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News > U.S.

Assange Faces Further Wait for Appeal Against Extradition to US

  • A poster of Julian Assange.

    A poster of Julian Assange. | Photo: X/ @teleSURtv

Published 26 March 2024

The London High Court seeks assurances from the U.S. that he would not be sentenced to death if convicted.

On Tuesday, the London High Court chose to postpone its final decision on the appeal filed by journalist Julian Assange, who will not be extradited to the United States immediately.


Assagne’s Last Chance

A decision on the appeal has been adjourned to May 20 as the Court is seeking assurances from the United States that Assange could rely on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and he would not be sentenced to death if convicted.

"If those assurances are not given, then leave to appeal will be given and there will then be an appeal hearing," a summary of the judgment said.

Speaking outside the High Court in London, Assange's wife Stella Assange said she is "astounded" by the court's decision to delay her husband's appeal.

"What the courts have done has been to invite a political intervention from the United States. I find this astounding. He is a political prisoner... He is a journalist and he is being persecuted because he exposed the true cost of war in human lives," she said.

His case is "a signal to all of you that if you expose the interests that are driving war they will come after you," Stella said as she urged the U.S. government not to submit assurances to the High Court and to drop the case. "This is a shame on every democracy," she added.

Michelle Stanistreet, secretary of the British National Union of Journalists, said the risks to Assange and press freedom "remain stark," despite the delay to the High Court's ruling.

"Assange's prosecution by the United States is for activities that are daily work for investigative journalists -- finding sources with evidence of criminality and helping them to get their stories out into the world. If Assange is prosecuted, free expression the world over will be damaged," she said.

Assange, 52, is wanted by the United States on allegations of disclosing national defense information following WikiLeaks's publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked military documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars a decade ago, which included an Apache helicopter video footage documenting the U.S. military gunning down Reuters journalists and children in Baghdad's streets in 2007.

He has been held at southeast London's high-security Belmarsh Prison since 2019. Britain approved his extradition to the U.S. in 2022 under then Home Secretary Priti Patel after a judge initially blocked it on Assange's mental health concerns. Assange and his lawyers have appealed since then.

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