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lawyers for Julian Assange denounce his conditions of detention

At a demonstration in support of Julian Assange in London on February 25. Matt Dunham / AP

On the second day of his extradition trial, which is held in the court of Woolwich, a suburb of East London, Julian Assange continued to listen, impassive, his lawyers try to weaken the American accusation requesting his transfer to the United United.

The defense team of the founder of WikiLeaks, however, agreed on one point with the American accusation: request that Julian Assange be treated well in the high security prison of Belmarsh, which adjoins the court of Woolwich, where Assange has been incarcerated since April 2019.

The Australian's lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, deplored at the start of the hearing that following the first day of the trial, which must last all week before resuming for three weeks in May, his client had summer “Handcuffed eleven times, stripped twice” and “Placed in five cells”.

The lawyer then asked Judge Vanessa Baraitser to intercede with the prison authority in order to guarantee the rights of his client. The judge replied that she did not have these powers, and that she could not issue orders relating to the treatment of detainees. However, she stressed that Julian Assange should be treated fairly, like any other defendant.

Read the report of the first day of hearing: Julian Assange, silent and raised fist during his extradition trial

Pale, emaciated, lacking sleep

Notably, Edward Fitzgerald was supported by lawyer James Lewis, who represents the United States government. The latter feared that the treatment of the Australian would not “Jeopardize” the procedure currently in progress.

In his box, the main interested party did not react. Dressed just like the night before, Julian Assange looked pale, emaciated and sleep deprived. He attended the debate in the accused’s box, isolated from the rest of the courtroom by large disjointed glass panels, the spaces of which allowed him, on several occasions, to interact with his counsel during the hearing.

One of the main arguments put forward by his defense is the health of Julian Assange and arguably represents their best hope for defeating the American extradition. The day before, Mr. Fitzgerald explained that the founder of WikiLeaks suffered from “Clinical depression” and that an extradition to an American prison exposed him to a “Suicide risk”.

The Editorial of the World: “Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States”

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