The British government confirms this Friday the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he is being prosecuted for a massive leak of confidential documents.
“Under the Extradition Act 2003, the Minister of State must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds for barring the order,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. Home Affairs, confirming that Minister Priti Pratel has signed the decree to extradite the 50-year-old Australian. “In this case, the British courts have not concluded that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange”, underlines the spokesman in reference to the arguments of the supporters of Julian Assange who ask for his release and denounce an attack on the freedom to inform.
“Nor have they concluded that extradition would be inconsistent with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, and that while he is in the United States he will be treated as appropriate manner, including with regard to his health,” the spokesperson added, justifying the signing of the extradition decree.
Caught up in a long legal saga, Julian Assange is wanted by American justice, which wants to try him for the dissemination of more than 700,000 classified documents on American military and diplomatic activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“A dark day for press freedom”
“The British Home Secretary (Priti Patel) approves the extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States where he would face a 175-year sentence. A dark day for press freedom and for British democracy. The decision will be appealed,” WikiLeaks tweeted.
VIDEO. Julian Assange: British justice authorizes extradition, “a disastrous signal for press freedom”
Prosecuted in particular under legislation against espionage, Julian Assange faces 175 years in prison. This case continues to be denounced by human rights organizations as a serious attack on press freedom. On March 14, he had seen one of his last hopes of avoiding his extradition disappear, with the refusal of the British Supreme Court to examine his appeal.
His wife, a South African lawyer in her thirties, had pleaded with Home Secretary Priti Patel to prevent his extradition, asking her to put an end to what she considers a “political affair”.
“Anyone in this country who cares about free speech should be deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination,” he said. she said in a statement Friday.
VIDEO. Julian Assange’s future wife arrives in a wedding dress at Belmarsh prison
“Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and editor, and he is being punished for doing his job,” she continued. Stella Assange added that “this is not the end of the fight. This is just the start of a new legal battle”.