Dark day for press freedom as Priti Patel approves Julian Assange extradition

Julian Assange gives a speech from the Embassy
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Home secretary Priti Patel has approved the US extradition request for journalist and Wikileaks editor Julian Assange. The Australian national, whose work on massive Iraq and Afghanistan war leaks earned him the ire of Western leaders, has been held in Belmarsh prison since 2019. Before that, he had been living in the the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012.

Press organisations and allies of Assange called the decision a dark day for press freedom around the world.

His own organisation, Wikileaks, condemned the decision immediately:

Read on...

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And UK investigative outfit Declassified UK re-shared their graph on the connections between what they consider anti-Assange figures involved in his years-long extradition process:

In a statement, the US media freedom organisation Freedom of the Press said:

By continuing to extradite Assange, the Biden DOJ is ignoring the dire warnings of virtually every major civil liberties and human rights organization in the country that the case will do irreparable damage to basic press freedom rights of U.S. reporters.

Hellhole

Legendary reporter John Pilger, a stalwart ally of Assange, said Patel had condemned the Wikileaks founder to “an American hellhole”:

Some MPs voiced their opposition to the decision, pointing out that Assange had exposed western crimes carried out during wars in the Middle East:

Meanwhile US journalist Kevin Gozstola, who closely covered the Assange extradition proceedings, warned that press freedom was diminishing all over the world with the decision:

Mainstream concerns

And even mainstream journalists like John Simpson added their voices, warning that the implications of the decision would have far-reaching consequences for journalists everywhere:

A former UN expert on global democracy and equity said the extradition evidenced “the breakdown of the rule of law in the UK”:

Moreover, journalist Matt Kennard tweeted a screenshot of the famous Collateral Murder video. The leaked film showing a US helicopter murdering civilians, including civilians in Iraq, was one of Wikileaks’s most powerful exposes:

Assange’s wife Stella Morris said:

He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job

Wikileaks confirmed they would appeal against the extradition. Powerful forces are aligned against Assange, and many journalists must worry for their own safety. Especially when they see other reporters treated in this way by two ostensibly democratic states like the UK and US.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Snapperjack, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Interesting! A foreign national illegally wired and bugged in a foreign Embassy, ilegally arrested inside a foreign Embassy based, knowingly, on fake rape charges, whilst threatening the prossecution office of that other foreign country “don’t you dare get cold feet now”! FOI requests met by refusals, delays and total black out doccuments, dissappeared doccuments. All overseen by the office of BlueKeef. Anyone who believes that the FOS and FOI hating BlueKeef had nothing to do with the loopholing and fine tooth combing of a case this hot, with law breaking and legal thuggery to get JA arrested in the first place must belong to the Ministries of BlueKeef, who’s silk runs through this, all the way into Belmarsh. And still some fools will votw for the bastard and his Neo-Labour TORY Party subject the People to an extention of 43 Years of TORY HELL!
      It does not serve The PEOPLE well to ignore the reality of that Party, because the UK Labour Party, they will never be! Not with Blair, Not with Starmer and the 90% of rot within it. This is no time for heads in the sand.

    2. Britons and Americans must learn that we live in fake democracies. Our governments are bought and paid for by the ‘establishment’, the wealthy land owners, corporations and foreign interests. They finance the candidacy of their puppet politicians. Following elections where the public voted for one of these puppets, the ‘establishment’ get to pull the strings. The ‘establishment’ are the puppet masters. We are just their paying audience. Paying with our money and paying with our lives.

      Julian Assange may not be an angel but he does not deserve to be treated this way by Britain or America. Both countries should be prosecuting the war criminals he revealed. Frankly I’d rather trust the Russians or the Chinese. At least you where you stand with them, unlike our lying fake government puppets.

    3. Come back Idi Amin! All is forgiven!
      If “Ugly” Patels laws had been in place when her family had been fleeing Idi “Amin De Mood!” Amin, they would nebver have admitted to this country and she would be nothing but a few bones at the bottom of the Zambezi, having been thrown to the crocodiles “to keep Dora Bloch company”

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