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US provides assurances to prevent Julian Assange from appealing extradition | Julien Assange

US provides assurances to prevent Julian Assange from appealing extradition |  Julien Assange


The United States has provided assurances to London's High Court to try to prevent a final appeal by Julian Assange against extradition, but the WikiLeaks founder's wife dismissed them as disingenuous words.

Last month, two judges postponed a decision on whether Assange, who is trying to avoid prosecution in the United States on espionage charges related to the publication of thousands of diplomatic and classified documents, could appeal his case.

They granted him leave to appeal, but only if the Biden administration was unable to provide the court with appropriate assurances that the plaintiff [Assange] is entitled to rely on the First Amendment, that the applicant suffers no prejudice during the trial, including the penalty, because of his nationality, that he benefits from the same First Amendment [free speech] protections as a U.S. citizen and that the death penalty is not imposed.

On Tuesday, details were revealed of assurances from the United States that he would not be prejudiced because of his nationality and arguments he might make at trial and sentencing .

He specifically mentioned that he had the ability to raise and seek reliance on the First Amendment, but also stated that its applicability was exclusively within the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts. The assurances also state: A death sentence will neither be requested nor imposed on Assange.

If Assange is refused permission to appeal, he faces extradition to the US within days, as he will have exhausted all legal avenues in the UK courts. His only hope would then be for the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.

Stella Assange, his wife, tweeted: The United States has issued a non-assurance on the First Amendment and a standard assurance on the death penalty.

He does not commit to retracting the lawsuits' previous contention that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a U.S. citizen. Instead, the United States limited itself to crude and egregious language, saying Julian could seek to invoke the First Amendment if extradited.

The diplomatic note does nothing to ease our family's extreme distress about their future, their grim expectation of spending the rest of their lives in solitary confinement in a U.S. prison for publishing award-winning journalism. The Biden administration must abandon these dangerous pursuits before it is too late.

The parties will debate the value of the insurance at a further High Court hearing scheduled for May 20. However, Assange's lawyers have previously described US assurances given in other cases as not worth the paper they are written on, echoing similar criticism from human rights organization Amnesty International.

Just last week, when Joe Biden said he was considering a request from Australia to drop charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Stella Assange said it was a good sign.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Department of Justice.




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