Politicians ask extradition proceedings of Julian Assange to the U.S. to be dropped


After the Australian high commissioner to the UK, Stephen Smith visited Julan Assange in prison lasst week, dozens Australian politicians asked in an open letter the US attorney general, Merrick Garland to abandon attempts to extradite Julian Assange from the UK. He is in Belmarsh prison in London. The U.S. wants to have him extradited to face charges in connection with the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as well as diplomatic cables. “This would set a dangerous precedent for all global citizens, journalists, publishers, media organizations and the freedom of the press. It would also be needlessly damaging for the US as a world leader on freedom of expression and the rule of law,” the open letter said. His case is compared by the Australian politicians with the case of the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was released in 2017 when Barack Obama commuted her 35-year military prison.


A similar letter to the US attorney-general has been signed by 35 British parliamentarians calling for extradition proceedings to be dropped. “Any extradition would, in effect, be putting press freedom on trial. It would set a dangerous precedent for journalists and publishers around the world,” they said. Assange faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years in the U.S.