Assange wins High Court ruling

STELLA ASSANGE with her team and supporters arrive at court

THE HIGH Court in London yesterday ruled in favour of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s right to appeal against the UK court ruling approving his extradition to the United States to face trial on espionage charges.

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange said outside the court, after the ruling, that the US had been ‘putting lipstick on a pig’ for a long time ‘but the judges did not buy it.’

‘As a family we are relieved, but how long did this go on. The United States should read the situation and drop this case now.

‘Now is the moment to do it. Just abandon this shameful attack on journalists, the press and the public that has been going on for 14 years.’

Simon Crowther, legal adviser at Amnesty International, said that ‘the High Court’s decision is a rare piece of positive news for Julian Assange and all defenders of press freedom.

‘The High Court has rightly concluded that, if extradited to the USA, Assange will be at risk of serious abuse, including prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment.’

Crowther also said the ongoing US attempt ‘to prosecute Assange puts media freedom at risk worldwide’.

‘As the fight continues in the UK courts, we call on the USA to finally put an end to this shameful saga, by dropping all the charges against Assange. This would bring the process in the UK to an immediate halt, and Julian Assange will be freed,’ he said.

The High Court ruled that the US assurances over his case were unsatisfactory and he would get a full appeal hearing.

In the short ruling, two senior judges said the US submissions were not sufficient, and they would allow the appeal to go ahead.

Hundreds of people protested outside the Royal Courts of Justice on London’s Strand chanting: ‘Free free Julian Assange’ and ‘Only one decision, no extradition.’

Magda from Belgium, told News Line: ‘We have a Free Assange committee in Brussels. We demonstrate in Mint Square every Monday, and once a month outside the British embassy. We’ve been doing this since 2019. Julian is a very good journalist. When someone of the stature of John Pilger calls him courageous, that really means something. If he loses the appeal then that just proves that this is an autocracy. We want justice and a free Palestine.’

Sadia Kokni, a stalwart of the Julian Assange campaign, said: ‘Today is the day we hope to see Julian walk out a free man. It’s long overdue. This is the minimum we expect from today. Anything less is just more injustice.’

Marvin Christ, who travelled from Cologne, said: ‘It’s not right for the state to treat its citizens like that. They’ve been attacking him for over a decade. I’m here to be on the right side of history. Martin Luther King was subjected to hate in his time. Now he’s revered.’

Riza Unal said: ‘I’ve been working in banking and finance. I’ve found it’s rotten, corrupt and exploitative to the core, even criminal.

‘That’s why I joined this campaign and for Palestine too. Pensioners, students and everyone else needs a change.

‘No one should have to rely on food banks. I think we should understand Marx better, and people should educate themselves.’

Ruth Grocock emerged from the court angry, saying: ‘I was thrown out for wearing a t-shirt that says “Jail Blair, Free Assange”.’