The UK approves WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange’s extradition to the US | MarketingwithAnoy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces a dwindling number of options after the British government on Friday approved his extradition to the United States. The decision is the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle that began when former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning leaked secret government documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which Assange published on WikiLeaks in 2010.

Friday’s decision, approved by British Home Secretary Priti Patel, is the latest in a series of legal battles that Assange has lost in his bid to remain in the UK. It’s a blow to Assange, who has spent the past decade either in hiding at Ecuador’s London embassy or in a British prison. And his increasingly likely prosecution in U.S. courts creates an uncertain moment for the rights to the First Amendment and the ability of the news media to publish material that is considered a threat to national security.

“This is a dark day for freedom of the press and for British democracy,” WikiLeaks said in a statement announcement shared on Twitter. “Julian did nothing wrong. He has not committed any crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and publisher.” Wikileaks said Assange intends to appeal.

“Assange may have at least one more opportunity for appeal, so he may not be on a flight to the United States just yet,” Trevor Timm, chief executive of the Freedom of the Press group, said in a statement. announcement. “But this is another disturbing development in a case that could raise the rights of journalists in the 21st century.” The charges against Assange include 17 under the Espionage Act and one under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Friday’s decision overturns a December 2021 decision declaring Assange could not be extradited because subjecting him to US jail could increase the risk of suicide. The judge has accepted the United States insurances that Assange will not stand in isolation and will have access to psychological treatment.

“The British courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unfair or abusive to process the extradition of Mr Assange,” a spokesman for the British Home Office told WIRED. “Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that while in the United States he would be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health. . “

Assange’s legal team has 14 days to appeal, according to the Interior Ministry. His next step, now that the defense’s argument based on Assange’s suicide risk has been rejected, would probably be to focus on the other arguments his team has made against extradition, such as the threat it poses to press freedom and the political bias against Assange from U.S. law enforcement, given that Assange has been a thorn in the side of the US executive for over a decade.

“I think there are many ways to run here,” said Naomi Colvin, director of the UK / Ireland advocacy group Blueprint for Free Speech. She points out that while these further arguments could not affect the UK legal system, Assange could also appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, arguing that extradition would violate Britain’s obligation to human rights treaties. In yet another opportunity, Assange’s team could demand a judicial review that would specifically challenge the political side of Patel’s decision, Colvin adds.

Leave a comment