Julian Assange is being sought by the current US administration for publishing US government documents which exposed war crimes and human rights abuses. The politically motivated charges represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know – seeking to criminalise basic journalistic activity.
Assange is facing a 175-year sentence for publishing truthful information in the public interest. The US government has been fighting to extradite Julian Assange so he can be prosecuted in US courts for publishing their secrets which include evidence of war crimes, government corruption and human rights abuses.
All major free speech and human rights organizations including Amnesty, Reporters Without Borders, National Union of Journalists, Big Brother Watch and many more oppose his extradition which they say is a ‘threat to press freedom around the globe’.
4 January 2021: Westminster Magistrates Court discharges (throws out) the US extradition request against Julian Assange. District judge Vanessa Baraitser rules that extradition is barred under the 2003 Extradition Act because it is “oppressive” (s.91). The United States Government appeals.
10 December 2021: The decision to discharge the extradition request is overturned by the High Court due to the United States Government issuing so-called ‘diplomatic assurances’ to the UK Government. The High Court rejects the United States Government’s arguments that the district judge erred in her findings.
14 March 2022: The Supreme Court refuses Julian Assange permission to appeal the High Court’s decision. The case is sent back to the Magistrates’ Court with instruction to issue the extradition order.
20 April 2022: The Magistrate issues the extradition order, which is sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval.
17 June 2022: Home Secretary Priti Patel approves the extradition order to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.
6 June 2023: UK High Court Judge Jonathan Swift rejected appeal of Julian’s extradition order on all grounds. Julian Assange will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court.
Do you believe that Assange was right to publish the material in Wikileaks? Do you believe that we have a right to know what is going on behind closed government doors? If so then Assange must not be extradited to the US and must no longer be kept in custody in the UK.
You can sign up to protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice when Assange’s case next comes to court.
You can write to your MP here