Crime, justice, and my local MP

How many times do you have to write to your MP to get an answer? Other than some auto-response via email.

But perhaps I’m asking too much. Why on earth should the representative of my local contituency bother with what I have to say? I probably need to re-read the meaning of ‘representative democracy’. No doubt, Google and Wikipedia will put me right.

My MP is not only my MP. He is Robert Buckland, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. So I’d like to think that justice would be his bag. Darn, maybe I need to check with Wiki about that one too.

The lack of justice in the case of Julian Assange – it’s hard to call it anything other than persecution – is something that vexes me deeply. And I want my MP to acknowledge that, at the very least.

So I emailed. Twice. But no reply. I even tried a proper letter, actually shoved through his office letterbox in Old Town, Swindon. Nothing, nada – not a squeak. Buckland’s email auto-respond finishes “Please be patient with us over other matters at this time.”

Well, my first email was sent in October 2019 – that was already six months after Julian had been forcebly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy and bundled into a black maria, Belmarsh bound; the start of another phase in his ordeal. So I don’t think I’m being impatient.

So I’m sharing my latest letter, below. As you’ll see from the update from Stella Morris – Assange’s partner – at the bottom of this crowdfunding page, the US has no intention of letting UK justice get in the way of extradition and further torture of this splendid journalist.

So, if you’re minded, please take the time to write or take your own action to raise awareness and get some action and this innocent man released. Thank you.

Dear Robert

I am writing to you as my Member of Parliament on a matter of great importance.

I know that mental health is a subject close to your own heart, and I hope you read this letter with an open heart and mind.

You know that Julian Assange is still being held in solitary confinement in Belmarsh high security prison, despite not having been charged with - let alone found guilty of - a single crime (excepting a single bail violation).

You know, too, that the Central Criminal Court in January ruled that Assange cannot be extradited to the US - his mental health, the judge ruled, is too vulnerable.

How then can you justify Assange’s continued incarceration in these harsh, damaging and - for a non-violent extradition case - completely inappropriate conditions? 

Over 100 British doctors have published in the Lancet a letter entitled End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. Their letter, enclosed, references other expert testimony - including that of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture - that supports the call for fair and human treatment of this political prisoner.

Do you not support these calls for humanity and fairness, Robert - particularly for someone whose mental health is on a knife edge?

The High Court is currently considering the US application for leave to appeal the extradition ruling - but bail during this process has been denied. 

There is no end in sight. And each day you keep Assange in these inhumane and unjust conditions is another day of solitary psychological attack that Assange faces in a British jail under your watch as Justice Secretary.

If his health was too vulnerable to be extradited to the US, how do you think he is fairing under these conditions? 

Reading the enclosed open letter and related reports, you can only conclude that Assange’s continued incarceration in these conditions represents a direct and deliberate attempt to further debilitate him, both mentally and physically. 

His death, whether by his own hand or from other health causes, gets ever more likely due to the treatment you are overseeing.

Robert, please get back to me with your responses to these questions as a matter of urgency. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely

Find out more, stay in touch, get involved:

Check out my last blog post about Julian, with a bit more background and the song, We are the dead, dedicated to the man.

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