Assange human rights Joe Lauria

Assange Put on Suicide Watch After Patel Decision, Father Says

John Shipton said Julian Assange was stripped naked and put in an empty cell to prevent him from killing himself over the home secretary’s decision to sign his extradition order, Joe Lauria reports.
John and Gabriel Shipton at Berlin rally. (Joe Lauria)

By Joe Lauria / Consortium News

After British Home Secretary Priti Patel signed Julian Assange’s extradition order on Friday the authorities in Belmarsh prison stripped Julian Assange and threw him into a completely empty cell in an attempt to prevent his suicide, Assange’s father has said. 

It was just one more instance in which the prison humiliated his son, Shipton told  a rally on Tuesday night at the offices of the Junge Welt newspaper in Berlin. About 300 people attended, with an overflow crowd watching on closed circuit TV in the courtyard. 

Testimony was heard from expert defense witnesses during Assange’s extradition hearing that he might try to end his life in prison once he learned he was going to the United States. 

It is not the end of the road for Assange legally, however. His lawyers have until July 1 to file for an appeal of Patel’s decision to the High Court.  They also intend to apply for a cross appeal of issues such as the political nature of the charges, the threat to free speech and the reported CIA plot to kidnap or kill Assange before his arrest.

Shipton and Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, are in Berlin to lobby the German government to put pressure on the United States to drop the case against Assange.

On Monday, the Shiptons met with Tobias Lindner, the minister of state, at the German foreign ministry. “It was a practical and appropriate step for Tobias to take, to welcome Julian Assange’s father and brother into the foreign ministry,” John Shipton said. “The invitation in itself and the meeting in the foreign ministry indicates that the German government is sincere in bringing about the freedom of Julian Assange.”

But Shipton said he would like to hear a public statement from Germany in support of his son. “We’d like Tobias to confirm what he’s said.” 

A German government spokesman on Monday said however that Germany was unlikely to intervene with either the UK or the US. “This is a legal process that is already in motion, so I would be a little wary of political intervention,” he said, the French Press Agency (AFP) reported.

Joe Lauria
Joe Lauria

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @unjoe


  1. They know he’s dying anyway and will certainly do so in a US prison….So why would they wish to prevent his suicide?

  2. Julian my heart aches whenever I think about the amount of pain and suffering The Empire of Lies has inflicted upon you. I cannot help but think, you and your efforts were wasted on a society that doesn’t deserve your sacrifice. You martyred yourself for a herd of sheep…..

  3. The People of Australia are going to have to stand up for Julian Assange now.
    Demand that he be returned to Australia, and then granted a pardon.

    It’s up to you Australia.

  4. “Testimony was heard from expert defense witnesses during Assange’s extradition hearing that he might try to end his life in prison once he learned he was going to the United States.”

    Good grief! What did they expect the “authorities” to do – other than put him on “suicide watch” which they knew would be humiliating and depress him even more …

  5. Germany grovels to the US government, as does the rest of Europe.
    I doubt if they have the guts to stand up for Julian Assange.

  6. Tragic Liberal-democratic farce has been exposed. Arbitrarily declared Enemy of the regime has no voice, no rights, no legal recourse as the western liberal law proves itself again mere cheap substitute for state violence.

    Assange by using his journalism and publishing work has proven that all the west is run by fascist states with little self-dehumanized Eichmanns, despicable characters like Patel and her thugs in charge.

    For ten years I’ve been protesting, writing/commenting on Assange physical and psychological torture which hurt him much more because it came from ridicule, insults condemnation and abandonment not only by profit motivated opportunistic corporate propagandists who used, abused and discarded him but even by many independent journalists and publishers brainwashed by sick woke feminism turned pure cultural fascism.

    Assange has been crucified but he did not die, he is being buried alive with last shred of human decency in the world with him.

    There is nothing else to say except that those self dehumanized elites must be put down like vicious animals they’ve become on their own will.

  7. The treatment of Assange is terrorism, terrorism on free speech, human rights, and basic decency. What are they, the U.K. and the U.S., trying to prove? That they can torture a journalist to death because he told the truth and convened information certainly in the public’s interest. All that Assange is guilty of is telling the truth and informing us about the actions of our stinking governments. U.K. & U.S. = savages, barbarians, POS.

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