Britain’s highest court has rejected an appeal from Julian Assange, who is seeking to block his extradition to the United States. The ruling means British Home Secretary Priti Patel will have the final decision on whether to turn Assange over to the Biden administration. Assange faces espionage charges that could bring up to 175 years in prison, after he published classified U.S. documents on WikiLeaks that exposed war crimes. Assange’s lawyers argued he could face prolonged solitary confinement in a U.S. supermax prison — conditions tantamount to torture. This is Simon Crowther, a legal adviser with Amnesty International.
Simon Crowther: “What it means is that non-legally binding diplomatic assurances that Julian Assange would not be tortured will not be scrutinized by the Supreme Court. … This is bad for Assange, but it’s also bad for justice in the U.K., and it’s bad for the global prohibition of torture, because this kind of agreement really needs all the scrutiny that it can get.”
Assange has spent over 1,000 days locked up in the Belmarsh high-security prison in London, where he recently suffered a mini-stroke. He’s scheduled to marry his fiancée, Stella Moris, inside Belmarsh on March 23.