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article imageOp-Ed: Assange extradition hearing to resume on Monday Sept. 7

By Ken Hanly     Sep 7, 2020 in Politics
The extradition hearing for Julian Assange the founder of Wikileaks is to resume on Monday September 7th in London UK. Assange is held in Belmarsh Prison. If extradited to the US and found guilty of charges against him he faces up to 175 years in prison.
Charges against Assange
The US has charged Assange with 17 counts of espionage and another count of conspiring with a source to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The charges relate to Wikileaks publishing numerous documents in 2010 revealing classified information about US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the prison in Guantanamo Bay. Many of the documents reveal US "dirty deeds" among them the killing of a UK journalist in Iraq by shots from a helicopter. A video of the shooting from a helicopter is appended.
Chelsea Manning provided Wikileaks the documents
The information was given to Wikileaks by Chelsea Manning a former US Army Soldier. Manning spent almost seven years in jail for the leaks but former president Obama commuted her sentence back in 2017. However, in March of 2019 Manning was jailed again for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury investigating both Julian Assange and Wikileaks. She was not released until March of this year.
Trial of Assange under US Espionage Act would be a horrible precedent
If Assange an Australian citizen is finally extradited to the US and tried under the 1917 Espionage Act, it will be the first time that a journalist has ever been charged under the Act. In effect it means that investigative journalism can be charged as spying and this would be a grave precedent for press freedom not just in the US but around the world..
Assange's health is deteriorating
During his lock up at Belmarsh prison Assange's health has deteriorated. Both Assange's family and health experts have alerted authorities to Assange's health but he remains at the prison. Nils Melzer a UN special rapporteur on torture has compared Assange's treatment to psychological torture.
Interview with Nils Melzer
A long interview detailing the long mistreatment of Assange can be found in the Republic. Melzer claims that a murderous system is being created saying: "A made-up rape allegation and fabricated evidence in Sweden, pressure from the UK not to drop the case, a biased judge, detention in a maximum security prison, psychological torture – and soon extradition to the U.S., where he could face up to 175 years in prison for exposing war crimes."
The hearing will be reported on by Consortium News.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about US Uk relations, Assange extradition to the US, Wikileaks
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