Julian Assange’s case as pandemic unfolds

Assange has been at the Belmarsh prison since May 2019. His lawyers and family say his mental and physical health are deteriorating dramatically. A group of 60 doctors have stated in a letter to UK authorities that Julian Assange could potentially die in prison. They “have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020.”

Video Credit: Belmarsh prison footage by Carolina Lupanciuc
and footage by Ruptly at https://www.facebook.com/Ruptly at the Westminster Magistrates court

For more than 10 years protesters demand for Julian Assange to be freed. We can see them back in January 2020 in front of the Belmarsh Prison chanting. A group of protestors called the Gilets jaunes came all the way from Paris to support the movement.

As the global pandemic unfolds, journalists and Assange supporters alike are continuing their efforts to spread the message of Assange’s condition. The British government states that mass gatherings should not take place.

There aren’t strict regulations that prohibit citizens from protesting, however the UK government has issued an advice note for people participating in protests that you could read here :

http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/20201105_stac_advice_note_-_participating_in_protests.pdf

“The current advice in the UK is that due to the coronavirus, mass gathering events should not take place.”

The right to protest is imbedded in many international treaties as a human right. Many consider that Jualian Assange’s case is also tied to our freedom of expression. Our foundational freedoms are currently being defied by a public health threat on a global scale. The question remaining is, how this threat will shape the future of democratic governance?

Featured Image credit: Spanish protesters wear masks of the ‘Anonymous’ group and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photograph: Jon Nazca/REUTERS

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