At the Assange extradition hearings in Woolwich Crown Court and the Old Bailey, the public gallery was limited to five and sometimes two. The excuse was Covid. But online access was denied to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and numerous other groups and individuals, including journalists. The mainstream media was anyway complicit in leaving the entire hearing virtually unreported – less than one percent of the coverage given to Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard.
The International Court of Justice met at the Hague to consider Israeli genocide, and the entire proceedings were open to anybody in the world with a decent video connection, through an open link and no password. Like the crucial Assange appeal hearings coming in the High Court on 21 and 21 February, the ICJ is a public court. Yet the judges of the London High Court have passed a series of Kafkaesque regulations to limit who can see the trial, under the pretext of open access.
Here is the Stalinist nonsense in its entirety. I promise your mind is going to boggle:
Remember, as that document says, this is a “public hearing”. You have to apply for permission to watch it and state WHY you want to watch it. Presumably “It is a public hearing. By law it has to be public” is not a sufficient reason. There is no guarantee at all that you will be given permission.
You have to be in England or Wales to watch. Applications from Scotland and Northern Ireland will “not normally be granted”. Despite the fact it is the UK government which is extraditing Julian under a UK–USA extradition treaty, not an England and Wales–USA extradition treaty.
Julian is an Australian citizen. But you are not “normally” permitted to watch in Australia. It is the United States government which is seeking to extradite Julian. But citizens of the United States will not “normally” be permitted to view online.
Scots and Irish will not be permitted to view, presumably because their loyalty to the security state is known to be dubious! I have no idea what is the position for the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
Not only does the Big Brother state want to know your identity and where you are, nobody else is allowed to watch the hearing with you. Why? What harm is it if your mum looks at it? It is a public f***ing hearing.
Who are they scared is going to watch? Why does that scare them? What do they think these naughty people watching are going to do? Are they worried Putin and Xi will be secretly watching and will do some terrible internet magic that collapses the western world? Just what is this crazy restriction about?
Why is nobody outside the state and billionaire media allowed to give live information about what is happening in the Court? Why is it OK if CNN does give live information, but not OK if a concerned citizen does it?
Why does everybody have to be threatened with two years’ imprisonment if they break these crazy rules?
I urge everybody reading this post to contact the court as specified at [email protected], and apply to watch online, following the rules in para 4 of the court order above. If you are outside the UK, please include in your reasons that the United States is making explicitly in this case a claim of universal jurisdiction for its Espionage Act over the whole world, so everybody is affected including you.
Please then put out on social media that you have applied, and encourage others to apply. Please post updates when you hear back from the court including stating regularly if they don’t reply. Post any answer you get. And go back to them and argue.
Officially this is a “public hearing”. Officially these judges are committed to “open justice”. What a farce. What are they hiding?
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