Assange Displayed Signs of Torture in Courtroom Farce

What we witnessed yesterday was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans, writes Craig Murray.

By Craig Murray

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening. 

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of the proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought. 

Until yesterday I had always been quietly skeptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture – and skeptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness. 

Video still of pro-Assange protesters outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Oct. 21, 2019. (Mattha Busby/Twitter)

Will He Survive? 

I had been even more skeptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable.

Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this blood sport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

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The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the “Iraq War Logs,” the “Afghan War Logs” and the U.S. State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 U.S. election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Espen Moe)

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defense was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defense team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean embassy by the U.S. government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defense.

CIA-Ordered Spying

Furthermore, the defense argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defense against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high-resolution video coverage of Julian and me discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the U.S. authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defense to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offense excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, Feb. 25, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a 10-minute recess for the prosecution and defense to agree these steps. 

Pro-Assange rally in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 14, 2010. (Flickr/Takver)

US Runs the Show

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the U.S. government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the U.S. representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates. 

After the recess the defense team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to this, Lewis’s junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind.” It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the U.K. Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the U.S. embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defense might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The U.S. government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the U.S. government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defense. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defense ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

Washington’s Timetable

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defense, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defense’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorized what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:

On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offense – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defense should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defense. The defense had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles. 

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative. 

Assange’s defense team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

“I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.”

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognizing anybody. He gave no indication that he did. 

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the U.K. state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonization and dehumanization against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society. 

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

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67 comments for “Assange Displayed Signs of Torture in Courtroom Farce

  1. October 26, 2019 at 21:08

    And throughout Julian’s protracted ordeal including his years confined within the Ecuardorian Embassy, not a word of support or injustice has been ushered by the Australian Gov’t about the abuse & injustices or the right to fair trial one of her citizens has been heard.
    And nothing, not even a word about what Julian is about to endure.
    The UK court & the magistrate Julian is before can all be described as less than a kangaroo court. The Australian Gov’ts lack of any support to an Aussie citizen is a national disgrace & a shameful act by every elected politician in all 3 levels of Aust gov’ts.
    Australians need to stand up, speak out, protest in the clearest & most visible ways to stop this abuse of all of our freedoms & especially Julians incarceration and treatment in and by a foreign nation.

    • jmg
      October 27, 2019 at 05:09

      Lincoln Gray wrote:
      > Australians need to stand up

      “Australian MPs Back Assange

      “Meanwhile in Assange’s native Australia, members of Parliament have demanded that Assange be returned to his country.

      “MP Andrew Wilkie told the House of Representatives last week that Assange is ‘an Australian citizen and must be treated like any other Australian. He was not in the U.S. when he provided evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq. He can’t possibly have broken their laws.’ . . .

      “Wilkie, an Australian former intelligence officer who resigned because of the falsehoods about WMD in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, is reportedly working to set up a parliamentary committee that crosses party lines to demand that the Liberal government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison opposes Assange’s extradition.

      “The Australian TV program ‘The Project’ reported on Sunday that up to 10 politicians were ready to join the committee.

      “‘It’s important that parliamentarians learn the facts of this matter,’ Wilkie told the program. ‘There’s so much naiveté and ignorance and disinformation swirling around that it’s no wonder that a lot of people are wary or even dislike Julian, but I reckon that when people find out the facts of the matter they will get behind him.’ . . .

      “Wilkie joined right-wing MP Barnaby Joyce who the previous week came out in Assange’s defense. . . .

      “Wilkie told ‘The Project,’ ‘When someone like Barnaby Joyce thinks there’s an issue here then people should pay attention.’”

      (Judge Denies Assange Extension on Extradition Hearing — Joe Lauria — Consortium News — October 21, 2019)

  2. Jimmy gates
    October 26, 2019 at 19:07

    Craig, sorry you had to witness this barbarism. This is a war crime, you stand as a witness for us all.

  3. casey nicholas
    October 26, 2019 at 15:33

    Thank you Craig. Let us also remember that Chelsea Manning is also in prison for refusing to throw Julian under the bus.

  4. jmg
    October 24, 2019 at 15:18

    “I was in court and every word of this by Craig Murray is the truth. I add that when the judge told a distressed Assange that future hearings would be at Belmarsh ‘so that you won’t have so far to travel’ it was one of the most chilling things I’ve seen.”
    — John Rees, Oct 22, 2019 (@JohnWRees)

  5. Nicole
    October 24, 2019 at 11:39

    Thank you Craig Murray for your portrayal of the atrocities that have been inflicted upon Assange. It is incredibly distressing and I could feel every chilling word you said in that unlawful place called a courtroom, a place meant for fair trials and justice.. It is also from your website that I was able to gather much information while I was investigating the sex allegations on Julian, and was was able to change a lot of people’s mind about the false accusations against him that was so readily spread by mainstream media. So I thank you again.

    Accurate information by thinking people is so vital these days to help us sift through the smoke and mirrors enacted by our corrupt, self serving system and callous, heartless elites. But what can we do? They are killing him before our eyes. The only other thing I can thing of other than spreading truthful is widespread revolt but too many people don’t don’t realise they are perpetrators to the continuance of this evil that is infiltrating all of our lives. I fear for Julian I really do. We must all rise.

    • Lily
      October 25, 2019 at 02:41

      Unfortunatly the smearing of Julian Assange and the lies about the rape have influenced too many people for too long. Too many people who should have known better believed this smearing campaign too easily. Julian Assange has been left alone for too long. Most people waited too long to fight for him.

      Now the courageous Australian government finally starts to react. Why did they not interfere ealier? They had ten years to at least try to protect their own citizen from two fascist regimes. The same goes for all of Europe and all other states that are vassals of the US.

      Edward Snowden says in one of his interviews that when he was forced to stay in Moskwa airport he applied for asylum in 37 countries. In each single case there have been threatening phone calls from either John Kerry or MacCain saying if you do this something really bad will happen to you. The New York Times, TheGuardian and DER SPIEGEL changed their attitude towards Assange although they profited widely from the Wikileaks Publications. Since then i and many others stopped reading these papers and took to alternative media like CN, MOA and RT or Sputnik online.

      Thank you, Craig Murray, thank you so much for your article! It almost broke my heart. In my whole life i have never witnessed anything like this. It is unbelievable that this injustice is happening in the middle of Europe, in an English court with everyone watching: the torture and slow murder of a single and frail human being who has done nothing but telling the truth.

      I do hope that after this article resistance will grow. That people will become more active by demonstrating, spreading this article around and telling the truth about Julian Assange. I pray that he will survive this ordeal and be free again. The only secure place for him would be in Russia.

  6. GMCasey
    October 24, 2019 at 11:39

    I wonder what the UK jailers are giving Julian tp eat and drink. What disempowering medicines have you put into food and water? What good can come of keeping a human being sequestered 23 hours a day? After 7 years in that embassy, where Ecuador allowed the spies to spy everywhere, even on Julian and his lawyers. It is perfectly obvious that the U.S. and the UK are in cahoots. So many horrible people to credit this non -stop torture to—-so how are you doing Mr. Peace Prize president Obama with your thrill in bringing back the Espionage Act?
    Just another hollow president—–citizens would hope that the first American president who was African American would see his current history as a horror to human rights everywhere. Now England, you were faster on excising slavery than America—but who are these judges and why are Americans there running the operation in the background?
    Of course, back in America, Bush walks around free and how many nations of the world had thousands murdered by him? America is corrupt, the UK is corrupt—— T.S Eliot was correct: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, with a whimper.”

  7. October 24, 2019 at 10:47

    Is this another quid pro quo? How much is the US giving the UK to destroy Julian Assange?

    Thank you, Mr. Murray, for this account.

    • rosemerry
      October 24, 2019 at 14:07

      This is UK Justice, and they want to become more like the USA and leave any EU limitations.

  8. cyennne
    October 24, 2019 at 10:30

    I’m not a lawyer, but I have some simple questions. Why is it that Julian’s defense team seems to have no redress when the judges flaunt the rule of law and make a mockery of all attempts by the lawyers to mount their arguments? Are judges allowed simply “rule” willy-nilly, as they wish, against all due process and so-called right to fair and impartial hearing? Are there no checks and balances there? Why has none of his lawyers publicly called for the removal of these have judges, or at least denounced their outrageous comments and behaviour?

    It would surely do so much for public morale to see Julian’s lawyers stand up to flagrant criminality of the judges’ abuse in their callous show of bias. So, Assange’s lawyers just have to take whatever the judge dishes out no matter how outrageous? — Even so far as when the judge says something like: “The defense is wasting the courts time with their arguments…’ ? (paraphrased from Pilger’s interview with Afshin Rattansi on “Going Underground”) This is… It’s mind boggling. How can they take this? If only his lawyers would decry this publicly, denounce the judges’ behaviour in this show trial, then maybe the MSM outlets would HAVE to pick it up. Would they be ‘held in contempt’ ?

    But considering that the judge has effectively forbidden the defense from making their case, what’s to lose? Are the lawyers afraid of ruining their careers, perhaps? I think that the world would hang on the lawyers’ every word at this point, and if they really stood up to the judges, then – when the dust cleared – they’d find that themselves publicly applauded the world over and the case would take on the drama needed at this point to capture global attention. Or maybe some of his lawyers are being blackmailed, threatened…? It’s hard to know what to think, as the lawyers are so silent on the abuse they suffer in court. This is so unreal… This is a public case, like it or not. Many high profile people have been following this case for almost a decade. With so little information coming from the lawyers, it just seems that the legal team is cooperating too readily with the courts, and, effectively keeping the people in the dark. The story is getting buried journalists alone can do only so much in this climate of censorship.

    • Robin Gibson
      October 24, 2019 at 22:49

      Judges here in the US do such things on a regular basis.

  9. Anon
    October 24, 2019 at 09:57

    This is one of the saddest events I have witnessed in my entire life. I am afraid that they will indeed murder him in prison. They must be administering psychotropic drugs and torture to create this condition. God help Julian Assange and God help all of us. This is truly the definition of pure evil!

    • KateinHI
      October 26, 2019 at 19:24

      I’m just as stunned and frothing w/anger at US and our leaders, including Obama. The country is led by thugs.

  10. Linda Lewis
    October 24, 2019 at 09:29

    The Jeffrey Epstein case proves the US government cannot be trusted with keeping alive any prisoner who existence threatens to expose secrets of the rich and powerful. Sending Assange to the US would be a politically-based death sentence. The reported US attempt to kidnap Assange from Ecuador’s embassy is further evidence of contempt for the law.

  11. October 24, 2019 at 06:00

    The last line should read “how many more” as there have been many who went to prison for speaking the truth, many who lost their jobs and had their profession destroyed as well as their reputations. Assange has suffered the most publicly when it comes to state torture, and the US will not be content with his destruction mentally or physically. They want him dead and for the entire world to understand this is what they will do to all truth-tellers, whistle blowers, any and all who out the govt. for crimes large and small.
    What all of them have done to Assange is a crime against humanity, but psychopaths have no conscious and they are often the ones in command of our lives. One thing is for certain, the US has been outed as the real terrorist, hater of democracy, fair trials, a free press, and all those who got into bed with the US are no better. This is tragic on every level.

  12. October 24, 2019 at 04:48

    Thank you, Craig Murray.

    A wonderful piece of writing on a terrible set of events.

    We all feel Assange’s powerlessness in the face of shadowy tyranny.

    We all feel the lack of reason and logic by unreasoning state actors.

  13. jmg
    October 24, 2019 at 03:38

    “[The judge’s] bias was incandescent. I’ve never seen — I’ve sat in a number of courts all over the world — I’ve never seen anything like this.”
    — John Pilger, Oct 23, 2019

    (From the video interview “Julian Assange’s Extradition Case is a SHOW TRIAL – John Pilger”)

  14. Forthestate
    October 24, 2019 at 03:12

    Worth remembering that all this is being done to a man who is on remand, and has not been convicted of anything. Convicted murderers are not treated like this; he’s a journalist. I’ve never seen anything in Britain quite like this in my lifetime – nothing this blatant. The extradition treaty makes clear that no one can be extradited on political charges. The charges under the Espionage Act are, by definition, political, and even the US prosecutor doesn’t believe the hacking charge.. They should already have been dismissed. Furthermore, the UK has refused to comply with a request from a Spanish judge asking for Assange to give video evidence for a Spanish trial in which a Spanish company is being prosecuted for spying on Assange and his legal team on behalf of the US while he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy, the outcome of which could, obviously, have bearings on his extradition. I understand that refusing an EIO (European Investigation Order) of this nature is unprecedented.

    See the report in El Pais, October 23, 2019

    The law is being disregarded, circumvented, and applied to excess – that is to say, abused – in open defiance of anyone’s ability to do anything about it. What is this man doing in permanent solitary confinement, in contempt of the UN rapporteurs assessment of his treatment as torture, in a maximum security prison, when the only thing he can be said to have done is his job as a journalist, informing us of the crimes and misdemeanours of all our governments – not just the US – which still go without redress? The media are the willingly muzzled accomplices to this destruction of one of their own, silent unless it’s to further demonise a man whose output puts them firmly in context as the state stenographers that they are. We are reduced to being onlookers as our judicial process is publicly placed at the disposal of the US embassy, and not one mainstream outlet says a word. This appears to be the moment when British justice is finally revealed to be the circus that it is. God help Julian, and God help us all after this.

  15. Robert Schwartz
    October 23, 2019 at 17:07

    Somehow legal pretense must be maintained no matter how flimsy. And I’m not a lawyer, or British, but I do figure the Brits will find a legal fig leaf to hide behind.

    Looking to where it might be found I considered 2(a): “an obligation pursuant to a multilateral international agreement to extradite…”

    Would we know of one if it existed?

    Any thoughts, anyone?

  16. October 23, 2019 at 16:23

    UK blocks Spanish judge from questioning Julian Assange over spying allegations:

    El Pais, October 23, 2019

  17. ikallicrates
    October 23, 2019 at 15:55

    From the day Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy and taken to Belmarsh Prison, I was sure he would never leave Belmarsh alive. And no one would do anything to stop his murder.

  18. Peter S Cavanaugh
    October 23, 2019 at 15:51

    Yes I too am very angry and disturbed by this disgraceful display of totalitarian bullying and blatant torture by the UK and US governments. The freedoms and human rights that our forefathers fought and sacrificed for are being swept away by these corrupt new age parasite elites.

    Come on Britons : let us find the courage of the Catalans and the Chinese in Hong Kong! Its time to ‘man up’ and march on London.
    1 million of 7 million Catalonia citizens marched into their capitol Barcelona and shut it down to protest the Spanish courts seizing and jailing their elected leaders.
    Imagine what 9 million of 66 million lionhearted Britons could achieve – such a number would shut down London, and in particular our failed Parliament, the overlord US Embassy and Belmarsh prison areas for their crimes against free speech, humanity and conscience.

    WE THE PEOPLE demand the unconditional and immediate release of Australian Julian Assange back to his home country. He has done nothing more than raise a small corner of Pandora’s box to expose the nest of war mongering, psychopathic, lying, paedophile elites lining their bloated pockets at our expense and misery.
    WE THE PEOPLE demand a rigorous overhaul of the subverted judiciary and swift deportation of every CIA and State Department slime-bag psychopath from these British Isles.
    These will be but our first proud steps in removing this cancer of suppression and corruption, to restoring our pride, our dignity and our sovereign integrity.

    • Nicole Louis
      October 24, 2019 at 08:30

      Well said. I am not in Britain but wish the people there would rise against this atrocity and the unlawful power of the British Magistrate. This is an atrocity and Assange is being killed before our eyes. Unfortunately it seems the British, Americans and Australians have been so dumbed down and are barely surviving enslavement to take to the streets, it seems. But we all need to rise, reclaim our power and get Assange freed.

    • Sherlyn
      October 24, 2019 at 12:52


      These sentiments of hatred over human torture are profound.

      Freedom isnt free; and repressing honest journalism via social media…left to your heartfelt opinion that repression of due process… WHAT TIMES ARE WE IN?

      God Bless the Judiary at this critical juncture..

  19. Anonymot
    October 23, 2019 at 14:10

    In February the impeachment trial against one Mr. Trump may be beginning.The extradition of Assange would make a good media distraction like, “See what I did and no one else could do!”

    Of course, it’s always difficult to know what the CIA is up to, because they are as corrupt, incompetent, and insane as Trump.

  20. October 23, 2019 at 13:03

    Should we be comforted by the knowledge that Washington has not yet provided its British henchmen with a bone saw with which to dismember Julian Assange? Meanwhile, there will, of course, be no further investigation of the late Jeffrey Epstein’s three-decades-long Mossad pedophile sex blackmail circus masquerading as philanthropy on U.S. soil under the noses of those who are desperate to silence and lock up forever or kill Assange.

  21. Barbara Ringwald
    October 23, 2019 at 12:58

    Dear Craig Murray,
    Thank you for reporting with such astute observation the precarious situation and mental condition of Julian Assange. It made me very sad as well. I currently live in Ecuador, and when Julian was betrayed and delivered to the Powers there was an enormous public outcry. It took me hours to read through the outpour of love and gratitude.
    Would it be possible to go VERY public with this article? Send it to the most discerning human rights organizations around the world? To organizers of peaceful marches for good causes? To the many personalities known for high integrity who would organize MASS PRAYERS? We know that evil thrives on the despair and hopelessness of the population, on hatred and stress. What if enough of us don’t resign to this and instead turn to our power of love that is far superior? Mass prayers on the court date in February would be a powerful interference. In addition to mass protests outside that are visible to the world.

    Barbara Ringwald

  22. gus heim
    October 23, 2019 at 12:33

    Everything that is happening and has happened to Julian is shameful, AND is happening to TRUMP.
    For over three years the DEEP STATE has constantly attacked him because he cant be bought either! I think it is a miracle that TRUMP has survived this long , mentally and physically! The citizens of the world must wake up, The politicians are ALL corrupt if left in office too long. More that 8 years is too long ! AND No pensions, The rich can buy anyone and look who is suffering.

    God Bless you Julian.

    • October 24, 2019 at 09:58

      There is no comparison between trump and Assange. Trump is a buffoon catering to the demands of the elite, he has the freedom to pitch fits and throw childish temper tantrums while Assange sits in a cell 23 hours a day away from human contact. Trump is continuing the oval office’s corruption and misuse of power.
      Assange’s only crime was to expose our government’s wrong doing and possibly hold them accountable to the people. And He is the one that is treated like a terrorist.

  23. John Richard Starkey
    October 23, 2019 at 12:29

    Has there been thought given to reaching out to presidential candidates in the U.S.? Among the
    more than 20 candidates there may be at least one who will speak out on Julian’s behalf. And
    perhaps at least one who has an influential contact in Britain who can help.

    • Forthestate
      October 24, 2019 at 02:13

      Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii in the running for the presidential candidacy has spoken out in support of him, saying she would drop charges. Google ‘Tulsi Gabbard Assange’ for any number of links. The world would change for the better if she won. Hillary Clinton is busy smearing her as a Russian agent, but that appears to have backfired badly.

  24. Mark
    October 23, 2019 at 12:09

    Distressing and disgusting are understatement of what the UK and US establishment are doing to this journalist and publisher. The mainstream reporting of Julian’s treatment has been attrocious at the same time as they have benefited from his primary investigative work.
    Just checking: We still live in Western democracies where we have fair and equitable justice systems, and all including those currently in power are held to account, or have I been transported to some alternative timeline where the fascists actually won WWII?

    • Nick
      October 24, 2019 at 10:23

      The fascists did win WWII. To paraphrase George Carlin, we didn’t go to war with Germany because they were fascist, we went to war with Germany because they were cutting in on our action.

  25. Michael
    October 23, 2019 at 12:04

    Julian’s arrest was more like a special rendition, this time by the UK, in subservience to the Great Satan.

  26. Figueiredo
    October 23, 2019 at 11:40

    It is not the State that is torturing and trying to kill slowly the citizen Julian Assange, but the financial/clerical power, the British regime, and the United States of America (USA), who take over the state apparatus to subvert it by serving interests that are unrelated to Justice and citizens.

  27. October 23, 2019 at 10:05

    Barrister, some impartial magistrate! Shows how completely Orwellian this Western society has become. Not only that, but the media supporters of deep state will not even report this to the consumers of their drivel. I thank Craig Murray for this sickening report. The cruelty of the UK and US is beyond belief. What can we actually do?

  28. Donald Duck
    October 23, 2019 at 09:33

    It is argued that there is no comparison between the treatment of Assange by the west’s PTB and that of the Stalinist show trials in the 1930s. I don’t agree with that. At least the victims of Stalin and the NKVD were dispatched pretty quickly with a bullet in the brain. Assange, however, is being slowly and methodically tortured to death, just as an example for anyone else who falls foul of the CIA/GCHQ/NSA/MI6/Mossad establishment.

    What utterly deranged and repugnant specimens these people are. All no doubt have degrees from the Madeleine Albright school of infant mass murder. ‘It was worth it.’

  29. Nathan Mulcahy
    October 23, 2019 at 08:35

    I have long stopped reading/watching any corporate media in the US. Recently I have expanded my boycott also to overseas media outlets that have not decisively protested Assange’s treatment. This is the single most important test to decide whether an outlet practices journalism or propaganda.

    If this sounds a bit extreme, you are mistaken. There are so many excellent non-corporate media outlets, that one can be extremely well informed. In fact, I believe, a complete boycott of the corporate media is a prime requirement for being well informed. (The only reason one should follow the corporate media is when one needs to know their machinations, whether due to professional reasons or because of activism). Remember – anyone who reads/watches these corporate presstitute products is financing and supporting them. Please think again if you really want to support the enemy.

    I am heart broken by what is being done to Assange. The least I can do is to not support/finance the corporate prestitutes.

  30. Moi
    October 23, 2019 at 08:05

    I thought it was the basis of all law that a person IS innocent until PROVEN guilty.

  31. Arnaud
    October 23, 2019 at 03:57

    “I do not fear the return of the fascists in the guise of fascists, I fear the return of the fascists in the guise of democrats. “Adorno

  32. jmg
    October 23, 2019 at 03:05


    “United Kingdom makes it difficult for a Spanish judge to interrogate Assange for espionage suffered in London

    “The magistrate defends that Spain is competent in the case and that the British attitude is unprecedented”

    Translation of Spanish news:


    “Reino Unido dificulta que un juez español interrogue a Assange por el espionaje sufrido en Londres

    “El magistrado defiende que España es competente en el caso y que la actitud británica no tiene precedentes”

    El País, Oct 23, 2019

    • jmg
      October 23, 2019 at 16:40

      The Spanish report on Assange also says:

      “The British position, unprecedented in this kind of requests for judicial cooperation, is interpreted in Spanish judicial circles as a show of resistance to the consequences that this case could have in the process of extradition of the cyber activist to the United States. . . .

      “It is an automatic judicial cooperation body and there are no causes for its refusal, except in exceptional cases. . . .

      “On October 14, De la Mata responded to the British agency through a letter to which EL PAÍS had access. The holder of the Court of Instruction number 5 of the National Court shows his surprise and sends the affirmative answer that the UKCA has provided ‘in other previous cases’ in which he has requested videoconference interviews. Responses, based on article 30 of International Cooperation Against Crime, in which the only obstacle it contemplates is that the interrogation be a defendant. And he states: ‘In this case Julian Assange is a witness, not a defendant.’ . . .

      “Spanish judicial sources do not hide their discomfort from the response of the Central Authority of the United Kingdom and emphasize that in the OEI that they process, the jurisdiction of the country that requests them is not questioned, nor are there impediments to the taking of a witness’s videoconference statement.”

  33. October 23, 2019 at 02:32

    Regarding the February hearing date . . . just a guess that it could have something to do with Presidential primaries.

  34. Curious
    October 23, 2019 at 01:19

    Mr Murray,
    Thank you so much for this updated report on J.A. My heart weeps at the callousness, disrespect, and the hypocrisy involving the laws of the UK, and the US. It sickens me to read your report.
    I read there was some activity in Australia to guilt more and more politicians into bringing Julian home to Australia and to honor his citizenship. I can only hope this is true as they are only up to ten politicians currently, but these few people approximate what seems like a moral rudder. I’m sure the US would threaten a loss of the ‘five eyes’ intelligence but Julian is worth the challenge.
    How dare the US and the UK exclaim to the world “we are a system of laws” which should be replicated in the pursuit of “true democracy” elsewhere in the world. The lies are obvious.
    Something has to be done soon to give Julian access to records, prepare a defense and respect his health. And to provide an unbiased judge would be the honorable thing to do. A judge allowing no reasonable defense in this situation of importance should be disbarred and tossed from the bench. To judge anything regarding Julian needs a judge with hutzpah and a real understanding of how a defendant is mistreated right in front of her eyes. She is disgrace, and for JA to not seem clear headed is frightening.
    A movement should be engendered to take this judge off the case, as she has exhibited callous disregard for the defendant, with an obvious bias.
    If ‘money talks’ I wonder how much she is making in this false court? Please continue to advise us on how we can help Julian, as it far past the letters he may, or not, receive. Are his lawyers smart enough to combat these atrocities?

  35. LA Schuler
    October 22, 2019 at 23:37

    As an American, I am exceedingly disturbed and alarmed by this report. There is much in our country and indeed the world that has been corrupted by power-hungry wicked. But there are yet millions of decent persons who are trying their hardest to turn things around. We support our president completely. It took a nonpolitician who had nothing he needed from the established government theater to stand in their way for us. We’ve been sick of the growing corruption for decades. It has reached peak level. The President realizes that he has taken on the task of his life. His enemies hate him, but if it weren’t him, they would hate anyone in his shoes. I’m a quiet citizen and educator who likes to write, and I will write my legislators and even the President about Julian. I don’t know what might happen, but all avenues must be explored.

  36. Jeff Harrison
    October 22, 2019 at 22:22

    God I hate to say this but I think that Assange should simply boycott the proceedings. It is clearly a kangaroo court. I don’t think he should dignify it with any form of recognition that it is in anyway legitimate. It certainly won’t alter the already determined outcome.

    • V 4 VENDETTA
      October 23, 2019 at 01:32

      Sadly Julian will not even be afforded the dignity of “boycotting the proceedings” aka: Kangaroo court. From the time I personally donated to Julian and wikileaks in 2011, I knew he was correct and that one day I would have to decide if I would protest in VA or DC and be arrested tomake a statement. Most of us know our govt is the Terrorist and its run by sociopaths., If only our election process WAS real we could vote out these criminals. Sadly we cannot . YET.

    • October 23, 2019 at 02:08

      He can’t afford to boycott the proceedings as ridiculous and obscene as they are; his life is on the line. The magistrate will be more than happy to swiftly rule against him without a trial.

    • padre
      October 23, 2019 at 06:46

      And just how do you suppose, he can do that, go back to torture chamber, till he suddenly commits a suicide?

  37. John Drake
    October 22, 2019 at 21:24

    Britain(its elite) are demonstrating the same brutality they showed during the days of the empire. I remember in HS seeing a picture of what they did to the Sepoy mutineers(who were revolting Indian troops). They tied them to the muzzles of canons and fired-appalling and incredibly messy. These white monsters had the gaul to call their exploited peoples “savages”.
    There was a Swiss Jungian analyst who went over the child rearing books of the generation who sired the Third Reich, “For Your Own Good”, Alice Miller. The basic philosophy was that a child was a wild creature that had to be beaten into civility. Hitler was beaten daily. Stalin was the son of a highly abusive drunk. When I read that book and thought of the caning in the English “public” schools such as Eton; I thought that the British uppers weren’t much better. I visited Eton once when I was 12; it totally gave me the creeps-mid-evil the students dressed in tails and stove pipe hats. Couldn’t get much more elitist and repressive.
    And then there is the American upper class who send their brats to the proper country day school to prep for the proper boarding school to prep for the proper Ivy league college which is the ticket to Wall Street or other high level positions of avarice and exploitation.

    • John Drake
      October 22, 2019 at 21:35

      PS I have read letters from Churchill when he was a child in one of those schools, expressing loneliness and missing his family under the confines of a system that destroyed childhood. It was quite different, human, from the unrepentant colonialist beast and alcoholic he later was as an adult-sad.

  38. dean 1000
    October 22, 2019 at 21:23

    The hearing didn’t even rise to the level of a Kangaroo Court. The judge simply followed the instructions of the prosecutor or the U.S. agents.
    Can the Magistrate’s decision be appealed? What is the name of the court of general jurisdiction in the UK?

    Good links to El Pais.

    The government can’t beat Assange in a fair trial. That is why he won’t get one.

  39. Jill
    October 22, 2019 at 20:01

    Give me a moment to connect two seemingly disparate events: Assange and the siege on the Venezuelan embassy in the US. At the embassy it was clear the USG was running the showing against the legitimate embassy invitees at the highest level of this government.

    The rule of law was both suspended, then violated by police forces both local and federal levels. Police were not neutral, they clearly worked with Juan’s people to deny food, electricity, sanitation, cooling etc. to legitimate invitees. Police at both local and federal levels allowed the illegal and dangerous use of lasers in the eyes of those who were legitimate invitees. In other words, this was a clear example of all levels of illegal authority and despicable/dangerous action being brought to bear against a lawful action by invitees. This is exactly Assange’s position.

    There is not only no rule of law with regards to him, there is unlawful authority using illegal and dangerous methods to destroy him. So I am thinking of the one thing that helped even the odds at the embassy. That was when Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow coalition came to show support. The police were, for a moment, unable to stop food and medicine reaching the lawful invitees.

    Assange must be freed from that prison and I believe it will take a group of people, even one or two, with enough stature to make the authorities back off. It needs to be someone from the EU, preferably the UK that ordinary people there respect. Perhaps a retired judge who is appalled by what they are seeing? Perhaps a member of parliament or someone running for office? A scientist/doctor? A barrister who is appalled? Soldiers? It’s going to take people of courage who are willing to stand up and take what their evil and unjust govt. will hand out. This isn’t going to be pretty but the govt. needs to be embarrassed enough in front of the people to understand they just can’t keep doing this.

    Of course I am certain that the lawyers will keep trying every legal means for freeing Assange and I hope this will work. But it seems this has moved well beyond any legal redress. The UK people aren’t in love with their government’s corruption. I believe this will give a tiny window for people of some kind of stature to show courage and demand Assange’s immediate release.

  40. Naila
    October 22, 2019 at 18:25

    Everyone who can, be there at Belmarsh prison in Feb.

    • October 23, 2019 at 02:13

      Great suggestion!

    • Norma Fletcher
      October 23, 2019 at 06:37

      Dear Naila what about a 24/7 vigil outside Belmarsh from now till february like the anti apartheid vigil outside the SA embassy in London ? People volunteered but there was always at least a couple of people there, I would definately volunteer for that ? Julian needs to know he is not alone.

  41. ranney
    October 22, 2019 at 17:30

    This is absolutely terrifying! What the US and the UK is doing goes against all reasonable law. If the two governments can get away with this, then we are all doomed and we need to wake up and realize that our democracy is now dead. I cannot see any real difference between the behavior of the US and the UK and the behavior of Uzbekistan or some other mad dictatorship.
    Thank you Craig for your unflinching honesty. I hope and pray that Assange survives this.

    • padre
      October 23, 2019 at 06:47

      Laws were made to keep you in place, not to protect you!

  42. Lois Gagnon
    October 22, 2019 at 16:36

    If this is not the definition of a hellish dystopia, what is? If these lunatics in control of the US Centralized Empire are not brought down, we are all of us doomed.

  43. Brockland
    October 22, 2019 at 16:00

    Assange is alive because of the fear of creating a dead martyr coupled with the desire to make an example of him – again short of making a martyr.

    His zombified head on a spike sends a disturbingly seasonal message.

    Julian Assange is still inspiring, though. As long as he’s still alive, there’s hope he can be pulled out of that black hole. Aussies are tough.

  44. jmg
    October 22, 2019 at 15:32

    On this article (here titled “Assange Displayed Signs of Torture in Courtroom Farce”):

    “This may be the most important article you will ever read. I’m not exaggerating. I beg you now to read it. #JulianAssange in Court – Craig Murray”
    — George Galloway, Oct 22, 2019

  45. Anton Vodvarka
    October 22, 2019 at 15:01

    Both U.K. and Sweden have been revealed themselves for what they have become, subservient lickspittles of NATO militarism, no more independent from American foreign policy than Ecuador and with not much more procedural democracy than that banana republic.

  46. AElfwine Nerevar
    October 22, 2019 at 14:29

    This is England
    We can chain you to the rail
    This is England
    We can kill you in a jail

    -Joe Stummer

    • Mark
      October 23, 2019 at 11:53

      Just a clarification:
      Song: This is England
      Written by: Bernard Rhodes and Joe Strummer
      First preformed by: The Clash

      Where are the Punks now when we need them?

  47. October 22, 2019 at 14:13

    My heart breaks – thanks Craig for this grim but needed report. I will share widely. I pray for Julian.

  48. mary Floyd
    October 22, 2019 at 13:51

    Thank you so very much for informing us who care about Julian Assange and his horrific situation of his latest public appearance. Your article was hard to read, but now we know beyond a doubt that the US is truly the Evil Empire and is doing everything possible to destroy this wonderful human being so undeservedly being tortured every single hour of every single day. If only there was something we could do to help him….
    I certainly hope that you are able to be in attendance at his hearing at Belmarsh when it happens. .. and if you are fortunate enough to be there, the hope is that Julian knows you are!

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