Assange’s Wife Accuses US Of ‘Weasel Words’ After They Issue Assurances In Extradition Bid

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community
Julian Assange

The wife of Julian Assage has dismissed US assurances as “blatant weasel words” after they provided assurances to the high court in London in an attempt to prevent a last minute appeal by WikiLeaks founder against extradition.

In a tweet Stella Assange said: “The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the first amendment, and a standard assurance in relation to the death penalty.

“It makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution’s previous assertion that Julian has no first amendment rights because he is not a US citizen. Instead, the US has limited itself to blatant weasel words claiming that Julian can ‘seek to raise’ the first amendment if extradited.

“The diplomatic note does nothing to relieve our family’s extreme distress about his future – his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in US prison for publishing award-winning journalism. The Biden administration must drop this dangerous prosecution before it is too late.”

Sky News reports: The US wants the WikiLeaks founder to be extradited from the UK to face 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse stemming from his website’s publication of classified documents nearly 15 years ago.

American prosecutors allege Assange, 52, put lives at risk when he helped former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal diplomatic cables and military files that WikiLeaks put online in 2010

At London’s High Court in February, barristers for the American government argued Assange went a “considerable way beyond” the role of a journalist in gathering information.

They claimed innocent people, many of whom “lived in war zones or under repressive regimes”, could have been harmed.

Following the court hearing, High Court judges last month said Assange would be able to bring a new appeal against extradition unless US lawyers provided certain guarantees.

Those assurances were that in a US trial he could rely on the first amendment right to free speech and he would not face new charges that could result in the death penalty being handed down.

Reuters news agency says it has seen a document submitted by US authorities which states Assange could rely on first amendment protections and says “a sentence of death will neither be sought nor imposed”.

But Assange’s wife Stella said the guarantees did not satisfy their side’s concerns, calling the diplomatic note “weasel words”.

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 14978 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.