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U.S. to Pursue Extradition of Julian Assange as Press Freedom Groups Warn of Dangerous Precedent

HeadlineFeb 10, 2021

The State Department said Tuesday the U.S. will continue to push for the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain. Last month, a U.K. judge blocked Assange’s extradition, citing serious mental health concerns. Assange was indicted for violations of the Espionage Act related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. He faces up to 175 years in prison if brought to the U.S.

On Monday, a coalition of prominent international rights groups called on the Biden administration to drop charges against Assange. “We are deeply concerned about the way that a precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be leveraged — perhaps by a future administration — against publishers and journalists of all stripes,” they wrote.

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