UK Judge Rejects Julian Assange’s Extradition Citing Suicide Risk
The Australian-born has been accused of 17 espionage charges and 1 charge of computer misuse by the US prosecutors.
A British judge on Monday, 4 January rejected the United States’ plea to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on account of facing espionage charges, stating that it would be ‘oppressive by reason of mental harm,’ as quoted by AFP.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said that the risk of Assange dying by suicide upon detention was ‘substantial’.
AFP quoted her as saying, “(Assange) faces the bleak prospect of severely restrictive detention conditions designed to remove physical contact and reduce social interaction and contact with the outside world to a bare minimum...He faces these prospects as someone with a diagnosis of clinical depression and persistent thoughts of suicide.”
Assange has been placed in judicial custody until a bail application.
The Australian-born has been accused of 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse by the United States prosecutors, after WikiLeaks published leaked documents, exposing the US government’s military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago.
WikiLeaks founder and his advocates have argued that the 49-year-old was executing his responsibility as a journalist and is protected by the right to freedom of speech, and have also claimed that the prolonged case is politically motivated.
(inputs from AFP)
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