Good morning from Day 4 of Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing at the Old Bailey! Will share today’s updates on this thread.

#FreeAssange 1/
Waiting outside the public gallery entrance with activists @deepa_driver and Moritz Müller, who have been queuing since the early hours to gain access. So grateful for @rubio49158845, who kindly gave me his seat again 🙏 2/ Image
We *should* be getting in this morning, but have been told the public won’t be admitted until 11:30 - we’re not sure why. Only three of us will be allowed into the public gallery, which means they’re still saving spaces for the mysterious “VIPs” who have still yet to show up. 3/
This is apparently why we’re still waiting. It’s unclear whether we will be allowed in for the case management hearing, and what will happen next. And so we wait. 4/
We were allowed in only as court was breaking up, so did not quite make it into the public gallery. Court has been adjourned until Monday morning due to a Covid scare with one of the lawyers’ family members. It’s unclear why Assange was brought into court with this risk known. 5/
It’s been a frustrating week. @RSF_inter is the only NGO that’s managed to gain any access to this hearing, and that’s only been through sheer persistence and huge support from political observers and grassroots activists - and still we’ve only gotten in sporadically. 6/
So far in this extradition hearing, four witnesses have testified, for the defence. Their statements have been strong, focused on the political motivation and journalistic implications of Julian Assange’s prosecution - assessments which we share at @RSF_inter. 7/
For full details, it’s worth following journalists like @kgosztola, who have consistent access to proceedings via the video link, and reading the excellent daily reports from @Bridges4Media, which are also published at 8/
One frustration we have, besides the overarching access problem, is in the overflow courtroom we cannot see Julian Assange or assess his conditions. We’re left squinting at a small screen, and I can only properly follow as I have the lawyers’ voices memorised from February. 9/
This is not adequate to sufficiently scrutinise proceedings - but then, all of this is woefully insufficient to ensure respect for the principle of open justice & the right to a fair trial in a case of such tremendous public interest. The UK should - and could - do better. 10/
Here’s my round-up for @RSF_inter of proceedings so far - and that’s a wrap for this week. We’ll be back at court on Monday, and in the meantime continue to campaign for the US and UK to #FreeAssange! /11

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More from @rebecca_vincent

18 Oct
I’ve had some questions about my profile pic. I keep it up because it’s a case that doesn’t get nearly enough attention - that of Christopher Allen, a dual US/UK national & young freelance journalist who was killed reporting on the civil conflict in South Sudan on 26 August 2017.
Chris was one of 10 journalists killed with impunity during the civil conflict that broke out in December 2013. A unity government was finally formed and the conflict is considered to have ended this past February - but still nothing has been done to address the lasting impunity.
But responsibility does not stop with the South Sudanese. Chris’ own governments - the US and UK - have done shamefully little in more than 3 years. The UN system has also failed. And because Chris was a freelancer, there was no big media outlet to step in and help his family.
Read 14 tweets
21 Sep
Week three, Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing. A new thread.

#FreeAssange 1/
It’s now Day 10 of proceedings at the Old Bailey in London. Campaigns Officer @AustinPatrickC is currently in court monitoring in person for @RSF_inter. I’ll be back in court myself tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s my recap from last week.
Some exciting news: thanks to your support, signatures on @RSF_inter’s #FreeAssange petition have more than doubled since the hearing began. Please keep signing & sharing, and we’ll take the petition back to @10DowningStreet along with @StellaMoris1 when proceedings conclude. 3/
Read 60 tweets
14 Sep
Good morning from week two of Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing at the Old Bailey in London! Will share this week’s observations in this new thread.

#FreeAssange 1/
I’m not at court this morning, but have a colleague holding my place so I can hopefully monitor this afternoon’s sitting. He was told 3 of the 5 public gallery places are still being held for these mysterious no-show “VIPs”, meaning only 2 are currently occupied. Ridiculous. 2/
After last week’s Covid scare, witness testimony has resumed with Eric Lewis testifying this morning. Would love to be able to watch remotely, but @RSF_inter & all other NGOs had their access to the video link revoked last week. Back later - hopefully having gotten into court! 3/
Read 16 tweets
9 Sep
On the way back to the Old Bailey this morning to try again to monitor the US extradition hearing in the case of @wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. The court has severely restricted NGO access, so it is very uncertain whether my @RSF_inter colleague @cmihr & I will get in. 1/
The court has refused to recognise or accommodate the role of professional NGO observers, so we are left to compete for spaces in the public gallery, which has been limited to 2 to 5 people, despite the fact that there are 36 seats in that part of the overflow courtroom alone. 2/
On day 1, we finally got in due to the intervention of the German embassy & political observers. On day 2, I was able to monitor the afternoon session thanks to the kindness of an activist who had queued for hours & gave me his seat so we could tell the world what’s happening. 3/
Read 15 tweets
8 Sep
Some observations on Julian Assange’s extradition hearing so far, after a very hectic start (and a very long day!) yesterday.


#FreeAssange 1/
Yesterday morning, @StellaMoris1, @cmihr and I attempted to deliver @RSF_inter’s petition with more than 80,000 signatures calling on the UK authorities not to extradite Julian Assange. @10DowningStreet refused to accept it. 2/
Instead we brought our banner with the 80,000 signatures to the Old Bailey court, where we also addressed the @DEAcampaign protest. We reiterated our call for Julian Assange to be released, for the charges against him to be dropped, and for him not to be extradited to the US. 3/
Read 11 tweets
14 Aug
As I’m on leave, my colleague @katifallon_ tried to attend this morning’s hearing in Julian Assange’s case for @RSF_inter. However, only 4 people were allowed into the public gallery, so she (6th in line) was turned away. I’m now attempting to monitor on the phone. #FreeAssange
It seems only five journalists were allowed into the courtroom. The rest of us (press + NGO observers) are stuck on the conference call system that has proven completely unfit for purpose since lockdown began.
Good recap of this morning’s issues with the Assange hearing. Would be almost comical if it didn’t have such worrying implications for due process and open justice.
Read 6 tweets

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