What is happening to Julian Assange is nothing short of torture and a denial of his human rights, says Dr John Jiggens.
My first interview in 2014 was with Assange’s father, John Shipton, on the second anniversary of his flight to the Ecuadorian Embassy. Julian’s birthday was approaching and Shipton was organising a care package for his son. The package included a cat, to give Julian companionship in the isolation of his closely-guarded diplomatic sanctuary.
Mr Shipton spoke with understandable bitterness about the Obama Administration’s mistreatment of his son. He told me:
They have the record for hounding and imprisoning more whistle-blowers than all other administrations combined … They are determined to put the lives of anybody who reveals their misdeeds in limbo. They are cruel people, actually. They do things like sentencing people to three life terms in prison. They attempt to remove all hope. They are cruel.
Prophetic words, as it has turned out: recently the U.S. has revealed they will seek to imprison Julian Assange for 175 years.
Assange’s latest limbo is Belmarsh Prison, described as Britain’s toughest prison. Home to many of Britain’s most notorious criminals and terrorists, it is known locally as England’s Guantanamo Bay and “Hellmarsh Prison”.
Assange is kept in his cell 23 hours per day with half an hour in the recreation yard and half an hour to compete with other prisoners to make phone calls, making his attempts to prepare a defence extremely difficult. …