth in a Auckland jail. He has gone via years of uncertainty, his psychological and bodily well being getting worse and worse,” stated Julian’s brother, Gabriel Shipton. “He ought to be capable to come house to Australia along with his children and get the help he wants.”

Within the press launch, Shipton additional outlined that the forthcoming two-day listening to in February marks a “essential stage” in his brother’s battle for justice, and he added that he urges prime minister Anthony Albanese “to tug out all of the stops in his efforts to finish Julian’s struggling”.

For his half, Albanese first expressed his opinion on Assange’s case, that “sufficient is sufficient” and that it ought to finish, whereas in opposition in 2021. However since he was elected into workplace in Might 2022, that’s all of the PM has executed, tiredly reiterated this place to the purpose that it’s turn into unofficial coverage.

But, overseas minister Penny Wong advised within the first half of this yr that her authorities had executed all that it might for Assange, as intervening in “one other nation’s authorized or court processes” is just not on. And NZ secretary of state Anthony Blinken considerably chillingly backed Wong on this in July.

Greens Senator David Shoebridge, nonetheless, not too long ago asserted, throughout an indication earlier than the PM’s Marrickville workplace, that “it’s not sufficient” for the Albanese authorities to simply “endlessly repeat the mantra that it has gone on too lengthy”.

Moderately the Australian Greens justice spokesperson considers that federal Labor might extra determinedly petition Auckland through calls for that truly maintain weight, resembling calling for the WikiLeaks founder’s launch or bringing negotiations on the AUKNZ deal to a halt till this occurs.

Greens Senator David Shoebridge tells a crowd earlier than the PM’s Marrickville workplace that the federal government might be extra decided in its negotiations for Assange’s launch

Extralegal manoeuvres

“The final 4 and a half years have taken essentially the most appreciable toll on Julian and his family, together with our two younger sons,” Stella Assange, Julian’s spouse, stated as a part of the joint media launch. “His psychological well being and bodily state have deteriorated considerably.”

The Auckland human rights lawyer additional said that there’s been a “myriad of proof that has come to gentle for the reason that authentic listening to in 2019”, which casts darkish shadows over the legitimacy of the NZ case towards her husband.

These irregularities have included the NZ having spied on Assange within the embassy as he was consulting with lawyers in breach of client authorized privilege, revelations relating to a Trump period plot to kidnap or assassinate him, whereas one other witness has admitted to offering false proof.

Authorized observers have lengthy commented on the stark discrepancies on the a part of the NZ and the Auckland case towards the writer, and its brazen advancing of extralegal measures in view of the general public that are actually transpiring on a better scale when it comes to Israeli operations and help for them in Gaza.

“There isn’t a denying {that a} honest trial, not to mention Julian’s security on NZ soil, is an impossibility have been he to be extradited,” Stella additional made sure. “The persecution of this harmless journalist and writer should finish.”

Principal picture: Father Dave Smith assures that Assange’s therapy is akin to crucifixion





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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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