Assange Extradition Order: A Day of Infamy for the United Kingdom

On June 17, British Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the order for the extradition of Julian Assange, co-founder and publisher of Wikileaks, to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison for disclosing information on war crimes committed by the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The signing follows the ignominious ruling by a UK court in April that Assange would receive a fair trial and be “treated appropriately” in an American prison (cf. SAS 17/22).

Australian national Julian Assange has been held at the maximum-security HM Prison Belmarsh in London since 2019, although he has never been charged with any crime in Great Britain, and is precarious health due to the barbaric conditions of his detention. In a statement released on the same day, WikiLeaks declared that “this is a dark day for press freedom and British democracy…. It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead she will always be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.”

Assange’s wife Stella Moris and his legal team have vowed to continue the fight for his release. They have 14 days in which to appeal the decision.

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