Julian Assange to appeal after UK orders his extradition to US

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appealed the British government’s decision last month to order his extradition to the US.

The appeal was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, the latest twist in a decade-long legal saga sparked by the publication of classified US documents on its website. Further details about the profession were not readily available.

Assange’s supporters staged protests this weekend ahead of his 51st birthday, along with his wife, Stella Assange, among those who gathered before the British Home Office in London on Friday to demand his release from prison.

Julian Assange has been fighting in British courts for years to avoid being sent to the US, where he faces 17 charges of espionage and one of computer abuse charges.

Extradition allowed in June

US prosecutors say Assange, an Australian citizen, helped US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified diplomatic telegrams and military files that WikiLeaks later published, putting lives at risk.

To his supporters, Assange is a secret-breaking journalist who exposed US military misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A British court ruled in April that he could be sent to trial in the US and sent the case to the British government for a decision. Interior Secretary Priti Patel signed an order on June 17 authorizing the extradition of Assange.

The Australian government is under increasing pressure to intervene, but last month Prime Minister Anthony Albanian rejected calls for him to publicly demand that Washington stop the prosecution of Assange.

Assange’s supporters and lawyers claim that he acted as a journalist and is entitled to freedom of expression protection under the First Amendment.

Proponents say case is politically motivated

They argue that the case is politically motivated, that he would be treated inhumanely and would not receive a fair trial in the US

Assange supporters protest in front of the British Home Office in London on Friday. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Assange remains in high-security Belmarsh prison in London, where he has been since he was arrested in 2019 for skipping bail during a separate legal battle.

Before that, he spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over charges of rape and sexual assault.

Sweden dropped investigations into sex crimes in November 2019 because so much time had passed, but British judges have kept Assange in prison pending the outcome of the extradition case.

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