(LibertySociety.com) – In the early 1900s, the United States federal government passed the Espionage Act of 1917 to stop insubordination among military ranks and halt any interference in military operations. In 2010, when Julian Assange published classified military documents he obtained from US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning on his WikiLeaks site, the federal government believed he violated this act. Now that extradition to America is possible, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard calls for the United States to drop the charges and set the Australian publisher free.
However, the US federal government is anxious to hold Assange accountable.
Drop the charges, stop the extradition and free #JulianAssange. An extradition to the US was bad then. It is bad now. https://t.co/yZmLcqI1Cn
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) October 26, 2021
If the United Kingdom releases Assange to the US, he faces a “sentence of up to 175 years” in federal prison. In addition, Callamard is afraid his prosecution will set a precedent that will put the future of media freedom and investigative journalism into question.
Those who agree with the secretary include trade councils in Birmingham, Plymouth, and Newcastle, which all voted against the Australian’s extradition to America. They see the controversy as a clear case of free speech, while others see his detention as being politically motivated.
In January, a lower UK court ruled against the United States’ request for Assange, so they filed an appeal. A higher court will hear the case on October 27 and 28 and decide if they will grant the US request or deny the extradition.
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