Beyond Words 135


Yesterday Mark Sommers QC, the extremely erudite and bookish second counsel for Julian Assange in his extradition hearing, trembled with anger in court. Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser had just made a ruling that the names of Julian Assange’s partner and young children could be published, which she stated was in the interests of “open justice”. His partner had submitted a letter in support of his Covid 19 related bail application (which Baraitser had summarily dismissed) to state he had a family to live with in London. Baraitser said that it was therefore in the interests of open justice that the family’s names be made public, and said that the defence had not convincingly shown this would cause any threat to their security or well-being. It was at this point Sommers barely kept control. He leapt to his feet and gave notice of an appeal to the High Court, asking for a 14 day stay. Baraitser granted four days, until 4pm on Friday.

I am in lockdown in Edinburgh, but received three separate eye witness reports. They are unanimous that yet again Baraitser entered the court carrying pre-written judgements before hearing oral argument; pre-written judgements she gave no appearance of amending.

There have been two Covid-19 deaths in Belmarsh prison so far. For obvious reasons the disease is ripping through the jail like wildfire. The Department of Justice is admitting to one death, and refuses to give statistics for the number of cases. As even very sick prisoners are not being tested, the figures would arguably not mean much anyway. As the court heard at the bail application, over 150 Belmarsh prison staff are off work self-isolating and the prison is scarcely functioning. It is the most complete definition of lockdown.

The Prison Governors’ Association submitted to the House of Commons Justice Committee (which yesterday morning considered prisoner releases in closed session) that 15,000 non-violent prisoners need to be released to give the jails any chance of managing COVID-19. The Department of Justice has suggested releasing 4,000 of whom just 2,000 have been identified. As of a couple of days ago, only about 100 had actually been released.

The prisons are now practising “cohorting” across the estate, although decisions currently lie with individual governors. Prisoners who have a cough – any cough – are being put together in segregated blocks. The consequences of this are of course potentially unthinkable. Julian has a cough and chronic lung condition for which he has been treated for years – a fact which is not in dispute.

Yesterday Baraitser again followed her usual path of refusing every single defence motion, following pre-written rulings (whether written or merely copied out by herself I know not), even when the prosecution did not object. You will recall that at the first week of extradition hearing proper, she insisted that Julian be kept in a glass cage, although counsel for the US government made no objection to his sitting in the body of the court, and she refused to intervene to stop his strip searching, handcuffing and the removal of his court papers, even though the US government joined the defence in querying her claim she had no power to do this (for which she was later roundly rebuked by the International Bar Association).

Yesterday the US government did not object to a defence motion to postpone the resumption of the extradition hearing. The defence put forward four grounds:

1) Julian is currently too ill to prepare his defence
2) Due to Covid-19 lockdown, access to his lawyers is virtually impossible
3) Vital defence witnesses, including from abroad, would not be able to be present to testify
4) Treatment for Julian’s mental health conditions had been stopped due to the Covid-19 situation.

Baraitser airily dismissed all these grounds – despite James Lewis QC saying the prosecution was neutral on the postponement – and insisted that the May 18 date remains. She stated that he could be brought to the cells in Westminster Magistrates Court for consultations with his lawyers. (Firstly, in practice that is not the case, and secondly these holding cells have a constant thoughput of prisoners which is very obviously undesirable with Covid19).

It is worth noting that the prosecution stated that the US government’s own psychiatrist, appointed to do an assessment of Julian, had been unable to access him in Belmarsh due to Covid 19 restrictions.

This is getting beyond me as it is getting beyond Mark Sommers and the defence team. Even before Covid 19 became such a threat, I stated that I had been forced to the conclusion the British Government is seeking Assange’s death in jail. The evidence for that is now overwhelming.

Here are three measures of hypocrisy.

Firstly, the UK insists on keeping this political prisoner – accused of nothing but publishing – in a Covid 19 infested maximum security jail while the much-derided Iranian government lets Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out and hopefully will release her altogether.
Which is the inhumane regime?

Secondly, “open justice” allegedly justifies the release of the identities of Julian’s partner and kids, while the state enforces the secrecy of Alex Salmond’s busted accusers, even though the court heard evidence that they specifically colluded to destroy him using, as a deliberate tool, the anonymity afforded to people making sexual accusations.

Thirdly, nobody cultivates her own anonymity more than Vanessa Baraitser who has her existence carefully removed from the internet almost entirely. Yet she seeks to destroy the peace and young lives of Julian’s family.

Keep fighting for Julian’s life and for freedom.

Pieter Evert sent me this rather good cartoon, for which many thanks:

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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135 thoughts on “Beyond Words

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  • np

    If this were happening in the US. the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would probably be making a helluva stink. I think the nearest UK equivalent is Liberty, but they seem to have no interest in the case, judging from the lack of any mention on their website (https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk)

    As Julian’s lawyers will know, there are some bodies set up to receive complaints about the judiciary -the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office and an Ombudsman – but they’re part of the Ministry of Justice system and probably no help in these circumstances.

    FWIW, there’s also a Guide to Judicial Conduct, which contains the following:

    Judges should strive to ensure that their conduct, both in and out of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public, the legal profession and litigants, in their personal impartiality and that of the judiciary. (page 6)

    The judge should seek to be courteous, patient, tolerant and punctual and should respect the dignity of all. He or she should ensure that no one in court is exposed to any display of bias or prejudice from any source. In the case of those with a disability, care should be taken that arrangements made for and during a court hearing do not put them at a disadvantage. (page 7)

    If there are circumstances which may give rise to a suggestion of bias, or appearance of bias, if possible, they should be disclosed to the parties well before the hearing. (page 19)

    https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Amended-Guide-to-Judicial-Conduct-revision-Final-v002.-March-2020-pdf.pdf

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Yes,’Liberty’, whatever happened to them? You hear more about human rights from Computer Weekly.

  • Tarla

    Craig, when will you realise that the profit motive is THE evil in the world, and that all the worlds ills are to do with capitalism, and anyone who challenges/expose the dirty dealings will be quashed. History has showed us that. Bring down the dictatorship of capital and replace it with the dictatorship of the working class.

    • Bayard

      History shows us that “the profit motive” aka selfishness and greed is a problem as old as humanity and probably older than that. After so many millions of years, we are not about to get rid of it just like that.

    • Ilya G Poimandres

      The economic problem is twofold:

      “unlimited wants, limited resources; limited needs, limited resources.”

      Capitalism – competition, is based on the principle of fairness, is the only model that works for the unbound first part of the problem.. You can’t squash away people’s wants through human reengineering – that is a want in itself. And craven, ideological, with intent to hurt those that you see as ‘other’.

      Socialism – not completion, is based on the prince of equality, and it is the only model that can satisfy the second part of the problem.. Subject to a sufficient technology level, where providing food, housing, health, medicine, defense (oh yes, that is a socialist good) does not cost a society >100% of GDP. It costs our modern OECD ones ~20-30%.

      Capitalism and socialism are not in competition, because they deal with two different problems. They work together.

      What you describe, is kleptolaracitism. It appears when capitalism employs regulations that are destructive to human and industrial capital.

      Take means tested welfare. This is not universal, so fails the socialist principle of equality. It is capitalistic, because it is fair – be poorer, get more money. It is competitive – be poorer. But it encourages a competition to the bottom – remove your labour, and you win.

      Or take the dividend payment. Without, shareholders (traders, not owners) have one motivation when buying shares – to see the business prosper, and concurrently, to see the value of their underlying shares rise. With? A second incentive is added to the equation. A trader (shareholder) can work for themselves and against the business, by squeezing dividends at its expense. An incentive to destroy industrial and human capital. Kleptolaracitism.

      Compete for wants, to the top. Share needs, universally. There is no fight here.

      • :-Joe

        With respect.. Your whole collection of statements as an argument collapses at the start.

        Please look for and show one example of true capitalism currently functioning properly and in effect in any soverign nation anywhere in the world? Even something close?…
        – You may find it easily enough but it’s not in the west or the so-called “first world”.

        True capatalism relies on the system being properly regulated which demands a state with a functioning government for a start. After that giant hurdle, proper regulation requires state interverntion and action over the( big delusion of ) “market forces know best” to intervene where necessary to push bad actors/agents out to the fringe and reduce their problems and negative consequences to a minimum.

        The idea that there is any possibility that the current out of control and completely corrupted, pseudo-capitalist, neo-liberal economic system will ever end up being properly regulated is… well. let’s be honest about it.. foolish, delusional or wishful thinking. It’s just another school kid’s dream…. People need to grow up,wake up and get a whiff of reality etc.

        Human, civil and workers rights are the most important. e.g. Freedom of speech and assembly, Democracy, Proportional representation, Regulation, Unions. etc etc.

        The planet needs to be deprogrammed and taught how to find and support reliable sources for information, learn how to co-operate more and leave the pseudo economic confidence trick by the greedy minority elites in the “unlimited growth” cult back in the past from where it came from.

        It would have been great if capitalism was properly implemented but like communism, it would have failed eventually and now even the pseudo version has failed anyway… Apparently?.. So, I’ve heard?..

        Anyway you decide.. don’t believe a word out of me.

        FREE JULIAN ASSANGE !!!…

        :-J

        • Ilya G Poimandres

          My reasoning is that people mistake what is needed for what is wanted, so inject the side of the economy that should be socialist with capitalist policy, and the side of the economy that should be capitalist with socialist policy, and so both fail.

          And when people rail at corporate bail outs as ‘socialism for the rich’ – the policy does not satisfy the root principles of equality and non-competition that socialism demands – so it is not a socialist policy. It is competitive, and although unfair, it is capitalism for this reason, if only vulture capitalism. The only socialist policy I know of in the UK is that all people are equal under the law.

          You hit the nail on the head that no representative democracy has effective regulators for representatives, or providers of security for that matter. Here my opinion is two fold: a bureaucracy is a derived demand for good regulations and security. It has been this since ancient times, foundational leaders in ancient myths ‘set weights and meassures’ and ‘provide security to the citizenry’ – I would only say the socialists add ‘provide security from destitution to the citizenry’, because in a society where division of labour is king, there is systemic failure/risk that must be addressed at the systemic level. But the bureaucracy is unnecessary in itself, and wasteful of human and industrial capital.

          If a smaller one could be created, that provides regulation and security from destitution just as well, the citizens would choose it, but the bureaucrats would not – that’s unemployment for them!

          And if you look at any modern government, they spend most of their time discussing how to tweak tax revenue policy, and how to tweak tax redistribution policy – unnecessary regulation.

          Here is where we have capitalism where we should have socialism: progressive taxes, means tested welfare, are competitive towards the bottom and unequal, they bloat the system of representatives, lawyers, accountants, split society, and offer easy outs for the rich to avoid taxes through systemic complexity.

          Flat tax income/profit/capital-gains/inheritance at the % that you need to run the provision of security to society (say that 30% of GDP), and redistribute it through targeted UBIs for individual needs (so socialist policy isn’t used on individual wants), whilst regulating those industries towards perfect competition (like the Swiss manage with health insurance market).

          There, almost no bureaucracy for the provision of security. No need to discuss anything but – is the universal provision of needs sufficient? This is a much simpler and shorter debate than discussing every single tax and spend policy any nation has atm, over and over again.

          The second problem is that representatives, being the head of a society, will interact with the top of it more than the bottom. That is just down to opportunity cost. And as you say, they will end up stepping in unison with those leaders of business, seeing their point of view more than the citizens.

          Here the problem is that we don’t have participatory, semi-direct democracy, where both the head can directly affect the body, and the body can directly affect the head.

          Now we have a schizophrenic system where the body may want one thing (say a smaller bureaucracy), but have no direct means to demand that off the head, and at some point they go in different directions, and we get societal failure, and bloody (directly democratic) revolution if the head doesn’t acquiesce out of its own choosing. Like the Gilet Jaunes, who demanded the next point, and got rubber bullets in their eyes!

          Rather, let representatives be elected (although Aristotle said elections are oligarchy, and sortition is democracy!), enact and strike laws, but give the citizenry a direct path, through petition and referendum, to reverse representative decisions.. and also offer positive amendments to a Constitution (if unwritten, the courts would have to decide if the petition was with respect to the Constitution I guess).

          The reason we have bad regulators is because of the false notion that the branches of government can check and balance each other – but what then checks and balances the whole system of government when they all fall into cahoots for their own benefit?

          The US founders chose a participatory and revolutionary democratic backstop through the second amendment. But this backstop has only been used once, when the federal government hiked taxes for Southern exports. Did it work? Not that time, but it is certainly a way. One equivalent to the Mandate of Heaven may I add!

          I believe a limited semi-direct democracy would be a participatory and evolutionary democratic backstop to representative selfishness and corruption.

          It seems to work in Switzerland, and I’m not sure the causation there is ‘all western money is deposited in Swiss bank accounts, therefore they get semi-direct democracy, armed neutrality, and peace (with mountains)’, but closer to ‘a long history of semi-direct democracy, armed neutrality, and peace (with mountains), hence wealth moves there’. Such a system is not a Utopia, it is just less open to the systemic failure of the head and body disagreeing on where to walk, but having no direct means to influence each other respectively.

          There is the issue of media monopoly, but this is just another issue of monopoly – monopoly is market failure, but it is embraced within our evolutionary autocracy (we vote for face lifts to the machine, nothing else). In fact the Swiss had a referendum on taking their monetary system away from fractional reserve banking, and it failed 25%/75% because of a MSM onslaught against the bill. I think regulate them into perfect competition, no more than x number of employees per media company, and create a market for news reports they can trade with each other, within their respective fields of expertise. But this of course, boils down to good regulation, and here even the Swiss system shows flaws!

          I agree there isn’t one such government atm though. Switzerland does fairly well though, and they prosper through it.

        • Ilya G Poimandres

          *all people are equal under the law – well, not really as Julian is finding out. Certainly de facto that is an illusion, but de jure it is there somewhere!

    • Michael Barry Lane

      Dear Craig Murray,
      Thank you for the light you are shining on the miscarriage of justice in the Assange extradition trial, and on the curious case of the Skripals.
      The silence of the msm is a disgrace.
      Doesn’t it follow from this latest decision that, in the interest of justice and transparency, Vanessa Baraitser’s cv, photo, address and possible conflicts of interest be divulged?

    • Bruce+H

      To replace it with what? I used to think we had an answer… Before we have a credible answer again is it really sufficient to simply make general statements which lead nowhere that’s very clear… it’s certainly not nationalism which is the dominant theme on this otherwise IMO very useful forum but which at best begs the question, what then? How will any new nation state escape the problems of existing ones?

      Maybe I’m pessimistic, but there seems to be a massive lack of theory and proposition to replace or build on those that are now over a century old, inspired my youth but no longer satisfy today.

    • alwayswrite

      Good,yep get rid of it,sounds brilliant!

      But please start to engage your BRAIN with what it is you’ll replace capitalism with,answers on a post card

      Over to you,oh and Assange basically worked for the kremlin,you know his silly little show he had on RT International,the Kremlin’s propaganda channel,which i note Murray oh and Salmond also regularly appear on!

      Anti capitalist,anti west,anti American,and one common denominator,they all work for the kremlin propaganda information war against freedom and democracy

      • Anti-corruption

        Perhaps that’s because the West, run by America, is the most corrupt place in the world, and is responsible for perpetual engineering of wars, seeking to control the world with its dollar. Assange is a true hero, and the murderers operating MI5, the British warmongering government, the US warmongering government, the CIA, the whole filth which comprises US/UK political establishment, this low-life is what should be exposed and destroyed. Capitalism is a rotten, corrupt, filthy system of usury, causing millions around the world to live and die in abject poverty, while governments bomb whole governments to pieces. US and UK are a f***ing disgrace! I would trust RT anytime before I would trust the hogwash continually pumped out by the Western MSM, particularly American-controlled Guardian and other warmongering propaganda sites. The murdering of Julian Assange by a puppet judge should be immediately exposed and that judge should be prosecuted and jailed for life because of her cooperation with corrupt masters in UK/US who are operating against the common good.

  • annan

    Baraitser demonstrates a level of contempt not merely for Assange but for judicial probity which appears to feel free to express itself without constraint. It appears that she feels completely unaccountable. Has someone promised her personal immunity and probably some other favourable outcome? If she is, after Assange’s extradition (if he lives that long) made up to a more senior judge we’ll all be able to draw our own conclusions about the independence of the UK judiciary.

  • Michael

    I’ve subscribed to your blog Craig although due to the current climate, its of the lower end I’m afraid but if my employment situation stabilises I will happily increase my subscription. Thankyou for your unbiased journalism. I have a close family member who worked in journalism in Scotland fir some years so I know their “limitations”.

  • Kolin Thumbadoo

    The most heinous contempt being public ally committed is that Baraister presides as an officer of a magistrates court.

  • Paul Barbara

    We may not know where Baraitser lives, but the Coronavirus’s do. Perhaps they won’t ‘Pass Over’.

  • Mary Kerr

    Magistrate Baraitser is clearly the lackey and mouthpiece for Arbuthnot, and her gang of persecuters in the British ruling class. I wonder whether she gets her findings written out for her or whether after instructions, she writes them up for approval by the US/UK rabble who are running this show. She certainly will go down in history as an idiot actor rather like the Marionette puppets of old who do as they are told by those who pull the strings from behind, in secret. It has been said but is worth reiterating that this is the most important political trial of our times, and British democracy is on trial as much as Julian Assange. Perhaps the disaffection and inequality being exposed and experienced so painfully by millions of people, in the way the state is dealing with the Corona Virus Crisis, will lead mass uprisings and put an end to this charade. I completely understand and empathise with the fury felt by Mark Sommers.

  • Antonym

    Most countries have under trails and convicted people in their jails; Julian is in the former category. Many released the under trails due to COVID-19. Than there is the seriousness of the offense: serial murderer or jay walker. Next flight risk; is the island of the UK still operating international flights now? Many countries don’t.

    Judge Vanessa Baraitser will go down history as an infamous example of judicial “Befehl ist Befehl”, which the International Nuremberg trials didn’t swallow in 1946.

  • Deborah

    I am horrified by the fact that the system is getting away with this. Julian should not be in prison. Those that should be are obviously pulling very powerful strings. Sadly your average person is too preoccupied with mass media lies and reality shows to have any idea that this massive injustice will whip round and be the future of us all. Please keep up the fight.

  • Dave

    The dilemma for the defence, Julian and then the lawyers, is do you act as if its an impartial hearing and play by the rules or do you act-up knowing its a political trial with no justice on offer?

    For example do you recognise the authority of the court, thinking doing otherwise will jeopardise your case, or do you denounce the magistrate, to make your case, knowing this will be used as a reason for what they were going to do anyway?

    The problem is whereas a defendant could act politically (although clearly Julian is being kept isolated, and I’m not sure he would even be allowed to defend himself), lawyers minded of their professional ethics/career’s will be reluctant to call a spade a spade and denounce the magistrate.

    I mean denounce the magistrate as a Roland Freisler, a disgrace to her father’s name and hope she may decide to save her soul from the hellfire!

  • Republicofscotland

    One wonders if there’s anyway of going above Vanessa Baraitser in this matter. Her actions shame English justice for all to see.

    I’d have thought that the Americans would have wanted Assange kept alive, so they can wring every smidgen of information that he has, out of him.

  • Jacqueline Butterworth

    Who is this woman judge? She seems to be making the rules as the case goes on- there needs to be an inquiry into her

    • Mr V

      That’s what you get when you base your laws on archaic, 1200 years old feudal nonsense instead than on modern, codified, impartial law system. I mean, continental courts have their share of problems but nothing like UK/US ones, where the judge is a feudal ruler who can wipe his behind with law as he/she sees fit. The system where right wing judge can “interpret” democratic laws like it was fascist country is so alien to me I have no idea why anyone sane would agree to it. Doubly so given “precedent” thing that makes it even worse, the fact that ruling by drunk, bribed judge 150 years ago somehow trumps everything and future cases need to follow it, no matter how crooked the verdict was…

  • Leonard Young

    This whole case surely is an abuse of process, which is not a casual phrase but a legally established position as far as I can tell. I am surprised that Assange’s defence team are not going much further than just frothing at the mouth, but at least attempting to make an application for some kind of judicial review of the extradition hearing itself. I do not know if the following web page addresses a similar scenario but it might be helpful:

    https://blog.6kbw.com/posts/abuse-of-process-in-the-magistrates-court-when-to-make-your-move

    It seems the only avenue now open to the defence is to openly challenge the court itself on its abuse of power and procedure.

  • Tony M

    We have gone full-circle back to bats … and Count Dracula. Pure horror, no-one wil be safe. They’re (the docs) going to start, apparently after successful testing, using whole blood (of compatible group) or blood plasma from survivors who’ve overcome the virus-thing, to treat others, presumably the rich -the donors being of course the poor. Not that I have any doubt this sort of thing has been going on for a long time, with organs too. It might be new income-stream for the care-home racket –blood-harvesting, milking, reaping?

  • Paul+Peppiatt

    Justice is blind! and that would explain how it is that Julian gets Belmarsh and Pinochet got the mansion with the well stocked drinks cabinet for when Maggie drops in.Justice must be blind . the only alternative would be morally corrupt.Lets have it right Julian is a journalist who to my knowledge has caused no harm just embarrassment and Pinochet a Fascist dictator who tortured and executed so many of his opponents that he had to stop dumping the hundreds of victims bodies in the sea because they had begun to wash up back on shore.Maybe he got the mansion for other reasons, maybe he got it for killing a journalist that was writing about the son of one of his house guests who knows?Tam Dalyell may have.I need to believe justice is blind otherwise i would be shouting out my window” I,m as mad as hell and I,m not going to take it anymore”!

  • Ilya G Poimandres

    Guilty, even if proven innocent.

    Please, send me back to the middle ages.

  • Rose

    Dear Craig,
    Thank you as always for your articulate, insightful, and dedicated reporting.
    Below, is a description of a conference held 17 June 2019, at Birkbeck University, London, in which Vanessa Baraitser’s sister, Lisa Baraitser, a Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, presented. The conference was entitled, Incarceration: Space, Power, and Personhood.
    I wonder what Lisa thinks of her sister, the magistrate Vanessa?
    In solidarity,
    Rose

    [The aims of incarceration are manifold: to punish, to disempower, to deter, to silence, to interrogate, to reform. In this interdisciplinary symposium we will examine how the experience of incarceration – the myriad temporalities and spaces of imprisonment – shape personhood, psychic life and the possibility of interpersonal relations. The prison cell, as the typical site of modern incarceration, also provides a template for thinking about how carceral logic shapes lives and communities outside its walls, for example in psychiatric hospitals, schools, workplaces and gated communities. This expanded notion of carceral space describes the spatial organization of relationships among bodies and things through practices of criminalization, surveillance, confinement, segregation, and other forms of punitive control. In this workshop we will bring together short working papers which explore how different forms of carceral space shape and control the institutionalized subject.

    We also take note of important recent work that considers questions of race, gender and class in the carceral setting, examine first-hand accounts, not least regarding the experience of ‘solitary’, and explore theories about particular psychological mechanisms, including ‘defenses’ in the psychoanalytic sense, that may be used by inmates in attempts to adapt to and tolerate long-term confinement. In exploring the various histories, logics, models and motivations behind such practices we also seek to consider how carceral regimes may reflect and sustain wider cultural processes, political systems and forms of social organisation.

    The symposium will be held during the visit of philosopher Professor Lisa Guenther’s visit to Birkbeck in June 2019, arranged under the auspices of the Hidden Persuaders project, the Birkbeck Insitutute of Social Research and The Pathologies of Solitude project at Queen Mary. In her powerful book Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives, Guenther provides a history and phenomenological account of solitary confinement, describing the lived experience of solitary as a form of perceptual and social death. As her account reminds us, exploring the dehumanizing effects of incarceration also provides an opportunity for reflecting upon conditions that maintain or destroy personhood; facilitate, reduce or destroy a capacity for human flourishing. This symposium will be an opportunity to examine how limitations on sensation, agency and social interaction profoundly influence the incarcerated subject’s perceptual and emotional experience of the world.]

  • A.C.Doyle

    Here is a recent (30. March 2020) view of the British parliament Foreign Affairs Committee on the importance of the protection of journalists and journalistic freedom.

    Source: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/78/foreign-affairs-committee/news/145775/coronavirus-spread-shows-the-hazard-of-suppressing-the-truth/

    Journalists around the world face immense danger and death just simply for bringing us the truth. In the Committee’s report, media workers and their supporters described the physical threats, harassment, intimidation and financial uncertainty that endanger a profession on which we all depend for our most fundamental freedoms.

    Defending media freedom around the world was the FCO’s priority campaign for 2019. Evaluating its success so far, the Committee’s report praised the progress already achieved, but also highlighted deficiencies. In its response, the FCO has shown the further steps it has taken to protect journalists and to enlist other countries in that fight. Nevertheless, much remains to be done, and there are key areas where the FCO can and must go further.

    The hazards of not doing so are all too clear, with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) showing the dangers that arise when the truth is suppressed.

    ==========

    The absurdity of this disconnect with reality could not be stronger when the British “justice” system has openly connived at the incarceration of a very celebrated journalist, Julian Assange, in London’s disease infested high security Belmarsh prison for nothing more than exposing the truth.

  • Donald+Anderson

    As a Pensioner, I am all subscribed out, but I am freeloading and passing it oan. Awrrabest Craig.

    As John MacLean said, as he was huckled from the dock, “Keep it going, boys”.

  • Dr. William Fusfield

    Will there ever be just punishment of the many monsters who are now conspiring to murder Julian through pseudo-legal means? How can such a higher justice be won?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Dr. William Fusfield April 10, 2020 at 11:35
      That there will be a Day of Judgement is the essence of Christianity. It is not a justice to be won or lost – it is for all inevitable. And false alibis, lies and bent judges there won’t be. We each get our comeuppance, without fera or favour.
      But Christianity, like other religions, is based on faith. It cannot be ‘proven’.
      And you don’t need to tell me how much death and evil has been done through the ages under the banner of ‘Christianity’.

  • Andrew Davey

    And where the FLICK is the Australian Government when an Australian citizen is clearly suffering a Miscarriage of Natural Justice and human rights that would normally be afforded to the general public? As an Australian citizen, you are expected to pay taxes to the Australian Government on your overseas income. But Clearly you will receive nothing in return, even in your time of desperate need such as Julian Assange is in now. Somehow Australian politicians find the time to justify their current Salary in the face of a proposed salary cut, but they cant find the time to come to the aid of such a high profile Australian incarcerated in a foreign country, and that county is England for God sake. It’s little wonder Australians feel that their politicians are worthless pieces of SH!T

  • Michael Holmes

    During my Jury service, the judge halted a trial because one of the jury had googl checked security at an airport and found it contradicted the prosecution case. The judge stated ‘justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done’. So the trial was abandoned.

    With the Assange case, we have another failure of the British justice system only in this case, what is happening is seen by many and will not be forgotten.

  • Paul+Peppiatt

    Take notice! All you complicit in the persecution of Julian Assange .You will be held accountable,”I was following orders” will not be accepted as any form of defense . You bit players take heed, you are working to a 150 yr old plan by a club none of you have a prayer of being invited to join and that includes you Trump and Pompeo . You may choose to shred your Constitution in pursuit of this attempt at censorship but we have our own document and its non negotiable.

  • nevermind

    Why is the comment section and reply button not available to me/others on the phillip cross expose?

    I would like to know as a regular subscriber….

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