On the 2nd March 2020 Fredrik. S. Heffermehl writes
(Google translation from Norwegian)
In 2010, 39-year-old Australian computer genius Julian Assange was the hero of the world press, Wikileaks had lined them with tremendous journalistic material. On Monday, February 24, 2020, half a dying wreck stood in court in London to defend itself against extradition to the United States. If he were to be sent to possible prison for 175 years in the United States, it is in fact the completion of a death sentence.
Assange has done nothing wrong, on the contrary, he has sought to expose and stop state crime. The United States has not punished its war criminals, instead they have pursued Assange with all their might. So far, they have succeeded beyond all expectation, in fact Assange has been on the run for eight years, kept locked up and isolated and brought to silence. In the Middle Ages, the prince committed abuses against his own subjects. This is something much worse, a faceless and powerful network that assists the United States across borders.
What Assange is a victim of is partly visible and partly invisible, state authorities interact with spies and clandestine services who have cooperated in abusing the laws and the judicial system and procedures to harm him. In this system, the protection of human rights and civil and political rights is abolished, says UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Meltzer.
The assaults against Assange continue, the UK court’s basis for keeping him imprisoned and ready for the extradition case was that he fled in asylum to escape an illegitimate Swedish arrest warrant for non-criminal offenses in Sweden. After his eight solitary years in asylum in Ecuador’s embassy, torture has continued through isolation in the Belmarsh high-security prison. It seems pointless evil when the judge during the extradition case insists on leaving Assange sitting in a bulletproof glass cage far behind his lawyers where he has difficulty hearing and communicating with his lawyers.
The assaults against Assange are carried out by the Swedish and British authorities on the basis of pressure from the US executive power. This should have been a wild fantasy. But, we should now have seen that US leaders and the entire Congress and the world media think it is perfectly okay to intervene in the judiciary of other countries – for Republicans, it is even right that the president undermine the judiciary’s independence in other countries for to improve their chances in the next election. And Joe Biden, former vice president, boasts openly that he got a state attorney in Ukraine deposed.
Many journalists have understood that the Assange case is also a death sentence for their freedom to expose American war crimes, but the media has long been strikingly ignorant of taking Assange in defense (read: overly willing to comply with the US sword campaign against Assange) . Many had been appalled by the US military’s filmed killing of civilians, the Collateral Murder. But strikingly effective, responsive and unison, the world media ensured that the public’s attention was diverted from serious state crime to the person of Assange, whether he was a journalist, that he did not care for his cat, did not wash.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, the Swiss lawyer Nils Meltzer, hesitated on the general impression of Assange as a nasty and morally questionable person, for a couple of years to address the matter. But he is half Swedish and awake in 2018 when a couple of Swedish police documents were shown to him. He found both counterfeit police interrogations and conspiratorial contact between the British and Swedish prosecutors. Such over-ramping means that the Middle Ages are back, attitudes that undermine democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights in the world.
The Assange case shows that it is not only the prince in his own country that one must fear; Opposites are placed in the dark dungeons of a much creepier system, states and their secret services in covert interaction. The case is a shocking danger signal about what the world has in store and the seriousness that the world’s most powerful nation has received such a leader as Trump. Generations’ efforts for trust, cooperation and an international legal order fall again and again with a fingertip based on a very basic understanding of making “America great again”. For Trump, laws and agreements are just a scrap of paper.
The threat to the legal order in the United States and the world is due to features of both the president and American legal culture. Trump himself has disdain for rule of law, only losers take that into account. He developed such attitudes as a New York real estate speculator. He was trained by his lawyer, Roy Cohn, to answer any criticism of striking ten times as hard. And to make it impossible for city authorities to do their job. Officials who tried to take action against Trump’s unlawful racial discrimination in renting out homes were subjected to serious personal attacks, indictments and harassment. Such use of the rules of law in the service of injustice is an institution in the United States, by frightening with trial it is easy for the big companies to bring critics to silence (SLAPP, Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).
Unfortunately, the Republican Party chose to support Trump’s contempt for law and justice. After the court case, Trump triumphed over the newspaper front pages: “acquitted”. But had this been a trial? His party mates had taken a party in advance, said they would acquit anyway and refused to hear evidence.
Now, last week, Trump was taken to school by his own Justice Department for his twittering interference in litigation in the United States. But what about his meddling in other countries? The Senate court case was treated in the world media as domestic politics in the United States, the problem was the manipulation of the next election by pushing a foreign head of state. The Assange case shows us what a serious threat American interference with other countries’ judiciary poses to the judiciary and human rights worldwide. According to Meltzer, the United States had brought with it three nations and conspired, ganged up, against a single little human, Assange.
Norwegian political and legal bodies have every reason to investigate how robust we will be to such pressures as other countries, Ecuador, the United Kingdom and Sweden, have succumbed to in the case of Assange. To extradite him to the United States would be a violation of historical dimensions and undermine civilized legal order as we know it.
Read article in original Norwegian Juristen
Juristen is a specialist magazine for the Legal Association of 21,000 members – all lawyers in the public and private sector, judges, judges, lawyers, lawyers / secretaries, etc.