Dark day for press freedom as Priti Patel approves Julian Assange extradition


Daily news courtesy of The Canary – Journalism as it should be done.

Home secretary Priti Patel has approved the US extradition request for journalist and Wikileaks editor Julian Assange. The Australian national, whose work on massive Iraq and Afghanistan war leaks earned him the ire of Western leaders, has been held in Belmarsh prison since 2019. Before that, he had been living in the the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012.

Press organisations and allies of Assange called the decision a dark day for press freedom around the world.

His own organisation, Wikileaks, condemned the decision immediately:

Read on…

Daily news courtesy of The Canary – Journalism as it should be done.

 

And UK investigative outfit Declassified UK re-shared their graph on the connections between what they consider anti-Assange figures involved in his years-long extradition process:

In a statement, the US media freedom organisation Freedom of the Press said:

By continuing to extradite Assange, the Biden DOJ is ignoring the dire warnings of virtually every major civil liberties and human rights organization in the country that the case will do irreparable damage to basic press freedom rights of U.S. reporters.

Hellhole

Legendary reporter John Pilger, a stalwart ally of Assange, said Patel had condemned the Wikileaks founder to “an American hellhole”:

Some MPs voiced their opposition to the decision, pointing out that Assange had exposed western crimes carried out during wars in the Middle East:

Meanwhile US journalist Kevin Gozstola, who closely covered the Assange extradition proceedings, warned that press freedom was diminishing all over the world with the decision:

Mainstream concerns

And even mainstream journalists like John Simpson added their voices, warning that the implications of the decision would have far-reaching consequences for journalists everywhere:

A former UN expert on global democracy and equity said the extradition evidenced “the breakdown of the rule of law in the UK”:

Moreover, journalist Matt Kennard tweeted a screenshot of the famous Collateral Murder video. The leaked film showing a US helicopter murdering civilians, including civilians in Iraq, was one of Wikileaks’s most powerful exposes:

Assange’s wife Stella Morris said:

He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job

Wikileaks confirmed they would appeal against the extradition. Powerful forces are aligned against Assange, and many journalists must worry for their own safety. Especially when they see other reporters treated in this way by two ostensibly democratic states like the UK and US.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Snapperjack, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Daily news courtesy of The Canary – Journalism as it should be done.



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