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IPFS News Link • Whistleblowers

Julian Assange's Final Appeal

• https://www.lewrockwell.com, By Chris Hedges

If Julian Assange is denied permission to appeal his extradition to the United States before a panel of two judges at the High Court in London this week, he will have no recourse left within the British legal system. His lawyers can ask the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for a stay of execution under Rule 39, which is given in "exceptional circumstances" and "only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm." But it is far from certain that the British court will agree. It may order Julian's immediate extradition prior to a Rule 39 instruction or may decide to ignore a request from the ECtHR to allow Julian to have his case heard by the court.

The nearly 15-year-long persecution of Julian, which has taken a heavy toll on his physical and psychological health, is done in the name of extradition to the U.S. where he would stand trial for allegedly violating 17 counts of the 1917 Espionage Act, with a potential sentence of 170 years.

Julian's "crime" is that he published classified documents, internal messages, reports and videos from the U.S. government and U.S. military in 2010, which were provided by U.S. army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. This vast trove of material revealed massacres of civilians, tortureassassinations, the list of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and the conditions they were subjected to, as well as the Rules of Engagement in Iraq. Those who perpetrated these crimes — including the U.S. helicopter pilots who gunned down two Reuters journalists and 10 other civilians and severely injured two children, all captured in the Collateral Murder video — have never been prosecuted.

Julian exposed what the U.S. empire seeks to airbrush out of history.

Julian's persecution is an ominous message to the rest of us. Defy the U.S. imperium, expose its crimes, and no matter who you are, no matter what country you come from, no matter where you live, you will be hunted down and brought to the U.S. to spend the rest of your life in one of the harshest prison systems on earth. If Julian is found guilty it will mean the death of investigative journalism into the inner workings of state power. To possess, much less publish, classified material — as I did when I was a reporter for The New York Times — will be criminalized. And that is the point, one understood by The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El País and The Guardian, who issued a joint letter calling on the U.S. to drop the charges against him.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and other federal lawmakers voted on Thursday for the United States and Britain to end Julian's incarceration, noting that it stemmed from him "doing his job as a journalist" to reveal "evidence of misconduct by the U.S."

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