(Although Assange is technically not a whistleblower, but a journalist and publisher.)
‘Julian Assange ‘Has Refused to Attend’ Latest Remand Hearing Due to COVID-19 Outbreak at Belmarsh’, sputniknews.com, Nov. 26, 2020
“Julian Assange did not attend his remand hearing on 26 November 2020 because of the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak at Belmarsh prison. “Nothing is happening today”, a lawyer connected to the case told Sputnik in the morning at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, due to the fact that “55 people [in his block] in Belmarsh” have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
Ed Fitzgerald QC, speaking for the defence, explained to Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram, at the beginning of the remand hearing on Thursday morning, that Mr Assange “waived” his right to attend in person due to the high risk of him contracting COVID-19 if he leaves his cell. The Judge insisted that a prisoner held on remand needed to be produced every 28 days and asked the court clerk whether there had been a message from the prison authorities at Belmarsh. The court officer replied that an email had been received which stated that Mr Assange “has refused to attend” the video link room.
Barrister for the prosecution, Joel Smith, interjected saying that he was acting for the defence in a separate case at Wandsworth and and that “court staff are not producing defendants” who are in blocks that have a viral outbreak. “That’s at Wandsworth” Judge Ikram responded, adding that they were speaking about Belmarsh prison and that “the information I have is that [Mr Assange] has refused [to attend]”.
Mr Fitzgerald told the court that it was not being argued that Mr Assange “could not attend” but that he understood that the award-winning journalist was “staying in his cell for self-protection”. The court has previously heard that Mr Assange is at higher risk of contracting a more severe form of COVID-19 due to a history of respiratory infections.” […]
“Ultimately, the parties and the court agreed to another remand hearing, scheduled for 11 December 2020 at 10:30, on the basis that since Mr Assange did not attend today’s hearing, the case would have been re-listed “not for 28 days” but rather the “shortest practical period”, according to the judge.” […]
“Final written submissions were filed with the court earlier in November and Judge Baraitser’s decision is scheduled to be handed down on 4 January 2021.”
‘Trump must pardon Snowden & Assange for helping expose ‘deep state,’ says Tulsi Gabbard amid chorus against war on whistleblowers’, 27 Nov, 2020, RT.com
““Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” Gabbard said in a tweet addressed to the president on Thursday, referring to Snowden and Assange.
“Brave whistleblowers exposing lies & illegal actions in our government must be protected. Join me and urge Congress: Pass my bipartisan legislation (HRes1162, HRes1175, HR8452) calling for charges against @snowden & Assange to be dropped & to reform the Espionage Act.”
Pass it on!
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)