The world-famous whistleblower Edward Snowden has criticized a Spanish court’s decision to extradite John McAfee to the United States, and warned that Julian Assange could meet a similar end.
The circumstances surrounded McAfee’s death are controversial, but authorities say that he took his own life in his jail cell after learning that he would be extradited to the United States. Many of his supporters and friends do not believe that he took his own life, and he was adamant while he was alive that he would not choose that path. However, if we take that story at face value, it still reveals some ugly truths about the justice system in the United States.
This point was made in a Twitter post by Edward Snowden this week, who said that courts ‘should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair—and prison system so cruel—that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it.”
He also added that “Julian Assange could be next,” saying that “until the system is reformed, a moratorium should remain.”
Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair—and prison system so cruel—that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it. Julian Assange could be next.
Until the system is reformed, a moratorium should remain. https://t.co/tUociySmVy
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 23, 2021
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been having a terrible time in prison, and has been suicidal over his extradition to the United States.
Prison guards have previously confiscated a razor blade and two cords from his cell, and he has been kept under close watch the entire time he has been behind bars. His partner, Stella Moris said that he is looking thinner every time she sees him. She says that the situation has been “incredibly stressful” and that he has been having some health problems, including a sprained ankle and a frozen shoulder.
In a surprise ruling last year, British District Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the United States government’s request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on espionage charges.
Baraitser did not object to the overall charges, but ruled that conditions in US prisons would be too harsh, and that Assange would likely kill himself if he were extradited.
The United States government appealed the decision, and the case is scheduled for another hearing sometime later this year. Meanwhile, followers of Assange continue to be concerned about his mental health, as reports of him hearing voices were shared in court by a psychologist.
Professor Michael Kopelman, an emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King’s College London, said that Assange has been hearing voices and has confessed to a priest that he was making preparations to kill himself. These preparations included drafting his will and writing a goodbye letter to his family and friends.
“He reported auditory hallucinations, which were voices either inside or outside his head, somatic hallucinations, funny bodily experiences, these have now disappeared. He also has a long history of musical hallucinations, which is maybe a separate phenomenon, that got worse when he was in prison,” Kopelman said.
The voices that Assange is hearing are saying things like “you are dust, you are dead, we are coming to get you.”
Kopelman said that the most severe hallucinations have begun to diminish, but Assange is still severely depressed and at a high risk of suicide. He also added that if Assange were extradited the risk would increase further.