Following his arrest in 2019 at the Ecaudorian Embassy in London, the UK government has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.
The Wikileaks founder has 14 days to appeal the decision the UK Home Office and Assange’s legal team plans to do just that.
“This is a dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy. Anyone in this country who care about freedom of expression should deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, that country that plotted his assassination,” Wikileaks wrote in a statement.
Assange is wanted in the US over an alleged conspiracy to disclose national defence information about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. These documents were published to Wikileaks and Assange has denied wrongdoing since the incident.
The UK Home Office told Sky News that the decision to grant the extradition order was considered by both the Magistrates and High Court.
“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health,” a spokesperson told Sky News.
The next 14 days will be tense for Assange and his legal team. If extradited and found guilty, Assange could face up to 175 years in prison. With that having been said, many of the Wikileaks founder’s supporters believe that should he be sent to the US he will be disappeared.