‘Dark day for press freedom’: UK government orders extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to US

The British government has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he is wanted on multiple charges.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.

The 50-year-old Australian WikiLeaks founder is wanted in the United States on a number of charges, including spying, hacking and leaking classified documents dating back more than a decade.

A spokesperson for the Home Affairs Office said the UK courts had found it would neither be “oppressive” nor “unfair” to have him extradited.

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“Extradition requests are only sent to the Home Secretary once a judge decides they can proceed after considering various aspects of the case,” the spokesperson said.

“On June 17, after consideration by the Magistrates Court and the High Court, the extradition of Mr. Julian Assange to the United States was ordered.

“Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal.

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

“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 respect to his health.”

In a statement posted on social media, WikiLeaks said it was a “dark day” for press freedom and the decision will be appealed.

“Anyone in this country who cares about freedom of expression should be deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination,” he said. he said on Twitter.

“Make no mistake, this has always been a political affair. Julian has published evidence that the country trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up.

“Their revenge is to try to make him disappear into the darkest recesses of their prison system for the rest of his life to deter others from holding governments to account.”

Mr Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London since 2019. Previously, he was in the Ecuadorian embassy.

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