Wise Up Journal
By Gabriel O’Hara
Would the world be a safer place if people who mail public information are behind bars?
Today at the four courts in Dublin, 11am – court 11, the Judge ruled on whether or not to extradite John Anthony Hill to the UK. John mailed a publicly available DVD, with no letter attached, to a court in the UK during a trial of three men. The DVD had nothing to do with those three men, it contains information from the BBC, ITV, the New York Times and other such established main stream news entities about four different men. During John’s trial in Ireland, March 19th, the judge said in his closing statement that he would watch the DVD before making a decision. Today we found out that the judge failed to uphold that promise/commitment made in court when he told the court he had not looked at that evidence. The Judge ruled against John, 60 years old, who was then put in to handcuffs and lead away by the police to a prison. The Judge said a number of people from all over the world mailed him envelopes with DVDs, he also said he did not open the envelops.
The judge said the European Arrest Warrant Act does not give him permission to not surrender John under the grounds of freedom of expression, religious reasons or if it was a violation of the Irish constitution. After the judgement, in the public corridors of the four courts, John’s barrister said that the European Arrest Warrant Act states he cannot be surrendered if he will be treated unfairly in the UK as a result of his political opinion, which they feel he wont. But if you read the key article 37 of the European Arrest Warrant Act (below) from the Irish Statute Book you can clearly see what it really says. It talks about the warrant being invalid at the issuing point, it does not talk about being treated unfairly if extradited to the issuing state (UK). It says “a person shall not be surrendered” if the warrant is “issued” due to “political opinion“. It is even more open than that because it states that if “there are reasonable grounds for believing that” it was issued “for reason connected with his or her” “political opinion” or “religion” then the warrant is invalid and John does not have to be surrendered.
European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, “37 (1) A person shall not be surrendered under this Act if— (c) there are reasonable grounds for believing that— (i) the European arrest warrant was issued in respect of the person for the purposes of facilitating his or her prosecution or punishment in the issuing state for reasons connected with his or her sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, language, political opinion or sexual orientation,”
Undoubtedly this precedent will effect emailing links of documentaries and news articles to authorities. During John’s trial his government defense barrister did not make the points about the DVD not being about the three men on trial and other important aspects of John’s defense were not brought up. Despite John’s requests he was not allowed speak during his trial. The judge did not even watch the DVD which he said he would do before making a judgement. This is the justice system, it is not even close to most people’s vague ideas of it; the nicely distorted views given by law dramas on TV. When John’s rights were taken away so was everyone’s, instantly. There was a low turnout of support today and two weeks ago, it seems more people turn up for screenings about rights being taken away then they do to support keeping the little ones we have left when they are under attack. The rest of the uninformed public are not too bothered by anything if it does not directly effect their pockets or at the maximum the pockets of a close family relation.
John might have a chance to appeal, if not he will be extradited out of Ireland in 15 days. The following is a link to John’s political opinion (based on information from the BBC etc) on Google videos; you are allowed to disagree with it but John was supposed to be allowed to have it and spread it: 7/7 Ripple Effect.