Hedges: The Slow-Motion Execution Of Julian Assange Continues

Authored by Chris Hedges via,

The decision by the High Court in London to grant Julian Assange the right to appeal the order to extradite him to the United States may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. It does not mean Julian will elude extradition. It does not mean the court has ruled, as it should, that he is a journalist whose only “crime” was providing evidence of war crimes and lies by the U.S. government to the public. It does not mean he will be released from the high-security HMS Belmarsh prison where, as Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, after visiting Julian there, said he was undergoing a “slow-motion execution.”

It does not mean that journalism is any less imperiled. Editors and publishers of five international media outlets —– The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and DER SPIEGEL —– which published stories based on documents released by WikiLeaks, have urged that the U.S. charges be dropped and Julian be released. None of these media executives were charged with espionage. It does not dismiss the ludicrous ploy by the U.S. government to extradite an Australian citizen whose publication is not based in the U.S. and charge him under the Espionage Act. It continues the long Dickensian farce that mocks the most basic concepts of due process.

This ruling is based on the grounds that the U.S. government did not offer sufficient assurances that Julian would be granted the same First Amendment protections afforded to a U.S. citizen, should he stand trial. The appeal process is one more legal hurdle in the persecution of a journalist who should not only be free, but feted and honored as the most courageous of our generation.

Yes. He can file an appeal. But this means another year, perhaps longer, in harsh prison conditions as his physical and psychological health deteriorates. He has spent over five years in HMS Belmarsh without being charged. He spent seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy because the U.K. and Swedish governments refused to guarantee that he wouldn’t be extradited to the U.S., even though he agreed to return to Sweden to aid a preliminary investigation that was eventually dropped.

The judicial lynching of Julian was never about justice.

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Zero Hedge

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