PRESS FREEDOM’S FAILURE TO THRIVE: The case of Julian Assange and the Chill it Puts on Democracy
It’s December. If you are in Europe, it’s cold. If you are in Britain, it is cold and damp. The kind of cold that seeps into your bones, causes arthritis pain, pneumonia and hypothermia. If you are underweight the cold could kill you. If you don’t have thick drapes, woollen or down-filled clothes, hot drinks or the ability to move around to keep warm, a sense of panic and utter exhaustion could overtake you. You could die like a prisoner in a Russian gulag or holocaust victim left to perish in the cold — life slipping away in the frigid environment into a slumber from which they never awake. That’s what’s happening to Julian Assange right now in a British prison.
According to Ms. Moris (mother of Assange’s young sons): “Julian still hasn’t been given his warm clothes. The prison gave him two blankets, but it’s not enough to keep the cold out. His window is permanently boarded up with books for insulation. It’s still freezing at night.” (Dec. 15, 2020)
Assange is unconvicted of any crime. Britain is holding him on behalf of the United States. I’ve called it Britain’s “Hold My Beer” effort to suppress Press Freedom. In legal-speak, it’s Arbitrary Detention.
The added psychological distress of the upcoming UK court decision to either extradite him (transfer the beer from Britain’s beer fridge to the US’s beer fridge) must be excruciating. Then add to that the fact that Assange, does have warm clothing which the prison is sadistically withholding from him — then the clarity of a crime emerges: Britain has been, and is currently, murdering Julian Assange. He has a microscopic possibility of surviving the remainder of the month, let alone the winter under the current environmental deprivations. He cannot thrive. He is weak and emaciated.
How the CIA tortured its detainees
The CIA, and the Senate intelligence committee, would rather avoid the word "torture," preferring euphemisms like…
I wrote about the wilful murder of Julian Assange last March and this post aims to reiterate my loud accusation against Boris Johnson, the UK Ministry of Justice, the United States Department of Justice and anyone else participating in this deliberate act of eliminating a world prominent, award winning Freedom Fighter, Humanitarian and Journalist.
As you read this, please subtract some of the comforts in your life: Do you have a heat source in your home? Turn it off, open a window. Do you have warm clothes? Remove a number of layers and change into a long sleeved shirt (polyester and cotton permitted, no polar fleece allowed). No coats, no hats, scarves or mitts allowed. No coffee, tea, liquor, hot cider. Nothing. Make sure you are starving, not sure when your next crappy meal will arrive through a slot in your door. Forget about calling your doctor, drinking a bunch of orange juice or taking vitamin supplements to boost your immunity. Oh, and you have osteoarthritis, so you can’t take any pain meds either. You don’t have a computer or phone or internet access (effective after you finish reading this). You haven’t had a meeting with your lawyers since September when you were stuck in a glass box / fish tank in a UK court and any contact you’ve had with them has been in 10 min. broken intervals by unsecured phone lines. Then there’s Covid. You are surrounded, in separate cells, by a high-percentage of Covid infected inmates, guards, orderlies and prison staff. Your every move is under the watch of surveillance cameras. If you lie down, it’s on a shitty bed with a decrepit mattress, very little light (because you’ve blocked off the window to minimize cold drafts) and you notice the bugs, smells, sounds, rodents and consternation of other inmates. You are kept awake most of the day by noises, startles, hunger, anxious thoughts about impending doom and being transferred to a US beer fridge… . Then at night, there might be stretches of time which are less noisey and you might be able to sleep — except that your body is shivering, your stomach is beyond growling, your body cannot keep up with the calories required to burn muscle and generate body heat; you know you are losing muscle mass, your immune system cannot support fighting a killer virus, or pneumonia and the panic that arises is almost unbearable. There is no heat at night. Your warm clothes are out of reach and you are intensely aware that whomever is withholding them from you is playing a cruel, tortuous long-game of psychological and physical torture. Your mind understands that this was done to the men in Guantanamo Bay, under the U.S. Torture Program. Your body feels the cruelty but fights nevertheless.
You want a miracle.
You want other journalists to rise up before they fall victim to the same treatment meted out to you over 10 years. In the deep freeze isolation of Belmarsh, you have no way of communicating what is actually happening behind the walls of a “democratic” country’s prison walls. You can only hope and pray that someone writes a blog before you close your eyes for your longest sleep.
Now turn off your lights, don’t go outside, don’t eat for the remainder of the day, turn off your heat and take some warm layers of clothing off. No hot baths. No hot drinks.
Let that sink in….
Please do not be a bystander to what crime is being committed in Britain, at Her Majesty’s Belmarsh prison. Swiftly, like Khashoggi or slowly… either way, it’s Murder. It sends a chill down my spine. Imagine how Julian Assange feels.
Be like Ryerson College in Toronto, Canada. Defend Julian Assange.
Do not take Assange’s presence on the planet for granted. He is medically fragile and urgently needs our help.