June 17, 2022
Responding to the news that the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has certified Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International Secretary General said:
“Allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the US would put him at great risk and sends a chilling message to journalists the world over.”
“If the extradition proceeds, Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill treatment. Diplomatic assurances provided by the US that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history.”
“We call on the UK to refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the US to drop the charges, and for Assange to be freed.”
Julian Assange is likely to further appeal the extradition on separate grounds that it violates his right to freedom of expression.
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UK: Home Secretary Approves Extradition of Julian Assange
International Press Institute (IPI)
June 17, 2022
Decision undermines press freedom and sets dangerous precedent for public-interest journalism
The International Press Institute (IPI) today expressed dismay over the decision by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces prosecution under the U.S. Espionage Act.
Assange, who has been held within the UK’s high-security Belmarsh prison since 2019, now has two weeks to appeal the decision, according to the Home Office. The cross-appeal by his legal team will open up a new chapter in the legal battle within the courts.
This new appeal would centre on the issue of his right to freedom of expression and his claims that the extradition by the U.S is politically motivated. Assange could face up to 175 years in jail if convicted on all 17 charges, according to his lawyers.
“Today’s decision by the Home Secretary to green light the extradition, though sadly unsurprising, seriously undermines press freedom and the public’s right to information and brings the extradition of Julian Assange one step closer to becoming a reality”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said.
“If this extradition is ultimately approved, Assange’s prosecution in the U.S would set a dangerous precedent for media freedom and public interest journalism, especially for reporters working on national security issues who could face being criminalized for doing their job. We again renew our call to the U.S. government to drop all charges against Assange under the Espionage Act”.
In April 2022, IPI and multiple other international press freedom groups called on the Home Secretary to block the extradition.
In March, the UK Supreme Court refused the latest appeal against his extradition, ruling there were no legal questions over assurances given by US authorities that he would not be mistreated, leaving the decision in the hands of the Home Secretary.
In a statement, a Home Office spokesperson said the decision to approve the extradition was procedural: “Under the Extradition Act 2003, the secretary of state must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made.”
Assange has been charged by the U.S. government in connection with WikiLeaks’s publication of secret U.S. government documents in 2010.
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Assange Extradition Approved By UK Government, Bringing Him Closer To US Trial
Shadowproof on Jun 17, 2022
Kevin Gosztola goes live and covers the breaking news related to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s case. United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel authorized Assange’s extradition to the United States for a trial on charges under the Espionage Act.
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