Scotland joined the solidarity actions on 11 April 2021 in marking two years from Julian Assange’s arbitrary arrest and cruel imprisonment. The action organised by @ScotsDefend Assange on the Mound Princes street was well attended and supporters had the pleasure of Craig Murray’s company and wisdom throughout the event. During his speech he revealed details of Julian’s arrest previously unknown.
Here is the rough transcript of Craig Murray’s speech:
Firstly, thank you so much for coming, and brilliant to be out and campaigning and meeting people again. There’s a wonderful feeling. The last, Assange vigil I was at was in Piccadilly a couple of months ago, and the police came in and just arrested everyone, for no reason, whatsoever. I’m happy to see that so far is a very great deal more civilised. Today is two years since Julian Assange was dragged out to the embassy, and put into Belmarsh jail. A couple of things about how that happened that I want to tell you, which aren’t generally known.
First thing is we knew about 10 days before it happened, it was going to happen any day. And we knew because people, there were still people in Ecuador, from the Correa regime, government was still in place, and who told us what was happening. In effect, so we knew it was coming. So I went down from Edinburgh to London about 10 days before. Yeah, we didn’t know exactly what date in order to be there and I stayed in a hotel right next to the embassy, So I could be there 24 hours a day with other people from WikiLeaks. I contacted the Ecuadorian embassy, they wouldn’t allow me in ever since. I’ve never been allowed inside the embassy. They wouldn’t let me in but I spoke by phone to the first Secretary. I said to them, Look, we’re grateful to the government of Ecuador for having provided assistance. You can’t hand him over to Americans that’s against international law. That’s refoulement under the Convention on refugees. That’s something you cannot do. But if it’s true that you’re determined to do this, if you’ve decided your guest is no longer welcome, then Julian will leave. Just tell us and he will walk out, just say he’s no longer welcome. He will go. And they just point blank lie to me. So no, no, there’s nothing like that happening.
We’ve also tried to get his possessions, his files, his medical files, his legal files, out of the embassy, take away his things into safekeeping. They wouldn’t allow that. We also wanted because we knew he was going to have to leave shortly. We wanted him to be able to cut his hair and shave and smarten up. And he wasn’t allowed to do that, either. And I think one of the things which isn’t understood is that an attempt was made deliberately, I think, to portray him as a sort of crazed Howard Hughes figure. And the truth is they would not allow him scissors to cut his hair, or a razor to shave his last few months in that embassy were in effect, like close confinement in a prison. He wasn’t permitted the proper normal personal hygiene. So I remained down in London. After about 10 days, I had to come urgently back to Edinburgh for a couple of things. We still were expecting any moment, but it hadn’t happened. I went to Kings Cross I got on the train to come back to Edinburgh. The train pulled out at King’s Cross Station, the phone went and it was Joseph from WikiLeaks saying the police are coming into the embassy. So I had to get off at Peterborough and come straight back again, by which time the event was was over. But one of the interesting things is not only was that done deliberately, but it didn’t allow him to make his appearance better.
We offered that he would walk out, they wouldn’t let him walk out they kept him in there so they could have the theatre of him being dragged out that way that was a deliberate act of political theatre contrived between the British Ecuadorian and American governments. And one of the things we know from our people in Ecuador was the British ambassador had for two weeks being going into the Ecuadorian foreign ministry every single day. coordinating this bit of theatre. Not only that, they illegally seized all of his possessions, which was seized by the Ecuadorians given to the Metropolitan Police, who then handed them over to the American Embassy, who had no legal right to them, whatsoever they were stolen. And the American Embassy were given all his possessions, including all of his legal files on his defence. When you add that, together with the fact that we now know that UC Global was spying on him for the CIA, spying on his talks with his defence lawyers, the CIA, in any other legal case, in the UK, or in the United States, the prosecution was spying on the defendant and his legal counsel. And if a prosecution was stealing the legal documents of the defendant, that would result in any case being dismissed instantly, by any judge in any normal case.
That’s just one of the many appalling legal procedural nightmares that’s gone on with his continuing extradition. He’s now still in jail. I was there in January, when the extradition request was denied […] only immediately to order his detention, pending the appeal. He’s there he’s not convicted of any offence, he’s still being kept in conditions reserved for the very worst of terrorists. So this is a man who has never harmed anyone in his entire life. And we also have reason to believe that not only is the Biden administration continuing, but remarkably, with this attack on a journalist for publication, because that’s all it is, but the Justice Department and the State Department in the USA, are considering widening the net and going after other people in Wikileaks who were involved. For that reason. various members of the team have dispersed […] at the moment.
I don’t think this will stand. I still have in me the hope that the elements of the judgement
on his extradition was so mad that they can’t. And in an appeal to the High Court, it’s the American government, which is appealing against the ruling the his health precludes his extradition. But at the appeal, the defence will Julian’s defence will counter appeal against some of the things that they did rule, like, for example, the extraordinary ruling that the provision in the US UK extradition treaty against political extradition does not apply. Because the idea that the terms of the treaty under which you are extradited, does not matter, cannot possibly be true. It’s legal nonsense.
So, I am still hopeful that Julian will be released, but the process is for punishment. The process is, the torture, Julian’s health has undoubtedly been very, very badly affected. And, Julian, we see now when we see him in the glass cage, the limits of access we have to him. When we see him, he’s not the same man. Who went in certainly not the same man who had to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy a decade ago.The process is the punishment.
We have no date yet for the High Court appeal by the Americans. Every day that Julian is in prison is another day when he’s not able to lead the media, the internet fight back against the New World Order. Every day they can keep him away is a is a victory for them. And the victory fought for gross injustice. We are perhaps a minority at the moment of those who see what is happening, see what is behind this, and have been able to see through the fog of disinformation and lies about Julian and about Wikileaks that have been told.
But support has changed, undoubtedly support has changed. I think every major newspaper has now published an editorial against his extradition to the United States because journalists in the mainstream media may not be wonderful people, but they can see when something is attached to them. And they they realise it. But the precedent in law that has being said that anybody who publishes secret confidential information from the Americans anywhere in the world, can be hauled off to the United States. That is an attack on freedom not just for the internet, but freedom of media. So the chances of success are improved. I believe.
I honestly believe that by this time next year, Julian will be among us again, but by one of life’s great ironies, I might be in prison. When Julian gets out, then he can come and visit me, we can all do it the other way round which I think is a further warning, that dissidents and freedom are under attack. Which is why it is extremely, extremely important that there are always people like ourselves, who are always prepared to give the fight. And I thank you very very much indeed for coming along. I thank the organisers of this. Thank you for giving me a chance to talk. Well done everybody. Thank you.
You can watch the whole event here:
Some other actions in Scotland:
In George square & met these 2 heroes today protesting #JulianAssange 2 years as a political prisoner.The protest got 13 shares on Facebook. It was 2 of them standing in the cold for hours.I wanted to cry. This is what grassroots activism & humanity looks like #WeAreAllAssange pic.twitter.com/d0dq8IXEYp
— Zamard Zahid (@zamardzahid) April 11, 2021
In Solidarity with our Scottish brothers and sisters #FreeAssange!