Assange Bail Application Today 565


Unfortunately I am in lockdown at home in Edinburgh and cannot get down to Westminster Magistrates Court for Julian Assange’s urgent bail application today. Several hearings ago, Magistrate Baraitser stated pre-emptively that she would not grant bail, before any application had been made. Today’s application will argue that Assange’s ill health puts him at extreme danger from COVID-19, and that prison conditions make it impossible to avoid infection.

The government has stated that it is actively considering releasing some prisoners to reduce prison populations because of COVID-19. That a non-violent remand prisoner, whose current position is an innocent man facing charges in a foreign state, is in the fortress Belmarsh prison is already self-evidently ludicrous.

Both the British Government and Vanessa Baraitser personally came in for extreme criticism from the highly authoritative International Bar Association over both the conditions in which he is being held and over the conduct of his extradition hearing to date. This is from the International Bar Association’s own website:

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the reported mistreatment of Julian Assange during his United States extradition trial in February 2020, and urges the government of the United Kingdom to take action to protect him. According to his lawyers, Mr Assange was handcuffed 11 times; stripped naked twice and searched; his case files confiscated after the first day of the hearing; and had his request to sit with his lawyers during the trial, rather than in a dock surrounded by bulletproof glass, denied.

The UK hearing, which began on Monday 24 February 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court in London, UK, will decide whether the WikiLeaks founder, Mr Assange, will be extradited to the US, where he is wanted on 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the 1917 Espionage Act. He faces allegations of collaborating with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents, including exposing alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The hearing was adjourned after four days, with proceedings set to resume on 18 May 2020.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, commented: ‘The IBAHRI is concerned that the mistreatment of Julian Assange constitutes breaches of his right to a fair trial and protections enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the UK is party. It is deeply shocking that as a mature democracy in which the rule of law and the rights of individuals are preserved, the UK Government has been silent and has taken no action to terminate such gross and disproportionate conduct by Crown officials. As well, we are surprised that the presiding judge has reportedly said and done nothing to rebuke the officials and their superiors for such conduct in the case of an accused whose offence is not one of personal violence. Many countries in the world look to Britain as an example in such matters. On this occasion, the example is shocking and excessive. It is reminiscent of the Abu Grahib Prison Scandal which can happen when prison officials are not trained in the basic human rights of detainees and the Nelson Mandela Rules.’

In accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force in the UK in October 2000, every person tried in the UK is entitled to a fair trial (Article 6) and freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3). Similarly, Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upholds an individual’s right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Anne Ramberg Dr jur hc, commented: ‘The IBAHRI concurs with the widespread concern over the ill-treatment of Mr Assange. He must be afforded equality in access to effective legal representation. With this extradition trial we are witnessing the serious undermining of due process and the rule of law. It is troubling that Mr Assange has complained that he is unable to hear properly what is being said at his trial, and that because he is locked in a glass cage is prevented from communicating freely with his lawyers during the proceedings commensurate with the prosecution.’

A recent report from Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Inhumane Treatment, presented during the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (24 February – 20 March 2020), argues that the cumulative effects of Mr Assange’s mistreatment over the past decade amount to psychological torture. If Mr Assange was viewed as a victim of psychological torture, his extradition would be illegal under international human rights law.

117 medical doctors, including several world prominent experts in the field, had published a letter in the Lancet warning that Assange’s treatment amounts to torture and that he could die in jail.

Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has warned, he will effectively have been tortured to death. Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors’ watch. The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds.

You may recall that I myself concluded that the extraordinary and oppressive treatment of Assange, and the refusal of Baraitser to act to ameliorate it, could only be part of a deliberate policy to cause his death. I could, and can, think of no other possible explanation.

If the authorities now refuse to allow him out on bail during the Covid-19 outbreak, I do not see how anybody can possibly argue there is any intention other than to cause his death.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

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565 thoughts on “Assange Bail Application Today

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  • Mary

    Thanks Craig. Julian is being treated inhumanely and when I see the name ‘Baraitser’ I shudder. Let’s hope she has a scintilla of conscience today. She might have his death on her hands if she’s not careful.

    • Mary

      Sadly this is reported on RT.

      ‘Famous Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzon has been admitted to a hospital in Madrid after testing positive for Covid-19. He has provided legal counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, among other things.
      Garzon, 64, was admitted to the Ruber clinic in Madrid on Tuesday, after five days of high fever at home. He tested positive for the coronavirus and was given the prognosis of respiratory failure, Spanish media reported.

      The former judge of the National Court had self-isolated at his home after complaining about a fever and chest pains, before the symptoms worsened.’

  • Tom Welsh

    “Unfortunately I am in lockdown at home in Edinburgh and cannot get down to Westminster Magistrates Court for Julian Assange’s urgent bail application today”.

    Curious how well this virus panic seems to suit the authorities, isn’t it? In so many ways.

    • MJ

      Yes. It would be understandable if we were facing the return of the Black Death or the bubonic plague, or if untreatable strains of smallpox or cholera were in circulation, but a cold?

      • Alisdair Mc

        Not so funny if you are over a certain age and have underlying health problems. I have a similar condition to Craig’s. And what Craig has done for the ideal of TRUE journalism and human rights over the years does not deserve snide remarks ´.

        • MJ

          No snide remarks from me, just a little perspective. Colds can lead to complications for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Thousands of people die every year from influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia and no-one bats an eyelid.

          • Tom Welsh

            Exactly. Take a look at the “Deaths” lines here: https://www.worldometers.info/

            Someone dies, somewhere, every 4/5 of a second or so. When I cut and pasted a moment ago there had been 3,005,731 communicable disease deaths this year and 112,547 seasonal flu deaths this year.

            And there is growing evidence that many deaths ascribed to coronavirus are actually deaths of people who have coronavirus but died of more serious preexisting illnesses. Or (in Italy at least) just people who died in a hospital or old people’s nursing home where coronavirus has been declared to exist.

          • Node

            Tom Welsh
            The Italian National Institute of Health has announced that the coronavirus mortality rate being reported by world media is 8 times higher than the actual rate, yet we’re still using the inflated figures as a model of what may happen in other countries.

            Italian National Institute of Health statement:
            The way in which we code deaths in our country [Italy] is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus […] On re-evaluation by the [Italian] National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,”

            https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/23/italy-only-12-of-covid19-deaths-list-covid19-as-cause/

          • paul

            Covid 19 is a co-morbidity in these cases, there is no reason to assume these deaths would have occurred without it.

      • Forthestate

        “Yes. It would be understandable if we were facing the return of the Black Death or the bubonic plague, or if untreatable strains of smallpox or cholera were in circulation, but a cold?”

        You are about to witness your health service overwhelmed as people are left to die without adequate treatment, for lack of resources, and they asphyxiate, slowly. In Spain, new admissions are lying in designated spaces on the floor – no mattresses. 24 doctors in Italy have died. This is happening all over the world. If health services are collapsing under the strain, it doesn’t take a particularly bright mind to work out that what we are facing is more serious than a cold, but I concede, it does need at least a glimmer, albeit dim. Anyone comparing this to a cold in order to offer us ‘perspective’ doesn’t stand a chance, I guess. It’s astonishing what this crisis has revealed in people.

        • MJ

          The widescale appetite for panic and authoritarianism is indeed astonishing. I repeat: thousands of people die every year from influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia and no-one bats an eyelid. No panic, no authoritarian reactions. How did we manage?

          • Forthestate

            In this country, those dying from influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia have never, in my lifetime, overwhelmed our health services to the point whereby they cannot treat thousands of people dying. Panic should be condemned. Fucking idiots, encouraged by comments like yours and others, to ignore this issue, need to be told what to do if they refuse, for no good reason, to do it, because they will kill people.

            You sound exactly like Dominic Cummings and Sir Patrick Vallance, who also sought to downplay this crisis by advocating we let it rip through us, killing an estimated 500,000. Applying some of your ‘perspective’, that’s not so many people when you compare it to the overall population. To people dying of other diseases. And they’re mainly old, so so what? They’d have died soon at some point anyway. Why didn’t we do it? It’s just a numbers game, according to you.

            I have to tell you, this is the perspective of an out and out sociopath.

          • bevin

            The answer to your question is here:
            “…thousands of people die every year from influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia and no-one bats an eyelid.”
            You are speaking for yourself and a peculiar self it would appear to be.
            In human society when thousands of people die, whenever a person dies, and leaving eyelids out of this, we all lament. Health Services exist because society determined to prevent as many deaths as it could. The thousands were once tens of thousands and there is no reason why, in future , they should not be hundreds, or dozens.

          • Watt

            We managed because the government and all of the(gutter) press plus broadcast media did not seek to install fear and panic, such as is happening now. At this juncture many other wise seemingly rational and/or clued up folks are in full panic mode. So much so that many even welcome the draconian removal of rightful human freedoms. You note, that we do not have to look too far to see how a voice of sanity is viciously berated.

            cheers

            Watt

          • jrkrideau

            How did we manage?
            We knew it was coming, same again as last year? We have resources in place. There is a massive international effort every year to reduce cases of the flu—you did get your vaccination I hope?

            Think of it this way. If we get 60cm of rain every year, spread over 12 months, we can handle it. If we get 60 cm of rain in 12 hours we are #$%%@. Actually did not some parts of the UK get a bit too much rain this winter?

          • Christopher Dale Rogers

            MJ,

            It would be nice indeed if you perhaps once would participate in some comparative analysis, maybe by focusing on Influenza, which, has been doing the rounds since December because the vaccine used as of late October did not vaccinate against the precise pathogen doing the rounds, so, actually, we’ve had an uptick in Influenza and a concurrent uptake in hospital admissions.

            It is rather strange though, talking about Influenza, which is asymptomatic in some 50% of those infected, that since authorities in Hong Kong placed its Health Care Service on Emergency Mode as of 3 January, meaning that the Emergency Health Protocols put in place after the SARS outbreak were activated, followed by other containment measures being activated as of 25 January, that the number of active Influenza cases fell off a cliff, thus, freeing up bed space for all those who have tested positive to Cover-19, which, to-date has been 411 in total, with presently 300 active cases.

            Now, as it so happen’s, a number of datasets appearing from Japan & South Korea are indicating that Covid-19 has a similar asymptomatic rate as Influenza, which is rather bad news as Covid-19 is presently killing more folks than Influenza. Alas, why worry, the folks at Off Guardian are suggesting we are all needlessly worrying, and that containment measures taken in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea & Taiwan have all been needless – I mean, if you want to gauge some reality, just check out what”s happening in the UK, which, did take Off Guardian’s advice, and the advice of persons like you, namely they did bugger all and are facing a disaster, and then compare with China and Hong Kong. Alas, why bother, I’m an alarmist and sock puppet!

      • andyoldlabour

        MJ,

        I am sure that I do not need to inform you, that Pneumonic Plague was far more deadly that Bubonic Plague and that Coronavirus has far more symptomatic similarities to Pneumonic Plague.

        • Alisdair Mc

          At 95 your father must have been in the war. You know the war against fascism. Its a pity that some people regard oldies as economically unproductive as Priti Patel would call them.”One death is a tragedy a million is a statistic”.

          For those on this site who like to misuse statistics, comparing colds and influenza to covid-19 is like comparing apples and oranges. The former have been around for millions of years the latter has been around for three months.

        • Christopher Dale Rogers

          Chris,

          And in no way disrespectful to your father, the sad fact is, many seem to be of the opinion, that a pathogen that could kill your father, should not be treated any different to Influenza, and, that Covid-19’s mortality rate is trending at about 1.6% for our overall population, but increases to a 5.2% for those over 59 years of age, our parents preventable deaths are a price worth paying so they can enjoy a latte at Starbucks, essentially its Thatcherite language dressed up as alleged Left Libertarianism!

    • SA

      I hope we don’t get many on this site who want to spread misinformation about Covid-19 and say it is a mere cold or just flu. Such people are talking from ignorance to put it mildly. The WHO and medical profession are not colluding with the governments of China, Italy and others just to frighten you. In fact those posts that deny the seriousness of this are well aligned with Trump and Herd-immunity Johnson and his advisor.

  • Shatnersrug

    Good luck Julian, I can’t believe it’s come to this. Tonight the govt pass a law that makes us all like Julian, no long free men and women.

    Sad times. Lotsa love Craig be safe

    S

    • Los

      Well, the Police, public health and immigration officers will also have the power to force “potentially infected” people to isolate, restrict their travel and activities and contact with other people.

      [ “potentially infected” = anyone ]

      … and the Coronavirus Act will give the Government to extend the defintiion of “public health officer” in any way they see fit.

      … and if someone dies, they don’t need a Medical Practitioner to see the body to sign off the Death Certificate.

    • Geoff

      What’s scary is how well people cheer on the removal of liberty, and even encourage it. It was even reported that the RMT called for the government to issue travel permits so only the ‘right people’ could use the trains. I didn’t even see a raised eyebrow in the reporting of it, despite the obvious historical echoes

      How soon will it be returned? Much of the media is trying to prepare us for never having it back.

      Without huge optimism, I hope with all my heart that Julian is successful in this hearing, but I’m not sure there’s much in the outside world to come back to.

      • Tom Welsh

        “What’s scary is how well people cheer on the removal of liberty, and even encourage it”.

        Presumably those people have never experienced a denial of their own personal liberty that bothered them – and are unable or unwilling to imagine such a thing.

        Also they are completely ignorant of history, and have no idea at all how many brave men and women died or suffered to extract the liberties and rights that are now being abolished wholesale.

        • Magic Robot

          Well put, Tom.
          “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”– H.L. Mencken.
          I wonder what my ancestors, many of whom died in the two world wars, would think of the country today.

  • Smiling Through

    I now worry even more about Julian’s situation when I was told this earlier today by an old friend whose family are deeply involved in the NHS.
    His wife is a senior manager in women’s health; his daughter-in-law is a GP and his daughter is a senior sister in intensive care.
    He says none of them have been tested for coronavirus and they don’t know anyone working in the NHS who has been tested either.
    He reckons we are being lied to big time about front-line NHS staff being tested.
    If that’s true for them, what’s the likelihood of Julian surviving the Belmarsh regime?

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Mibees he’s been tested, mibees he hasn’t. It would be fortuitous to put out a story to say, “we’re all in this together”. Like when a “stray German bomb” landed in a courtyard of Buckingham Palace and did superficial damage.
          According to Grampian Healthboard website, to qualify for Covid19 testing a subject must require hospital treatment. Brian on the other hand has “mild symptoms” and is “otherwise in good health”.

          • Watt

            Well put Vivian. I must say that the same subversive thought did enter my mind, and… you know, I just could not bat it away.

            cheers

            Watt

      • Mary

        Perhaps it was passed on by one of his manservants. 😉 One allegedly applies the toothpaste on to his toothbrush.

        PS How do we know he is positive for Covid19 ? It might be a ruse to scare us into accepting the new lockdown rules :).

          • Pyewacket

            Mary, elsewhere I’ve read and seen news reports stating that, folk who’ve taken a similar initiative and chosen to self isolate and do their social distancing in the Scottish Highlands or remoter parts of Wales are being seen unfavourably by locals.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            Addressed to MJ and Tom Welsh.
            Truly execrable comments which indicate a serious deficit of understanding. Covid 19 is not a ‘cold’, it is a highly contagious disease that induces a serious form of pneumonia in people with underlying conditions, and the elderly.My impression is that the readership of this blog is weighted well to the ‘elderly’ I guess the subscribers would be seriously depleted by an outbreak among the readers. You may not have absorbed the information that the virus is ‘new’ to humans and there is no inbuilt immunity to the virus.Although colds and flu mutate frequently, we as a species have a long history of exposure to similar viruses and can mount a number of immune responses to cold and flu infections. The mortality rateof covid 19 among the over sixties is rather worrying- 15%? and has the potential to carry away many of our closest family, contacts relatives and comrades, a prospect not welcomed by me, for sure. If you are so confident that it is a ‘cold’ please feel free to expose yourself ( to the virus-not your bits) although in the event you did expose your nether region you might be a considerable risk, as you appear to talk though your arse.
            The regrettable topic of this blogpost is the atrocious treatment of Julian Assange and the interpretation that the authorities are trying to kill off JA, something that horrifies but does not surprise me.
            The interesting aspect of the covid 19 outbreak is that possibly for the first time in history a concerted large scale effort has been made to minimise losses of life. Until recently such action was not possible due to the lack of understanding and knowledge related to viruses and pandemics and the non-existence of communication systems to support evasive or defensive measures
            .

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            while walking near birkhall I and a my fello walkers stumbled across the ventilation shafts for an underground shelter which I suspect was a nuclear bunker for extended royals . I guess also handy for pandemic avoidance.

          • Tony

            He took a private jet up there after testing positive, seriously risking infecting the pilot, co-pilot, and anyone else on the flight.

        • Coldish

          Mary: maybe a servant. But more likely that he caught it from someone at one of those crowded gatherings of elite socialites.

        • Los

          Didn’t Prince Charles want to be reincarnated as Camilla’s toothbrush or something?
          I tried googling, but got a “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe” message.
          Prince Philip, on the other hand, allegedly has other plans for his reincarnation.

          • pete

            You need to use the Gibiru search engine to find what you are looking for, it is uncensored, so use with caution, your internet provider still looks at what you search for.
            But that is off topic, the important thing is to try to persuade whatever influencer you favour to try to get the authorities to let Julian out on bail.

          • Tony

            I understand that the two don’t see eye-to-eye these days, but, hopefully, they met recently. How poetic it would be for The Greek to be taken by something he wants to come back as. The whole fucking lot of ’em would be better still.

      • Bill Boggia

        And he’s just moved up here to Deeside two days ago – no doubt with his entourage – so much for asking people not to head for the highlands.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Stay quarantined, stay safe. Regardless of your sensible and proportional attitude towards the Pangolin’s revenge, you’ve got the wean to think about.

  • Tony

    Labour leadership election:

    Former Conservative minister backs Starmer.

    George Freeman, former Boris Johnson appointee, says:

    “When Labour have a sensible new leader, Keir Starmer (if elected) should be invited to Covid cabinet, Cobra and joint No 10 briefings”

    (The Guardian, 25 March 2020) p2.

    The former minister’s comments highlight the very real danger of a victory for Starmer and illustrate why people need to vote for RLB and for Richard Burgon in the deputy leadership election.

    Thank you.

    • Shardlake

      I wrote to all the three candidates in the race for the leadership of the Labour Party urging each one of them to make a statement in any hustings that they bring to the attention of their electors their own stance on Mr Assange and his predicament. I particularly took issue with Sir Keir Starmer about his Huffington Post interview where he declared our extradition treaty with the United States was a good one and that Judges should be left to get on with the due process unimpeded in non-jury trials.

      I wrote to these three candidates on March 9th and to date I have not received even an acknowledgement from any of them. Frankly, I don’t care which one of them wins this election contest as none of them are worthy of leadership.

      • Robyn

        Ditto in Australia – no response from various MPs, Senators, Ministers, Shadow Ministers etc. to my emails about Julian. NO response. Except for the dozen or so who formed a group of Parliamentarians supporting Julian (and they haven’t done much and they certainly haven’t achieved anything), Australian politicians have left Julian to the mercies of USUK. Beyond disgraceful.

        • Shatnersrugug

          Mary,

          richard is pro palatine, he’s also a lawyer. He is quick to litagate when anyone calls him antisemetic, consequently LFI have left him alone even though he’s rich in their firing line. It will be close between Starmer and RLB, I think RLB will tip it and I think Richard will be deputy. That’s just my gut from talking to grass roots membership. Starmer has never been particular popular with the rank and file especially with his record over Assange and Mendez. There were a number of member’s thinking that starter maybe the sensible option but that evaporated soon after the election

          • Mary

            Thanks. Burgon for Labour leader then. Can you see the pro Israel lobby and the LFoI in the Labour party allowing him to go through?

            ‘Long-Bailey said that she was unhappy with Labour’s response to antisemitism within the party during Corbyn’s leadership, commenting that “I don’t think we were dealing with complaints quickly enough”. She said that if she was Labour leader then she would follow recommendations of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.’ Fallen into line.

            She would also be prepared to use the nuclear deterrent. Incredible.

            Starmer is claimed here by the JC

            Sir Keir Starmer opens up about his family’s Friday night dinners
            Exclusive: The frontrunner to replace Corbyn talks about his family and how his father-in-law proudly says prayers at Shabbat dinner
            https://www.thejc.com/news/news-features/sir-keir-starmer-opens-up-about-his-family-s-friday-night-dinners-1.497647

            Massive sums of money have come his way from trades unions (do the members know) and from ccmpanies and indiviiduals. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25353/keir_starmer/holborn_and_st_pancras#register

            He is also a member of some capitalist set up but I can’t remember its name..
            .

      • Coldish

        Shardlake: I’m a moderate social democratic member of the Labour Party and I certainly won’t be voting for any of the 3 leadership candidates, none of whom is in my view suitable, for a variety of reasons, but in particular on account of their uniformly craven stance on the Julian Assange scandal. In the deputy leadership election I’ve voted for Richard Burgon as my first choice, and in the NEC by-elections I’ve voted for Jo Bird.

        • Leonard Young

          I am guessing that privately the Labour candidates have different views from those publicly stated. They are likely to regard any exrpessed sympathy for Assange as a death sentence for their leadership, so frightened will they be of the Mainstream Media.

          In private conversations with quite a few self-described left of centre acquaintances, not one of them reveals anything other than alignment with the state’s handling of Assange. They are completely obedient to the media’s largely uncritical reporting on his treatment, and many of them still believe he is a sex offender. All of them are convinced he is a narcissist and immoral. It is staggering how the MSM can convince apparently intelligent people of almost anything.

          • bevin

            “All of them are convinced he is a narcissist and immoral.”
            This is an ancient problem: those defending the victims of libels are portrayed as accomplices in the ‘offences’ used to smear the libelled.
            Thus to defend Assange from the charges of immorality is to identify oneself as a libertine. This is how witch hunts work: anyone dissenting from the charge that Granny is an apprentice to the devil, is therefore an accomplice of both the witch and her employer.
            The basis of the success of these tactics is the conformity which is a central part of our socialisation and educational system- a conformity, which rests upon the most basic of human instincts-cowardice.

          • Christopher Dale Rogers

            Leonard,

            The MSM did a wonderful job of stitching Corbyn up, helped all the way by Centrist Traitors within the PLP, they did the same to Assange, and likewise will do the same to anyone who challenges their neoliberal, wanton warmongering, identity politics consensus.

            To be perfectly blunt, their are hardly any genuine Socialists left in the Party, its actually worse than when Blair was at the helm, at least they only kicked a few MPs out, since JC, we’ve had thousands and thousands ejected from the Party, their actual crime being Socialist.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “You are about to witness your health service overwhelmed as people are left to die without adequate treatment, for lack of resources, and they asphyxiate, slowly. In Spain, new admissions are lying in designated spaces on the floor – no mattresses. 24 doctors in Italy have died. This is happening all over the world”
        Says someone.

        • Forthestate

          I came back from Northern Italy quite recently, and I have my own experience to satisfy me that you are indeed one paranoid conspiranoid if you think this has all been made up. No question that the establishment will take advantage of this crisis, but you have to be seriously deluded and, ironically. seriously paranoid if you don’t think it’s happening.

          “It’s all a conspiracy, honest, trust me, I’ve got no evidence at all, but yours is all made up, honest!” says someone.

      • Tony

        Starmer’s position on Julian is that he led the Establishment persecution of him as Head of the CPS. He went over and above the call of duty to keep the legals on Julian. He is an Establishment gimp and scumbag of the highest order. One only has to look at his shiny face. I, personally, wouldn’t trust a person with a face like that as far as I could throw them.

    • Anthony

      Deemed sensible by Tories, with all that connotes….. Labour members have done as instructed by MSM hacks and shored up a temporarily threatened status quo. Well done…

  • Kerchée Kerch'ee Coup

    If only Julian had been, like Amer Fakhoury,directly responsible for the torture and death of large numbers of captives held at Khiam SLA prison camp, he could have had the case dismissed under pressure from the US and been helicoptered out of the US embassy grounds in defiance of a ban on his leaving the country.The Devil certainly looks after his own.

  • ciaris

    They’ll give him nothing. To be honest, I’m not clear why. I have read various interesting speculations – Cressida Dick ‘s name appears, as it usually does – but the level of state malice involved here is, to me, genuinely surprising. It’s not about the Wikileaks. Or at least, not solely. Assange has something very very serious on these people, and I really don’t know what.

    It’s not so long ago, Julian was chatting to media people, in his usual insightful way. These things happen very swiftly. I have over the past few years been considering the nature of evil. I’m not sure I qualify as Christian, and remain agnostic, but if Christians’ among us are raising a prayer for Assange, I’d join in, for my part. Because Assange has been revealing evil, and I had hitherto been unaware God speed.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    If the two main tests are applied:-

    1. Flight risk/Failure to show for trial ; and
    2. Interference with witnesses.

    It seems quite unlikely that a Court cannot impose conditions that adequately address both of the State’s concerns – while also respecting Assange’s human rights by not further threatening his already compromised health condition with a very real risk of infection with Corvid-19 in prison.

    Anyway – where would he run to – and – who would not recognise him in an instant?

    • Tom Welsh

      It cannot be emphasised too much or too often that Mr Assange has not committed any crime in any country – not even when the Americans call a “misdemeanor”. He is an absolutely innocent man, as well as a civic hero and martyr.

      Moreover, even the prison sentence that he was given (and finished serving long ago) was for jumping bail to take political asylum.

      He HAD to jump bail if he was not to be rushed to Sweden and immediately to the USA, where his fate would be grisly.

      How terrible a crime can it be to seek political asylum when threatened with deportation although he had committed no crime – nor even been alleged to have committed any crime?

      The people who should be tried and locked up for a long time are the venal Swedish politicians and prosecutors, and their confederates in the UK. (“Don’t you dare get cold feet now”).

      Between them, they have turned British and Swedish justice into dirty words.

    • Martinned

      Which conditions, exactly, would stop him from entering the embassy of Venezuela, Russia, or any other country that feels like messing with the British government?

      • Tom Welsh

        I do not believe Russia would give Mr Assange asylum. Mr Putin has made it perfectly clear that he does not approve of Edward Snowden’s actions, and I don’t think he would antagonize Washington so deliberately. Moreover, the Russian government has its own secrets and cannot take a sympathetic view of people who make it their business to publicize such secrets.

        Venezuela might be “out of the frying pan, into the fire”. Anywhere in that country, Mr Assange would be easy meat for kidnapping or murder by *US armed forces.

        • Martinned

          It’s not the country I was thinking of, since the court could simply take his passport to stop him leaving the country. I was thinking of another flight into an embassy.

          Ideally for that you’d want a South American country, because that’s the only part of the world that recognises diplomatic asylum, like Assange had at the Ecuadorian embassy. But in a pinch the Russian embassy might do, because even if they don’t accept the concept of diplomatic asylum they might still give him a bed, which has the same effect.

          Whether that is something that is likely to happen is anybody’s guess. My general sense is that Putin is quite pragmatic when he sees an opportunity to mess with the West. But you’re right, he isn’t necessarily sympathetic to the underlying cause. (As you would expect from a dictator.)

          • Tom Welsh

            Mr Putin has never been any more of a dictator than any random US president or British PM.

            At the moment, of course, he looks a great deal less of a dictator than they do. He’s not the leader announcing the indefinite arbitrary imprisonment of his country’s entire population and the removal of most of the human rights they thought they enjoyed.

            Those human rights turn out to be a lot like people’s money when Gordon Brown was chancellor. As one waggish civil servant put it, the citizens thought it was their money, but Gordon took the view that it was all his – he had just lent them some of it for the time being.

          • Martinned

            @Johny Conspiranoid: All dictators win elections. That’s how they stay in power. Last time Putin even won it with more than 75% of the vote. Which makes him less popular than, say, Alexander Lukashenko, who got 85% last time around, but still..

            @Tom Welsh: If you think that anyone in Russia believes they “enjoy” any human rights at all, I have a bridge you might like to buy.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Cubby,
      When one thinks about Guantanamo Bay for starters and what the US does there it shows the levels of cynicism the system will go to and still remain in denial. Deny any trial; have indefinite detention; have state lawyers redefine the word ‘Torture’ – then by reference to its own special legal lexicon determine that water-boarding is not torture. About sums things up:-

      https://cja.org/where-we-work/usa/

          • CasualObserver

            Was she not a ‘Regular’ escaping from local employment in the Land of the Free that offered little beyond eviscerating chickens at the local equivalent of a Bernard Mathews facility ? This according to the late Joe Bageant.

            SSGT Grainer under who’s spell she apparently fell, was indeed a reservist with a none too savoury record when it came to treating others as he might wish to be treated.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Screw CoVid19: Julian Assange should be out on bail anyway.

    I have to say that I have a hearty contempt for the Magistrate in charge, although I doubt she is really in charge, she is just a B-movie actress reciting her lines in public.

    Magistrates can be bought, unfortunately. That is why trial by jury is such a valuable plank in any proper judicial system.

    • Shardlake

      You contribute some really good comments (it’s why I signed your petition) and I believe it’s not only Magistrates that can be bought because Mr Assange’s removal, dubious in my view, from the Ecuadorian Embassy illustrates that governments of nations can also be bribed if the price is right or an offer is made that cannot be refused. I also believe that Mr Assange will never be safe wherever he resides, either here or in his native Australia, and that the only and best thing he has going for him is if he is declared, by a court, innocent of any wrongdoing.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Shardlake March 25, 2020 at 15:44
        Lenin Moreno sold his soul, and the Ecuadorean people, down the river long before he sold out Julian.
        He was a true slime-ball traitor, pretending to further the PAIS Alliance Party, then when that party won, with him at it’s head, he filled his government with the Opposition members, and sold his party members and fellow citizens down the river to the Yanks’ interests.
        He would have handed over Assange without the massive US loan, just as he will hand them control of the country’s wealth, if he hasn’t already.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Shardlake March 25, 2020 at 15:44
        Assange’s big mistake was choosing Ecuador instead of Russia. Though Ecuador was in safe hands under Rafael Correa, it was already in the cross-hairs of the Evil Empire.
        That is, if Russia would have accepted him, of course.

        • Shardlake

          Absolutely, you’re correct in all you have written. I think Mr Assange can be forgiven in choosing the Ecuadorian Embassy for a refuge as that seemed his best bet at the time. He wasn’t to know a change in power years later would lead to to the despicable events that would transpire and that’s why I think he will not be safe wherever he goes even if he becomes a free individual. With regard to President Putin, I believe he really doesn’t like the idea of Mr Snowden as a resident in Russia but he accepts that situation for as long as Mr Snowden is there, he will use that fact to his own advantage when it comes to dealing with the USA and any of its vassal states.

    • John O'Dowd

      Julian Assange should be out on bail anyway. A nice sentiment Rhys – but he shouldn’t be released unconditionally with the grateful thanks of all of us for revealing the war crimes of the Empire?

      • John O'Dowd

        Sorry, that should have read as a (rhetorical) question (now corrected):
        A nice sentiment Rhys – but shouldn’t he released unconditionally with the grateful thanks of all of us for revealing the war crimes of the Empire?

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Rhys,

      He should never be in jail to begin with, never mind faced any prosecution for an alleged crime he simply did not do – and, as Starmer has his fingerprints all over this crime, the man should never have been allowed in the Labour party, never mind set to become its next leader.

      I did not vote for, mainly because I’m booted out the Party once more, and, the only person who energised me a little was Richard Burgon, the rest are a right shower I’m afraid – try asking RLB to explain what exactly this Green New Deal thing is?

  • Not Noam

    I salute your efforts, but they are a complete waste of time. ‘People in power understand precisely one thing: violence’ (Noam Chomsky)

    • Annan

      The chances of Assange attaining bail for the crime of not being a criminal are nearly zero. If nothing shows the value of an independent Scotland, then the difference between the Salmond trial outcome and the inevitable Assange stitch-up should motivate Scots to find their own future while they have a chance.

      Looking back at a simple index like entertainment, I notice that 50 years ago TV was full of shows about the people taking on an unaccountable State – Perry Mason, the Lone Ranger, Zorro. Now it’s full of unaccountable state minions and everyone else is guilty as hell. After 50 years of energetically defending international peace, the West has accomplished more conflict zones than ever before and the total demolition of several entire countries while dropping more bombs than in the entire 2nd World War. After berating the former USSR for its human rights failures, the West has become an exemplar of everything it claimed to oppose. After exhorting the world to become prosperous like itself, the new empire has asset-stripped public wealth, savings and social and intellectual resources. Sadly, that includes the demise of the Rule of Law and any effort to comply with the many UN multinational treaties designed to prevent injustice and violence. Even now, professional looters are profiting from the COVID disaster: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200323/17334844155/why-is-fda-giving-potential-covid-19-treatment-orphan-status.shtml

      It is becoming clear that those who are peaceful and prefer to work within the law have some difficult choices to make.

      • Martinned

        I would love to know more about why you think Assange would have had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting bail in Scotland, if he had been detained there.

        • Gavin C Barrie

          Did Annan mention Assange’s potential to be awarded bail were he under Scotland jurisdiction? I don’t think so.Have I misread your input Martinned,?

          • Martinned

            Implicitly, yes, in praising the Scottish system while describing the English Assange case as a “stitch-up”.

        • annan

          If you can’t win the argument in front of you, start one you prefer? I suspect, however, that Assange would have had a less prejudicial hearing, although I have no opinion on the outcome. Scottish justice has surprised me both by freeing Salmond on all counts, and by its opinion on the constitutional constraints on the executive over parliamentary prorogue.

    • Tom Welsh

      It’s actually very simple. One of those things that are so simple that they are hard to grasp.

      Mr Assange has offended the Big Swinging Dicks of Washington. That is essentially the same as offending a Godfather. Revenge must not only be done, but be seen to be done; and it must be as cruel and frightful as possible. There can be no pity and no mercy.

      What’s that you say? Law? LAW???

      But the whole point of the exercise is to show that those people are above the law – fundamentally, utterly, permanently.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Tom Welsh
        Assange has offended Hillary Clinton and the DNC by exposing their fiddling of the candidate selection process vis-a-vis Bernie.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Johny Conspiranoid March 25, 2020 at 17:53
          Not that Bernie Sanders, or indeed Tulsi Gabbard seem too bothered.

  • dearieme

    If anyone in government isn’t entirely distracted by the ChiCommPox he, or she, should grasp the nettle and let Assange out. Never let a crisis go to waste. After all his case will be well diluted by thousands of other releases.

  • bj

    We have come to the point that people die in isolation, alone, lonely.
    They are not allowed to have a decent burial; the deceased are collected, and cremated.

    Somehow I am reminded of scenes in the movie ‘The Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ (1978).

  • bj

    Assange denied bail.
    From RT:
    The judge also cited Assange’s “past conduct” which she said “shows the lengths he is prepared to go to avoid extradition proceedings.”

    Apparently the judge judges the seeking asylum extreme, and criminal in itself.
    Baraitser is a fraud.

          • pretzelattack

            the authorities had a choice, assange, an innocent man, responded to circumstances.

          • Martinned

            Well, he wasn’t innocent. He was guilty of exactly the thing he was convicted of when he finally came out: absconding.

            And it makes sense to hype up the police reaction in such a high-profile case, lest the whole instrument of bail become useless. If people think they can abscond without consequences, the inevitable consequence will be that fewer people end up getting bail in the first place, which doesn’t seem ideal for either the would-be bailees or for the authorities.

    • Tom Welsh

      Yes, fraudulent extradition proceedings aimed at extraditing a perfectly innocent man, on the pretext of crimes he never committed and had not even been indicted for, so that he could be butchered.

      • michael norton

        Corbyn has had his last go as leader of the opposition today, parliament is being shut due to Covid-19 sweeping the globe.
        So, nobody can ask any questions about Assange of our government.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ michael norton March 25, 2020 at 16:08
          There is a petition doing the rounds to have the Labour Leadership postponed, and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership extended.

          • Martinned

            I’m sure there is. I’m sure there’s also a petition suggesting that Corbyn should be made leader for life…

  • Martinned

    To the surprise of absolutely no one sane, the guy who absconded from bail and staid on the run for 7 years has his bail application refused…

  • Pb

    I think there may be a very important aspect of Baraitser’s ruling

    “His past conduct shows the lengths he is prepared to go in order to avoid extradition.”

    It is acknowledgement that he had good grounds to disobey his bail conditions and not the reasons given for his conviction.

    The authorities maintained there was no prospect of Assange being extradited from the UK to the US for espionage charges when he skipped bail but here is the Judge acknowledging not only was their a real fear in his mind but a real threat from the UK to extradite him if he gave himself up.

    It is tacit acceptance by the court that the lengths that Assange went to was not because he feared being extradited to Sweden on rape charges. He was convicted on the reasoning that dodged bail for the Swedish accusations, there were no US proceedings at that time, as far as I can remember. What makes it worse is there were no charges from Sweden

    So not only was his imprisonment for bail jumping based on false pretenses his continued detention is based on the real threat and not the HMG’s stated circumstances.

    I trust his legal team will now look at having his conviction for bail jumping overturned

    • Tom Welsh

      “I trust his legal team will now look at having his conviction for bail jumping overturned”.

      I very much fear that the greatest defence lawyers ever to practice could not help Mr Assange now. He is in the hands of those who do not care about the law, and have no reason to fear it.

      • Leonard Young

        I somewhat disagree. I’m not convinced Assange has been served by a robust defence, but I concede it is a very difficult job. There are two options. One is to play the good boy or girl as to procedure but use what little armour there is to challenge the fundamental injustices. The other is to use the defence position as an opportunity to challenge the entire premise of the principle of extradition in the first place.

        For example, to use the reason of ill-health as a major part of the defence thrust is almost bound to come unstuck, as any alleged criminal could use the same excuse. In that way, it might be counter-productive even though it is indeed a valid argument.

        The defence lawyers, for example, could have point blank refused to conduct the case under conditions where the defendant is shut behind a glass screen as though he was a violent terrorist or alleged serial killer. Even where the judge ignored this, the defence council has every opportunity to question, disrupt, stubbornly resist, plea, cajole, not co-operate, until or unless the bench conceded that such an unreasonable treatment of Assange was abandoned. I’m not convinced that the defence team pursued this basic injustice with sufficient energy.

        • Billy Brexit !

          I agree with you. The defence team should realise they are in a very dirty tricks game and no strategy and tactic should be off the table. They should use every procedure, obstacle, point of order and bloody mindedness to drive the magistrate screaming from the court in desperation. It is clear she is being directed from outside and this should be pointed out in no uncertain terms to her at every occasion until her position is totally untenable, her bias and prejudice bared naked for all to see that the magistrate really is wearing no clothes.

    • Stonky

      The argument isn’t even as complicated as this Pb. The relevant provision of the Bail Act is S. 6(1)

      If a person who has been released on bail in criminal proceedings fails WITHOUT REASONABLE CAUSE to surrender to custody he shall be guilty of an offence.

      (I put that bit in capitals just in case those obnoxious clowns Martinned or Kempe should come along and start spouting their usual tripe.)

      Julian’s grounds for not surrendering to custody were:
      1. That the Swedish accusations were just a ruse to get him into custody, and that no charges would be forthcoming. A claim subsequently proven to be fact.
      2. That once in custody the USA would immediately attempt to extradite him. A claim subsequently proven to be fact.

      If ever anyone had reasonable cause not to surrender to custody, under the law as it stands, it was Julian. The fact that he was unable to defend himself against the charge of bail-jumping is stark proof that from the outset, the law was just never going to apply in his case. The unfortunate truth is that any discussion about possible legal remedies that might be open to him is a waste of time and energy. He has none.

  • John Jones

    Julian Assange denied bail is a disgrace and is further evidence of the corruption at the heart of the process on this ovcadion.

    • James

      It is not the fact that he was denied bail that is the problem – it is that he is being held at all that is the problem.

      George Blake (who was guilty) was sprung – why can’t someone spring Julian Assange (who is innocent)?

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    Just spoken to a medical researcher who thinks sooner or later we will all be infected with covid 19. I don’t give much for my own chances due to my medical history(cancer) and a physical disability that undermines the ventilation/respiratory system.
    One must hope that we can delay infection long enough for effective treatments to be developed.

    • Crispa

      Except in this country we just do not know because we are not testing enough or systematically enough, which is partly why the figures are so untrustworthy over incidence and deaths. South Korea with its test, test test approach provides a much more accurate basis for making differential diagnoses at all stages and its current count of 126 deaths from just under 10k confirmed cases from over 350k tests is probably a better indicator of the true situation. Here anyone who dies of a respiratory related illness with other complications is more likely to be put down as a Covid – 19 death.

      • Christopher Dale Rogers

        Crispa,

        Stats presently trending for mortality rate in South Korea is 1.42%, actual observed mortality in clinically/laboratory tested persons, that is, those admitted to hospital and then closely monitored is trending at 1.6% when research data is combined from China, Japan & South Korea, and this figure also correlates to the figures we have in Hong Kong, which are quite easy to access.

        A few issues with the above based on Chinese/Japanese close observation of control groups, namely, whilst the overall population-wide mortality is in the 1.6% ballpark, matters are not so sweet when demographics are qualified, namely, the mortality rate for those over 59 years of age is trending at 5%, so, 60 and infected there is a 1/20 chance of death, and this is in a hospital environment.

        All datasets in Asia to-date are from the most advanced economies, not the emerging economies that don’t have public health systems on par with Asian or Western peers.

        Given, HKSAR is the health service system that most closely correlates with that of the UK, this is the one I’ve been drumming down to gauge where we stand in the UK – and, it ain’t a pretty picture I’m afraid, specifically when considered the HKSAR went into emergency mode on 3 January, and following our first confirmed infection, all Education was shut, and large gatherings suspended – most city life remains quite normal, however this may change after a 100% increase in recorded cases over a one week timeline, most of these being via the ‘back-door’, or, associated with persons not adopting social distancing – evidently the well healed under 30’s are immune, this week, they had a nasty shock!

        As for containment regimes, China & South Korea have adopted mass testing in Hot Zones, whilst HKSAR & Singapore have adopted the trace & test approach following any discovery of an infection in A&E, which is used by the vast bulk of our population.

        Further, and if commenting, its essential to understand the actual testing method, type of tests undertake and efficacy of said tests, which vary greatly, which is why, multiple tests must be applied to avoid false negatives or false positives, and, said tests must be applied routinely on each patient until the virus has cleared the system, at which point they are not shedding virus, predominately from back of throat and nasal tract.

        Under the regimes in Asia, if a patient dies whilst under medical supervision in a hospital environment, that death is Covid-19 related, with many being in high risk groups – full datasets are not available for a more accurate picture, but these will follow once figures are broken down further – I’m very much looking forward to the HKSARs finding, which have all been undertaken in clinical conditions, the Stats from these and treatments used to reduce viral load and treat more acute cases will save lives.

        On a further note, Italy is an outlier, and requires further investigation, however, if Italian figures are eschewed because of a lack of equipment and testing kit to achieve those figures found in HKSAR, Singapore and Japan, from laboratory testing, clinical observation must not be discounted if a strict set of criteria is ticked off with X-rays/Lung Ultrasound mixed into medical opinion.

        Here’s the bad news, the UK is trending similar to Italy & Spain and this is due to the fact that usual clinical/laboratory swab testing has been stripped to the bone, namely, only two nasal/back throat test are being applied, one of these goes for Covid-19 testing, the other for Influenza and other Respiratory tract pathogens – this is not best practice, which is why NHS Staff are pulling their hair out as the UK does not have the materials or resources, nor does it have the trained staff to undertake many routines, including best practice invasive incubation/ventilation, as well as non-invasive ventilation. Oh, and these procedures are those that put staff at greatest risk of infection.

    • Tom Welsh

      It seems possible that as many as 1,000 people are infected – in the sense of arrying the virus – for every one who dies. So things may not be all that gloomy.

      I wish you the very best of luck.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Deepgreenpuddock,

      I’ve yet to come across any research that indicates the entire human race to be infected by a single pathogen, of course the majority do have antibodies to Influenza and the Cold virus, but, said conditions are caused by more than a single pathogen, such as Covid-19.

      That said, I’m certainly not downplaying this one, I did that with SARS and was very much mistaken about that little bugger, which nearly brought Hong Kong’s Heath System to its knees, despite only recording approx 1800 cases, of which 17% died, essentially most who became infected were debilitated rapidly and needed ICU care, and ICU beds only make up 1% of all hospital beds in our health service.

      Thankfully, Covid-19 is not SARS, however, the downside is that 50% of those infected remain healthy and continue spreading the virus to those who are not, meaning, its transmission rate is significantly higher than SARS, despite a 1.6% mortality rate – its all in the numbers!

    • Billy Brexit !

      Deepgreenpuddock – all the more reason for you to put yourself in quaratine and observe very strict rules on who you come into contact with.

  • Blair Paterson

    I have said before on here the Israelis are killing the Palastinians. And stealing their land these are proven facts but if you say or print this you are anti Semetic just by telling the truth ???as I said if we had kept quiet in 1939 and done nothing about Nazi Germany what they were doing to the Jews then the Jewish race could have been extinct by now so all you on here who condem anyone who condems Israel just think about that .,I am not anti Semetic I am anti bad guy no matter who it is

  • Republicofscotland

    Nice speech on FT today Craig.

    On Assange I suppose holding him in Belmarsh, on no charges, even now with this pandemic, I’d imagine it would be to keep his spirit broken.

    My cynical mind also points to they hope Assange gets infected and A) It kills him or B) It some how speeds up his extradition or C) They proclaim his death, and swap his very much alive body for a deceased doppelganger, and that gives the USA whatever amount of time they need at a leisurely pace to torture Assange in the USA for every little morsel of information that he knows, before disposing of him without anyone knowing or suspecting anything.

    • Geoff

      You may be correct but I suspect that the authorities prefer Julian to stay alive. It’s not really about him now, so much as about any aspiring young Assanges out there..He’s far more valuable to them alive as a trophy deterrent for any others thinking to release the truth in the way Julian has. As they can’t cut off ‘traitorous heads’ and mount them on spikes any longer in a literal sense, they’re confined to this continual dance with his incarceration.

      It will be a very rare soul who dares try to walk the same path that Julian did, while aware of his continual torture. Should Julian die or otherwise be removed from public view, then that very glaring deterrent effect will start to fade.(until the next one)

      • lysias

        As Tertullian said, the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. The worse they treat him, the more he will inspire imitators.

    • Giyane

      RoS

      I don’t think the US minds about the Iraqi leaks.
      I think they are afraid that their corruption and skulduggery would destroy their reputations The US takes the I’m big, you’re small attitude to Iraq. The US thinks it conquered and owns Iraq in a legal war.

      I also think that Tory MPs are terrified of Huawei finding out about their corruption and wealth. The US and UK are mentally I’ll psychopaths running the world for their own convenience
      It’s what Assange or China could publish in future that scares them rigid.

  • Soothmoother

    As far as I’m aware, Wikileaks is still releasing documents and you can still access Clinton emails on their website. Why has this site not been taken down? HRC would like to drone Mr. Assange and I’m sure many other powerful people would like to do the same. So where is he most safe? If he were released, I’m sure his safety would be in jeopardy. How would he be safe or be kept safe? He probably knows the circumstances of the Seth Rich murder and whether or not the Clinton emails were hacked. So, could it be that he’s fine in Belmarsh and safe there? If that were the case, connected people like Mr. Murray and Mr. Assange’s lawyers would have to be part of a ruse to give the impression that he is being slowly murdered in prison. Apparently well-meaning people would be campaigning for his release, knowing that assassinating him would be easier.
    Just a thought.

  • Crispa

    Baraitser’s rejection of Julian Assange’s bail application in relation to Covid – 19.is as simplistic and crass as this government’s handling of it. If anyone in a prison catches Covid – 19 it is because someone has brought it in from outside, which means that they have been allowed to enter and conduct their business without the proper precautions being taken. That is negligence. Once a virus strikes inside a closed community it can spread very rapidly. This means that all prisoners will be at greater risk of being infected. Reasonably healthy prisoners will suffer no more than minor or moderate forms of the disease as will their equivalents in the wider community. Those with health issues will be at greater risk of suffering the more severe forms and those whose health issues that are related like Julian Assange to lung and heart conditions will be in double jeopardy and at high risk of being seriously ill. To think purely in terms of Julian Assange as just one of many as Baraitser has done is sheer negligence s she too must have a duty of care for the wellbeing of the people whose lives she controls through her judgments.

  • Forthestate

    On the subject of COVID-19, there have been some very troubling comments on here, and I can only hope they come from people who have not managed to penetrate to the crux of this crisis, as the alternative is very depressing. There is evidence, and very good evidence, mainly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=26&v=JBB9bA-gXL4&feature=emb_logo that the coronavirus is not different to other coronaviruses except in its infectiousness, which means that those with underlying complications, particularly the elderly, will die in larger numbers than normal. This would be less cause for concern if we had the medical facilities to cope. In this video, Dr Sucharit Bhakdi is speaking from Germany, which has three times the number of patients beds per head compared with the UK. It is also far better supplied with respirators. So the crux of this crisis is not the virus, but a depleted health service which cannot cope. The prospects are grim. Those deemed to have no chance will die isolated, alone, and without respiratorial support. It’s not the virus; it’s about buying time for the sociopaths who run us to build up enough resources in the NHS so that those who fall seriously ill with it can be treated with humanity, and given a chance. If anyone on here doesn’t think, for one second, that anything we can do to reduce the numbers in that appalling situation isn’t an imperative, then they need to spend some serious time in self-isolation, self reflecting.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Forthestate,

      Covid-19 is very much a coronavirus that is present in mammals, in this instance, although with no definitive conclusion, probably bats.

      Further, the actual mortality rate for the pathogen in Asia, trending at just below 1%, or below 2% depending on the Stats being utilised, so, in the HKSAR, the observed mortality rate in clinically/laboratory tested person with Covid-19 is presently 1%, with 4 cases in ICU, and 2 cases in a serious condition, out of a total 411 infections – had these figures been looked at two weeks ago, the mortality rate was actually above 2%, we’ve doubled the number of cases in 14 days and all are hospitalised and undergoing treatment, thus reducing the chances of death in an advanced economy – of course not all ASEAN members are on par with China, let alone Japan or South Korea!

      Further, and by way of explaining outliers, its actually necessary to understand the testing process, which involves swabs being taken and then sent off for analysis with Covid-19 testing kit, and many kits exist with difference accuracy level, which is why in the advanced Asian economies multiple swabs are taken and tested to prevent false negatives or false positives, thus a minimum three tests must be performed per person before a reasonable diagnostic can be achieved, reinforced by clinical procedures, such as temp, coughs, X-Rays and Lung Ultrasound examination, used extensively now for TB testing in many poor nations.

      I’m not aware of the testing protocol used in Italy, but, if, due to a lack of resources you are going to get a lot of false negatives and false positives – this being essentially where we are in NHS England and NHS Wales, as the number of swab test now being implemented, which are cut from normal practices usually used is one swab being sent off to test for Covid-19 and one swab being sent off to check for Influenza, meaning, making a firm diagnostic is really difficult. And, if this is not worrying enough, anyone who has tested positive, but remains relatively asymptomatic is actually sent home to hone isolate for 14 days, which is a bloody joke.

      Now, and due to the sterling work of our Health Authority and the hero’s manning our public sector hospitals, not only has Influenza been dramatically reduced, but all persons who test positive, that is we are 99% certain they have Covid-19, are all in hospital and in isolation, hence not infecting anyone else – sadly, with a 50% asymptomatic rate, controlling this outbreak is difficult without widespread community testing, this being the approach China and South Korea adopted, whilst HKSAR and Singapore have utilised the contact tracing method, which has proved highly effective – none, I repeat, none of this is happening in the UK, hence rates of infection that are now significantly higher than China.

      Now, I’m using a mean average of 1.6% mortality in observed patients as my starting point based on studies from China and Japan, alas, and under controlled conditions, for those over 59, which is a lot in Home Kong and Japan, the mortality figure is trending at 5% of all infected persons expressing symptoms, which, results in a large number of deaths if the pathogen remains unchecked, hence why the HKSAR went into Emergency mode very early in the day and Pandemic Protocol 101 implemented 24hrs of our first confirmed infection, meaning all Educational establishments were closed and large gathering suspended.

      On a rather funny note from my perspective, the HKSAR now enjoys greater civil liberties than those presently found in the UK, which, ignored all early warnings that something nasty was coming its way – makes you proud to be British does that.

      • Forthestate

        Many thanks for that, Christopher, I appreciate your informed and intelligent analysis throughout your posts on this subject.

        Like you and others, I’m deeply concerned at the ongoing loss of civil liberties but, equally like you I suspect, I’m less than impressed with the fatuous proposition that an assault on civil liberties is correlative with the fabrication of a crisis. Realistically, we face the prospect of governments worldwide taking advantage of this crisis in order to seriously curtail our liberties – that is a serious danger – buy we don’t face that prospect because COVID-19 isn’t a crisis. I’m also quite disgusted with the use of statistics to convince us that we needn’t consider those about to die under appalling circumstances a cause for our concern. This is probably nothing more than the willy waving of the deeply inadequate, since the desire to make it all go away with figures amounts to nothing more than calculating your own chances and concluding you probably needn’t worry about yourself – certainly not about anyone else. The sociopathy in this approach needs no elucidation from me – it speaks for itself.

        Once again, thank you for your excellent and informative posts.

    • Nick

      Forthestate…excellent post.
      As i stated before the tories have stripped away almost 12500 beds
      That and the imperial college boffins disregarding data published in the lancet from asia late january isn’t helping.
      But the media fear porn….instead of cold hard available data being disseminated…has not helped.
      There has no guidance from the very top.
      I still would question whether this is solely covid19 and not in conjunction with flu. I caught up with 2 friends recently(mid 30’s,asthmatic) who receive the flu jab every year due to their asthma. Both late december-early january were hospitalised with horrible respiratory infections caused by flu. Both managed to be halted on the verge of becoming pneumonic. Interestingly….despite both being in different countries(unrelated to early covid19 cases) both were told exactly the same thing. That their flu jab was ineffective against the flu that was coming(flu…not covid19). Both said they had never felt so ill…requiring a week in hospital. Remember that physicians early on in italy said they were struggling as there was already a flu outbreak. Could it be 2 viruses hitting at once? Skewing the figures as europe was at the start of a flu outbreak….with this them arriving just after? Lets face it…no real proper testing for covid19 was happening. They were testing the immunosystem response as they had no test at all for covid19. The higher figure in europe could be down to viral tandem which would explain more deaths in the younger category due to viral overload. There was nothing in the asian figures to suggest the slightly different percentages per age demographic.

  • Mary

    Some hack called Marty Silk who used to work for Murdoch and who now works for Australian Associated Press (whoever they are) is taken to task by Craig on Twitter. Silk covered the bail hearing.

    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1242810311603892224

    Silk’s output.
    https://twitter.com/MartySilkHack?

    I see he still does work for Murdoch whose tentacles extend around the globe.

    ‘AAP is owned by three Australian news organisations – News Corp Australia, Nine Entertainment Co., and Seven West Media. Nine owns 47%, News owns 45%, and Seven West 8%. Together these companies produce the vast majority of Australian newspapers.’
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Associated_Press

    Poor Aussies. Where is Barry Humphries when he’s needed?

    • Leonard Young

      Apart from anything else, Silk’s article is just about the most illiterate post I’ve ever seen from a Murdoch employee. Clearly not even checked by software let alone his own brain.

  • Tony M

    Craig, I know this might sound daft, but might your being excluded from the last days of the court proceedings in the last days of the Salmond case, have been out of concern for you, your physical health? I don’t know how packed the court or public gallery might have been but I feel, I hope, would like to think, someone somewhere might be looking out for you.

    Take care of yourself, keep us posted, I’m just on chapter one of a paper copy of the Burnes book that came in the post recently and looking forward to reading it under a shady tree somewhere, with a vista of forests and lowland hills to behold, without distractions, without computers, ubiquitous tech, noise and and the other very mixed blessings, and certain blights that modern life presses on us. I only wish Julian Assange and other prisoners of conscience everywhere could have the same relative freedoms, even as we all feel our world shrinking too, the enforced limitations we’re already chafing against, are as nothing to those others have done and still endure.

  • Tom Welsh

    Meanwhile, in China – where the virus is alleged to have started – 73,650 people have recovered (of a total 81,218 cases). So far 3,281 have died – about 4% of those identified as having caught the virus. New cases seem to be tapering off rapidly.

    • Forthestate

      I imagine that in China, unlike here in the UK, they were fully equipped to deal with this crisis, and I imagine that because the production of medical supplies has largely been outsourced to China. The problem here is not so much about how many will die, but how they will die.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Yes Tom,

      How very informative, so, after the largest quarantine recorded in human history and stringent measures imposed on 50% of the nation, with four cities alone in Hubei Locked down with a population between them of 27.7 million persons, ten cities in total being Locked down in China, the country was able to stem the tide and reduce transmission substantially -these unprecedented figures actually gave many nations a minimum of 4-6 weeks to prepare for the coming storm, due to the fact that by 1 January the pathogen had been released globally, with the first outside China confirmed infection reported as 17 of January in Thailand, which of course, for those in the know, is actually a Gateway for global flights internationally, as is Hong Kong, as is Tokyo, as is Beijing and as is Shanghai, and, when we look at where the first infections pop up not long after 17 January, no surprise to learn it was in other nations with Gateway airports – the first infection in the HKSAR recorded on 23 January.

      Of course, China, Japan, HKSAR, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan’s sacrifices have been needless in your opinion, and we should have just remained as normal, which funnily enough was how the WHO reacted for many, many weeks having been informed by Beijing of a major health concern on 31 December.

      Indeed, and despite having an infectious diseases monitoring station based in Hong Kong, that is actually in China, the WHO did not organise a formal medical visit to Wuhan City until 16 February, a full three weeks after the HKSAR and Singapore placed their health services on an Emergency footing and rolled out Protocol’s established after the SARS outbreak – but of course nothing to worry about, its Influenza after all and people die anyway!!!!!!!

      • Nick

        Christopher dale roberts
        The problem is people do die
        It doesn’t make it ok..but people die of viruses every year…fact of life.
        The biggest factor in uk is not virus per se…but useless boffins…a government more interested in protecting their investors than the public and a shredded to the bone nhs. Which pre 2009 could have coped better with the numbers. For years the nhs has been choosing who lives or dies…liverpool care pathway anyone? This virus is merely exposing the gross ineptitude of the lunatics running the asylum.

  • paul metcalf

    beraitser has denied the request for bail and is impervious to criticism whether national or inter national.like israel shooting children.
    she should never be allowed in any court anywhere,not even as a line judge at wimbledon.

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