US to Appeal UK Decision to Block Assange Extradition

The US government said it was trying to overturn an earlier UK court ruling blocking Julian Assange’s extradition.

According to UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January ruling, Assange is a serious suicide threat if he was extradited back to the US. 

The US however claimed that Assange would be able to serve any prison sentence he receives in his native Australia instead of American soil.

Assange possibly faces 175 years in prison if he is convicted. 

The US added that Baraitser “didn’t appreciate the weight” of expert evidence and that she was deceived by Assange’s psychiatrist about the suicide wrist. 

“It is a damning indictment that nearly 20 years on, virtually no one responsible for alleged US war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable, let alone prosecuted, and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail,” said Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.

If the US appeal is successful, Assange’s case will be returned to a lower court for a new decision while a final appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court is still possible. 

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