Julian Assange's intolerable prison situation in the UK denounced

Julian Assange's intolerable prison situation in the UK denounced
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Fecha de publicación: 
20 June 2021
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Stella Moris, Julian Assange's partner, described Saturday as intolerable the situation of the WikiLeaks founder in the maximum security prison in London where he is waiting for the end of the extradition process to the United States.

His situation is totally intolerable and grotesque, and it cannot continue like this, Moris said outside Belmarsh Prison, after visiting her partner for the first time in eight months.  Moris was accompanied by Max and Gabriel, the two sons she had with Assange during the time the Australian journalist was a refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

In this regard, she recalled that this Saturday marks precisely nine years since the founder of WikiLeaks took refuge in the Ecuadorian diplomatic legation to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was wanted for alleged sexual crimes that were later dismissed by the prosecution of that country.

After seven years of asylum, the government of Ecuador withdrew his immunity in April 2019, and opened the doors of the embassy to the British police to arrest him.   

Initially sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail related to the Swedish case, Assange has since been locked up in Belmarsh pending the conclusion of the extradition process initiated by the United States.

The U.S. prosecution wants to try him for disclosing on WikiLeaks war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thousands of State Department documents.  If handed over to U.S. justice, Assange would face 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit hacking, which together carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Last January, and after a judicial process delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the British judge in charge of processing the extradition request refused to hand him over to the United States for fear that the Australian journalist might try to take his own life.

The magistrate decided, however, that the cyberactivist must wait in jail for the outcome of the appeal filed by U.S. prosecutors.  According to Stella Moris, the decision to keep Julian Assange behind bars, and without the right to bail, undermines the prestige of the United Kingdom, and also endangers his life.

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