Juan Passarelli Profile picture
Sep 28, 2020 49 tweets 17 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
September 28th, day 15 of the #AssangeCase extradition proceedings. 40 political and #FreeSpeech advocate observers including @RSF_inter and @amnesty are still banned from observing the most important trial of our lifetime by Judge Baraitser without any explanation.
Sorry for being a bit late, this morning the court heard from Yancey Ellis, US attorney, with experience of the federal prison system. He talked about how #Assange would be placed under a strict solitary confinement regime.
As a pre-trial defendant, Assange would be detained in the ADC for months or potentially years. Ellis: "I believe it's most likely" #Assange would be held in administrative segregation (ad-seg).
Ad-seg in ADC referred to as the 'X Block'. Ellis describing prison cells there, maybe 50' sq, shelf bed, metal toilet. 22-23 hours/day in cell. Sometimes the 2nd hour out of the cell would be in the middle of the night so prisoners can't/don't take it.
"The whole point of this unit is to keep you away from other inmates." Sometimes there's not even other prisoners in the inmate. Very difficult to hear through the doors to speak from one cell to another, would have to scream.
Each inmate on X block gets 1 hour at a time out of the cell and can't communicate with other prisoners.
These are the basic minimum physical conditions of the unit. Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) impose additional restrictions on communications on top of that.
Medical care for someone suffering a psychological disability? Very limited they have social workers & counsellors on staff but the jail doesn't employ a doctor. They have a contract with a part-time psychiatrist. Some inmates would go many weeks between visits. No psycho-therapy
The prosecution relied on Kromberg's affidavit that paints the US prison system as a holiday at Mar-a-Lago. Lewis tried to discredit his knowledge about the prison, etc.
Lewis said that during last inspection they found no suicides?
Ellis: "They do have a good track record when it comes to ACTUALLY COMPLETED suicides I believe"

NOTE: This is the prison where Manning tried to commit suicide last year.
Lewis questions the definition of solitary confinement, but runs into a brick wall yet again.
Court breaks.
Next witness Joel Sickler expert on federal sentencing and federal prison-related matters and has experience as a correctional counsellor in the District of Columbia's Department of Corrections.
He has been to the ADC Virginia dozens of times and has many clients there. Sickler says that #Assange will probably in one of the ad-seg units, most likely 1X or X unit.
ADC often house detainees that are related to national security, and also very notorious inmates.
Sickler: #Assange would be held in a small 50 foot cell. A small confined room with a steel door and a steel window.
He would have very limited contact with other inmates, and if he's under SAMS he will absolutely not have any contact with any inmates. Mr. Kromberg says they can communicate through doors, that is realistically impossible.
There is very limited interacting with any people, your whole world is the four corners of that room.
If #Assange is put under SAMs, Stickler "I've never had a client subjected to SAMs, only similar measures. The reports that I have seen about SAMs is that they are subjected to absolute segregation."
"I have a client at the ADX in Florence, he's subject similar measures to SAMs in terms of his communication limitations. He's been there for 22 years under these condition. His communication with the outside world has been limited with no end in sight."
"Based on decades I've had dozens of my clients commit suicide in pretrial detention. It can be done."
#Assange's ultimate prison destination is probably going to be the ADX in Florence, in which he would very likely go to the H unit, the special security unit.
If subjected to SAMs in ADX, he would not be permitted to have interaction with other inmate, very limited communication with the outside world, 15 minutes once per month with his family. Legal calls are difficult to arrange, but he would have some contact with council.
Even the most minor of administrative measures appeals for inmates are mostly denied. Appealing SAMs successfully would be almost nil probability.
There is no upper limit in amount of time a person can spend in isolation.
The prospects of #JulianAssange ending an ADX Florence, Stickler: he will only end up there if he's placed under SAMs. Saying that it is very likely that he end up there due to the nature of his case.
There is significant risk that #JulianAssange will not receive the treatment he needs in terms of mental health.
Dear ol' Claire Dobbin steps up to the batting cage for the prosecution. And started by asking Sickler what he does. It is a lengthy answer.
Dobbin: You worked as a prison officer?
Sickler: I did in 1979-1980.
Dobbing: So has all your experience is advocating on which prison should prisoners go to?
Sickler: I do more than just advocacy.
Dobbin asks if he is an academic, or has been an inspector in the prison system, or other things as such. I'm surprised that she didn't ask him if he has been to the moon.
Dobbin, you don't have special access to prisoners records.
Sickler: Yes I do have access to the documents of the prisoners I represent.
Dobbin: You are not a clinician either?
Sickler: No, but I do rely on medical consultants opinions.
Ups, tech issues....
Dobbin: You haven't actually had clients under SAMs?
Sickler: I have had clients who have SAMs like measures.
Dobbin: You say that you have had experience under SAMs. Is it possible that you don't know what SAMs is actually like?
Sickler: That's ridiculous.
Dobbin continues to discredit the witness, by focusing on the fact that Sickler has never been to the unit which #Assange would actually be housed in, even though he's been to the prison extensively in 40 years of advocacy work with inmates.
Dobbins uses a terrorist case to justify the use of SAMs.
Dobbins has Stickler, answering yes or no questions that make the prison system sound like a lovely holiday destination.
Stickler: protocols there should have been in place not to have had the suicides happen.
When you're held in (ad-seg), you're held in almost tortuous conditions of confinement. Mr. #Assange, as I hear, has already a detrimental condition which will only be exacerbated by his detention at the ADC.
Dobbins keeps on insisting that there have been no suicides at the ADC since 2017, although she just mentioned the attempted suicide of Chelsea Manning last year. She is just interested in successful suicides, not the conditions or welfare of the inmates.
Stickler: #Assange has released some of the most vile crimes of the US. I think that he is going to get very limited communications, and I also think he is facing life if not at least 20 to 30 years.
Dobbins doesn't like to hear Sickler's opinion on sentencing sentences and compares the #AssangeCase to the #RealityWinner case who got over 60 months sentence.
Dobbins concerning solitary confinement goes on to describe the types of confinements available saying that 83% of the segregated population has two people living in them.
Sickler: They are in isolation confinement and having a bunk mate doesn't make it any better.
Sickler: How often will Mr. #Assange if he gets SAMs at the ADX, can you tell me?
Dobbins: Describes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab convicted for trying to blow up a plane, and describes his allowed communication and treatment as reasonable. Have a read:
Dobbins describes as reasonable treatment for a journalist who revealed the worst atrocities that the US Government has done in 20 years to be held by in solitary confinement, restricting his communication with relatives and force-feeding him if he goes on a hunger strike.
Dobbin is comparing #JulianAssange, a non-violent journalist, to a man serving multiple life sentences for trying to blow up an airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear. And arguing that this his treatment he will get is alike, acceptable and fair. nytimes.com/2017/10/19/us/…
Dobbin cites number/types of mental health staffers at the ADX.

Sickler: I'm aware, I'm sure the need is high given the conditions at the ADX

We can agree it's well-staffed and effective at mental health care?

Agree it's well staffed, I wouldn't say it's effective
Dobbin asks if Sickler agrees that the population of inmates in the US has decreased over the last 6 years, he agrees but fails to mention that regardless, the US holds the largest population of inmates in the entire WORLD!
Background on the ADX Florence in Colorado, which the prosecution is attempting to argue is a perfectly fine place to go. NYT: "Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison" Read her: nytimes.com/2015/03/29/mag…
Sorry, I had to do some video stuff, but in summary Dobbin continued to pull on the same string for another hour pushing to disqualify the 40 years of experience the witness has, and then the defence had a short cross-examination about how federal penitentiaries really are like.
Another strong day for the defence and yet another day that the prosecution invented a scenario where all of #JulianAssange's needs and whims would be tended to on a silver platter... and on the side also comparing him to a terrorist.

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More from @JuanAndOnlyDude

Oct 28, 2021
[THREAD] I start my report on the second day of the #JulianAssange extradition hearing with this reminder:

The court will have to decide whether to send #Assange to the country that plotted to murder him, or whether to protect his life.

The court starts.
These are the Defence arguments submitted to court.
Read 87 tweets
Oct 27, 2021
Live court report from #JulianAssange’s extradition hearing [THREAD]:

We start the day by learning that Julian has not be allowed to participate in person at the most important hearing of his life.

This hearing will begin with the #Assange exception to the norm.
The hearing will start soon. They are attempting to communicate with Belmarsh.
Judges are in.
Read 88 tweets
Jan 6, 2021
#AssangeCase bail hearing Thread:

Ed Fitzgerald is in court. Julian hasn't arrived. The proceedings should start soon.
Judge comes into court. #JulianAssange walks in and identifies himself to court.
The Court will hear arguments against bail first.
Clair Dobbin: The high court can overturn the conviction, the court must be careful not to render the result academic.
Read 35 tweets
Sep 30, 2020
Day 17 of the #AssangeHearing, with three days left, open justice has not been done in these proceedings. The Judge blocked 40 political and NGO observers (including @amensty & @RSF_inter) from monitoring the most important #FreeSpeech trial of the century.
Defence is reading from/summarizing a witness statement from war reporter Patrick Cockburn. He was in Kabul when the war logs were released, and he says they confirmed civilian casualties he and other journalists suspected.
Cockburn's statement includes the importance of the war logs and Collateral Murder video to prove these incidents in the face of official denial.
Read 41 tweets
Sep 29, 2020
Day 16 of the #AssangeCase proceedings. By this stage it is very likely that the 40 political observers that the judge arbitrarily banned from the observing proceedings virtually will not be allowed to do so. 4 left & I feel the decision was made before we started.
We have Maureen Baird on the stand: 28 years experience with the Bureau of Prisons in various capacities, with her final positions as Warden and Senior Executive Service Warden at three various Federal Prisons.
Baraitser walks in. Baird takes the oath.
Read 84 tweets
Sep 27, 2020
The @DailyMailUK’s shameful regurgitation of 10 years of disproven slander against #JulianAssange comes at a rather interesting time.

1. There has been increasing reporting of the #AssangeCase, all positive and it Julian’s plight seems to be winning hearts and minds.

2. The @DailyMailUK might have come under political pressure after being at the forefront of the MSM in the reporting positive reporting of the #AssangeCase.
The political nature of the #AssangeCase does not make it inconceivable that at the highest levels the @DailyMailUK might have felt obligated to do a balancing act of its reporting of the case often often highlighting prosecution flaws, injustices & dangerous precedent being set.
Read 7 tweets

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