Julian Assange’s European defence team have said they will try to seek asylum for the WikiLeaks founder in France, as hearings over Assange’s extradition from the UK to the US are due to start next week in London.
A discussion with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is needed. The lawyers mentioned Asange’s poor health and alleged violations of his rights while in jail in London. Assange, 48, spent seven years in Ecuador’s London embassy before being evicted and arrested in April 2019. The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatović, added a voice of opposition on Thursday, citing concerns over Assange’s eventual treatment in a US prison and the impact on press freedom. Assange is currently ﬁghting extradition to the United States, where he faces 18 charges including conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which could total a prison sentence of 175 years.
The case of Assange is said “the Dreyfus case of our age”. “I think this is one of the most important and signiﬁcant political trials of this generation,” the shadow chancellor John McDonnell said. “The indictment raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classiﬁed information in the public interest, including those that expose human rights violations,” the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatović, declared.