Julian Assange, 50, co-founder of WikiLeaks, could be extradited to the United States following a decision by the UK Supreme Court. Earlier this year, another ruling ruled that he could not be extradited due to concerns about his mental health and a possible risk of suicide.
Assange was indicted in the US on 18 counts related to obtaining and disclosing defense and national security material, “mostly in 2009 and 2010” when he reported on the country’s military operations in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. The decision, taken this Friday (10) by judge Timothy Holroyde, could earn up to 175 years in prison. The charges include violations of espionage laws and conspiracy against the government.
The French Amnesty International published that the new decision is “a caricature of justice”. By reversing the previous judgment, activists, journalists and entities see the turnaround as a concern for freedom of expression and the press. Amnesty also cites that, by approving the US appeal, “British justice accepted the unreliable diplomatic assurances” of the country, which says it will not torture it, for example.
Decision will be appealed
The journalist’s fiancée, Stella Moris, said that this decision will be appealed “as soon as possible”. “For the past two and a half years, Julian has been in Belmarsh Prison and, in fact, has been detained since December 7, 2010 in one form or another,” she said. “How can they approve extradition to the country that planned to kill Julian? This goes against the foundations of press freedom and democracy,” said Moris.
“Julian’s life is once again under grave threat, as is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient,” said Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.