The UK's top court obstructed the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, based on his mental health situation

 

Julian Assange faces 18 charges in the US for the release of sensitive military documents

 

Karimi law firm represents according to DW:

 

 

On Monday, a UK judge refused the US request to extradite Julian Assange on espionage charges. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser stated it would be "oppressive" because of his mental health since he was likely to commit suicide if sent to the US.

Assange faces 18 charges in the US relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. He would be jailed for up to 175 years if convicted in the US.

The judge refused to accept claims by the defense that Assange was protected by free-speech guarantees. His "conduct, if proved, would therefore amount to offenses in this jurisdiction that would not be protected by his right to freedom of speech," Baraitser said.

However, she alleged Assange suffered from clinical depression that would be aggravated by the "severely restrictive detention conditions designed to remove physical contact" in US prison. Assange had the "intellect and determination'' to circumvent any suicide prevention measures the authorities could take, the judge said.

His extradition had sparked criticism, among others by Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture who believed "the United States is trying to criminalize investigative journalism."

The German government's Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler has urged the UK to adhere to human rights and fulfill humanitarian obligations in the extradition process.


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