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British Court Raises the Bar, Slightly, for Extradition of Julian Assange to U.S.

March 26, 2024 (EIRNS)—A British court ruled today that Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the U.S., unless it assures the court that Assange “is afforded the same First Amendment protections as a United States citizen, and that the death penalty is not imposed.” The U.S. has three weeks to provide those assurances, and if they do, Judges Victoria Sharp and Jeremy Johnson, on May 20, “will give the parties an opportunity to make further submissions before we make a final decision on the application for leave to appeal.”

The court is to decide whether Assange, who has been in the high-security HM Prison Belmarsh for five years (having not been charged in Britain) even has the right to appeal the extradition. They said today that the appeal process would move forward if the U.S. failed. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment today.

Outside London’s High Court today, Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, said the WikiLeaks founder “is being persecuted because he exposed the true cost of war in human lives…. The Biden administration should not issue assurances. They should drop this shameful case, which should never have been brought,” she said. Assange attorney Jennifer Robinson said that “even if we receive the assurances, we’re not confident we can rely on them.”

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