UK puts Assange Extradition on Hold as Tensions between U.S., UK, and Australia Escalate over Wikileaks Leaker’s Fate

Extradition of Assange to the US delayed

Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States has been put on hold for the time being as the British justice system awaits new guarantees from the US regarding his treatment. The decision was made by British judges who gave American authorities three weeks to provide these assurances. If they do not present them within this time frame, Assange will have the chance to appeal his extradition, which was approved by the London Government in June 2021.

Assange is wanted by the US for leaking over 700,000 classified documents, including a video showing civilians being killed in Iraq. He has been in custody since 2019 after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. There have been calls for US President Joe Biden to drop charges against him as his supporters raise concerns about his health and risk of suicide if he is extradited.

During recent court hearings, Assange’s lawyers argued that the case against him is politically motivated and that he is being prosecuted for normal journalistic practices. However, US officials contend that Assange knowingly published names of individuals who served as sources of information for the United States, setting him apart from traditional media outlets.

While UK initially ruled in favor of Assange’s extradition in January 2021, concerns about his mental health led to a reversal of decision later on. The US has sought to address these concerns by offering assurances that Assange will not be held in maximum security and will have access to necessary medical and psychological care. They have also opened up possibility of him serving his sentence in Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese denounced the US prosecution of Assange and called for an end to persecution. Supporters continue to rally around Assange expressing their solidarity during court hearings as legal battle continues with uncertain future for Julian Assange fighting against extradition and right to freedom expression.

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