Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, the High Court has ruled, as it overturned an earlier judgement and provoked condemnation from activists.
Assange’s lawyers are expected to appeal this week.
Two senior judges ruled that a then district judge based her decisions on the fact that Assange would face restrictive US prison conditions.
The judges ruled, based on assurances by the US, to side with the US authorities, saying that Assange would only face those conditions if he did an act that required them in the future.
The judges ordered that the case be remitted to Westminster Magistrates Court with the direction that a district justice send it to the secretary of state, who will decide whether Assange is extradited or not.
US assurances included claims such as that Assange wouldn’t be subjected to “special administrative measures” or held in the maximum security “ADX” prison, and if convicted, he could apply to be transferred to a facility in Australia.
The case against Julian Assange is related to the WikiLeaks publication of thousands of leaked documents about US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Included in the documents was evidence of frequent killings of civilians in Afghanistan and 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqis.
This ruling is a blow to Assange’s campaign not to be extradited to the US and sets a damning precedent for freedom of speech for journalists globally. It is Assange’s previous threat to the US military industrial complex that has earned him this treatment for over a decade.
We knew all along when the district judge ruled earlier this year that the only reason she was against the extradition of Assange to the US was due to his suicide risk that the state would take its first opportunity to overturn that ruling. It’s what must be done for the capitalist state to assert its power and authority in the face of Assange’s assault on its credibility.
Georgina Andrews, is a member of the YCL’s Merseyside branch