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Torture, Crimes against humanity, Julian Assange

Dear Lord Buckland and Ms Braverman,

I am writing to you today, to request urgent action by you, especially with regard to the crimes against humanity perpetrated against Julian Assange (outlined below). I am writing as a matter of urgency, following today's denial of Julian Assange's bail application.

Campaigners slammed this dangerous and cruel judgement to expose Julian Assange to the coronavirus[1]:

“'This is a dangerous and cruel decision’, said WikiLeaks Ambassador Joseph Farrell. ‘Coronavirus will spread in Belmarsh. With 100 Belmarsh staff off ill Julian is already at risk. Visits have been cancelled. He will have no access to friends and family and his time with his legal team will be reduced further. How is anyone supposed to prepare a defence in such conditions?’ Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor in chief of WikiLeaks, added, ‘to expose another human being to serious illness, and to the threat of losing their life, is grotesque and quite unnecessary. This is not justice, it is a barbaric decision’. Julian Assange is not imprisoned for any crime and is at risk of infection. Like other prisoners who pose no risk to the public he should be released to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, his legal team argued. Belmarsh is a remand prison with 300 new intakes every month.”

Today's judgment compounds a series of disasters in this catastrophic case that will stain the UK forever.

In a recent statement of “The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute” (IBAHRI) a retired Australian High Court judge, the Hon Michael Kirby, commented:

“The IBAHRI is concerned that the mistreatment of Julian Assange constitutes breaches of his right to a fair trial and protections enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the UK is party. It is deeply shocking that as a mature democracy in which the rule of law and the rights of individuals are preserved, the UK Government has been silent and has taken no action to terminate such gross and disproportionate conduct by Crown officials. As well, we are surprised that the presiding judge has reportedly said and done nothing to rebuke the officials and their superiors for such conduct in the case of an accused whose offence is not one of personal violence. Many countries in the world look to Britain as an example in such matters. On this occasion, the example is shocking and excessive. It is reminiscent of the Abu Grahib Prison Scandal which can happen when prison officials are not trained in the basic human rights of detainees and the Nelson Mandela Rules.”

This criticism by a highly esteemed former judge of the highest court in Australia, shames, unequivocally, a derelict UK government that has, thus far, acquiesced to this torture.


Today, Mr Martin Silk, London Correspondent for Australian Associated Press (AAP) was present at the court. In one of his tweets he quoted Ms Vanessa Baraitser: “Full quote. (…) As matters stand today this global pandemic does not, of itself, yet provide grounds for Mr Assange's release.” Ms Baraitser made (or rather, parroted her decision[2]), dismissing irrefutable evidence of Assange's chronic lung condition and overall severe health problems, which place him at a higher risk of contracting Covid19 whilst in prison. In the words of Craig Murray[3]:

“You may recall that I myself concluded that the extraordinary and oppressive treatment of Assange, and the refusal of Baraitser to act to ameliorate it, could only be part of a deliberate policy to cause his death. I could, and can, think of no other possible explanation. If the authorities now refuse to allow him out on bail during the Covid-19 outbreak, I do not see how anybody can possibly argue there is any intention other than to cause his death.”

Whether Ms Baraitser is enjoying her role as direct perpetrator of this torture and crime against humanity, or 'just following orders', is irrelevant. She is torturing him, she must be stopped and she must be stopped first and foremost, by us jurists, for we are under a higher duty to never allow free reign to the Roland Freislers[4] of this world.

The prohibition against torture is absolute and, according to the UNCAT, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, including state of emergency or war or an order from a public authority, may be invoked as a justification of torture. Today, we have ample evidence of the torture inflicted on Assange. The chief perpetrator, since 2017, is the chief magistrate, Ms Emma Arbuthnot. Despite the massive scandal surrounding her extensive conflicts of interest, Ms Arbuthnot has refused to step down; she has merely stepped aside, maintaining her position as supervising judge. Her current tool of torture is Ms Baraitser. All judges in this judicial charade (including Mr Michael Snow and Ms Deborah Taylor) have been torture tools, trampling on all rule of law, to such an extent that they have annihilated any potential defence of “lawful authority, justification or excuse”.

In my view, Ms Arbuthnot should be investigated, at least for “misconduct in public office” involving failure to disclose a conflict of interest, and all judges in this case should be investigated, inter alia, for the crime of torture (UK Criminal Justice Act 1988, s.134).

In 2019, I filed a complaint against Ms Arbuthnot with the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO). My complaint was rejected, and the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) found no fault on the part of the JCIO.

On 9 March 2020, I wrote back to the JACO clarifying that my JCIO complaint was not about case management, but about Emma Arbuthnot's personal conduct. I highlighted the following:

Not only did Lady Emma Arbuthnot dissimulate her serious conflicts of interest, all evidence I provided to the JCIO shows that she flagrantly misused her judicial status—as judge and supervisory chief magistrate in the Assange case—outside of court. No fair-minded and informed observer would assess said personal conduct outside of court as proper conduct. It is clear, therefore, from the evidence provided in my JCIO complaint that Lady Emma Arbuthnot misused her judicial status outside of court for personal gain or advantage; i.e., to protect and further her own personal interests, and those of her husband and son. My complaint was therefore in line with “The Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014-Supplementary Guidance” published on the JCIO website (indicating the rules and regulations applied by the JCIO). “Guidance to the Rules Rule 6: The JCIO may only consider a complaint that contains an allegation of misconduct by a judge or other office holder. Such misconduct relates to the judge’s personal behaviour for example: a judge shouting or speaking in a sarcastic manner in court; or misuse of judicial status outside of court. It does not relate to decisions or judgments made by a judge in the course of court proceedings. The only way to challenge such matters is through the appellate process.” Since my initial complaint, further strong evidence has come to light regarding Lady Emma Arbuthnot's personal conduct outside the court, in connection with high-level political, military and intelligence players exposed by Mr Assange and WikiLeaks. (…) Your Office decided that “it was reasonable” for the JCIO to proceed in this way. I am greatly surprised that your Office came to that conclusion; especially as it seems to place beyond the scope of criticism, a judge who (in breach of the applicable 2014 Rules & Regulations) has managed to use one of the Queen's public courts, to conduct her own personal business. As I stated in my last email: “Emma Arbuthnot failed to disclose her conflicts of interest at the relevant time (i.e., prior to the updating of the Guide to Judicial Conduct 2018) and that having successfully covered her tracks she continued, nevertheless, to preside in and over hearings as chief magistrate ‘responsible for… supporting and guiding district judge colleagues’. The extent of Emma Arbuthnot’s conflicts of interest was discovered only recently, through the rigorous work of investigative journalists cited in my JCIO complaint and… Commodum Ex Injuria Sua Nemo Habere Debet (a wrongdoer should not be enabled by law to take any advantage from his actions)”.”

To date, the only response I have received from the JACO regarding the above communication is the following automated response: “Thank you for your email. Please note if you have sent your email to a large number of recipients we will not send you a response unless your email specifically refers to a matter which is within the Ombudsman's remit for consideration.”

Clearly, there is nothing to be gained by actions through this system set up in respect of complaints involving judges.

Furthermore, all appeals made to the UK government, including those made by the UN Special Rapporteur, Nils Melzer, by the Council of Europe, The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and others, have been met with unparalleled disdain and contempt.

Judges and other jurists, as well as civil society worldwide, are trembling with indignation at this gross and shameful injustice.

Crimes against humanity

The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. However, murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of meriting the stigma attaching to the category of crimes under discussion. On the other hand, an individual may be guilty of crimes against humanity even if he perpetrates one or two of the offences mentioned above, or engages in one such offense against only a few civilians, provided those offenses are part of a consistent pattern of misbehaviour by a number of persons linked to that offender (for example, because they engage in armed action on the same side or because they are parties to a common plan or for any similar reason.) Consequently when one or more individuals are not accused of planning or carrying out a policy of inhumanity, but simply of perpetrating specific atrocities or vicious acts, in order to determine whether the necessary threshold is met one should use the following test: one ought to look at these atrocities or acts in their context and verify whether they may be regarded as part of an overall policy or a consistent pattern of an inhumanity, or whether they instead constitute isolated or sporadic acts of cruelty and wickedness.

Context: wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government against journalists, publishers, whistleblowers, victims of war crimes.

It is clear that what’s at stake in this extradition case is not only freedom of the press but also freedom of all expression—and hence, all freedom! If Mr Assange is extradited that will mark the end of all journalism, all free speech, all free expression. If Mr Assange is extradited, our freedom will go with him. And without freedom of speech, what “law” will be left that we can speak about? Without freedom of expression, what thought will be able to thrive? We might as well rip up the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and anything else that might remind us of Article 19. All individuals and entities counteracting official government narratives on the ongoing 19-year “War on Terror” by the “Coalition of the Killing” (i.e., by the USA, UK, Australia et al.) will be at risk!

Thus, applying the above Rome Statute test, this “War on Terror” is an important element of the context. US-Coalition State officials are the perpetrators of the “wide practice of atrocities”; they are also industriously active in the cover-up. Recently, Secretary Pompeo even threatened members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for daring to express their intention to investigate the war crimes that we all know occurred. And we know they occurred because of publications made by WikiLeaks[5] (republished by mainstream media, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, etc.).

Are the atrocities against Julian Assange a part of a widespread or systematic practice, a part of an overall policy or a consistent pattern of an inhumanity, or do they instead constitute isolated or sporadic acts of cruelty and wickedness, unrelated to the “War on Terror” by the “Coalition of the Killing”?

Scathing criticisms have been expressed by civil society (including several journalists' unions), and by organisations such as the Council of Europe (Julian Assange is now listed on the Council of Europe's Protection of Journalism / Safety of Journalists site). The context around the crimes perpetrated against Julian Assange is well laid out by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement issued on 20 February 2020 and entitled “Julian Assange should not be extradited due to potential impact on press freedom and concerns about ill-treatment”[6] The heading of that statement says it all. The body of that statement discusses the context further, as follows: “Julian Assange’s potential extradition has human rights implications that reach far beyond his individual case. The indictment raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including those that expose human rights violations. (…) Consequently, allowing Julian Assange’s extradition on this basis would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.”

As you are aware (from the reports of Nils Melzer and other sources), there is currently sufficient evidence to show that, for many years, at least four States (US, UK, Australia, Sweden) gathered, shared—even doctored—intelligence and conspired in other ways, with a view to silencing (by all possible means) Julian Assange. All four States are known to have persecuted journalists and whistleblowers (directly or indirectly, often through secret processes and trials). They continue to do so, hampered only by a handful of people and organisations.

Here is a quick list of the widespread or systematic practice implemented by some of the perpetrators, against journalists and whistleblowers. The lists of their crimes are not exhaustive.

UK: arbitrary detention and torture of Julian Assange, police raid on the news outlet The Guardian, persecution of Katherine Gun etc.

Australia: complicit in the arbitrary detention and torture of Julian Assange, Australian Federal Police raid on ABC's headquarters over 2017 stories known as The Afghan Files etc.

USA: arbitrary detention and torture of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond (with the last two having served/serving long sentences and recently released[7] from their one-year imprisonment for their refusal to be coerced into testifying against Julian Assange before the WikiLeaks grand jury)

In my view, these acts against Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond may be regarded as part of an overall policy or a consistent pattern of an inhumanity, and are well within the scope of Art 7 (1) (h) of the Rome Statute, as demonstrated by an application of the ICC Elements of Crimes.

Article 7 (1) (h) Crime against humanity of persecution


1. The perpetrator severely deprived, contrary to international law, one or more persons of fundamental rights.

2. The perpetrator targeted such person or persons by reason of the identity of a group or collectivity or targeted the group or collectivity as such.

(The Grand Jury is known as the WikiLeaks Grand Jury; attacks have been directed against Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond, inter alia, because of their identity as journalist/publisher and whistleblowers)

3. Such targeting was based on political (…) or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law.

(The political aspects of this persecution form the bedrock of the Assange defence)

4. The conduct was committed in connection with any act referred to in article 7, paragraph 1, of the Statute or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

(E.g., persecution against Julian Assange et al., was committed in connection with international crimes such as murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts, as evidenced by the “Collateral Murder” video, and the Afghan and Iraq logs)

5. The conduct (against Julian Assange et al.) was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

(E.g., against journalists/publishers or whistleblowers, against millions of war victims, and, overall, against the public at large)

6. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

For the sake of clarity, I emphasise that the widespread or systematic attack referred to above in sub-paragraph (5) above, was/is committed against:

- Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond,

- millions of war victims, depriving them of their right to information and to crucial evidence that would enable them to access justice and obtain redress,

- the public at large and its right to know about crimes perpetrated in its name.

“Widespread” means that the act must be committed on a large scale and directed at a multiplicity of victims. However, according to the Kunarac Trial Chamber:

“Only the attack, not the individual acts of the accused, must be “widespread or systematic”. A single act could therefore be regarded as a crime against humanity if it takes place in the relevant context: “For example, the act of denouncing a Jewish neighbour to the Nazi authorities - if committed against a background of widespread persecution - has been regarded as amounting to a crime against humanity. An isolated act, however, - i.e. an atrocity which did not occur within such a context - cannot.”

“Systematic” means that the attacks must be methodical and organised. Ample evidence shows that the attacks were indeed methodical and organised (see Wikileaks site and FOIs including Stratfor emails, emails between UK and Swedish prosecutors, reports of Nils Melzer etc.).

Potential “perpetrators” (list not exhaustive) 1) States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Marianne Ny: Efforts of Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, to extradite Assange were described by former Stockholm chief district prosecutor, Sven-Erik Alhem, as: “…unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate.” See also, “UN special rapporteur exposes Swedish sexual misconduct frame-up of Assange”

Keir Starmer: Candidate for the UK Labour Party leadership. Starmer was the head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) during the most crucial phase of the Julian Assange case. It was his CPS that advised the Swedish prosecutors not to question Julian Assange in London, and delayed the Swedish case.

Emma Arbuthnot: When it comes to torture, judges and prosecutors have a responsibility to ensure that international standards are adhered to, within the framework of their own legal systems. Emma Arbuthnot's perverse rulings and her motivations in this abuse of process are exposed here and here (not exhaustive).

Vanessa Baraitser: Judges and magistrates have a role in safeguarding vulnerable people at court in ways which further the overriding objective and do not interfere with judicial independence. Although she is fully aware of the fact that Julian Assange is the victim torture, she has relentlessly exposed him to further torture and the very real risk of death.

Sajid David: Former UK Home Secretary, who spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for Julian Assange's neutralisation.

Rob Davis, Governor of Belmarsh: “There have been four inmate deaths, including at least one murder, in Belmarsh in the last year alone. The past few months have seen multiple reports from the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the charity INQUEST and the National Audit Office all blast government failures for record levels of violence, self-harm and deaths, which have plagued the prison estate in England and Wales over the past few years.”

Tony Blair & Gordon Brown (1994–2010): These two are responsible for war crimes committed in tandem with the US; they're doing everything possible to cover up their dirty deeds.

David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson: PMs who continued the “War on Terror” blood trail and ordered extensive police surveillance and siege outside Ecuadorian embassy from the date that Julian Assange sought asylum in 2012.

Lenin Moreno: torturing and selling Julian Assange for the price of an multi-billion dollar IMF loan, spying on Julian Assange and his lawyers through the security firm UC Global, stealing and handing over to the USA, Assange's personal belongings (including confidential information relative to his defence).

PMs from Julia Gillard to Scott Morrison: Australia's complicity is revealed, in part, in various articles.

2) Non-States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

US perpetrators can still be pursued if the UN Security Council takes appropriate action. The Rome Statute gives the Security Council a unique jurisdictional role. Article 13(b) of the Statute grants the Council the power, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, to refer to the ICC situations in which crimes under the jurisdiction of the court have taken place. Thus, here is my shortlist of the US perpetrators.

Fred Burton (Stratfor): Julian's crime according to Stratfor's Fred Burton:

“Assange is a PEACENIK. He NEEDS to HAVE his HEAD DUNKED in a FULL TOILET BOWL at GITMO”. Ample evidence shows that the persecution strategy was masterminded by this individual and his company.

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton: Both were instrumental in creating ISIS, imprisoning whistleblowers etc. There is record of Hillary calling for Julian's extrajudicial killing.

Donald Trump: the Trump administration has continued war crimes. Trump's personal illegal actions in this matter have been raised by Assange's defence lawyers during the February extradition hearing. He publicly asked for the death penalty.

Mike Pompeo: “I was the CIA Director; we lied, we cheated we stole”

Pompeo has said the US government would seek to shut down Assange for using “free speech values against us” and characterised Assange’s organisation, WikiLeaks, as “a non-state hostile intelligence service”.

Other potentially applicable parts of Article 7

Article 7 (1) (e) Crime against humanity of imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty


1. The perpetrator imprisoned one or more persons or otherwise severely deprived one or more persons of physical liberty.

2. The gravity of the conduct was such that it was in violation of fundamental rules of international law.

3. The perpetrator was aware of the factual circumstances that established the gravity of the conduct.

4. The conduct was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

5. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

Article 7 (1) (f) Crime against humanity of torture


1. The perpetrator inflicted severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon one or more persons.

2. Such person or persons were in the custody or under the control of the perpetrator.

3. Such pain or suffering did not arise only from, and was not inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions.

4. The conduct was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

5. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

It is understood that no specific purpose need be proved for this crime.

Article 7 (1) (k) Crime against humanity of other inhumane acts


1. The perpetrator inflicted great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health, by means of an inhumane act.

2. Such act was of a character similar to any other act referred to in article 7, paragraph 1, of the Statute. (It is understood that “character” refers to the nature and gravity of the act.)

3. The perpetrator was aware of the factual circumstances that established the character of the act.

4. The conduct was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

5. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

* ​

The above analysis is brief and requires an extensive study and further input. Nevertheless, I respectfully request your immediate intervention to stop this slow-motion extrajudicial killing of Mr Assange through judicial process.

I look forward to hearing from you.


[2] “At the end of the hearing Judge Baraitser read from what appeared to be a pre-written decision.” See article in The Interregnum - “Judge refuses Julian Assange’s emergency bail application despite risk posed by COVID-19”

See also,

“In Thursday’s separate hearing on allowing Assange out of the armoured box to sit with his legal team, I witnessed directly that Baraitser’s ruling against Assange was brought by her into court BEFORE she heard defence counsel put the arguments, and delivered by her entirely unchanged.”

“Drawing argument to a close, Baraitser gave her judgement on this issue. Now the interesting thing is this, and I am a direct eyewitness. She read out her judgement, which was several pages long and handwritten. She had brought it with her into court in a bundle, and she made no amendments to it. She had written out her judgement before she heard Mark Summers speak at all.”

[3] “Assange Bail Application Today”

[4] Roland Freisler was known as Hitler's Blood Judge.

[5] In March 2008 Reuters opened website “Bearing Witness” dedicated to the memory of the Reuters journalists that were killed in Iraq during the war: Taras Protsyuk (2003); Mazen Dana (2003); Dhia Najim (2003); Waleed Khaled (2005); Saeed Chmagh (2007); Namir Noor-Eldeen (2007); and an anonymous Reuters journalist who was killed in 2007.

On 15 July 2008, Reuters posted a memorial article. In it they mentioned Reuters News was seeking video footage from the U.S. military and other materials relating to the killing of Noor-Eldeen and Chmagh. The footage was taken by cameras on board the U.S. helicopters involved in the incident, in which nine other people were killed. The US did nothing.

On 5 April 2010 WikiLeaks released video footage from Apache helicopter; “Collateral Murder”


[7] Jeremy Hammond has been returned to his former prison quarters to serve the rest of his sentence.

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