Punished for Exposing War Crimes? U.K. Approves Assange Extradition to U.S., Faces 175 Years
In a blow to press freedom, the United Kingdom has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. Home Secretary Priti Patel signed off on the transfer after the U.K. Supreme Court denied Assange’s appeals earlier this year, part of a years-long legal battle that rights groups have decried as an attack on journalism and free speech.
Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted for violations of the Espionage Act, and his case represents a “once-in-a-lifetime fight for press freedom,” says Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s half-brother.