Patel approves extradition of Julian Assange

Patel approves extradition of Julian Assange

Priti Patel

Julian Assange’s extradition to the US has been approved by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Mr Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has 14 days to appeal the decision, the Home Office said.

It said the courts had found that extradition would not be “incompatible with his human rights” and that Mr Assange “will be treated appropriately” in America.

He is wanted over documents leaked between 2010 and 2011.

He has been imprisoned since being removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 and arrested by the police.

Wikileaks said it was a “dark day for press freedom and British democracy”. The decision is “not the end of the fight”, Wikileaks tweeted, adding it would appeal the decision.

Mr Assange’s legal team said the documents published by Wikileaks revealed US wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan and were in the public interest.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Mr Assange’s case raised no legal questions about assurances the US had given the UK over how he is likely to be treated there.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Under the Extradition Act 2003, the secretary of state must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made.

“Extradition requests are only sent to the home secretary once a judge decides it can proceed after considering various aspects of the case.

“On 17 June, following consideration by both the magistrates court and High Court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal.

“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange.

“Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International secretary general said: “Allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the US would put him at great risk and sends a chilling message to journalists the world over.”

“If the extradition proceeds, Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill treatment. Diplomatic assurances provided by the US that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history.”

“We call on the UK to refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the US to drop the charges, and for Assange to be freed.”

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