Julian Assange appeals extradition

February 22, 2024
'One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice'
'One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice'. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

Thousands marched from the Royal Courts of Justice to the British prime ministers' Downing Street office on February 21 to protest the extradition of Julian Assange to danger in the United States.

Assange's legal team is seeking approval from the court to appeal an earlier court decision to extradite Assange to the US.

Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks which exposed numerous US war crimes, including “collateral murder” which showed US soldiers deliberately and callously murdering unarmed Iraqi civilians and journalists.

If extradited to the US, Assange faces prosecution under the anti-democratic Espionage Act and could face 175 years in prison.

US government lawyers responded to Assange's case on February 22, denying that their proposed prosecution is “politically motivated”. They also claimed that he “put lives at risk” despite the fact that they presented no evidence of harm.

The day before, Stella Assange spoke outside the court telling protesters that the “United States is abusing its legal system to hound and prosecute and intimidate all of you”.

“It's about the public's right to know,” she said. “It's about the right to be able to speak freely without being put in prison and hounded and terrorised by the state.”

She also referred to the now revealed attempts by the US to kill Assange while he was in refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange's legal team also presented evidence of this.

Julian was too ill to attend the court hearing, even by video link. Rebecca Vincent from Reporters Without Borders told supporters outside the court that when she last saw him in jail on January 16 he was “unwell and in pain”.

Kamala Emanuel described Assange's circumstances as “pretty grim” saying that supporters outside the court were saying that “he's so unwell that they're killing him”.

She reported the court room only had 15 seats for the public. Journalists were given access to another room with no tables for laptops, no internet and inadequate sound, making it extremely difficult to make out what was going on.

She described the drawn-out process as a “farce” and a “tortuous, unfair, unjust arbitrary process”.

“If there were any such thing as justice, this hearing would have been over long ago.”

Hundreds kept vigil outside the court, over two days. A number of union banners were also on show. Emanuel reported that a large number of professional journalists joined the February 21 march to Downing Street.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie travelled to London, on behalf of the Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group, on February 21 to “convey the very strong belief from the Australian community that enough is enough”.

The week before, the parliament passed his motion calling on Britain and the US governments to let Assange return home.

“This vote, supported by the Australian prime minister and his cabinet, marked an unprecedented show of political support for Mr Assange by the Australian Parliament and echoes the sentiment in the Australian community that this has gone on for too long,” he said in a media statement from London.

Despite the parliamentary vote, Anthony Albanese could have done a lot more to secure Assange's release.

The court is not expected to issue a determination before March.


No more lies!
No more lies! Photo: Kamala Emanuel


Freedom for Assange
Freedom for Assange. Photo: Kamala Emanuel


Free Assange, arrest the criminals he exposed
Free Assange, arrest the criminals he exposed. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

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