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UK Supreme Court Denies Julian Assange Permission to Appeal US Extradition

    UK Supreme Court Denies Julian Assange Permission to Appeal US Extradition
    Last updated: 4 months ago
    Image credit: EPA [via UPI]

    Facts

    • Britain's Supreme Court rejected an application to hear an appeal from imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his extradition case against the US on Mon. [1]
    • Assange, 50, who has been incarcerated in London for nearly 3 yrs, is wanted in the US for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act and a further hacking-related charge. The charges relate to the 2010-11 publishing of classified US documents from Iraq, Afghanistan and US embassies across the globe. [2]
    • A lower court blocked Assange's extradition on the basis of his mental health in Jan. 2021 – a decision that was reversed by the High Court the following December after the US sent Britain a series of diplomatic assurances stating he wouldn't be held in conditions of severe isolation. [3]
    • While the Supreme Court ruling means Assange cannot challenge the legality of the diplomatic assurances and his case will now be sent to Home Sec. Priti Patel for review, it doesn't prevent his lawyers from later appealing other points of law or requesting a Judicial Review. [3]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Assange is no journalist. As demonstrated by his publishing of hacked Democratic Party emails in 2016, his actions are closer to that of a spy than a publisher. His publishing of classified military materials put the lives of thousands US soldiers at risk. He should be extradited and face justice for his actions.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    In publishing files from Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Assange revealed numerous instances of war crimes and human rights violations perpetrated by the US. By seeking his prosecution, the country is trying to criminalize the truthful publication of information rather than go after the perpetrators of true crimes in the Middle East. This is a grave threat to press freedoms and ought to be opposed at all costs.

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