Home World Assange, final decision on his extradition to the USA today: What is at risk

Assange, final decision on his extradition to the USA today: What is at risk

Assange, final decision on his extradition to the USA today: What is at risk

What is the fate of Julian Assange? To decide whether the WikiLeaks co-founder will end his days in an American prison cell, today, February 21, the British Supreme Court will rule on whether or not he will be extradited to the United States, where 18 charges remain. The journalist was charged and sentenced to 175 years in prison because he revealed thousands of classified files while also reporting on abuses committed by the US armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange is sick

Assange did not attend the hearing yesterday, which may be his last legal proceedings in Britain. Rumor has it that he broke a rib due to coughing. Moreover, it is difficult to deny that he has been living in precarious and poor health conditions for some time, after a 5-year isolation regime. His lawyer, Ed Fitzgerald, stated – at the opening of the session – that he was not feeling well, and despite obtaining permission to participate in person, he remained in Belmarsh high-security prison in London, where he has been since 2019, without having undergone any trial, awaiting his extradition.

What does the United States accuse him of?

The WikiLeaks co-founder had turned to the English court to appeal against his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of violating the National Espionage Act, the US espionage law, which dates back to 1917. He is accused of publishing through WikiLeaks since 2010, and has published approximately 700,000 secret documents related to the military and diplomatic activities of the United States, in particular war crimes committed by American soldiers during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus endangering the lives of many. But so far, no responsibility has emerged during all these years for similar events, at least according to the news. According to the charges, he would instead be a spy who should be tried, and as such, if indeed found guilty, he risks a prison sentence of up to 175 years in a US penal institution.

An appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is the last chance

But the English courts rejected the American request in 2021, but later overturned the ruling. More years have passed and now we have reached the point of no return. If the appeal is not accepted, the Belmarsh prisoner's options to take legal action in Great Britain are over, and the only solution in that sense will be to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR. Meanwhile, there are also questions about the potential diplomatic ramifications of the legal case, given that Australia wants Assange to return to his home country, without extraditing him to the United States. The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, Anthony Albanese, also spoke about this during his recent trip to the United States.

Wife: “The matter has been decided. Will he live or die?”

Stella Morris, a lawyer and Julian's wife, told the BBC that this legal case – described by some as the Dreyfus case of the 21st century – “is set to decide whether he lives or dies.” In front of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the seat of the English Supreme Court, throughout the day yesterday many activists and supporters of the Australian journalist spoke in an impromptu situation, demanding his release, demanding press freedom and defence. Of human rights. “If he ain't free, no one is free,” the slogan reads, while gold ribbons read, “Release Julian Assange now!” They fluttered outside the courthouse, on metal railings or hanging from tree branches.

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