Julian Assange faces 175 YEARS in jail after UK slammed for sanctioning extradition to US

Patel, 50, received the case last month after the British supreme court ruled there were no legal questions over assurances by US authorities


                            Julian Assange faces 175 YEARS in jail after UK slammed for sanctioning extradition to US
UK home secretary Priti Patel (L) has approved the extradition of Julian Assange (R) to the US (Jeff Dunham & Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
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UK's home secretary Priti Patel was ripped on social media after she approved the extradition of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US. The organization has now said it would appeal the decision in the high court.

Patel, 50, received the case last month after the British supreme court ruled there were no legal questions over assurances by US authorities on how Assange, 50, would likely be treated. That said, any appeal would likely be on grounds such as the right to freedom of expression and whether the extradition request is politically motivated. According to The Guardian, the home secretary was considering whether the request met the remaining legal tests, including a guarantee not to execute the activist.

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Wikileaks released a statement revealing its intention to appeal just moments after Patel gave the green light. “Today is not the end of the fight,” it read. “It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court.” The organization argued that anyone who cared about freedom of expression should be "deeply ashamed" of the decision. “Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher and he is being punished for doing his job,” the statement continued. “It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead, she will forever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.”

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Patel was excoriated on social media by fellow British MPs, journalists, and supporters of Assange.

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"@pritipatel’s decision to greenlight the extradition of Julian Assange is cruel and even sadistic. Its aim is to suck up to the US and frighten journalists. The message is clear: if you don’t toe the line, your lives will be destroyed. Tragic & revolting!" Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador Guillaume Long tweeted.

"Breaking: Priti Patel has approved Julian Assange's extradition to the United States. A shameful decision on the darkest of days for press freedom," UK journalist John McEvoy wrote.

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"Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved the extradition of Julian #Assange to an American hellhole. A new appeal will now challenge the political rottenness of British 'justice'. Either we raise our voices as never before, or our silence colludes in the death of a heroic man," Australian journalist John Pilger added.

"Priti Patel’s decision to extradite Julian Assange is an attempt to intimidate and silence journalists from speaking the truth," British MP Claudia Webbe alleged.

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"Julian Assange’s extradition to the US has been approved. @pritipatel you are a shame on British history. You stand for nothing and this decision will follow you for the rest of your life," Bedford FC chairman Peter McCormack chimed in.

"Priti Patel’s decision to extradite Julian Assange is a personal tragedy for a man whose human rights have already been violated, but it is also a war by the establishment on the freedom of press, a message to all to toe the line or face the wrath of those who control society," trade unionist Howard Beckett offered.

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Assange is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London following a years-long battle to avoid extradition to the US. The saga began in 2010 when WikiLeaks shocked the world by publishing a dump of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former US army soldier. Some of the leaks contained classified diplomatic analyses from world leaders, sparking a criminal investigation by the US government.

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That same year, the UK ruled Assange should be extradited to Sweden after an arrest warrant was issued against him for two separate sexual assault allegations in the country. The decision prompted the whistleblower to enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August 2012, claiming political asylum. He expressed fears at the time that Sweden would extradite him to the US. Assange eventually left the embassy in 2019 but was arrested in the UK for skipping bail and ultimately put behind bars. The US started extradition proceedings against him shortly after. 

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Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.