Jake Johnson Media

UK Judge Denies Julian Assange Bail, Keeping Him in Prison

The latest decision in the WikiLeaks founder's case has caused widespread outrage among his supporters.
[Xavi Valero / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

[Editor’s note: ScheerPost has also posted columnist Chris Hedges’ response to recent news regarding this case, informed by a revealing new memoir by one of Assange’s attorneys. ]

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

A British judge on Wednesday morning denied bail to Julian Assange, a move that will keep the WikiLeaks founder detained in a notorious London prison as the Trump administration appeals the U.K. court’s rejection of its extradition request.

“This is absolutely outrageous for the judge to deny Assange bail and to claim that Belmarsh is doing a fine job of handling Covid, even while London is on lockdown,” tweeted Shadow Proof managing editor Kevin Gosztola, who has been closely covering the Assange hearings. “Judge proves yet again how captive she is to the U.K. agency interests, which tend to show subservience to the U.S. government.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald echoed Gosztola’s criticism of Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision, noting that “there are no charges pending against Julian Assange in the U.K.”

“A U.K. judge denied the U.S.’s request to extradite him, the only place where charges are pending,” Greenwald added. “Despite this, the judge just ruled he must remain imprisoned—in a Covid-ridden high-security prison—while the U.S. appeals.”

Baraitser’s decision to deny Assange’s bail request came just days after she rejected the Trump administration’s push to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the U.S., where he would likely face up to 175 years in prison for publishing classified documents, an act of journalism.

In her ruling, Baraitser made clear that she denied the U.S. request not because of the threat extradition would pose to press freedoms, but because of the brutality of the American prison system.

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep

3 comments

  1. Judge Vanessa’s orders are to have it both ways. The UK Court has to appear autonomous; and, at the same time, obey orders from the CIA to hand him over. She’s a mere tool, gaming it the best she can under a pre-determined outcome.

  2. Why is this vicious magistrate permitted to have such power, ignore all the defence refutation of the lies making up the US charges, then decide after “discharging” Julian , to leave him in prison indefinitely? Surely if he is so fragile and mentally delicate, it is because of the ten years of UK “justice” that he has suffered, so keeping him in Belmarsh can only do more harm, just for the cruel pleasure of the USA.
    To pretend that a country led by Boris Johnson, having just decided to spend £31billion (!) on more “defence”, cannot find a safe secure house in which to keep a sick prisoner, not at all dangerous, with his partner and two boys, for a limited time, is a disgrace.
    If it really is necessary to accede to the cruel demands of the USA, which I cannot believe even the pathetic Joe Biden will have the gall to insist upon, this surely is possible.

  3. Please release Mr. Assange. He is bravely standing for transparency in government and freedom of the press.

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