Human Rights Defense Organizations condemn the ruling and speak of a “serious threat” to journalism
The Justice of the United Kingdom has endorsed this Friday the appeal presented by the United States to extradite the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, to the North American country, where he is accused of espionage and could face a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.
Thus, the Court of Appeals has reactivated the process by reversing the verdict of a court of first instance, which considered that there were health reasons and a high risk of suicide for the accused if the process went ahead.
Now, the judges consider that this danger is limited given the “guarantees” presented by the US government itself, as reported by the BBC television network. Judge Ian Burnett has indicated that the risk that Assange’s life could take “is excluded due to the package of guarantees presented by the US side.”
The decision is a serious blow to the activist and programmer, although his legal team is studying to appeal the ruling. Just two weeks ago, the journalist also registered his request to marry his girlfriend, Stella Moris, in the Belmarsh prison, where he remains detained while the possible extradition of him is being resolved.
Precisely Moris, who has been present when the court announced the ruling, has described the news as a “serious judicial error” and has emphasized that the extradition is “abusive” and “vindictive”.
“How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible to extradite Julian to a country that has conspired to assassinate him?” Said her fiancée.
WikiLeaks, for its part, wanted to recall on its Twitter account that the Assange case is linked to the publication of documents that, in part, reveal that the United States is behind the death of civilians, “including children and two journalists. Reuters “in Iraq.
The Icelandic journalist and current spokesperson for Wikileaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, has lamented that, precisely on Human Rights Day, the British Justice has thrown investigative journalism into obscurity. “Assange’s torture continues, the fight does not end here,” she asserted.
The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, has again denounced that the journalist’s detention is “arbitrary” and has called for him to be released as soon as possible. The director of the NGO for Europe, Nils Muiznieks, has spoken in the same terms and has warned that if he is extradited, he “could face serious human rights violations, ill-treatment and even torture.”
“If carried out, extradition could undermine the fundamental role of journalists and editors in investigating the activities of governments and exposing their mistakes,” he insisted.
On his side, the director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire, has condemned the court’s decision and lamented that Assange is a “target” for his “contribution to journalism.”
“We defend this case for its dangerous implications for the future of press freedom around the world. It is time to end this persecution of more than a decade once and for all. It is time to free Assange.” before clarifying that the decision is known “the day the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to two journalists.” “There could be no greater sign of contradiction,” he asserted.
Other organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have criticized the ruling, calling it a “threat to press freedom around the world.”
The defense had already been warning that his health had seriously deteriorated in recent years, the victim of a chain of accusations that originate from the thousands of official and secret documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and leaked in 2010 through your portal.
Trial court judge Vanessa Baraitser had found it proven that Assange has caused harm to himself and is suicidal. “The general impression is that of a depressed and sometimes desperate man who fears for his future,” she said in January when issuing her sentence.
Baraitser, however, was already rejecting the legal arguments presented by the defense, including the doubts expressed about the possibility that Assange was not subjected to a fair trial in the United States.
The North American country had even proposed sending Assange to a jail in Australia in case the British Justice finally gives the go-ahead for his extradition to the United States.
The US legal team also insists that the Australian activist’s mental health “is not so fragile that it cannot withstand the US prison system and conditions.”