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Assange’s health deteriorating, says Ai Weiwei

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Ai noted that Assange’s health is “deteriorating” and urged Britain and other European nations to prevent his extradition to the U.S.

Berlin-based Ai said he visited the Belmarsh prison alongside Assange’s father, one day before a British court is scheduled to hold a case management hearing on a U.S. extradition request.

“He is in the prison hospital and his health is deteriorating.

“He is grateful for the support given to him.

“The UK and Europe must defend human rights and stop his extradition to the U.S. where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail,’’ Ai wrote on Twitter and Instagram.

The U.S. government has accused Assange of conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

He has been held at the prison since police dragged him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

He had spent seven years inside the embassy to avoid arrest.

The British extradition process, which Assange opposes, is expected to take up to one year to resolve.

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Britain plans to hear Assange’s U.S. extradition case in September

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A British Court on Monday says it plans to continue U.S. extradition proceedings for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in September, after postponing a hearing scheduled for May amid coronavirus pandemic.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court said it would try to find another British Court with a three-week window for the extradition hearing to go ahead in September.
Earlier, Lawyers for Assange and the U.S. Government agreed at a hearing that Britain’s Covid-19 lockdown made it difficult to prepare for the scheduled hearing and to conduct a proper court session.
The US Justice Department has charged Australian citizen Assange, 48, with conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.
Supporters continued to raise health concerns and urged the court to grant bail to Assange, who is held on remand at a London prison.
According to Assange’s former lawyer Stella Morris, “Free the father of my children.”
In April, Morris revealed that she had two young sons conceived during visits to him at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
British police arrested Assange in April 2019 at the embassy, where he had taken refuge for seven years, for failing to surrender to an earlier warrant linked to Swedish charges that were eventually dropped.
Bridges for Media Freedom, a free speech group campaigning for Assange, said he would have spent more than 18 months in Belmarsh Prison before any of the evidence in his extradition case is heard.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Assange’s lawyer urges his release from prison over COVID-19 fears

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for failing to surrender to an earlier warrant issued in relation to a Swedish extradition request in a case involving charges of sexual assault which were later dropped.

YEE

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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London court holds hearing on Julian Assange’s extradition

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A UK court is holding a hearing in London on the case of Julian Assange.

If he is extradited to the U.S., the whistleblower could be sentenced up to 175 years prison for publishing classified information about war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan by American troops.

Journalists are waiting outside Woolwich Crown Court in London, which is holding an extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

The first part of the hearing is expected to continue this week, while the second one is set for May.

Assange was arrested for jumping bail in April 2019, after a seven-year asylum stays at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The WikiLeaks founder previously announced that he had to jump bail as the authorities planned to hand him over to the U.S.

He has been accused in the U.S. of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in order to assist Chelsea Manning to gain access to privileged information.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Assange would be suicide risk if extradited to U.S. – Lawyer

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Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S. as he would not get a fair trial and would be a suicide risk, his lawyer told a British court hearing on Monday.

Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, said extradition would expose Assange to inhumane and degrading treatment by a disproportionate sentence and prison conditions.

Fitzgerald said the extradition request was motivated by politics rather than any genuine crimes.

He said it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite him because of his mental state and risk of suicide.

He said the U.S. attitude to Assange had changed when Donald Trump came to power and that the U.S. president wanted to make an example of his client.

Fitzgerald said in 2013 the U.S. government under former President Barack Obama had decided that Assange should not face any action.

But that in 2017, after the 2016 election of Trump, an indictment was brought against Assange.

“Why the change? The answer is President Trump came into power with a new approach to freedom of speech and a new hostility to the press amounting effectively to declaring war on investigative journalists.

“The indictment was brought not on the basis of new revelations, but because it had become politically expedient and desirable,” Fitzgerald said.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim

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Australian lawmakers urge Britain to drop Assange extradition case

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Two Australian lawmakers on Tuesday urged Britain to drop its extradition case against jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and defend his right to freedom of speech.

“I am very concerned at the behaviour of the British government and at the behaviour of the Australian government,’’ Andrew Wilkie, an independent member of the Australian parliament, told newsmen.

According to him, Australian citizen Assange, 48, would not get a fair trial in the U.S., however Australia is “not standing up” for him.

“Extraditing Assange to the U.S. could “establish a precedent” for any journalist who criticizes a foreign government,’’ Wilkie added.

George Christensen, an Australian Liberal National Party lawmaker, said media freedom and broader freedom of speech were “clearly under attack when it comes to Julian Assange’s case.”

“It’s about fighting for the tenets of democracy, really, which are under attack,’’ Christensen said, urging British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to withdraw the extradition case.

Assange is expected to attend his extradition hearing from Monday.

The U.S. government has accused him of conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

The documents relate to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to information on intelligence sources.

In a letter published by The Lancet medical journal earlier on Tuesday, over 100 medical professionals accused Britain of denying proper health care to Assange and continuing to allow treatment that a UN envoy said amounted to torture.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim

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Assange appears in London court for U.S. extradition hearing

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WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, on Monday appeared in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, where the hearing on his extradition to the United States began.

The hearing was delayed for more than an hour, which, according to Assange’s lawyer, Gareth Peirce, was due to the fact that there were some complications at Belmarsh prison, where the WikiLeaks founder is being held.

Peirce also said that the defence still had limited opportunities to communicate with and transfer case materials to her client because of prison rules.

In December, the court ruled that Assange’s extradition case would consist of three separate stages, with hearings scheduled throughout January and February.

Assange, who was initially accused of sexual harassment and rape in Sweden in 2010, was in hiding at the Ecuadorian embassy in London from 2012 to 2019.

In April, UK Police entered the embassy to arrest the WikiLeaks founder and he was eventually sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions.

In May, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Assange on 17 additional charges under the espionage age and demanded his extradition.

If convicted of these charges, the WikiLeaks founder faces up to 175 years in prison.

The UK Home Secretary at the time, Sajid Javid, approved the extradition request, stating that he did not believe Assange would face death or torture if extradited.

At the hearing, District Judge, Vanessa Baraitser, ruled that the next one would take place on Jan. 23 and that Assange would take part via video conference.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Doctors demand urgent medical treatment for Wikileaks founder, Assange

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More than 60 doctors have demanded urgent medical treatment for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, according to British media reports.

The 48-year-old, who is currently in jail in Britain, has to be rushed to hospital for treatment or he may die in detention, according to a letter sent to British Home Secretary Priti Patel and other media on Monday.

Both the physical and mental condition of Assange must be verified by experts, the letter said.

His health has deteriorated rapidly in prison, they claim.

“Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison,” the British media quoted the letter as saying.

The letter published in the Guardian newspaper, among other media outlets, was signed by doctors from the U.S., Australia, Britain, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Sri Lanka and Poland.

“The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose,” they wrote.

According to the Guardian, the doctors based their testimony on Assange’s October appearance in a London court and on a report by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer.

He said that Assange showed typical signs of “psychological torture.”

Assange is due to appear in court on Feb. 25 to fight an extradition request from the U.S. which accuses him of helping whistleblower Chelsea Manning publish secret material on U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Edited & Vetted By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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Assange’s father says whistleblower ready to fight for release, press freedom

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Fight
Moscow, July 3, 2019 (Sputnik/NAN) The health of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently serving a 50-week sentence in a UK prison, has stabilized, and he is ready to fight for his release and the freedom of press.

Assange’s father, John Shipton, said on Wednesday, as cited by the AAP news agency.

“His health has stabilized and his spirit is extremely strong, and [he is] determined to fight for his freedom and for freedom of the press to inform us of what our governments are doing,” Shipton said.

Shipton and many supporters of the renowned whistleblower, an Australian native, gathered at Federation Square in the Australian city of Melbourne to celebrate Assange’s 48th birthday on Wednesday.

Melbourne is one of 60 cities across the globe that joined the celebrations devoted to the event.

“It’s very distressing and one can’t think too much about it without becoming overwrought.

“So, it’s best to attend to practical matters, to assure that Julian can come home and we can have a cup of coffee together at Fed Square,” Shipton said.

In April, all eyes were on Assange’s arrest after seven years of him taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after jumping bail, which is the reason why he is currently serving time in a UK prison.

The WikiLeaks founder sought refuge at the embassy of the Latin American nation after Sweden leveled rape charges against him in 2010.

Assange has denied these allegations, and in 2017 Sweden dropped the case against him.

In May, however, shortly after the arrest, Swedish prosecutors announced that they had reopened the rape investigation.

The whistleblower is facing extradition to the United States, where he is wanted on espionage charges and may be sentenced to 175 years in prison.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told Sputnik that the organisation would not give up its efforts to free Assange before the hearing on the United States’ extradition request happens in Feb. 2020.

He also stressed that the WikiLeaks website would go on working against all odds.

WikiLeaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning.

On 11 April 2019, Assange’s asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities.

The police were invited into the embassy, and he was arrested.

HLM/YEE

(Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)

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British minister approves Assange extradition to U.S.

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He told the BBC that it will be up to the courts to decide the next step.

Javid told the broadcaster that Australian citizen Assange, 47, was “rightly behind bars.’’

“There’s an extradition request from the U.S. that is before the courts on Friday, but on Wednesday I signed the extradition order and certified it, and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow,’’ he said.

Assange’s lawyers are expected to challenge Javid’s decision, paving the way for a lengthy appeal process through British courts.

The U.S. government has accused Assange of conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

He has been held at London’s Belmarsh prison since police dragged him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

He had spent seven years inside the embassy to avoid arrest.

Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on May 1, after he was found guilty of breaching bail conditions related to an earlier extradition request from Sweden.

The extradition request had wanted him to answer allegations of rape and sexual assault.

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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