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Biden administration will proceed to hunt Assange extradition

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2021 01 04T114928Z 1953166029 RC2Z0L9F6KPL RTRMADP 3 WIKILEAKS ASSANGE

Justice Department official says US will proceed to hunt extradition of Wikileaks founder regardless of calls to drop effort.

US President Joe Biden’s administration will proceed to hunt the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the United Kingdom to the United States, a US Department of Justice official stated.

Spokesman Marc Raimondi stated on Tuesday that Washington would proceed to problem a British choose’s ruling final month that Assange shouldn’t be extradited to the US as a result of he’s prone to taking his personal life.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser stated in her January four resolution that Assange’s “mental condition … is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America”.

The choose set Friday as a deadline for the US to enchantment her ruling.

“We continue to seek his extradition,” Raimondi informed reporters.

His remark comes a day after nearly two dozen civil liberty, human rights and press freedom teams signed an open letter urging the US Justice Department to forgo the enchantment and drop the underlying indictment towards Assange.

The Wikileaks founder is going through 17 espionage costs and one cost of laptop misuse, which carry a most sentence of 175 years in jail.

“The indictment of Mr. Assange threatens press freedom because much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely—and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do,” stated the teams, which included Amnesty International USA, the American Civil Liberties Union and Reporters Without Borders.

“We appreciate that the government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona fide national security interests, but the proceedings against Mr. Assange jeopardize journalism that is crucial to democracy.”

Assange’s legal professionals have argued the case is politically motivated.

They say he was appearing as a journalist and is entitled to freedom of speech protections assured beneath the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Assange and WikiLeaks shot to fame in April 2010, after the web site launched a 39-minute video of a US navy Apache helicopter firing over and killing greater than a dozen Iraqis, together with two Reuters journalists.

Former US President Donald Trump stepped up criticism of Assange and Wikileaks shortly after taking workplace in 2017.

His administration final month vowed to enchantment the British court docket’s resolution on extradition, whereas Trump was criticised for failing to incorporate Assange in a slew of presidential pardons earlier than he left workplace.

“The Department of Justice’s indication on Tuesday that it still intends to pursue an appeal against the extradition decision in the case of Julian Assange is deeply concerning,” Rebecca Vincent, director of worldwide campaigns at Reporters Without Borders, informed Al Jazeera.

“However, until the United States’ grounds for appeal are formally filed, there is still time to right this wrong. We call for President Biden to intervene in the interest of journalism and press freedom and drop this politically motivated case once and for all.”

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