Assange’s wife sounds alarm over his treatment — Analysis
WikiLeaks founder was subjected to ‘especially cruel’ treatment after extradition to US was approved in UK, Stella Moris has said
Julian Assange was strip-searched and moved to a bare cell on the very day the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition to the US, the WikiLeaks founder’s wife, Stella Moris, told journalists on Thursday. According to Stella Moris, the 50-year-old was held in that cell for one weekend while guards searched it.
“Prison is a constant humiliation but what happened on Friday felt especially cruel,”Moris said that Assange married Moris in March and that guards told Assange that everything was done “for his own protection.”
Moris claims that guards looked for items that could allow a person take their life. The guards at Assange’s bare cell checked Assange every hour, until Assange was released and allowed to go back to his cell.
The WikiLeaks founder is currently in maximum security Belmarsh Prison, south-eastern London. He was placed there as part of the UK’s decision to extradite him to the US in April 2019. He was transferred to US custody by Patel, who approved it on June 17th.
A British court had initially refused the extradition request on the grounds that Assange may otherwise kill himself, or that he’d be subjected to inhumane treatment in US detention. But Washington successfully appealed the ruling, offering the UK assurances that the Australian’s rights would be observed.
“The fact he is imprisoned while this outrageous extradition proceeds is a grave injustice in itself. He needs to deal with all that, while preparing for a complex appeal to the High Court,” Moris said. Assange has the right to appeal against the decision within 14 calendar days.
“This kind of thing never becomes more tolerable. Anyone would find this degrading. The mental strain on Julian is enormous as it is, having to process what is essentially a death sentence,”Moris added that extradition to America would be a good idea. “drive him to take his own life.”
You don’t have to be some. “regular discussion about mental health,”She insists, and adds that “we are talking about driving a person to take their own life.”
Moris, who is married to Assange but has two kids, has made it a point to “use every available avenue”And “every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free.” John Rees, a leading member of the campaign aimed at making the authorities free Assange has also branded Patel’s ruling “illegal” and said the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters “need to redouble our efforts to stop the extradition.”
According to the UK Home Office, British courts are being respected. “have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange,”They also said that they believed his rights would always be respected.
Since 2010, Assange is a US target. WikiLeaks released a collection of cables from the State Department and Pentagon documents detailing alleged war crimes by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has since been accused of attempting to hack Pentagon computers and is charged under America’s Espionage Act, over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified materials. He could spend up to 175 years in prison if he is extradited to America.
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