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[WATCH] Julian Assange Will Be Extradited to the U.S.

[WATCH] Julian Assange Will Be Extradited to the U.S.

After losing an appeal in a court in the U.K., WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be extradited to the United States to be prosecuted on espionage charges, as approved by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. Her order said the courts found extradition “would not be incompatible with his human rights,” as he had claimed in his appeal, and that while in the U.S. “he will be treated appropriately”.

Wikileaks is a whistle-blowing platform that publishes classified material provided by anonymous sources. Assange is wanted by the American authorities over documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars leaked in 2010 and 2011. In May 2019, while he was serving a jail sentence in the UK for breaching bail, the Department of Justice filed 17 charges against Assange for violating the Espionage Act, alleging that material obtained by Wikileaks endangered lives.

Photo credit: Flickr

Assange’s legal team claimed the classified documents published by Wikileaks, which related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, exposed US wrongdoing and were in the public interest. Those documents revealed how the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents during the war in Afghanistan, while leaked Iraq war files showed 66,000 civilians had been killed, and prisoners tortured, by Iraqi forces.

Responding to the home secretary’s extradition order, Wikileaks confirmed it would appeal against her decision. At a press conference outside the British Embassy in New York, Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton said they would take his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if not successful in the UK’s High Court. Assange’s wife, Stella, described her husband as “a journalist and a publisher” who is “being punished for doing his job,” and insisted he has “done nothing wrong and has committed no crime.”

Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision.

 

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