Imprisoned journalist and publisher ‘WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, 51, is ‘dangerously close’ to US extradition following the loss of his latest legal appeal.
Held in HM Belmarsh prison for over four years, Assange’s health is deteriorating as he litigates the US extradition order.
Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, told The Guardian that the court's rejection left Assange ‘dangerously close now to extradition’.
WikiLeaks, which was founded in 2006, is a non-profit media organization. Known for publishing classified documents and other media, in the name of public interest, from anonymous sources.
‘These times are always hard for Julian in prison.’ He continues.
‘He's obviously focused on this next appeal…But he’s not doing well
His lawyers aim to appeal again to the same court after UK high court judge Justice Jonathan Swift, in a three-page judgment handed down on Tuesday 6th, rejected all eight grounds of his appeal against the extradition order.
Assange’s Wife, Stella Assange, claims her husband will make a ‘renewed application for appeal to the high court’.
Assange currently faces 18 charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents. Largely arising from a leak from whistleblower and former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was convicted by court-martial in 2013 for illegally downloading and passing Iraq and Afghan war logs to the website.
Manning provided WikiLeaks with video of a July 2007 Baghdad attack in which some US air crew falsely identified a firefight, then laughed at the dead following an airstrike that killed a dozen people.
This included two Iraqis, Namir Noor-Eldeen (22) and his driver Saeed Chmagh (40), who were working for Reuters News Agency.
The recording displays the helicopter crew discussing the street below. One American claims to spot six people with AK-47s and one with a rocket-propelled grenade. It is unclear if anyone is armed, however, Noor-Eldeen is seen holding a camera whilst Chmagh is on his mobile phone.
One of the helicopter crew states that one of the group is shooting yet the video displays no shooting. The men are standing around with no weapons pointing.
The lead helicopter opens fire and one of the American crew is heard joking: ‘Hahaha. I hit ‘em’.
When describing the situation, Manning said ‘Let's protect troop movements. Let's protect nuclear information. Let’s not hide missteps. Let’s not hide history. Let’s not hide who we are and what we’re doing’.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment but was released in 2017 after then president, Barack Obama, commuted her sentence.
Stella, in a Sydney protest for the freedom of her husband declared: ‘It is not just Julian who has lost his freedom, but all of us. Because in order to keep Julian in prison, they have had to corrupt their own rules and their own principles’.
The appeal argued that Assange was being prosecuted for protected speech, and that the extradition request was an abuse of process.
John Shipton, Assange’s father, believes his son's grounds for a further hearing are ‘clear, firm and just’.
Assange, if convicted under Espionage Act charges, faces a combined total of 175 years in prison.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in