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 assangecourt.report. 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

11 Aug
Today at 10:30 am the UK High Court will begin to consider the US government’s appeal against the court decision opposing @wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. I’ll be in court monitoring for @RSF_inter and will have updates on this thread. #FreeAssange
For the first time in the extradition proceedings against Assange, the court has accredited professional NGO observers. I’ve been assigned a seat in the well of the court for @RSF_inter, as has a representative of @amnesty. Frankly I will fully trust this only once I’m inside. 2/
Those who have been following will know the long and difficult history of our access issues at 3 prior courts in this case. @RSF_inter has been the only NGO to monitor the full extradition proceedings despite severe restrictions previously imposed by the District Judge. 3/
Read 25 tweets
10 Aug
Tomorrow at 10:30 the UK High Court will hold a preliminary hearing in the US government’s appeal against the court decision opposing @wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.

A reading list of @RSF_inter materials for those interested (thread).

#FreeAssange
Please note that we are the only NGO that has monitored the full extradition proceedings, despite severe restrictions imposed by the court. Our analysis is based on in-person observations of each stage of these proceedings. 2/
.@RSF_inter’s observations and analysis of the first week of proceedings at Woolwich Crown Court in February 2020 when legal arguments were heard, underscoring the US’ lack of evidence for the charges against Assange: rsf.org/en/news/uk-leg… 3/
Read 13 tweets
27 May
Starting now: @HouseofCommons is holding a Westminster Hall Debate on global press freedom to mark World Press Freedom Day earlier this month, sponsored by @DamianCollins as Chair of the APPG on Media Freedom. Watch live here: parliamentlive.tv/event/index/8a…
Strong start from @DamianCollins, mentioning the situation in Belarus, the murders of Jamal Khashoggi & #DaphneCaruanaGalizia, @mariaressa’s fight to #HoldTheLine in the Philippines, the SLAPP case against @CatherineBelton & many more worrying examples, citing @RSF_inter figures.
.@jeremycorbyn raises concerns around media ownership, the need to ensure access for all to social media, the case of Anabel Hernandez in Mexico, the jailing of journalists around the world, the arrest of Roman Pratasevich in Belarus, and the targeting of journalists in Gaza.
Read 21 tweets
31 Jan
It’s been a worrying few days for UK press freedom. On Thursday, photojournalist @andyaitchison was arrested for photographing a protest against poor conditions in Napier Barracks, a military camp in Kent housing hundreds of asylum seekers. 1/

independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n…
On Friday, government equalities minister @KemiBadenoch triggered a flood of abuse & threats against @HuffPostUK reporter @Nadine_Writes by smearing her (in an 8-part Twitter thread) simply for doing her job by asking a question in the public interest. 2/

huffpost.com/entry/uk-minis…
This comes just a week after government minister @nadhimzahawi and other Tory MPs attacked @yorkshirepost and @RobynVinter for their accurate public interest reporting on Covid jabs being diverted to other regions. 3/

yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/v…
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
Good morning. I’ll have updates on Julian Assange’s bail hearing on this thread today. The hearing takes place at 10 am GMT at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. @RSF_inter calls again for Assange’s immediate release.

#FreeAssange 1/
I’m on my way to court. Escaped the hellish queue for the public gallery today only because Assange’s family have been kind enough to put me on their list - so unless the court pulls something funny, I should get in without problems today. 2/
The thought of walking into court at a reasonable time and taking a seat like a normal person today seems like a luxury. We’ve been treated so terribly in monitoring hearings in this case since last February. Again, this is not how we’re accustomed to doing our jobs, anywhere. 3/
Read 28 tweets
5 Jan
Hello new followers! Can I introduce you to some of @RSF_inter’s other priority cases? They all deserve much more attention and support! Thread.
#DaphneCaruanaGalizia was a courageous Maltese journalist assassinated by a car bomb near her home in October 2017. More than three years on, there’s still been no justice for Daphne or the extensive corruption she had uncovered. Some background here: rsf.org/en/news/malta-…
We are working to support her family’s campaign for #JusticeforDaphne. Follow @daphnefdtn, her sons @mcaruanagalizia, @acaruanagalizia & @pcaruanagalizia, her sisters @Corinne_Vella & @MandyMallia, and her niece @meg_mallia. @TheShiftNews is also an excellent resource.
Read 12 tweets

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