According to the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federations of Journalists, sending Assange to the U.S. is a "terrible precedent."
Sending Julian Assange to the United States is a "real blow" to press freedom, the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federations of Journalists said in a joint statement on Friday. The statement highlights that Assange has been held in a maximum-security prison outside London for more than three years, "despite risks to his mental and physical health."
After the British judiciary sanctioned the extradition, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel authorized Friday Assange's extradition to the United States. The journalist's defense says it will still try to appeal again, but the extradition could take place in a few days. Stella Assange warned of the danger of the extradition to a country that 'planned to assassinate him.'
Dominique Pradalié, president of the International Federation of Journalists, said that "the UK Home Office's decision to allow the extradition of Julian Assange is vindictive and a real blow to press freedom. Assange simply exposed issues that were in the public interest and Priti Patel's failure to recognize this is shameful and sets a terrible precedent for all those who fight daily to tell the truth. Our hope now lies in a successful appeal against this decision. All journalists should support Julian Assange, who has allowed them to reveal the war crimes of the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The president of the European Federations of Journalists, Maja Sever, described the British decision as "shameful" and said it would cheer "the autocrats and the enemies of press freedom." "It will be enough to accuse journalists who report war crimes or corruption of spies for them to be extradited. This is a real scandal," Sever said.
#FreeAssangeNOW : The UK decision to allow the extradition of Assange is vindictive and a real blow to media freedom. He has simply exposed issues that were in the public interest and Patel's failure to acknowledge this is shameful and sets a terrible precedent pic.twitter.com/JBBeBD5jLv— IFJ (@IFJGlobal) June 17, 2022
This position has been supported by some Brazilian authorities, such as the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the Brazilian Press Association (ABI), the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), and the National Forum for Democratization of Communication (FNDC).
The executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, calls on the Biden administration to "fulfill its stated commitment to a free press by dropping all charges against the founder of WikiLeaks."
"The diplomatic assurances provided by the U.S. that Assange will not be held in solitary confinement cannot be taken into account," said Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, agreeing with the statement. "We call on the UK to refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the U.S. to drop the charges and for Assange to be released."