Assange granted appeal: A Wikibreak in his extradition case (video)
Assange granted appeal: A Wikibreak in his extradition case (video)Legacy

Julian Assange lives to fight another day after the UK High Court ruled that the embattled, award-winning journalist could appeal against his extradition to the United States.

The WikiLeaks founder, a thorn in the side of the so-called democratic Western political powers, was granted permission to challenge the order demanding his transfer to the US, where he faces charges for exposing military secrets that prosecutors claim endangered lives.

This landmark decision means the 52 year old will be able to contest US assurances about the fairness of his prospective trial and the protection of his right to free speech.

In a poignant moment within the courtroom, Assange’s lawyers embraced, vindicated by the ruling. They have long argued that the case against him is nothing less than politically motivated persecution.

Earlier today, May 20, in a succinct judgement, two senior judges decreed that Assange must be given a full appeal in the UK. This grants him several months to prepare his case, centred on whether the subverted US legal system will uphold his free speech rights as an Australian citizen. Assange asserts that his 2010 disclosures exposed war crimes committed by the US.

The courtroom decision sparked jubilation among Assange’s supporters, who have steadfastly championed his cause. For now, he remains in the UK, confined within the walls of Belmarsh Prison.

Assange granted appeal: A Wikibreak in his extradition case (video) | News by Thaiger
Picture of Julian Assange supporters outside the High Court in London courtesy of CGNT

Stella Assange, Julian’s resolute wife, spoke to the BBC, declaring it a critical juncture in their drawn-out legal struggle. She vowed to “fight on until Julian is free,” undeterred by the outcome.

Had the court ruled in favour of the US, Assange would have exhausted all legal options in the UK. He has tenaciously resisted extradition for over a decade, ever since WikiLeaks published a trove of confidential US documents in 2010 and 2011.

The US Department of Justice has characterised the leaks as “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.” The files revealed harrowing incidents where the US military killed civilians in Afghanistan, actions previously unreported.

US authorities accuse Assange of jeopardising lives by failing to redact the names of intelligence operatives in the leaked documents. However, his legal team argues that the charges are a vengeful act of “state retaliation,” aimed at silencing a fearless truth-teller against the US and UK truth-twisters.

Assange, an Australian editor, publisher, and activist, founded WikiLeaks in 2006. He rose to global prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks released a series of disclosures from US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. These included footage of a US airstrike in Baghdad, military logs from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and US diplomatic cables. Assange has received multiple accolades for his contributions to journalism and publishing.

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Author: Bob Scott