Assange on ‘Desolation Row’ at the Old Bailey

Paradigm Shift 2 October 2020

Latest report from John Jiggens about the Assange Extradition hearing (now in its 5th week) at the Old Bailey in London. Note that it is assumed in the report that Assange will not get a fair trial should he be extradited to the U.S.
[ You can listen to the full show at https://soundcloud.com/ian-curr/assange-on-desolation-row-at-the-old-bailey ]

Nils Melzer, the UN Rapporteur on Torture has described the treatment of Julian Assange by the governments of the UK, the US and Sweden as torture. Nonetheless, Melzer has been ignored by these governments and the Australian government too.  

John Jiggens (Bay FM) interview with Ciaron O’Reilly about Julian Assange

Much of the past week at Assange’s extradition hearing in the Old Bailey has been concerned with the deteriorating state of Assange’s mental health, following his seven-and-a-half years forced detention in the Ecuadorian Embassy and the further year-and-a-half confinement in Belmarsh Prison and the further deterioration his mental health would suffer if he were extradited. 

The Defence has argued Assange would be exposed to further torture in the US prison system from a secretive form of extreme isolation in U.S. federal prisons – Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) – that prohibit prisoners who live under them from contact or communication with all but a handful of approved individuals. Prisoners subjected to this describe the experience as like living in a world by yourself, in which they have almost no human contact. Many of those on SAMs have developed mental health issues as a result of the isolation.  

To counter this, the prosecution has relied on the argument that Assange is simply malingering. 

The maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, is where the US intends to incarcerate Julian Assange when he is convicted. Bay FM reporter Dr John Jiggens spoke with Ciaron O’Reilly, Assange supporter and Ploughshares activist, about Florence, his experience in the US prison system and the normalisation of torture in the US under the War on Terror. 

John Jiggens (Bay FM)

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