5 January 2020
In today’s latest Julian Assange extradition case hearing the presiding judge unexpectedly ruled against extradition on medical grounds. A bail application will be made at 10am on Wednesday 6th January 2021 at Westminster Magistrates Court. Given that Assange has now been discharged from extradition he could be re-united with his fiance and two young children after the bail hearing.
Speaking outside the court today, Stella Moris, partner and mother of Assange’s two young children said: “I ask you all to lobby harder until Julian is free”
“The indictment in the US has not been dropped – we are extremely concerned that the US government has decided to appeal this decision – it continues to want to punish Julian and make him disappear into the deepest darkest hole of the US prison system for the rest of his life”.
“We will never accept that journalism is a crime in this country, or any other”.
“I call on the President of the United States to end this now. Mr. President, tear down these prison wall. Let our little boys have their father. Free Julian, Free the Press, Free us all”.
WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, while welcoming today’s decision stated that: “It is a win for Julian Assange – but it is not a win for journalism. The US government should drop their appeal and let Julian go free”.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer told a German State broadcaster that “Only when I started to look into pieces of evidence – I saw that the whole narrative that had been spread about Assange for so long – was not supported by evidence”.
Amnesty International also welcomed the decision saying that the ‘politically-motivated process at the behest of the USA’ had put ‘media freedom and freedom of expression on trial’
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the decision and urged US DOJ to drop the charges.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights said “Considerations of press freedom and potential ill-treatment should prevent his extradition. Hope this brings proceedings to a swift end”
All major human rights organizations voiced their support for the decision including: Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Union of Journalists, Australian Union of Journalists (MEAA), Article19, Freedom of the Press Foundation, International Press Institute – as well as politicians and commentators from all sides of the political spectrum.