Julian Assange is still in Belmarsh prison awaiting the outcome of his appeal against the extradition order issued for his deportation to the United States to face treason and espionage charges against him in the United States.
This is an issue all journalists should be personally concerned over, as the Assange case shows what governments will do if they don't like what you expose. This could happen to any journalist concerned with government administration, conflict and war, and intelligence-based reporting and journalism. Given the fact that no one within The Guardian was ever charged with publishing the same information, this indicates the selectiveness of prosecution exercised by governments today.
HM Belmarsh Prison
Assange has been held in Belmarsh Prison since 2019. During the first 50 weeks Assange served a very heavy sentence for breaking bail conditions, over a sexual assault case in Sweden which was defunct by the time he was convicted for breaking bail conditions. Assange has been denied bail while he has been fighting extradition to the United States.
Belmarsh is the prison used to house murderers, terrorists, and those involved in national security cases. For these prisoners, life is hard inside the prison, where they are continually intimidates and victimized by prison staff, according to a 2009 departmental report.
Last week before the coronation of King Charles III, a letter purportedly written by Assange was released. This is the first we have directly heard from Assange in some time, so is important to duplicate below for readers to think about the injustice of the situation. Few mainstream media outlets duplicated or even reported on this letter.
To His Majesty King Charles III,
On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty's Prison Belmarsh.
You will no doubt recall the wise words of a renowned playwright: "The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath."
Ah, but what would that bard know of mercy faced with the reckoning at the dawn of your historic reign? After all, one can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners, and your kingdom has surely excelled in that regard.
Your Majesty's Prison Belmarsh is located at the prestigious address of One Western Way, London, just a short foxhunt from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. How delightful it must be to have such an esteemed establishment bear your name.
It is here that 687 of your loyal subjects are held, supporting the United Kingdom's record as the nation with the largest prison population in Western Europe. As your noble government has recently declared, your kingdom is currently undergoing "the biggest expansion of prison places in over a century", with its ambitious projections showing an increase of the prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years. Quite the legacy, indeed.
As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty's pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honoured to reside within the walls of this world class institution. Truly, your kingdom knows no bounds.
During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken. And worry not, for unlike lesser institutions such as Alcatraz or San Quentin, there is no communal dining in a mess hall. At Belmarsh, prisoners dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal.
Beyond the gustatory pleasures, I can assure you that Belmarsh provides ample educational opportunities for your subjects. As Proverbs 22:6 has it: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Observe the shuffling queues at the medicine hatch, where inmates gather their prescriptions, not for daily use, but for the horizon-expanding experience of a "big day out"-all at once.
You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to my late friend Manoel Santos, a gay man facing deportation to Bolsonaro's Brazil, who took his own life just eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets. His exquisite tenor voice now silenced forever.
Venture further into the depths of Belmarsh and you will find the most isolated place within its walls: Healthcare, or "Hellcare" as its inhabitants lovingly call it. Here, you will marvel at sensible rules designed for everyone's safety, such as the prohibition of chess, whilst permitting the far less dangerous game of checkers.
Deep within Hellcare lies the most gloriously uplifting place in all of Belmarsh, nay, the whole of the United Kingdom: the sublimely named Belmarsh End of Life Suite. Listen closely, and you may hear the prisoners' cries of "Brother, I'm going to die in here", a testament to the quality of both life and death within your prison.
But fear not, for there is beauty to be found within these walls. Feast your eyes upon the picturesque crows nesting in the razor wire and the hundreds of hungry rats that call Belmarsh home. And if you come in the spring, you may even catch a glimpse of the ducklings laid by wayward mallards within the prison grounds. But don't delay, for the ravenous rats ensure their lives are fleeting.
I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty's Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king. As you embark upon your reign, may you always remember the words of the King James Bible: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7). And may mercy be the guiding light of your kingdom, both within and without the walls of Belmarsh.
Your most devoted subject,
While much of the media ignores the Assange letter, freedom of the press is being undermined by the mainstream media/big tech/government troika. The Assange case indicated what was coming for the rest of us. Only now, censorship is much more sophisticated.
This also shows the contempt the US government has towards the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. It also shows the hate governments have towards those who would dare expose their secrets. The British, United States, and Australia, representing the Anglophile world want to muzzle the truth and alternative narratives to their own, as we have clearly seen through the publishing of the Twitter files.
Governments are now free to spy on anyone, as the UC Global case shows. Assange was spied upon while he was within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. With little outrage, this is a common event. In retrospect, the sexual assault case in Sweden appeared to be a smear of Assange's reputation aimed at swaying public opinion against him.
Time has shown that the release of information concerning the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars didn't hurt anyone, except for Assange. Those who actually committed war crimes have never had to answer for it.
Its going to be difficult for Assange to receive any fair trial in Virginia. Most within that area, are likely to have relatives or friends that work within the intelligence industry and have strong opinions about whistleblowers.
A conviction against Assange will be the end of investigative journalism. We will all be prisoners of official narratives, while Assange spends the rest of his life in some federal supermax.