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"The WikiLeaks founder's extradition will create a negative precedent against freedom of expression," lawyer Carlos Poveda argued.
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange’s lawyer Carlos Poveda announced that his legal team would request British Interior Minister Priti Patel not to extradite the Australian journalist to the U.S. for alleged espionage charges.
The lawyers argued that Assange’s extradition would create a damaging precedent against freedom of expression. They also pleaded that this activist should not be trialed in any case by the American justice since he entails suicide risk for being locked up for over ten years.
"Although the resources are running out, we do not lose hope in preventing the extradition of the activist. We are fighting on all fronts for it," Poveda stated. The decision on whether to approve Assange’s extradition rests with Patel after the British Westminster Magistrate's Court issued on Wednesday a formal order to extradite him.
If the lawyers do not obtain Patel’s consent, they can still appeal to the U.S Justice and the European Court of Human Rights."Both processes will be more complicated, but they represent our last resort," Poveda insisted.
"The UK has no obligation to extradite Julian to USA, in fact it is required by its international obligations to stop this extradition." @StellaMoris1 statement after UK Court issued an order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.pic.twitter.com/9SACo6TifN@telesurenglish
The American justice accuses Assange of 17 espionage charges and one of informatic intrusion over WikiLeaks’ publication of the U.S. military wrongdoing in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For these charges, this journalist may face 175 years of prison.
The WikiLeaks founder took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid being extradited to the U.S. or Sweden, which unfoundedly accused him of rape. He has been held in the U.K. Belmarsh prison since April 2019, when former Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno withdrew his political refugee status.
"Assange has paid a very high price as the first whistleblower of U.S. crimes against humanity," Pakistan writer Tariq Ali pointed out, stressing that this activist did not commit any crime since he was acting as a journalist.