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Assange Final Appeal Day 2 – Your Man in the Public Gallery February 29, 2024: - I approached Day 2 with trepidation. It was not so much being accustomed to having hopes dashed, as having lived so long without hope that it was hard to know what to do with it. At 5:30am I stopped work for a while on writing up Day 1 and went out to walk down the Strand to the court. There was a slightly bigger crowd than had been there the day before at the same time, and happily it included the heroic volunteers saving my place. A freezing Easterly wind was bustling down the Strand having come express from Siberia,…
Assange Final Appeal – Your Man in the Public Gallery February 21, 2024: - Reporting on Julian Assange's extradition hearings has become a vocation that has now stretched over five years. From the very first hearing, when Justice Snow called Assange "a narcissist" before Julian had said anything whatsoever other than to confirm his name, to the last, when Judge Swift had simply in 2.5 pages of glib double-spaced A4 dismissed a tightly worded 152-page appeal from some of the best lawyers on earth, it has been a travesty and charade marked by undisguised institutional hostility. We were now on last orders in the last chance saloon, as we waited outside the Royal Courts…
Rethinking Ukraine: Putin and the Mystery of National Identity February 19, 2024: - The genocide in Gaza - or more precisely the major NATO powers' active and practical support for the genocide in Gaza - has forced me to re-evaluate my views on Ukraine in a manner more sympathetic to the Russian narrative. In particular, I was complacent in my dismissive attitude to the argument that the Western powers would back ethnic cleansing and massacre in the Donbass, by forces including some motivated by Nazi ideology. The same powers who are funding and arming Ukraine are funding and arming a genocide by racial supremacist Israeli forces in Gaza. It is beyond argument that…
Life February 16, 2024: - I do apologise for the break in articles. Exacerbating the problems of leading an itinerant life, I have suffered a series of remarkable thefts, including of phone, wallet, money and passport, which have caused me a huge amount of disruption.
State Secrecy and Public Hearings Part One February 7, 2024: - At the Assange extradition hearings in Woolwich Crown Court and the Old Bailey, the public gallery was limited to five and sometimes two. The excuse was Covid. But online access was denied to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and numerous other groups and individuals, including journalists. The mainstream media was anyway complicit in leaving the entire hearing virtually unreported - less than one percent of the coverage given to Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard. The International Court of Justice met at the Hague to consider Israeli genocide, and the entire proceedings were open to anybody in the world with a…
Quality and Propaganda February 4, 2024: - On 10 October I called out a viral video as fake. It featured pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Sydney, Australia, with a soundtrack of people appearing to chant "Gas the Jews". The video not only went viral online, it was featured worldwide by mainstream media. The New South Wales Prime Minister attacked a parliamentarian for daring to say that the incident was dubious Antoinette Lattouf, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio journalist who investigated the incident and found that it did not happen, received enormous abuse. She was later sacked when she shared online a report on Israeli atrocities in Gaza by Human…
Has International Law Survived, or Has the Western Political Class Killed It? January 28, 2024: - In finding there is a plausible case against Israel, the International Court of Justice treated with contempt the argument from Israel that the case should be dismissed as it is exercising its right of self-defence. This argument took up over half of Israel's pleadings. Not only did the court find there is a plausible case of genocide, the court only mentioned self-defence once in its interim ruling - and that was merely to note that Israel had claimed it. Para 41: That the ICJ has not affirmed Israel's right to self-defence is perhaps the most important point in this interim…
Armed Conflict and the ICJ January 25, 2024: - Tomorrow the International Court of Justice will give its decision on the South African interim request for provisional measures to prevent genocide in Gaza. Many are holding their breath for something that will help. How will this go? You can read my views on some of the arguments in play in my article for Middle East Eye. There is no comment section on MEE, so feel free to discuss that article here. You will recall that my observation of the demeanour of the judges at the Hague left me not too hopeful. They definitely appeared very uncomfortable to be taking…
In Conversation With Stella Assange January 19, 2024: - Stella produced these two videos of us as part of her "in conversation" series. Topics include campaigning for Julian with Generation Z, spying and diplomacy, Margaret Thatcher, and state action against whistleblowers. I love these because they are so relaxed, natural and really not very different to the ordinary conversations we have when not being filmed. They are part of a series and I hope you will subscribe to Stella on Youtube or Substack. ------------------------------------------------ Forgive me for pointing out that my ability to provide this coverage is entirely dependent on your kind voluntary subscriptions which keep this blog going.…
Your Man in the Hague (In a Good Way) Part 2 January 14, 2024: - There was a very good feel at the end of the South African presentation on day one. Everyone felt it had gone extremely well, and left very little room for the court to wriggle away from provisional measures. We left the public gallery, and I went with Corbyn and Mélenchon to meet the South African delegation. This caused some concern to the security officials, who told us that members of the public had to leave immediately and not meet delegates or speak to the media, who were grouped outside the court but still within the precincts. This was fairly impractical…
Your Man in the Hague (in a Good Way). January 11, 2024: - I attended the hearing on Thursday of South Africa's case against Israel for genocide at the International Court of Justice. I was able to sit in the public gallery and watch all the proceedings. I was, however, handicapped in reporting by the fact that we were not allowed pens or pencils (though we were allowed paper). I asked the Head of Security at the ICJ why pens were not allowed in the public gallery. He told me, with a perfectly straight face, that they could be used as a weapon. So bereft of my deadly ballpoint, this account is less…
The Meaning of Epstein January 7, 2024: - The fascinating thing about what social media calls the Epstein "client list" is that not one of the people on it appears to be a client. I have seen nobody say "I knew Epstein because he managed my funds". Nor does there seem to be any allegation that people paid him for his services. So what was happening? We often fall into the trap of attempting to provide a description of what really happened, and then defending every lacuna, when all we really have to do is point out how completely nuts the official story really is. The maddest and…
Sunak, Cleverly and Shapps Could Be in the Old Bailey Dock for Genocide January 3, 2024: - Expect the UK to intervene on Israel's side in the South African case against Israel for Genocide at the International Court of Justice. If Israel loses, British ministers, civil servants and military personnal could end up in the dock for genocide - not only in the Hague, but in the UK. Infamously, UK courts give no force to international treaties even when the UK has ratified them, unless they are specifically incorporated in UK domestic legislation. The Genocide Convention was explicitly incorporated into UK law in 1969 by the Genocide Act. However the Genocide Act was repealed in 2001 and…
Farewell to John Pilger December 31, 2023: - Simply the greatest documentary maker of all time, and a rock of support for the Assange family. Goodbye, John. We shall all miss you greatly.
Palestine Over Latte (Warning Contains Satire). December 29, 2023: - In 18 years of existence this blog has only twice hosted guest posts. However in view of the current Middle East Crisis I thought I should give space to Guardian columnists Jonathan Freedland, Gaby Hinsliff, Hadley Freeman, Lucy Mangan, and Marina Hyde, assisted by Stephen Fry, to collaborate and give us their perspective. Here is their article: It is easy for people, particularly young people, to be misled by social media into a malformed and warped view of the current conflict in the Middle East. Of course, we fully understand that it is natural that pictures of thousands of dead…
What We Have Learned December 24, 2023: - We have learnt this year that there is no crime so startling, so obvious and so visible to the whole world that the United States and Israel are not willing to commit it brazenly and openly. The massacre of 20,000 people includes the killing of babies and infants, the deliberate shooting of pregnant women and toddlers, the murder of old ladies in church and the execution of prisoners stripped naked. This is all justified as "Israel's right of self-defence". We have also seen the increasing rise of fascism as western governments crack down on their publics in order to curtail…
Murder December 13, 2023: - Al Jazeera are leading their news with the execution of Palestinian civilians, including women and toddlers, inside the school in Jabalia where they were sheltering. They were all shot at point blank range, with no signs of a bomb or missile strike. On the BBC, the Daily Politics show - which consists of discussion between senior British MPs - does not discuss Palestine at all, because the British political class supports the genocide, so for them there is nothing to discuss. Also in Jabalia, the Israelis today destroyed the last remaining bakery. It is worth stating why this is plainly…
Attacking Journalists as Terrorists December 11, 2023: - We have made two formal complaints to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, one over my incarceration for Contempt of Court, and one over continuing police harassment including the investigation for "terrorism" of which I am now the subject. In a meeting with UN staff, we promised to follow up with details of a few of the many others who have been detained, questioned and had their electronics seized under Article 7 of the Terrorism Act. In each case there was no suggestion of any kind - including by the Police - that they have any connection to terrorism.…
Still Throwing Punches December 10, 2023: - Obviously fighting against the crushing power of the state is hard work, but we can still land a few (metaphorical) blows. This is one of the most feisty letters from a lawyer you will ever see, directly confronting Police Scotland over responsibility for the hacking of my Twitter account. I am quite sure the contents of my phone and laptop were shared with UK intelligence services, and very probably with other intelligence services as well. Which one hacked my Twitter account we may never know, but the responsibility lies with Police Scotland who seized my devices and initially downloaded the…
Stopping Genocide December 7, 2023: - Every single state in the world has a positive duty to intervene to prevent the Genocide in Gaza now, not after a court has reached a determination of genocide. This is made crystal clear in para 431 of the International Court of Justice judgment in Bosnia vs Serbia: This obviously does not mean that the obligation to prevent genocide only comes into being when perpetration of genocide commences ; that would be absurd, since the whole point of the obligation is to prevent, or attempt to prevent, the occurrence of the act. In fact, a State’s obligation to prevent, and…

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