Solitary Confinement: The Plight of Julian Assange
Note: An Open Letter to President Trump, which you can sign here, urges the president to immediately close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges against Julian Assange and other Wikileaks staff members which the Department of Justice is planning. It describes the “threat to WikiLeaks’ work — which is publishing information protected under the First Amendment — is a threat to all free journalism.”
There have been calls for the of Julian Assange’s isolation from many quarters. A group of prominent intellectuals, social activists and artists have signed an open letter demanding Ecuador restore WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet and phone access, allow him visits and respect his right to freedom of expression. The letter, signed by prominent intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and Slavoj Zizek, as well as rock musician Brian Eno, filmmaker Oliver Stone, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, actress Pamela Anderson and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis among others, described his mistreatment as “a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now,” the letter reads.
This week RT reported that Assange has “physical proof of that” and was going to show it in exchange for an agreement that he would not get arrested upon leaving the embassy. Assange has been unable to comment, as the government of Ecuador suspended his internet access at the end of March and barred him from receiving visitors, reportedly over a tweet he posted about Spain’s policy towards the separatists in Catalonia. nKZ
Julian Assange And How Solitary Confinement Effects the Mind
Julian Assange has been without internet, phone or visitors for 28 days as of tomorrow, this is an extremely wicked and cruel act against an innocent journalist and publisher. According to the UN’s Nelson Mandela Act, anything over 15 days in solitary is considered torture. I want to explain to you what complete isolation does to the mind and the body and how this will affect Julian’s current state.
It is a proven fact that lonely people are more prone to certain physical ailments including high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and are more prone to infection. Mentally it has been reported to play with your sense of time, cause hallucinations, and paranoia. Many completely isolated individuals who had no meaningful human contact lost track of reality altogether as studies have shown. In a study on other primates regarding isolation, they found that after only 30 days the monkeys became enormously disturbed and after a year was unable to have social contact of any kind. ( Reference for studies ) In fact, a good example of lack of proper human interaction would be the orphans in Romania who were literally mentally handicapped because they were never held or given affection. In fact, it has been proven that solitary confinement can drive a person literally crazy.
We are talking about permanent damage here folks. It is not temporary and is considered torture for a reason. Most examples when introduced back into society have a lack of life skills and have lost the ability to relate to others as a normal individual would. They are highly anxious around people, often paranoid and fearful, leaving them with no joy in everyday tasks or happiness. What emerges from reports on solitary confinement is literally like reading a medieval novel about torture. Some even experience psychosis afterward.
And as Alexis Agathocleous from the Center for Constitutional Rights has aptly noted (link reference ) :
We know that keeping someone in solitary confinement puts them at very serious risk of descending into irreversible mental illness. That’s not tolerable in a society that values the dignity and humanity of all people, no matter whether they are incarcerated or not.
So you may be asking why this has been done to someone like Julian Assange? It is simply to silence the truth. Many have contemplated the real reasons behind Moreno’s gag order including
- He spoke about Catalonia and Spain pushed Ecuador into this act.
- Julian was going to testify in the case against Cambridge Analytics and Facebook in the well-known court case.
- Ecuador is looking for help from the US government with security in Columbia and helps with their failing economy. Perhaps, it was a deal made behind closed doors.
Regardless of the reason, this man is being persecuted for simply doing what journalists should do. He investigates what information is given to him and tells us about it. This is not a crime. He is not in prison but in an Embassy to keep him from being extradited for political reasons to the United States to face a fixed grand jury that would put him away for 45 years, the rest of his life. His rights are being violated by the UK and now the very country that gave him asylum in the first place.
Lenin Moreno is literally guilty of torturing a man who his country offered protection through political asylum. Asylum is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as
“The protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.”
Punishing a man for tweeting about his views and the truth is not protecting him. Even prisoners in solitary confinement are allowed the occasional video conference with friends and family. Ultimately, President Moreno will be known as the man who destroyed Julian Assange. He will be known for violating the human rights of one of his citizens (Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship a few months ago). He will be known for making a hypocrisy of free press and free speech if this act of suffering continues.
Please contact the leaders in your country and demand they contact Ecuador and request the reconnection of Julian Assange to the world and his family