The UK home Secretary Priti Patel has formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. This has been a long legal battle in which the WikiLeaks founder has pursued with his legal team every avenue it could in the courts and appeals fighting the US request.
Assange has been held at London’s Belmarsh prison since his removal from the Ecuadoran embassy in April of 2019. It would seem he will now face US legal proceedings and most likely convictions on multiple spy-related charges. Such convictions would lead to incarceration in a federal supermax facility, most likely the ADX Florence Supermax. The Home Office has said Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision.
The Home Office further affirmed the US extradition would not be “incompatible with his human rights” and while in US custody “he will be treated appropriately.” This ruling follows his legal defense team’s most successful legal challenge which hinged on his facing cruel and possible torturous conditions inside the Us prison system, most specifically the highly isolate life inside ADX Florence facility.
Following Patel’s announcement, WikiLeaks released the following statement:
“Today is not the end of fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court.”
The statement went on to say anyone who cared about freedom of expression should be “deeply ashamed” that the home secretary approved Assange’s extradition.
“Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher and he is being punished for doing his job,” it said.
“It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead she will for-ever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.”
UK officials and supporters of Assange were outspoken in their anger over the ruling. Former cabinet minister David Davis said, “Sadly, I do not believe Mr. Assange will get a fair trial. This extradition treaty needs to be rewritten to give British and American Citizens identical rights, unlike now.”
Many people from all over the world and from various political affiliations have argued the Assange extradition case is placing journalism on trial and criminalizes methods used by reporters and newsrooms all over. For years and going back to the original 2010/2011 leaks related to US actions in Iran and Afghanistan, mainstream newspapers printed the leaked files
“Sadly I do not believe Mr. Assange will get a fair trial. This extradition treaty needs to be rewritten to give British and American citizens identical rights, unlike now.”
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) June 17, 2022
“London’s High Court must give its approval if the extradition is to proceed.
The US has insisted that by publishing thousands of pages of classified documents, Assange put American lives in danger.
Today will go down in history as the day we repealed the Magna Carta
The UK government is above the law, its citizens slaves of the state
Our press were silent
Our MPs were silent
Shame – The Economist, The Times, Telegraph, FT, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel , Steve Baker HW
— Dylan Grice June 17, 2022
The CIA Plot to Kill My Husband Julian Assange @stellamoris1 pic.twitter.com/hNLq8ceJCR
— Double Down News (@DoubleDownNews) May 17, 2022
It is not clear when the extradition will occur, however, now the Home Office has signed off, it’s likely he will be moved across the Atlantic to stand trial in the US very soon. It is likely the trial will be covered by the international press; in the same way every other part of his legal battle has been front page news.
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