Julian Assange extradition fight handed to Home Secretary Priti

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
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Ecuador's Home Secretary Handles Julian Assange Case to Secretary of State

After months of legal battles‚ the home secretary of Ecuador has handed the Julian Assange case to his secretary of state. But Assange has been in hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly two years and continues to draw controversy. He has been accused of publishing material that may endanger lives‚ but his lawyers have pointed out that he could face a sentence of 175 years in the U.S.‚ where the prison conditions are terribly harsh and he is very likely to commit suicide if he is forced to endure this.

Julian Assange's lawyers have four weeks to make submissions to Priti Patel

Assange's lawyers have four weeks left to make submissions to Home Secretary Priti Patil‚ who will decide whether to grant his extradition or not. If Patel approves of Assange's extradition‚ he will be deported to the U.S.‚ where he faces a trial over WikiLeaks documents. In the meantime‚ his legal team is preparing their submissions. The extradition process has reached a new phase after a British court approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He faces up to 175 years in prison on spying charges. While his defense attorneys have said he is likely to receive a sentence of much less than that‚ American authorities have said that he could face more than one hundred and fifty years in prison. Mr Assange's legal team has argued that the classified documents published by Wikileaks were of public interest. The documents relate to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The government has also accused Wikileaks of aiding the American military by providing information about classified military files. This prosecution has been criticized as politically motivated and a case of retaliation by the United States government. RSF calls on the UK government to protect Assange's right to freedom of expression. The prosecution of Assange would be a dangerous precedent for journalism‚ as it would make him the first publisher prosecuted under the Espionage Act‚ which lacks a public interest defence. Any journalist‚ publisher‚ or source working with classified information could be prosecuted under the same law. This could lead to a chilling effect internationally. The arrest of Julian Assange will be seen as a clear sign that the UK government has failed to protect press freedom. Assange is already on remand and has been held in high-security Belmarsh prison for three years. Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted of the charges. Wikileaks' publications exposed a series of war crimes and human rights violations and informed public interest reporting across the world. RSF believes Assange's arrest and prosecution is a result of his journalistic work‚ and is committed to freeing him.

He could face up to 175 years in prison in the U.S.

Assange has been facing up to 17 counts of espionage and misuse of a computer. If found guilty of all the charges‚ he could face a maximum prison sentence of 175 years. The longest prison sentence ever for espionage is 63 months. Assange is being held in London's high-security Belmarsh prison‚ but may face more years behind bars. Assange‚ a naturalized British citizen‚ is currently being held in a high-security prison in the United Kingdom after the US government rejected its extradition request for the former WikiLeaks founder. The charges stem from the publication of thousands of classified documents by WikiLeaks in 2010. The publications exposed human rights abuses‚ war crimes and other violations of international law‚ which in turn informed extensive public interest reporting in other parts of the world. According to RSF‚ Assange is being targeted for his journalism rather than for his political views. Assange was formerly living in Ecuador's London embassy as an asylum seeker before being expelled. In April 2019‚ the country's embassy withdrew Assange's protection. After the removal of Assange's asylum status‚ British police dragged him out of the embassy. The charges against Assange could lead to up to 175 years in prison in the U.S. Assange's extradition would set a dangerous precedent for journalism. As the first publisher to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act - a federal law with no public interest defense - the prosecution of Assange would apply to every journalist‚ publisher and source working with classified information. This would have a chilling effect internationally‚ and the UK government has been failing to protect press freedom. Assange has been held in high-security Belmarsh prison for over three years - and he has done nothing to help the situation. The United Kingdom has a petition on its website urging the government to spare Julian Assange from extradition. The petition includes the hashtag #FreeAssange. The case against Assange is being decided by Britain‚ which will have the final say in extradition. If Assange is extradited‚ he could be sentenced to 175 years in prison in the U.S. Assange faces charges of conspiracy to obtain national-defense information and unlawfully publishing it. Prosecutors claim that Assange helped Chelsea Manning obtain classified military and diplomatic messages from US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Assange's supporters say he was simply acting as an investigative journalist and published documents exposing US military wrongdoing. He also faces allegations of rape‚ which would significantly harm press freedom in the U.S. Professor Mark Feldstein testified on the First Amendment rights of journalists. Presidents Nixon‚ Roosevelt‚ and Trump have all threatened journalists with the Espionage Act. Moreover‚ the government has failed to stop Assange from publishing his articles on WikiLeaks or any other news organization. He believes the Trump administration is trying to create precedent by criminalizing the work of journalists.

He is likely to kill himself if held under harsh prison conditions in the U.S.

A lower British court has rejected the U.S. request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The judge‚ Vanessa Baraitser‚ said Assange would likely kill himself under harsh prison conditions in the U.S.‚ where he would be held in a Supermax prison with strict isolation conditions. Instead‚ he would be allowed to serve his sentence in his native country. Julian Assange has two young children with Stella Moris. She has been granted permission by the court to marry him while he is in jail. Stella Moris and Julian Assange share two sons. While the ruling is a win for the international community‚ it's not time to celebrate just yet. The incoming Biden administration could pursue prosecution against Assange. Julian Assange has been in custody since April 2019. The arrest was made for skipping bail during a separate legal battle. He spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. In 2012‚ he sought asylum from Sweden‚ where he faced extradition on charges of sex crimes. Sweden subsequently dropped its investigation‚ and a judge blocked extradition from the U.S. despite Assange's lawyers' protests. According to Assange's lawyers‚ he is unlikely to commit suicide under the harsh prison conditions in the U.S. If he is sentenced to a long prison term in the U.S.‚ his health is likely to deteriorate. In the meantime‚ the CIA and the U.S. government may certify him to be subjected to SAMs while in prison in the U.S. Supporters of Assange say that the charges against Assange are politically motivated and will only further erode his free speech. He is also a journalist and therefore deserves the protection of the First Amendment. His lawyers argue that the documents he published uncovered U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. If he were put behind bars in the U.S.‚ he would likely kill himself. The UK government must ratify the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. If the UK agrees to extradite Assange‚ the decision will depend on whether he wishes to face trial in the U.S. for leaking troves of classified documents. If Assange is extradited to the U.S.‚ he will likely kill himself.