UK Judge says US prison life could kill him. Blocks Julian Assange extradition

The Judge at the Old Bailey ruled the American authorities have proven their argument that Julian Assange violated American law when he released documents about American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The documentation, thousands of pages and one particularly horrid video of American soldiers murdering journalists in Iraq, were published in Wikileaks in 2010.

Regrettably the Judge agreed with American prosecutors who want Assange tried in the USA for violating the draconian Espionage Act.

Instead, the Judge ruled that the American penal system is so onerous that Julian Assange, given his frail condition, would likely perish in an American prison.

Why does it take a Judge in England to state publicly what Americans with any sense of justice realize?

The American penal system is horrific and not fit for human consumption

It is not designed for rehabilitation.

It sole mission is punitive punishment.

Deutsche Welle 1.4.2021

A court in London has ruled against the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder, citing mental health grounds. In the US, he faces up to 175 years, for multiple espionage charges for releasing sensitive military documents.

A UK judge on Monday refused a US request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on espionage charges.

Julian Assange Extraditiion I 2.24.2020

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser gave the decision during the morning, saying it would be “oppressive” because of his mental health.

Assange was likely to commit suicide if sent to the US, Baraitser said.

Assange faces 18 charges in the US relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If convicted in the US, Assange would be jailed for up to 175 years.

US prosecutors have indicated they will appeal against the ruling.

Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said he would apply for bail for Assange on Wednesday, pending that appeal.

Baraitser rejected claims by the defense that Assange was protected by free-speech guarantees. His “conduct, if proved, would therefore amount to offenses in this jurisdiction that would not be protected by his right to freedom of speech,” Baraitser said.

But she said Assange suffered from clinical depression that would be exacerbated by the “severely restrictive detention conditions designed to remove physical contact” in US prison.

Assange had the “intellect and determination” to circumvent any suicide prevention measures the authorities could take, the judge said.

The Judicial Office tweeted a link to the full judgement in the Assange case.

Julian Assange Extraditiion I I 2.24.2020

Assange, who sat in the dock for the ruling, wiped his brow as the decision was announced. His partner Stella Moris, with whom he has two young children, wept, reported news agency AP.

Supporters of Assange celebrated outside court after the result was announced.