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German Gov’s Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Bärbel Kofler expresses concern over Assange

31 December 2020

German Federal Government’s Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Bärbel Kofler issues statement expressing concern over possible Assange extradition ahead of UK court ruling on Monday

Bärbel Kofler, Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance of the German Federal Government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, issued a statement in which she expressed concern over a possible extradition of Julian Assange.

“I am following the extradition proceedings in Great Britain against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the closing arguments submitted in writing by the prosecution and defense in November with concern,’ she said.

‘Human rights and humanitarian aspects of a possible extradition must not be overlooked. Julian Assange’s physical and mental health must be taken into account when deciding on extradition to the USA. Great Britain is bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, also with a view to the possible penalties and the conditions of detention’ she followed.

The statement by a senior official from the German government is a major development. It follows the announcement last week that parliamentarians from all the major political parties had formed a working group in the German parliament (Bundestag) for the release of Julian Assange.

Julian Assange is fighting a politically motivated extradition to the United States. He is charged by the US administration for publications exposing war crimes and human rights abuses for which he faces a 175 years sentence in US prison. He has spent almost two years in a high security prison as an unconvicted prisoner.

The decision on whether or not the court will order his extradition will be announced by district judge Vanessa Baraitser at the Old Bailey Court on Monday, January 4th, at 10am.