The British government announced on Friday that it had signed the decree for the extradition to the United States of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, who will appeal. He is claimed by the American justice system which wants to judge him for the dissemination, from 2010, of more than 700,000 classified documents on American military and diplomatic activities, in particular in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces 175 years in prison.
After a long legal standoff with twists and turns, British justice had formally given the green light on April 20 to his surrender to American justice, but it was up to British Interior Minister Priti Patel to sign an extradition decree. , which she did on Friday.
“We are not at the end of the road. We will fight. We will use all avenues of recourse.”, reacted Stella Assange, the wife of the Australian, during a press conference. Visibly moved, she explained that her husband had heard the news on Friday morning and wanted to ” to beat “ but mentioned a risk of suicide.
Press freedom organisations, including Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International, also oppose this extradition, fearing that despite assurances from the US authorities, Julian Assange will be subjected to conditions of solitary confinement in prison which would aggravate a risk of suicide. For Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, the extradition of Julian Assange “would send a chilling message to journalists around the world.”
WikiLeaks denounced “a dark day for freedom of the press”.