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Julian Assange’s ‘Trial of the Century’: 10 Reasons Why it Threatens Freedom of Speech

Julian Assange’s ‘Trial of the Century’: 10 Reasons Why it Threatens Freedom of Speech

Fidel Narváez was in the court in London for the majority of the hearings and offers this comprehensive summary.

“Old Bailey” court in London. (Wikimedia Commons)

At the end of the hearings that seek to extradite journalist Julian Assange to the United States, on Oct. 1, his defense team should have felt triumphant. Because with more than 30 witnesses and testimonies, throughout the whole month of September, they gave a beating to the prosecution representing the U.S.

If the case in London were decided solely on justice, as it should in a state based on law, this battle would have been won by Assange.

However, this “trial of the century” is, above all, a political trial, and there remains the feeling that the ruling was made beforehand, regardless of the law.

The court kicked off on Sept. 7 with hundreds of protesters outside, in contrast with the restrictions that the court imposed inside — in what is the most important case against the freedom of expression in an entire generation.

It only permitted the entry of five people on the list of “family members,” and five people from the public, who were put in an adjacent room, where they were barely able to follow the video transmission.

The judge, Vanessa Baraitser, who is overseeing the case, without a convincing reason cut the access to the video stream that had previously been authorized to nearly 40 human rights organizations and international observers, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and PEN International.

Each day, starting at 5 am, selfless activists stood in line so that observers like Reporters Without Borders, for example, could enter and take one of the five available seats. Thanks to them, and to family members of Assange, I was able to be in court to attend the majority of the hearings.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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