Priti Patel will decide whether to extradite Julian Assange to the US. She must be asked whether the British government believes death in prison should be the sanction for reporting on the powerful.
The Supreme Court has refused Julian Assange permission to appeal against extradition to the US – setting a precedent that endangers every journalist whose work threatens the interests of empire.
In giving the green light to extradite Julian Assange, the High Court accepted US government assurances over prison conditions ‘in good faith’ – an absurd decision that flies in the face of the evidence.
In the Assange extradition appeal, the British and American establishments are fighting journalists’ unions from across the world – and their mission is simple: to make effective scrutiny of the powerful impossible.
Last month, a key witness against Julian Assange admitted that his testimony was false. It’s further proof that this case has little to do with justice – but is a persecution designed to silence critical journalists.
Julian Assange has never been convicted of a crime, but remains incarcerated in a high-security prison for revealing the truth about wartime atrocities – the case makes a mockery of the idea of press freedom.
Yesterday was a victory for all those who campaigned for Julian Assange’s release – and it couldn’t have been achieved without a campaign of public pressure. Now the same is needed to free him from Belmarsh prison.
Julian Assange’s extradition case resumes on Monday in London. If it succeeds, and he is prosecuted in the United States for espionage, it will be a blow to any journalism which challenges the war machine.