2011/02/08

Assange's extradition is only the tip of the iceberg

No doubt, in the coming days, many more column inches will be dedicated to Julian Assange's battle against extradition to Sweden. His case, however, is the tip of the iceberg. In 2009 more than 4,000 people were extradited under Europe's fast-track extradition system, 700 from the UK alone.

A few days ago, four of Fair Trials International's clients spoke in parliament about their personal extradition ordeals. Frank Symeou explained how his 21-year-old son, Andrew, spent a year in horrendous prison conditions in Greece. Eighteen months after he was extradited he is still waiting for the trial to start.

Edmond Arapi described his 12-month battle against extradition to Italy where, with no notice whatsoever, he had been sentenced to 16 years for murder. Ultimately, Italian judges were persuaded that Arapi could not possibly have committed the crime and the wrong man had been convicted. He had spent weeks in custody, torn from his young family. guardian


The inhumane conditions of Manning's detention

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries. Glenn Greenwald in salon

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