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Julian Assange can be extradited from UK to US, says UK home secretary

WorldJulian Assange can be extradited from UK to US, says UK home secretary

London (The Times Groupe)- UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.

The Home Office said Julian Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision.

As a result of the courts’ findings, extradition is not “incompatible with his human rights” and he will be treated fairly while in the US”.

Assange is being sought by American authorities over documents leaked in 2010 and 2011.

He has been incarcerated since he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 and arrested by British police after Ecuador revoked his asylum.

In response to the home secretary’s order, Wikileaks confirmed it would appeal her decision.

Stella Assange, Assange’s wife, said her husband had done “nothing wrong” and “he has not broken any law”.

“He’s a journalist and a publisher, and he’s being punished for what he does.”

While Assange was serving a jail sentence in the UK for breaching bail, the US justice department filed 17 charges against him for violating the Espionage Act – alleging that the Wikileaks material endangered lives.

Assange’s legal team argued that the classified documents published by Wikileaks, which related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, exposed US wrongdoing and were in the public interest.

In March, the Supreme Court ruled that Assange’s case raised no legal questions regarding assurances the US gave to the UK about how he would be treated.

Amnesty International said enabling the extradition would put him at “great risk and send a chilling message to journalists”.

“Diplomatic assurances provided by the US that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history”, general secretary Agnes Callamard said.

David Davis, a former government minister, said he didn’t believe Assange would get a fair trial in the US.

“This extradition treaty needs to be rewritten to give British and American citizens identical rights, unlike now”, he said.

According to a spokesperson for the Home Office, the Secretary of State “must sign” an extradition order if “there are no grounds to prevent it”.

“The UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Assange”, the Home Office added.

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