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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the feet-dragging dept.

Democracy Now has a brief interview with a representative from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on their latest attempt to meet Julian Assange inside Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK. Despite being granted approval, the RSF secretary-general and executive director Christophe Deloire and the others with him were denied entry. No other non-governmental agency has been able to meet with Assange in the last four years either.

CHRISTOPHE DELOIRE: So, what happened is that in the past years we requested to be able to visit Julian in his jail. We got an approval recently, which was confirmed on March 21st with a number, an official number, for myself and my colleague, Rebecca Vincent, and we were invited to come to the prison.

And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

And it doesn't make sense at all, first, because, personally, I've been a journalist since 1996, and we were vetted, so it was never a mystery that I was a journalist, never a secret. Second, my colleague wasn't a journalist herself. And we came here not as journalists, but as representatives of an international NGO with a constitutive status in many international organizations. So it was really as Reporters Without Borders representatives, not as reporters covering the case. So, it doesn't make sense for this second reason. And there is a third reason for which it doesn't make sense, is that already two journalists, at least, have been able to visit him in jail in the past four years. So —

Previously:
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2022) Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
(2019) Top Assange Defense Account Suspended By Twitter
(2019) Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

And many more.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday April 11 2023, @12:56PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 11 2023, @12:56PM (#1300952) Journal

    And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

    And it doesn't make sense at all[...]

    In other words, it's a game to prevent said people from visiting Assange. Jump through all these hoops and get turned away at the last minute. It's worse than outright denying access because Reporters Without Borders has now wasted all this time and resources while Assange's trial and ongoing persecution continue, building a greater lead.

    I bet this would make more sense if we were to view the system for purportedly allowing visitors to Assange as operating in bad faith.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:55PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:55PM (#1300967)

      Plus they have no clear reason why they were denied, so they have to jump through hoops to find out followed presumably by legal challenges and appeals and a last minute out-of-court concession so as not to create a precedent. Is this not how it works? Have we not seen this weaponization of the legal system? Is it not what we have fought through all of history? We'll make you a socialist yet, young khallow.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:50PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:50PM (#1301005) Journal

        We'll make you a socialist yet, young khallow.

        Socialism is orthogonal to this. It can coexist quite readily with a police state.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:36PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:36PM (#1300960)

    Perhaps he doesn't want visitors?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @03:51PM (#1300962)

      Last time he had visitors, he became a father.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @04:57PM (#1300968)

        Next step he becomes a she?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgOHdxkG9gQ [youtube.com]

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @05:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @05:31PM (#1300974)

        Perhaps he isn't even there anymore, they renditioned him someplace dark and damp or he had some kind of "accident" they don't want the world to know about. Endless possibilities of agony.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @07:21PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2023, @07:21PM (#1300983)

    Deloire. He's a frog (a 'cheese eating surrender monkey' to you USAians) after all.

    What do you expect?

  • (Score: 2) by hopdevil on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:15PM

    by hopdevil (3356) on Tuesday April 11 2023, @09:15PM (#1300996)

    Sounds kinda like the West's equivalent of Alexei Navalny, who is propped up in the media to show how the evil Russians treat their political prisoners. Not sure which one is treated worse.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday April 11 2023, @10:05PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday April 11 2023, @10:05PM (#1301011) Journal

    If anything gives the lie to the West's reputation for supposedly being a more just and fair society, it's this treatment of Julian Assange. Not that there haven't been many, many other cases of politically motivated gross injustices, but this one really stands out. It's like most of the governments of the West are in cahoots not just to silence Assange, but also to intimidate anyone thinking of following in his footsteps. They've run roughshod over their own rules to keep him out of circulation. Don't know what truth there is to the various allegations of sexual misconduct, but we can all see it sure is convenient for those who want him silenced. It's one of the standard dirty tricks, snaring a rival in a sex scandal. Works so well on males, sending a pretty female to tempt him. Even if he doesn't fall for it, they might just slander him anyway, lie and say he did it.

    I shouldn't be the least surprised that most prison guards have authoritarian fascist personalities. That kind of work is attractive to that kind of personality. It's no good pointing out the stupidity and hypocrisy of their arguments (you guys are *gasp* journalists!!!), they're all "might is right" sorts. They even get a little kick out of doing the dirty work their bosses have only had to hint they want done. Get their bosses to tell them to let those visitors in, and they will fall all over themselves to throw open the gates.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by khallow on Wednesday April 12 2023, @01:18AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 12 2023, @01:18AM (#1301031) Journal

      If anything gives the lie to the West's reputation for supposedly being a more just and fair society,

      It falls short of being just and fair. It doesn't fall short of being more just and fair because that's a really low hurdle.

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