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Judge Baraitser on Wednesday will decide whether to grant the journalist's conditional release.
Human rights defenders, social activists, and political figures worldwide Monday reacted with joy to the United Kingdom Criminal Court's refusal to extradite Australian journalist Julian Assange to the U.S.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who denied the extradition on health grounds and high risk of Assange committing suicide, "accepted all the U.S. persecution motives," Former Consul of Ecuador in the U.K. Fidel Narvaez condemned.
"This is a victory, but journalists should be very concerned. Freedom of expression is still under attack. If it were not for Assange's health condition, he would already be extradited," Narvaez assured.
Baraitser rejected the defense’s claims that the extradition would be a threat to the freedom of expression or that the journalist was a victim of political persecution.
"She just focused on Assange's physical and mental health. If he is forced into oppressive situations applied in cases of alleged espionage, he will commit suicide," teleSUR correspondent in London Pablo Navarrete explained.
After knowing the verdict, a judge in Assange's extradition case, John Rees, highlighted the U.S. prison system's brutality.
"If the U.S. wants to know what lost them the case, it was the basis that the prison system in that country is brutal," Rees said.
Activists from the 'Don't Extradite Assange' campaign rejected the hostility with which supporters were treated at the entrance to the courthouse on Monday.
“We had an awful time. At first, authorities didn't let us gathered to support Assange. But we waited peacefully, and the result is better than what everyone was expecting. We are amazed, and surprised,” activist Elianne Green said.
Colombian politician Alberto Zerda also said he was "happy with the decision, even though it only highlighted Assange's health situation. His fragile condition was caused by years of torture and isolation."
WikiLeaks' founder has been in a high-security prison in London since April 2019, when he was seized from the Ecuadorean embassy. This Wednesday, Judge Baraitser will decide whether to grant the journalist's conditional release.
“This is the beginning of the fight, not the end. But it is a terrific day,” Rees said, also alluding to the U.S. will to appeal the court’s verdict.