Re: US pledge that Julian Assange could serve any jail sentence in Australia is ‘grossly misleading’, partner says | Julian Assange | The Guardian

grarpamp grarpamp at
Sat Jul 10 14:03:40 PDT 2021


The US will say whatever it can get away with while still
leaving enough ways to fuck Assange, just as it has been
trying to do since day one. History shows time and again that
State's only place for those who embarass, truth, and speak
against it are disappeared down a quiet prison hole, or dead.
McAfee a recent example of that convenient silencing game.

The tide must begin to shift...

US pledge that Julian Assange could serve any jail sentence in
Australia is ‘grossly misleading’, partner says

In the event Assange is convicted, any transfer would need to be
approved by the Australian government

Stella Moris says the US undertakings are ‘not worth the paper they
are written on’ because Julian Assange already holds the right to
apply to serve any sentence in Australia.

US government undertakings that Julian Assange could serve any prison
sentence in Australia were “grossly misleading”, his fiance has said,
and “a formula to keep Julian in prison effectively for the rest of
his life”.

The US government is attempting to extradite Assange from the UK and
put him on trial in the US for allegedly violating the Espionage Act
by publishing classified information through WikiLeaks. He faces up to
175 years in prison if convicted.

But the US government lost its extradition application in January,
when judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled Assange could not be extradited
because of concerns over his mental health and risk of suicide in a US

On Wednesday, the UK high court allowed the US government to appeal
that decision, on limited grounds.

Stella Moris said the US undertakings were “not worth the paper they
are written on” because Assange already held the right to apply to
serve any sentence in Australia.

“What is crucial to understand is that prisoner transfers are eligible
only after all appeals have been exhausted. For the case to reach the
US supreme court [it] could easily take a decade, even two. What the
US is proposing is a formula to keep Julian in prison effectively for
the rest of his life.

“Julian would remain in a US prison under atrocious, solitary
confinement conditions that the magistrate’s court said would end his
life,” Moris said in a subsequent statement.

    Julian Assange's fiancée Stella Moris @StellaMoris1: "Reports
about US 'undertakings' are misleading and worryingly uncritical.
Let's not forget what this is all about: Journalism Is Not A Crime!"
#DontExtraditeAssange #DropTheCharges #FreeAssange
    — Don't Extradite Assange (@DEAcampaign) July 8, 2021

A spokesperson for the Australian attorney general’s department
confirmed Assange, as an Australian citizen, would have the right to
apply to serve his sentence in Australia if convicted and sentenced to
prison in the US, but that no transfer could be agreed before legal
avenues were exhausted.

“International prisoner transfers to Australia are initiated by an
application from a prisoner after the prisoner has been convicted and
sentenced,” the spokesperson said.

“If the Australian government received an application for the transfer
of a prisoner from the US, it would consider the application at that
time in accordance with Australia’s legal framework.”

In the event that Assange was convicted and applied to come to
Australia, his transfer would need the consent of the Australian
government, and of the state or territory government where he would be

Any transfer would also need the consent of the US government. In a
suite of “assurances” provided to the UK high court, the US government
said it “hereby agrees to consent to the transfer”.

Other assurances offered include that the US would not impose Special
Administrative Measures (SAMs) – such as solitary confinement – on
Assange, and that he would not be jailed at the “supermax” prison in
Florence, Colorado. However, the US retained the caveat it could
renege on those promises: “the US retains the power to impose SAMs on
Mr Assange in the event that … he was to commit any future act that
met the test to the imposition of a SAM”.

Assange turned 50 behind bars at Belmarsh prison earlier this month.

Moris visited him, accompanied by their four-year-old son, after the
high court’s decision to allow the US appeal.

“Julian is very unwell,” Moris said after visiting. “Belmarsh prison
is a horrible, horrible, place. Just yesterday, another prisoner was
found dead in his cell. The suicide rate is three times higher than in
other UK prisons. It’s a daily struggle.

“He won his case in January. Why is he even in prison? Why is he even
being prosecuted? There is no legal case against him. All there is is
an indictment based on lies.”

The Australian parliamentary friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home
group has consistently called on the US government to drop its
prosecution of Assange, and on the UK government to release him from
prison and send him back to Australia.

“Like politicians in the US and UK, we are elected to defend our
citizens’ rights. Voters expect us to hold accountable those who
commit wrongdoing, not to punish those who expose it, such as Julian
Assange,” the cross-party group said.

“Julian Assange is right now being arbitrarily detained in the UK for
publishing activity. His treatment [violates] the convention against
torture, and his persecution threatens journalists worldwide.”

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