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UN’s Independent Human Rights Expert Welcomes the Release of Julian Assange

There are reports that Julian Assange has admitted his guilt in one case in exchange for his release as part of an agreement with the US government.

Julian Assange was facing multiple criminal charges, including for allegedly illegally obtaining diplomatic, national security-related cables and other confidential documents and then illegally releasing them through Wikileaks.

“People should never be extradited to a place where they are at risk of being tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” Alice Jill Edwards, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, told UN News on Tuesday.

In addition, there is the possibility that they may be given punishments that are disproportionate to their alleged crimes.

The UN Special Rapporteur said that the crimes exposed by Julian Assange must be taken seriously. Also, he should be properly investigated and prosecuted in the US.

“Impunity for war crimes and other violations of the laws of war only emboldens elements who take matters into their own hands.”

Julian Assange was detained in Britain’s Belmarsh prison since 2019, where he was fighting a legal battle to avoid extradition to the US.

According to news media, as part of a deal with the US, he has agreed to plead guilty to espionage, in exchange for which he will not have to spend any more time in prison.

If extradited to the United States, he could be held as a prisoner or in solitary confinement for a long period of time pending trial, and, if convicted, could face up to 175 years in prison.

The final appeal hearing following a long-running legal battle over the extradition of Julian Assange took place at the High Court in London on 20-21 February.

Subsequently, just a few weeks ago, a London court granted him permission to appeal against an order for his extradition to the US.

David Dass
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