The United States wants to extradite WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange to the United States for leaking sensitive information provided by US military intelligence officer Chelsea Manning.
Assange joins a long list of people charged with espionage under the Espionage Act of 1917, most notably Edward Snowden, Emma Goldman, Chelsea Manning, Alexander Berkman and Daniel Ellsberg. While Ecuador hosted Assange in 2012, he was picked up from the Ecuadorean embassy in London 7 years later, on April 11, 2019, and he has been battling US deportation ever since.
UN Humanitarian Affairs Director Michelle Bachelet expressed concern this week about Assange’s extradition to the United States.
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During a meeting with Assange’s wife and lawyer, Bachelet said the prospect of Assange’s extradition and trial is worrying for media freedom and the potential horrific impact on analytical journalism and leaks.
Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange’s lawyers, told the media that the matter would be referred to the European Court of Human Rights. According to Assange’s lawyer, the WikiLeaks creator is “imprisoned and punished for his political ideas”. Following Bachelet’s initial comments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said his agency will closely monitor the whistleblower’s case.
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