‘If they destroy the free press, they destroy the world,’ Roger Waters says after UK court a djourns to rule on Assange extradition

‘If they destroy the free press, they destroy the world,’ Roger Waters says after UK court adjourns to rule on Assange extradition
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‘If they destroy the free press, they destroy the world,’ Roger Waters says after UK court adjourns to rule on Assange extradition

https://www.rt.com/news/538775-assange-extradition-roger-waters/

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Julian Assange’s extradition case could deal a fatal blow to free press worldwide, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters told RT as a British court weighed final arguments on whether to transfer the WikiLeaks co-founder to US custody.

Though the UK High Court did not hand down a ruling after Thursday’s appeal hearing and is now taking time to consider a decision, Waters said he’s “deeply, deeply concerned” about how the case will play out, blasting the appeals process as a “kangaroo court.”

“It has nothing to do with justice or the arguments provided,” Waters told RT in an interview. “It is absolute nonsense that this man has been locked up a single day – whether it’s in the Ecuadorian Embassy or in Belmarsh.”

The future of all of us, and all of our children and grandchildren hangs upon this court case. If they destroy the fourth estate – which is what they’re trying to do by destroying Assange – they destroy the world.

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The WikiLeaks co-founder has been held in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh prison since 2019, arrested by UK authorities after spending some seven years in the city’s Ecuadorian Embassy under political asylum. Accused of violating the century-old Espionage Act by publishing classified material, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the United States and found guilty.

While District Judge Vanessa Baraitser initially declined Washington’s extradition request, citing concerns about Assange’s mental health and the risk he might commit suicide in an American prison, the US has since appealed, making its final arguments during Thursday’s hearing.

Waters blasted that original judgement as “mealy-mouthed,” arguing that Baraitser should have tossed the case and left no chance for an appeal.

If she’d listened to the evidence and if she was a proper judge and if she made a proper judgement, she would have said there is no case to answer – case dismissed, set the prisoner free. She didn’t.

Also on rt.com US appeal hearing to extradite Julian Assange concludes in UK High Court with no immediate ruling

US authorities have offered “assurances” that Assange would not be mistreated in American custody, but Waters insisted “they’re lying through their teeth,” citing indefinite detentions and torture at the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Rights groups such as Amnesty International have also rejected the US assurances as paper-thin, also pointing to a less-than-stellar US human rights record.

The rockstar did note, however, that if the court decides to grant the US request, Assange’s defense team will have an opportunity for its own appeal, and “will get a chance to challenge all the ludicrous nonsense that’s gone on up until this point.” Regardless of the legal outcome, he urged supporters of Assange, WikiLeaks and the free press to “go on making as much noise as they can.”

“They should try to persuade their neighbors and their uncles and aunts and grandmas and grandpas and everybody they know to take to the streets to protest it,” he added.

We are not going anywhere at all, and our voice is going to get louder and louder and louder until Julian Assange is set free. I can promise you that.

Also on rt.com ‘Kidnapping journalists’ on US behest: Assange’s father & supporters tell RT extradition ‘zombie case’ will have dire consequences

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Amnesty International legal adviser Simon Crowther has slammed the US government’s assurances it would not keep WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in solitary confinement, saying they’re “not worth the paper they’re written on.”

During the second day of Washington’s appeal in London’s High Court to extradite Assange, Crowther warned that the assurances made by lawyers representing the US should not be trusted, pointing out that the country has a problem with respecting basic human rights.

Noting that Amnesty International considers prolonged solitary confinement to be a form of “torture or other ill treatment,” Crowther said, “These assurances are not worth the paper they’re written on because where a state has to give such an assurance, it really is an indication that that state’s human rights record has a problem.”

You wouldn’t have to give an assurance that you weren’t going to hold someone in solitary confinement if prolonged solitary confinement wasn’t so widespread in the US

Crowther also warned that the US government’s assurances “have huge holes in them” and pointed out that they are not legally binding promises. He expressed fear that the US would make an excuse to backtrack on them if Assange were extradited.

“Amnesty are really worried about any kind of diplomatic assurance because it’s not legally binding and prolonged solitary confinement often constitutes torture or other ill treatment,” he concluded.

“Assurances given by the US about how they will treat Julian #Assange if he was to be extradited are not worth the paper they’re written on”“Today we expect the defence to raise reports that the CIA plotted to kidnap or assassinate #JulianAssange@amnesty’s Simon Crowther pic.twitter.com/hoAnWAcSKV

— amnestypress (@amnestypress) October 28, 2021

The US government’s extradition request was rejected in January when UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange, whose mental health has been rapidly deteriorating, would be at risk of suicide in an American prison.

The International Federation of Journalists took out a full-page advertisement in The Times newspaper on Wednesday calling for Assange’s immediate release and condemning last month’s revelations that the CIA had plotted to kidnap or assassinate him.

Assange could face up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the US and found guilty of charges of violating the Espionage Act. He has been held in London’s top security Belmarsh Prison since April 2019.

On Wednesday, the US gave its “assurances” that, if extradited, Assange would not be sent to a US ‘super-max’ prison, would receive any psychological or clinical treatment he needs, and would be eligible to serve his sentence in Australia.

Also on rt.com Assange ‘wincing in pain’ on court video link as IFJ takes full page ad in Times calling for his ‘immediate release’

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“Assurances given by the US about how they will treat Julian #Assange if he was to be extradited are not worth the paper they’re written on” “Today we expect the defence to raise reports that the CIA plotted to kidnap or assassinate #JulianAssange@amnesty’s Simon Crowtherpic.twitter.com/hoAnWAcSKV

Original Article: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/11/02/if-they-destroy-the-free-press-they-destroy-the-world-roger-waters-says-after-uk-court-adjourns-to-rule-on-assange-extradition/

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