The UK/Swedish/US Governments Are Complicity in Mental Torture of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Co-Founder


Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire – TRANSCEND Media Service

Press release – 20th December, 2012

On Thursday 13th December, 2012, I visited Julian Assange, Editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, in the Ecuadorian embassy, Knightsbridge, London.    It is six months now since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy and was given political asylum.  He entered the embassy  after the British Courts shamefully refused his appeal against extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning accused of sexual molestation (no criminal charges have been made against him).   Julian Assange has said,  he is willing to answer questions in the UK  relating to accusations against him, or alternatively to go to Sweden provided the Swedish government guarantee he will not be extradited to the US where plans are ready for him to be  tried for conspiracy to commit espionage.  The Swedish Government refuse to give such assurance.  Mr. Assange is right to be concerned about the dangers of extradition to USA.  American media has reported that the US Justice Department and the Pentagon have been conducting a criminal investigation into ‘whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the groups release of government documents including possible charges under the espionage act’.  Mr. Assange’s only crime is that he embarrassed the USA and  powerful governments with WikiLeaks release of thousands of US state department cables and of the video footage from an apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the US military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters employees, revealing USA’s Crimes against humanity. For this truth telling he has inherited the wrath of the US government, and has been targeted in a most vindictive way – as has American soldier,  pt. Bradley Manning, currently undergoing a military Court hearing for allegedly leaking classified documents to  WikiLeaks. Pt.  Bradley Manning has been subjected, according to formal UN  investigation, to ‘cruel and inhuman’ treatment whilst held in solitary confinement in US prison for nine months. The American government has admitted to the torture of Pt. Bradley Manning, one of their own soldiers.

However, even if the Swedish authorities decide not to charge Julian Assange  the USA will probably demand  that the British government extradite Assange from Britain to the USA, to face a US Grand Jury indictment.  (The US Grand Jury has been sitting for 16 months and it is believed to have reached a verdict to indict Julian Assange and has a sealed indictment ready to unseal at the most beneficial time to the US.  The grand Jury is a flawed, unjust legal process, consisting of four Prosecutors but no defence evidence is allowed.  There is no judge and a no jury pool is drawn from Alexandria, Virginia, which has the highest percentage of military contractor families in the US.)

On meeting with Julian Assange I was struck by his intelligent, bright and compassionate mind, and glad to see that in spite of all the abuse of his human rights and persecution he is in good spirits and good health.  In spite of the fact that for six months he has been confined indoors with no possibility of even 5 minutes in the fresh air, a basic right for all political prisoners, as if he tries to go outside he will be  immediately arrested by the police outside the embassy, and be extradited to Sweden or usa. Unlike most political prisoners he has no idea how long his virtual imprisonment in the embassy, will last, 6 more months or 6 years, whilst this diplomatic standoff continues.   This is indeed cruel, inhumane and mental torture, of a man, whose only crime was to tell the truth and bring transparency to the illegal acts of the US Government and its allies around the world. (the cost to police this  man of peace is £11,000 per day).

I believe the UK/SWEDISH/USA governments are all complicit in this mental torture of Julian Assange,  and I appeal to the  Australian government, Human rights defenders, brave media,  and  people who love freedom and truth to break the ‘silence ‘ and  stand up for the rights of Julian Assange to assurance he will get the change to answer all accusations against him in UK or Sweden and the assurance he will not be extradited to USA where he could meet the same ‘cruel and inhuman’ treatment as pt. Bradley Manning.  The least we can do is raise our voices to  protect Julian Assange (and Bradley Manning) who made such brave attempts, at the cost of their own freedom,  to try to protect all our freedoms and democracy.


Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Dec 2012.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: The UK/Swedish/US Governments Are Complicity in Mental Torture of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Co-Founder, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

2 Responses to “The UK/Swedish/US Governments Are Complicity in Mental Torture of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Co-Founder”

  1. Poka Laenui says:

    There is a principle in U.S. law which protects whistle-blowers from prosecution (persecution) as a response of one’s whistle-blowing. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has set aside this principle when it comes to someone who has been so successful in blowing the whistle against U.S. international human rights violations.
    Perhaps if an international or national venue were to bring human rights violations charges against the U.S. based on evidence produced by Wikileaks and other sources, it would secure the position of Mr. Assange even more firmly as a whistle-blower and strengthen his defense against U.S. prosecution and British and Swedish collusion with the U.S.
    Just a thought.

  2. I entirely agree with the appeal by Mairead Maguire – the US and Swedish governments are twisting judicial procedures and ignoring the principles of ‘Justice’ for vindictive reasons. I call upon my own British government to stop supporting these disgraceful procedural travesties and to distance themselves from the military mistreatment of whistle blowers. I used to work for the US government, and I know from experience how the ‘system’ closes in to support itself and destroys whistle-blowers. In fact, Asange is no more and no less that a creation of the internet, a logical and inevitable extension of the free circulation of information. Instead of fighting the inevitable, the US and other governments need to develop new strategies for protecting secret information (and not just inconvenient information).