Calls for charges against Assange to be dropped

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Amnesty International
Stefan Simanowitz, journalist for The Guardian, outside the court where Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is taking place.

Amnesty International are calling for United States (US) authorities to drop all charges against Julian Assange relating to his publishing activities and for UK authorities to reject the related US extradition request. This comes ahead of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resuming on 7 September, expected to last several weeks, that will decide on the Trump administration’s request for Assange’s extradition to the US where he faces a sentence of up to 175 years for publishing materials that document possible war crimes committed by the US military.

Nils Muižnieks, Europe director for Amnesty International says the hearing is the latest worrying salvo in a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression and if Assange is prosecuted it could have a chilling effect on media freedom, leading publishers and journalists to self-censor in fear of retaliation. He says if Assange is extradited it will have far reaching human rights implications, setting a chilling precedent for the protection of those who publish classified information in the public interest.

“The US extradition r