Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Calls on Priti Patel to Not Extradite Julian Assange
A letter published last week shows the commissioners concerns about Assange's extradition to the U.S.
On Wednesday last week, a letter was posted detailing the concerns of Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, which he expressed in a letter written to the U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel.
After a U.K. court formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the U.S. on espionage charges, the matter was sent to Priti Patel for the final decision.
In Mijatović’s letter, she outlined her concerns surrounding Assange’s extradition as she feels the decision would have a negative effect on media freedom and investigative journalism in Europe and the rest of the world. The full letter will be linked below the following quote.
“In particular, it is my view that the indictment by the United States against Mr Assange raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including information that exposes human rights violations. The broad and vague nature of the allegations against Mr Assange, and of the offences listed in the indictment, are troubling as many of them concern activities at the core of investigative journalism in Europe and beyond. Consequently, allowing Mr Assange’s extradition on this basis would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.”
This is not the first time she has voiced her opinion of Assange’s extradition, as she expressed her disapproval of the decision in an article posted to the Council of Europe’s website in February of 2020. If extradited, Assange faces 175 years in prison for what the U.S. considers to be “espionage.”