WikiLeaks editor-in-chief urges Biden to halt Assange extradition

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief urges Biden to halt Assange extradition

SUPPORTERS of Julian Assange gathered outside the Australian High Commission in London, United Kingdom.

They are demanding an end to the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, with President Joe Biden reportedly considering an Australian request to drop the charges.

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson criticized the US government’s attack on freedom by insisting on extraditing Assange.

“Of course, the only solution that we want to see is the United States Government dropping the case against Julian Assange. Seeing us as a growing number of people do see that this is persecution. This is an attack on press freedom. This is an absolutely outrageous practice and five years for innocent man to be sitting in prison. It’s just more than anybody should be enduring in the civilized world,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor in chief WikiLeaks said.

“The American government now has until April 16 next week to deliver so-called assurances that they will honour the rights of Julian Assange as a journalist, so to speak and have First Amendment rights in the United States, just as a US citizen will and also that he will not impose the death penalty on Julian Assange. It is then up to the judges to decide whether they think that the assurances are sufficient. If they do so. They will probably order the extradition of Julian if not, there will be a debate on the merits of these so-called assurances on May 20,” Hrafnsson added.

President Biden has said he was ‘considering’ Australia’s request to drop charges, which Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called ‘encouraging’.

In March, media outlets reported that the US could be considering a plea deal.

The US is attempting to extradite Assange from the UK, with the case currently adjourned until May.

Assange is wanted by US authorities on 18 charges, and is facing up to one hundred seventy-five years in prison after publishing thousands of leaked confidential military files and documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—including the leaked footage of a U.S. helicopter attack in 2007 wherein it killed two Reuters staff and several others in Baghdad.

The Wikileaks founder has been battling his extradition in the U.S. for more than 10 years now— and has spent 7 years in self-exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK and another 5 years at Belmarsh Prison.

UK judges have asked the U.S. government for ‘assurances’ that an extradition and the case would not contravene freedom of expression, wouldn’t involve any prejudice during a trial regarding Assange’s nationality, and would not mean the death penalty in the case of conviction.

And that Assange, an Australian citizen, is afforded the same first amendment protections as an American citizen.


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