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Julian Assange's Wife Denounces US Diplomatic Assurances, Urges Dropping Prosecution Of Her Husband

16.04.2024 23:27

Stella Assange challenges US' non assurance on First Amendment rights in extradition proceedings.

The US was given a second chance Tuesday to submit diplomatic assurances to a UK court in a tense development in the ongoing extradition saga of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

But the assurances provided by the US have drawn strong criticism from Assange's wife who denounced them as insufficient and potentially perilous.

Stella Assange delivered a scathing rebuke of US diplomatic assurances, highlighting their failure to address critical concerns regarding her husband's rights and the severity of charges he faces.

The assurances offer no solace to the family's distress about Julian's future and the looming threat of spending the rest of his life incarcerated in a US prison, according to Stella Assange.

"The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the First Amendment, and a standard assurance in relation to the death penalty. It makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution's previous assertion that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a US citizen," Assange declared in a statement.

She criticized the US language as "blatant weasel words" and accused the Biden administration of failing to provide meaningful assurances regarding Julian's rights as a publisher and journalist.

"The diplomatic note does nothing to relieve our family's extreme distress about his future -- his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in US prison for publishing award-winning journalism," asserted Stella Assange as she urged the Biden administration to drop the prosecution before irreversible damage is done.

The US charged Assange with hacking government computers and espionage after he acquired and published hundreds of thousands of classified documents between 2010 and 2011.

The UK High Court, in a pivotal 2021 ruling, decreed that Assange should be extradited, dismissing assertions about his fragile mental state and risks he might face in an American correctional facility.

Following suit, the Supreme Court in 2022 upheld that decision, while then-Home Secretary Priti Patel affirmed the extradition order, intensifying the legal battle.

Assange is seeking authorization to scrutinize Patel's determination and challenge the initial 2021 verdict in his latest bid for a reprieve.

The High Court ruling last month granted Assange the right to appeal his extradition to the US and set a new hearing date for the case in May before adjourning it. -

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