March 2, 2021

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The Biden administration is appealing the UK judge’s decision not to hand over Assange

Administration of the President To us, Joe Biden, WikiLeaks founder appeals against British judge’s verdict against extradition Julian AssangeA judicial official said Friday.

The appeal clarified Biden’s intent to face Assange trial on charges of espionage and hacking. WikiLeaks Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

The judiciary had until this Friday to appeal Judge Vanessa Paritzer’s January 4 ruling that Assange was suffering from mental health problems and that sending him to the United States for trial would increase his risk of suicide.

“Yes, we have appealed and we will continue to seek extradition,” Judicial spokesman Mark Raimondi told AFP.

Read more: Julian Assange’s father seeks political asylum for his son in New Zealand

Human rights groups have pressed Biden to drop the case, which raises important questions about transparency and press freedom.

After WikiLeaks began leaking US secrets in 2009, Biden’s vice president, the Obama administration, resigned to pursue the case.

Assange said WikiLeaks was no different than other constitutionally protected outlets for publishing such products.

Investigating it would mean suing powerful news organizations for publishing similar information and opening the door to legal battles that the government could lose.

Read more: They fear tensions with the United States could escalate after Assange was granted asylum from the AMLO

But under the government Donald Trump, WikiLeaks won in 2016 after leaking Democratic documents harmful to rival Hillary Clinton, creating a national security case against the judiciary Assange.

In 2019, Australia was charged with several counts of conspiracy to illegally obtain and disclose US secrets between 2009 and 2019 under U.S. spy law and cybercrime laws.

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In doing so, he aided and abetted computer hacking, illegally exposed US secret sources and, according to the allegations, used information harmful to the country.

If convicted on all charges, 49-year-old Assange could face up to 175 years in prison.

Read more: Julian Assange was denied bail in London

“Julian Assange is not a journalist,” said then – Attorney General John Demers.

Assange has been arrested by British authorities pending an appeal.

Earlier this week, 24 organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, called for the case to be dropped.

“Journalists of major news outlets are constantly talking to sources, asking for clarification or additional documentation, and obtaining and releasing documents that the government considers secret,” they said in an open letter.

“In our opinion, the forerunner of this case effectively criminalizes these common press practices.”

jabf / lsm