Assange ‘too ill’ to attend last chance UK appeal against US extradition — RT World News

Washington wants the WikiLeaks publisher to be on its soil, where he could face a prison sentence of up to 175 years

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday, where a hearing was being held against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States by the United Kingdom. The United States is pursuing him on 17 espionage charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of State Department and Pentagon files in 2010.

Assange, 52, has been largely held in solitary confinement at Belmarsh maximum security prison in England since 2019, when Ecuador revoked his asylum at the insistence of an American. The Australian-born publisher requested to appear in person before the court, but was unable to do so due to his deteriorating health condition, according to his lawyer.

“The world is watching” Assange's wife, Stella, said outside the courtroom. The United States was accused of abusing the legal system “Stalking, prosecution and intimidation” He said that the United States “They conspired to kill” Her husband – referring to revelations that the CIA sought to kill Assange in 2017, while he was taking shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

“What is at stake is the ability to spread the truth and expose crimes when they are committed by states.” Stella Assange added.

The demonstrators carried Australian flags and banners with writing on them “Release Julian Assange” And “Drop the charges.” The Australian Parliament has approved a motion, supported by the country's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, calling for Assange to be released from British captivity in the lead-up to the appeal.

“The terrible part of the UK’s years-long ‘trial’ to convict Julian Assange of dying in a US cell is that the victim of his ‘crime’ (the press) is a state, not a person – that is the definition of a political crime. It is what the US-Kingdom extradition treaty prohibits.” United States explicitly. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden He said On X (formerly Twitter).

Activists chanted outside the court “The United States and Britain, take your hands off Assange.” And “There is only one decision – no delivery.” Among other slogans.

This week's hearing will decide whether Assange will be allowed to appeal the UK government's 2022 decision to extradite him to the US. His lawyers said extradition would amount to punishment for political views and violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

Stella Assange said that if the appeal fails, Assange will apply to the European Court of Human Rights and seek an Article 39 order to halt extradition while it hears the case.

In 2010, WikiLeaks published a report on the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan “War Diaries” As well as a collection of Foreign Ministry telegrams. One of the videos, which was later known as “collateral murder” Footage showed an American helicopter killing 11 people in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists. The Swedish suspect “sexual assault” This case was a pretext for the United States to arrest him – and this is true, as it turned out later – as Assange sought asylum in Ecuador, which does not have an extradition treaty with Washington. He spent the next seven years in the country's embassy in London, and the British authorities prevented him from leaving.

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