British Court Issues Formal Order to Extradite Julian Assange

Civil liberties in the Anglosphere took a major blow on April 20, 2022 when a magistrate court issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States where he will face espionage charges there. 

Assange could potentially face a life sentence in prison. 

According to a report by RT, the April 20 ruling could still be appealed. 

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruling overturned its previous ruling that rejected Assange’s extradition to the US based on Assange’s deteriorating mental health and the harsh conditions he faced in America’s maximum security prisons. 

To finalize the extradition, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel must first sign off on it.  

In WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson’s view, the British court issued a “death sentence” to Assange by making this ruling. Assange is potentially facing 175 years in prison under the espionage charges he is facing in the US indictment. Assange’s legal team announced that it will make representations to secretary Patel, requesting for an opportunity to file an appeal against the court order. Assange’s legal counsel said they could pursue an appeal to the High Court, even if Patel grants the extradition. 

The same British court issued the rejection of the extradition request in January 2021. The American side was able to successfully appeal the decision by challenging the defense experts’ testimony, and by providing formal assurances that Assange would not be subjected to a brutal security regime throughout his prosecution in the US.

Assange has gained notoriety for WikiLeak’s pro-transparency activities and dissemination of sensitive documents. These leaks have exposed many governments’ dirty laundry. Assange has been in British custody since April 2019. So far, Assange has been kept at the high-security Belmarsh prison, described as “British Guantanamo” for how it houses Britain’s most dangerous criminals. 

Prior to his imprisonment, Assange spent seven years trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. However, that came to an end on April 11, 2019, when the Ecuadorian government of President Lenin Moreno revoked Assange’s asylum. 

As he was holed up in the embassy, the US unsealed its case against Assange and filed a request to the UK to extradite him for prosecution. 

The US Deep State and its British partners have targeted Assange and WikiLeaks since 2010, when the document archive released several sensitive State Department cables and Pentagon documents that exposed several alleged incidents of war crimes that US forces committed in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Assange has been accused of making an attempt to hack Pentagon computers and has received charges under the Espionage Act, which bans the acquisition of information connected to national defense which can be used to subvert US interests or aid foreign nations.

The work Assange has done is valuable in exposing the American national security state which categorically works against the Historic American Nation. It’s going to take a combination of conventional legislative means and independent journalistic endeavors to expose the national security state and discredit it among the American populace. 

Politics is a messy business and it will sometimes require unconventional approaches for reforms to be actualized.