WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has paid a great cost for revealing truth to the world, and his father fears that it may end up costing him his life.
John Shipton told reporters in Geneva on Friday that he believes his son may ultimately perish behind bars. He came to this conclusion after seeing Assange in a disheveled state during a recent visit to the Belmarsh prison in London where he is being held.
“Julian may die in jail over a nine-year persecution for revealing the truth of war crimes,” Shipton said. “It is beyond obscene.”
“This is not the bitter disappointment of a father, this is simply fact,” he added.
International authorities are also severely concerned about Assange, whose health has taken a turn for the worse since he was hauled out of the Ecuadorean embassy in Britain.
“Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life,” said Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in a statement.
The UK court recently rejected Assange’s appeal to delay his extradition hearing due to his mounting health problems:
“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange broke down into tears during a court hearing on Monday where he was denied the postponement of his upcoming extradition hearing.
District judge Vanessa Baraitser formally denied Assange’s request, after being unconvinced by the assertion by Assange’s defense team that he needed more time to gather and present evidence. She asked Assange, whose health has been waning substantially in recent months, if he understood what was happening during the court proceedings.
“Not really. I can’t think properly,” Assange said, as he struggled to formulate a coherent response. “I don’t understand how this is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t access my writings. It’s very difficult where I am to do anything but these people have unlimited resources.”
“They are saying journalists and whistleblowers are enemies of the people. They have unfair advantages dealing with documents. They [know] the interior of my life with my psychologist. They steal my children’s DNA. This is not equitable what is happening here,” he added.
Mark Summers, who represents Assange in court as his legal counsel, argued that his client has been surveilled by the US and noted the apparent link between the “reinvigoration of the investigation and Donald Trump’s presidency.”
“This is part of an avowed war on whistleblowers to include investigative journalists and publishers,” Summers said. “The American state has been actively engaged in intruding on privileged discussions between Mr. Assange and his lawyer.”
Spanish courts are currently investigating a security firm that reportedly worked on behalf of the U.S. government to “obtain information by unlawful acts, thefts and clandestine surveillance within the Ecuadorian embassy … with increasing intensity from 2017 onwards.”
Summers felt that these developments should result in the delay of the trial, but the Judge disagreed, in what was likely a forgone conclusion headed into the hearing. The system is out to punish the leading whistleblower’s advocate who has regularly exposed embarrassing and incriminating state secrets through WikiLeaks.”
US authorities hope to extradite Assange in order to charge him with 17 felonies under Espionage Act as well as another additional felony. If he is convicted on those charges, Assange could spend the rest of his life imprisoned.
But if Assange ever gets to the states, it is not likely he will ever make it to trial. He will likely receive the Jeffrey Epstein treatment to keep him from talking, as the rule of law is a thing of the past in the former land of the free.