Dozens of parliamentarians from six parties, as well as independent MPs and Lords in Great Britain, called on the US Attorney General to suspend the extradition proceedings of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Anadolia reports.
On the fourth anniversary of Julian Assange’s imprisonment, 23 British MPs and 14 Lords have written a letter demanding Merrick Garland suspend Assange’s extradition process.
The lawmakers warn that extradition “would clearly have a chilling effect on journalism and would set a dangerous precedent for other journalists and media organizations. It would also undermine the US’s reputation for freedom of expression and the rule of law,” according to their letter.
In the meantime, British parliamentarians were joined by lawmakers in the USA, Australia, Mexico and Brazil who are also asking the US government to stop the proceedings against Assange.
”Extradition is also opposed by former United Nations special rapporteur Nils Meltzer and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović,” the letter states.
Assange, an Australian citizen, is in custody in the UK, which approved his extradition to the US last year.
On July 1, 2022, Assange appealed to the British High Court against the British government’s decision to extradite him to the US.
The move set off a new battle between his legal team and the US Department of the Interior.
Assange is wanted by US authorities for alleged conspiracy following the release of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including evidence of possible war crimes.
If he is extradited to the US, Assange will face 18 counts of hacking US government computers and violating espionage laws and face a potential prison sentence of several years.
In 2019, Assange was pulled out of the Ecuadorian embassy building in London, where he had been sheltering for more than seven years.
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