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February 22, 2020

12/6/2019 3:14:00 PM
Assange jail update

Dear Editor:
Julian Assange has been languishing in a British jail, under solitary confinement, since April 2019 when the police dragged him out of the Equadorian Embassy in London. At the whistleblower's Extradition hearing in London, it went off almost unnoticed. The BBC and other channels blacked it out, refusing to air the trial that John Pilger, an Australian filmmaker, likened to a show trial in Joseph Stalin's Russia.
By all accounts of the minimal eyewitnesses present, Vanessa Baraitser, a magistrate, because the court apparently didn't see the trial as inconclusive enough to use an actual judge, sneered at Assange, speaking with arrogance and condescension. When Assange or his representation spoke, Baraitser seemed bored and disinterested, the outcome predetermined. When the prosecution presented it's case, continually aided by a U.S. Representative, who repeatedly took notes to the prosecutor as the hearing progressed, the magistrate livened up, listening intensely to the prosecution's case.
After rejecting the Assange team's request for additional preparation time--Assange has been denied access to legal documents and research, by which he could defend himself--ensuring that the next hearing will be as secret as can be while still being officially public was yet another dagger into the state of free speech and the free press in court.
Assange, 48, described as "confused" struggling to answer questions about his name and age. He has spent seven years barricaded inside Equador's British embassy, and since April, has been in a permanent state of solitary confinement where sensory depravation and a lack of access to humanity are his new normal. The inhumane imprisonment is designed to break him before he is ultimately sent to the United States to answer for 18 counts, including hacking government computers and violating parts of the Espionage act, all trumped up charges to silence him.
When Baraitser asked him if he understood what was happening, Assange replied, "Not really," before attempting to expose the conditions in which he has been forced to live. Stating that he was unable to "think properly", Assange said, "I don't understand how this is equitable. I can't research anything, I can't access any of my writing, it's very difficult where I am." Since this is where the United States wants him to be, "unable to defend himself", so when he goes to trial in the United States, it will be a "slam dunk". Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, the Clinton's and the Obama's will slide by on a new set of charges and leave them unscathed.
(Information taken from The American Free Press, dated November 18-25, 2019, Volume XIX, Number 47 & 48).
Mary Finley
Mineral Point

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