13 civil liberties organisations warn against extradition of Julian Assange to the US

Old Bailey statue of justice
Mohamed Elmaazi

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations have issued a statement warning of “serious world-wide implications for freedom of the press” as a result of the US indictment against journalist Julian Assange.

“An attack on basic journalistic activities”

The letter, dated 15 April, says Ecuador’s revocation of Assange’s asylum raises:

serious human rights concerns including the risk of extradition to the United States where he could be subject to solitary confinement that amounts to torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

The civil liberties groups also warn that the US Department of Justice’s charges:

are an attack on basic journalistic activities such as investigating, soliciting information, cultivating sources, protecting reporters’ identity, and publishing information of public interest.

The letter concludes by saying:

Whistleblowers who provide information and those who publish information of public interest require protection in the name of transparency, journalistic freedoms, and above all, the rule of law.

Justice vs injustice

In addition to US charges related to WikiLeaks revelations, Assange also faces allegations of sexual assault from women in Sweden. The most serious case is currently inactive, but Swedish authorities are reportedly considering reopening it at the request of the injured party. Assange’s lawyer has insisted that “Julian has never been concerned about facing British justice, or indeed Swedish justice”. It is “American injustice”, she said, that concerns him.

The journalist remains in custody in Belmarsh prison in London, awaiting potential extradition to the US.

Featured image via Lonpicman-Wikimedia Commons

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