UK court rejects Assange appeal, extradition inches closer
Julian Assange could face the remainder of his life behind bars for exposing US war crimes.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed serious concern over the decision of the UK High Court to reject Julian Assange's appeal of his extradition order, making his possible extradition a possibility closer than ever before.
Assange could spend the rest of his life in prison for publishing the Wikileaks documents in 2010.
One justice dismissed all eight grounds of Assange's appeal against the extradition order signed by then-UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in June 2022 in a judgment delivered on June 6.
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This means the defense has five days left to appeal to a panel of two judges that will hold a public hearing.
Further appeals will be barred at the local level, but Assange may take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Rebecca Vincent, the RSF's Director of Campaigns called the decision "absurd," adding that this could impact the climate for journalism around the world.
"The historical weight of what happens next cannot be overstated; it is time to put a stop to this relentless targeting of Assange and act instead to protect journalism and press freedom. Our call on President Biden is now more urgent than ever: drop these charges, close the case against Assange, and allow for his release without further delay."
Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, tweeted that he would renew his application to the High Court and that they would "remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States where he faces charges that could result in him spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that revealed war crimes committed by the U.S. government.”
Statement:— Stella Assange #FreeAssangeNOW (@Stella_Assange) June 8, 2023
On Tuesday next week my husband Julian Assange will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court. The matter will then proceed to a public hearing before two new judges at the High Court and we remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not…
Assange has been at the Belmarsh prison in London for more than 1,500 days. He was unlawfully charged in the US with 17 counts of "espionage" and one count of computer misuse, connected to him leaking tens of thousands of military and diplomatic documents that exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Julian Assange's lawyer recently cited suicide as a possible outcome if the Australian is extradited to the #US on his espionage charges.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) October 30, 2021
Here's a timeline of some key dates from Assange’s life.#JulianAssange #FreeAssange pic.twitter.com/FTSGibxwQO
RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire and Director of Campaigns Rebecca Vincent were unfairly denied access to Assange at Belmarsh jail, while RSF continues to push for Assange's release on a worldwide scale.
In RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index, the United Kingdom is placed 26th out of 180 nations, while the United States is ranked 45th.
El Pais reported on Monday that the owner of the Spanish security company UC Global, S.L. that spied on Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, David Morales, stored his files for the work he did for the CIA on his laptop.
The former marine and Spanish soldier spied on the meetings that Assange and his lawyers conducted at the Embassy of Ecuador in the UK, stored the data in a folder marked 'CIA', and sent them to the US intelligence agency.
This comes after The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on Wednesday that US authorities are attempting to gather new evidence about Assange in an apparent effort to strengthen their case against him even as hopes grow among his supporters that a diplomatic breakthrough will soon see him released from prison.