New Delhi: Attorneys of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have challenged his extradition. Assange has launched an appeal to stop his extradition from Britain to the United States. He has been detained in a high-security jail in London since 2019.
The possibility of Julian Assange’s extradition and prosecution is war against press freedom. It may have a “chilling effect” on investigative journalism, according to UN rights director Michelle Bachelet on Saturday.
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Assange disclosed thousands of military & diplomatic documents
In the US, Assange, 51, has been charged with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse. He is charged in connection with WikiLeaks’ disclosure of tens of thousands of military and diplomatic documents. The disclosure was made by whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The maximum sentence for these charges is 175 years in jail.
Priti Patel ordered Assange’s extradition
According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s legal team has “perfected grounds of appeal” against the US and UK home secretary Priti Patel. Patel is the one who ordered Assange’s extradition in June, in the UK’s high court.
Assange is prosecuted for for his political opinions: Attorneys
Assange is “being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions,” according to Assange’s attorneys.
Wife claims charges are unjustified
His wife said that the charges were unjustified. Stella Assange posted on Twitter on Saturday that “overwhelming evidence has emerged demonstrating that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse.”
She further wrote, ” The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the US before open court, and in full, at the appeal.”
"Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse. The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the US before open court, and in full, at the appeal" https://t.co/eEBTBYI1NF
— Stella Assange #FreeAssangeNOW (@StellaMoris1) August 26, 2022
Assange is captive at London’s Belmarsh prison
Since April 2019, Assange has been held captive at London’s Belmarsh prison.
His extradition was halted by a UK judge last year, but the US government was successful in its appeal to the high court.
Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister of Australia, has previously said regarding Assange’s continued confinement, “enough is enough.”