Uk Home Secretary Priti Patel Friday approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.
The Magistrates Court and High Court considered US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s extradition request and determined that extradition is not “oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process” and is not “incompatible with [Assange’s] human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression.”
According to the Home Office, Patel can only reject an extradition requests if one of four special circumstances apply: (1) the party faces the death penalty; (2) the party faces proceedings for an offense other than the offense for which extradition was ordered; (3) the party has been extradited from another nation to the UK; or (4) the party was transferred to the UK by the International Criminal Court. Because these circumstances to not apply to Assange’s case, the Home Office said Patel was “bound by law” to approve extradition. Officials also noted that Patel does not have the discretion to reject an extradition request due to human rights concerns.
WikiLeaks revealed US military documents that some authorities believe jeopardized national security, but Assange’s partner Stella Moris thinks the US government continues to target Assange for other reasons. She commented:
Julian published evidence that the country trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; tortured and rendered; bribed foreign officials; and corrupted judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing. Their revenge is to try to disappear him into the darkest recesses of their prison system for the rest of his life to deter others from holding governments to account.
Moris indicated that Assange will appeal Patel’s decision.