ASSANGE’S TRIAL :
PARODY OF POLITICIZED JUSTICE AND THE DARKEST CORNER OF THE US PRISONS
Undoubtedly, Julian Assange has no chance to receive fair trial neither in the UK nor the US criminal justice system due to his case highly politicized. Wikileaks founder is judged in advance and unless a miracle happens, he will be sentenced to life and languish in prison for the rest of his life. The main argument raised by the US request is national security which is per definition always elastic. The main battle for the defense is to convince the Central criminal Court by producing two strong proofs focusing on (1) the highly politicized Assange’s trial and (2) on the inhuman salient features of the US prisons.
We can detect Assang’s politicized trial by contrasting the posture of Obama’s and Trump administration Under the Obama administration Assange case was dormant and had put put aside while renewed interest for Assange indictment when the Trump administration began. After the nomination of the two conservative Attorney Generals William Barr and Jeff Sessions, the US Department of Justice had itself become politicized and could no longer be considered an independent arm. Jeff Sessions pressured the Eastern District of Virginia to bring the case. According to Assange’s defense, Eric Lewis who referred to a 19-page memo authored by Barr “the attorney-general and his lawyers are the president’s ‘hand’. It’s the unitary executive theory. It’s a fringe theory this attorney general has articulated that it is his job to follow the president.”
Assange’s politicized trial is seen through the current and former director of the CIA. The current director, Gina Haspel who is complicit in some of the very examples of US torture that WikiLeaks exposed. Mike Pompeo, former CIA director has made dramatic shift towards prosecuting Assange from that of the Obama administration.
On the five, six and seventh days of the trial portion of the Julian Assange extradition hearing, emphasis was placed on the dire consequences of his ill treatment and an inhuman solitary confinement in the US supermax prisons including “special administrative measures” (SAMs) or the possible length of sentencing in the US. In this carceral nightmare, prisoners have no legal rights and they can be subject to such administrative measures indefinitely, Assange will not escape the rule and he might also face the same prospect of psychological and physical torture infected by the supermax facilities.
Since 2012, more material on the sinister nature of such supermax facilities had come to light in particular with the Babar Ahmad who subsequently described his experience in the following manner “During the supermax prison time in America, for two years I lived through complete hell. Those two years were the darkest days of my life… I saw one suicide attempt a week, three suicide attempts in one day.”
The conditions of detention of the US federal prison system were pinned in 2017 by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School reporting “the darkest corner of the US federal prison system, combining the brutality and isolation of maximum security units with additional restrictions that deny individuals almost any connection to the human world.” In March 2016, the UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, told the UN Human Rights Council “My request to visit the United States of America has been pending for five years over the terms of reference in order to obtain access to all places of detention.”
In case of Assange’s extradition to the US, the Wikileaks founder wil non only endure psychological and physical torture inflicted by the supermax facilities but his sentence will be tremendous as he will be convicted to a life sentence which, given the statutory maximum, would yield up to 175 years.