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  • Free speech activist joining the ‘Don’t Extradite Assange' rally, London, U.K., Feb. 22, 2020.

    Free speech activist joining the ‘Don’t Extradite Assange' rally, London, U.K., Feb. 22, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @yannishanio

Published 22 February 2020
Opinion

The trial to extradite the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States is scheduled to begin on Feb. 24.

In London, hundreds of free speech activists Saturday marched from the Australia House to Parliament Square in support of Julian Assange who faces a court that will decide whether or not to be extradited to the United States.

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Europe's Human Rights Watchdog Opposes Assange's Extradition

Beginning Feb. 24, London's Woolwich Crown Court will examine a U.S. request which demands that Assange be handed over to judge him for the dissemination of classified files on military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In President Donald Trump's country, the Australian journalist who helped unveil US war crimes faces 17 charges for espionage, which could condemn him up to 175 years in jail.

Upon arriving at Parliament Square, social activists gathered to listen to speeches and shouted phrases such as  "Assange's freedom is our freedom," "journalism is not a crime," and "jail war criminals, free Julian Assange."

​​​​​His father John Shipton, WikiLeak supporters, Stop the War Coalition activists, journalists and other personalities of the British pop culture were present at the march.

"Prime Minister Johnson, act as an English bulldog, face the U.S hegemony, and cancel this judicial farce," the Pink Floyd's guitarist Roger Waters demanded.

"Delivering Assange to Justice will be the end of freedom of expression," the musician Brian Eno warned.

"We face a dark force that wants to extradite Assange and throw him into a dungeon forever. We must stop this," WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson stressed.​​​​​​​

Assange has been in Belmarsh prison since May 2019, after being sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Despite the end of this period, a British judge ordered the Australian journalist to remain in prison while facing proceedings regarding his possible extradition to the U.S.

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