Department of Justice to Seek Extradition of Julian Assange

The Justice Department under President Joe Biden announced that it will continue to seek extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange was not allowed to be extradited from the UK after District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled last January 4 that extradition would be detrimental to his mental health. 

“While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised. In particular, the court rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding political motivation, political offense, fair trial, and freedom of speech. We will continue to seek Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States,” said Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi.

A coalition of twenty-four organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and Human Rights Watch wrote to Biden’s Attorney General Monty Wilkinson to urge him to drop the case in the name of press freedom.

According to the coalition, the prosecution of Assange represents the lack of democracy in the US and globally.

Since the original indictment against Assange was unsealed, his lawyers fought the extradition request and said that it was politically motivated. 

Assange is currently facing 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse, which could land him 175 years in prison.

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