ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Assange Not Sick With Covid-19, But Says Many in Belmarsh Are

In a phone conversation with Vaughan Smith, Julian Assange, apparently uninfected, says the virus is “ripping through” Belmarsh prison and that he spends 30 minutes a day in a crowded prison yard.

Consortium News

Julian Assange has told a friend in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that he is living in a prison in which the coronavirus is “ripping through” the population.  He told photojournalist Vaughan Smith, founder of London’s Frontline Club, that he is isolated 23 1/2 hours a day and spends 30 minutes in a prison yard packed with other inmates. More than 150 Belmarsh guards are in self-isolation and the prison is barely functioning, Smith said.

Assange did not show up for a video link to his case management hearing at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.  A court official was overheard by three people present in the courtroom saying that Assange was “unwell.”  He is not infected with Covid-19, but Vaughan says his life is threatened by it in prison.


Julian Assange called me yesterday from Belmarsh prison. His incarceration in the time of Covid 19 threatens his…

Posted by Vaughan Smith on Thursday, April 9, 2020

14 comments for “ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Assange Not Sick With Covid-19, But Says Many in Belmarsh Are

  1. Anna Thoms
    April 11, 2020 at 14:30

    Julian’s support from Anonymous is a major issue for the administration and the party. Even then, this group is well organized and they never forgive, never forget.

  2. John Drake
    April 10, 2020 at 14:39

    The last several years I keep appreciating what is was like for decent Germans in 1933.
    Unlike Americans the Germans learned from their mistakes; but it took getting their country destroyed to do it.
    This virus might just do the trick here.

  3. April 10, 2020 at 12:55

    keep up the good work. this continuing work is essential public service
    There can be no strong democracy, with credible laws and institutions, in a country where citizens dedicate themselves exclusively to their own private affairs, ignoring politics and showing indifference to the destiny of the community. Hence, to strengthen democracy today, the most pressing task is to restore people’s appreciation and practice of the virtues of citizenship.

    According to Aristotle, the purpose of politics is to create virtuous citizens.
    Without virtuous citizens performing their civic duties and political tasks, honoring the ethical framework of shared values and common principles that serve as the foundations of the nation’s customs and laws, and respecting the institutional limits of government and the state, democracy will degenerate into anarchy or tyranny.

    • April 10, 2020 at 18:52

      DEMOCRACY as defined by WEBSTER’S ….Usually a SOVEREIGN Nation where Free Elections are used to determine the Government “OF the PEOPLE
      Government “BY’ the PEOPLE
      Government “FOR the PEOPLE
      In most cases in the SO CALLED Free World there is NO TRUE DEMOCRACY unless you consider
      Government of the Corporations
      Government by the Corporations
      Government “FOR” the CORPORATIONS

  4. April 10, 2020 at 12:41

    The USA has tuned into an authoritarian nightmare. This is what happens when you speak truth to power while the criminals walk free.

    • April 10, 2020 at 18:57

      America is 244 years old this year …it is startling that for 222 of those years …”the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave have been engaged in some sort of war, battle etc etc all the same people died, slaughtered or just plain murdered usually to fulfill the demands of the Corporate conglomerate of the USA

  5. SRH
    April 10, 2020 at 11:49

    Assange’s predicament is shared, so far as I can tell, with many or most of the 90,000+ prisoners cooped up in cells (most cells are dual-occupancy, which obviously is not ideal). Thankfully, the health care in prisons is better than it was up to the end of the 1990s, when the NHS began taking it over, and obviously vastly better than that endured by the 2.3 million prisoners in the USA. But walking in circles for 30 minutes a day around an exercise yard, most of which are very small, is hardly the physical distancing demanded by the prisoners’ own government. What can staff do? Not a lot except keep away from prisoners. What can the authorities do? Plenty, such as releasing the vast numbers of people imprisoned, most of whom are anything but dangerous. I was almost imprisoned for a year a couple of months ago. My crime, for which the police demanded such a draconian sentence in court? Possession of a camera that didn’t exactly meet the specifications described in a ten-year-old court order. That’s the Britain we live in today, in which the police always go for the maximum punishment, no matter what the offence.

  6. Randal Marlin
    April 10, 2020 at 11:26

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama once said “Do we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for twenty-three hours a day for months, sometimes for years at a time? That is not going to make us safer. It’s not going to make us stronger.”
    So Julian Assange is being held for 23 and a half hours a day in solitary confinement in HM Prison Belmarsh. Because he skipped bail previously? But he was being held for what now appear to to be spurious charges, and he had reasonable fear that once extradited to Sweden he would be shipped to the U.S.A. I read in Wikipedia that Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons criticized Belmarsh in 2009 for the “extremely high” amount of force used to control inmates at the prison. I also read that between 2001 and 2002 it was used to detain a number of people indefinitely without charge or trial under the provisions of the Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, leading it to be called the “British version of Guantanamo Bay.”
    Now it would appear that his imprisonment, with COVID-19 around is life-threatening with the half-hour exposure to others. His psychological well-being is jeopardized from solitary confinement. Contact with others, but under safe conditions is the answer.
    “Habeas corpus” may turn into “habeas corpse” if care is not taken. A high degree of public interest and concern about his fate is warranted.

  7. April 10, 2020 at 10:35

    Thank you so much for this most urgent update. I cried when I saw the foto of Julian. -New York

  8. Jon Adams
    April 10, 2020 at 10:10

    We need to identify and remember those public officials – in the UK and US -who obviously are making sure that Julian Assange ends up dead.

    • April 10, 2020 at 13:01

      yes our democracy needs a Special Investigations for Protection of Democracy Division with real powers to be heard. Somebody invent how we can do this so it has real media bite ?

    • Skip Edwards
      April 10, 2020 at 17:17

      John, Thankyou for bring up the real reason that Julian is being held in Belmarsh Prison with deteriorating health COVID-19, or not being a threat. The hope by the US and other Western governments is that Julian will die of ‘natural causes’ in prison alleviating the need to worry about Western officials being tried for war crimes. Until those officials are brought before war crimes tribunal courts the US and many other countries of the world will continue on it’s ever quickening pace toward fascism. We all saw the terrible injustice being handed out to Julian Assange and did nothing. Who will be around to stand up for one of us when we most need them. We all should be terribly ashamed at our lack of action. One day soon that cowardly inaction on our part will come home to roost!

  9. April 10, 2020 at 09:23

    support for Julian from Anonymous is an enormous issue for the Administration and the party. Even after it’s over the group is well organized and they never forgive, never forget.

  10. Realist
    April 10, 2020 at 06:32

    What is taking so long to produce the supposed “due process” to which Assange is entitled? It seems they could expedite his delivery onto the United States if a “fair” and swift trial in America is what both governments wanted. It does seem that they are prolonging his presence in the nightmare of Belmarsh deliberately. I know he is not eager to be tried for his life in America (and the American system may not be eager to procedurally kill him considering the bad press they would get for it), but he may die of deliberate abuse long before any wheels of justice are put in motion with his keepers claiming clean hands. That does not go unnoticed.

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