WCH Stands with Julian Assange and Demands an End to His Torture and Imprisonment
Global powers must never play games with human lives, whether that be in war or with an individual like Julian Assange.
Today, April 11, 2023, Julian Assange begins his fifth year in Belmarsh, a maximum security prison in London.
Four years ago, he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and sent to Belmarsh where he continues to wait for possible extradition to the United States. Despite being held in a supermax prison, often in solitary confinement, Assange has not been charged with any crime. The 51-year old has spent nearly a third of his adult life in some form of detention.
In May 2019, Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, visited Assange in prison. He later concluded that Assange’s treatment did in fact constitute psychological torture. In February 2020, Doctors for Assange demanded an end to his torture and neglect. Since then, Assange’s physical and mental states have continued to deteriorate and no relevant authority has acted.
Assange’s continued detention and torture come without his having been convicted of any crime. In short, his “offense” boils down to having published true and accurate information which exposed US war crimes.
To this date, no one involved in those war crimes has been arrested, punished, or charged except for Julian Assange.
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According to The Guardian, “Australian federal politicians from across the political spectrum have jointly asked the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, to abandon attempts to extradite Julian Assange from the UK.
The 48 MPs and senators – including 13 from the governing Labor party – warned that the pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder “set a dangerous precedent” for press freedom and would damage the reputation of the US.”
In the US, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has authored a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to drop the charges and withdraw the extradition request.
And in the UK, MP Richard Burgon has written a letter to Attorney General Garland requesting that the extradition proceedings be dropped. Thirty-five MPs and Lords from six different parties signed the letter.
As Assange detention and torture continue, an increasing number of people around the world are learning about his story, the importance of press freedom, and the realities war and the kinds of behaviors global powers will engage in when they think no one is looking.
The World Council for Health stands with Julian Assange and demands an end to his torture and imprisonment. Global powers must never play games with human lives, whether that be in war or with an individual like Assange.
“Our family has been robbed of four years together which we will never get back. He needs to come home. We need him home.” — Stella Assange
Solitary confinement and other abusive tactics that Assange has experienced are dangerous and harmful. These tactics exacerbate mental and physical illnesses, and inhumane, and do not rehabilitate prisoners.
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