Julian Assange Files His “Perfected Grounds of Appeal”

By Neenah Payne

Julian Assange is facing extradition to the United States where he would be subject to a show trial and could face up to 175 years in prison. This is a grave injustice and everything must be done to stop it from happening.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet recently released a statement:

“The potential extradition and prosecution of Mr. Assange raises concerns relating to media freedom and a possible chilling effect on investigative journalism and on the activities of whistle-blowers.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, met with Assange’s wife.

Assange’s Perfected Grounds of Appeal

Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, said on 8/27:

Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse. The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal.”

Assange filed his Perfected Grounds of Appeal before the High Court of Justice Administrative Court on August 26. The Respondents are the Government of the United States and the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel.

Press Release

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal contain the arguments on which Julian Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of January 4, 2021, and introduces significant new evidence that has developed since that ruling.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the United States Government include the following:

  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions (s.81(a) of the Extradition Act)
  • Julian Assange is being prosecuted for protected speech (Article 10)
  • The request itself violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and International law because it is for political offences
  • The US Government has misrepresented the core facts of the case to the British courts
  • The extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process.

The Perfected Grounds of Appeal concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) include arguments that Home Secretary Priti Patel erred in her decision to approve the extradition order on grounds of specialty and because the request itself violates Article 4 of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

Background

January 4, 2021: Westminster Magistrates Court throws out the US extradition request against Julian Assange. District judge Vanessa Baraitser rules that extradition is barred under the 2003 Extradition Act because it is “oppressive” (s.91). The United States Government appeals.

October 27-28, 2021: US appeal hearing before the High Court Appeal. Julian Assange suffers a transient ischemic attack (TIA) on the first day.

December 10, 2021: The decision to discharge the extradition request is overturned by the High Court due to the United States Government issuing so-called ‘diplomatic assurances’ to the UK Government. The High Court rejects the United States Government’s arguments that the district judge erred in her findings.

March 14, 2022: The Supreme Court refuses Julian Assange permission to appeal the High Court’s decision. The case is sent back to the Magistrates’ Court with instruction to issue the extradition order.

April 20, 2022: The Magistrate issues the extradition order, which is sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval.

June 17,  2022: Home Secretary Priti Patel approves the extradition order to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

End Press Release

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Image credit: The Grayzone

 

Stop Extradition of Julian Assange Now! explained that Julian Assange’s Extradition To US Formally Approved By UK Government reported on June 17 that,

“Julian Assange’s fate has been sealed as UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has formally approved his extradition to the United States, following a years-long legal saga in which the WikiLeaks founder’s legal team has pursued every avenue of the courts and appeal to fight the US request.

Held at London’s Belmarsh prison since his being taken out of the Ecuadoran embassy in April 2019, the 50-year-old Assange is now the closest he’s ever been to being handed over to American custody, where it’s expected he would face US legal proceedings and a likely conviction on multiple spying-related charges, eventually being sent to a federal supermax facility, specifically the ADX Florence Supermax. The Home Office has said in wake of Patel’s ruling that Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision.

It affirmed that the courts found that US extradition would not be ‘incompatible with his human rights’ and crucially that in US custody ‘he will be treated appropriately’ – this after the prior most successful legal challenge his defense mounted hinged on his facing cruel and possibly torturous conditions inside the US prison system, specifically the highly isolated life inside ADX Florence confinement.

Upon Patel’s greenlight, WikiLeaks put out an immediate statement saying it is appealing the ruling: ‘Today is not the end of fight,’ it said. ‘It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system; the next appeal will be before the high court.’

The statement said anyone who cared about freedom of expression should be ‘deeply ashamed’ that the Home Secretary approved Assange’s extradition. ‘Julian did nothing wrong. He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and a publisher and he is being punished for doing his job,’ it said. ‘It was in Priti Patel’s power to do the right thing. Instead she will forever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.’

Mike Pompeo (who is not in office) visited Priti Patel in London around the time of her ruling.

See Julian Assange’s Attorneys Sue CIA’s Mike Pompeo

Stella Assange’s Plea To British Government

In the video below, Julian’s wife Stella who is a human rights lawyer, points out that the British Prime Minister and UK Home Secretary can stop the extradition at any time. Stella Assange: ‘We are going to fight this, we are going to use every appeal avenue. I am going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free.”

Don’t Extradite Julian Assange!

Journalism is not a crime. #FreeAssangeNow

by Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Julian Assange’s Case Is a Frightening Omen for Press Freedom — Reason

By J.D. Tuccile

“World journalists have been quicker than Americans to see danger in prosecuting the WikiLeaks founder.

While the ordeal of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange elicits grudging reactions from many American journalists who find him distasteful, his pending extradition to the United States, just approved by the British government, spurs protests around the world. In countries not blessed with a First Amendment, advocates of free speech rightly see Assange’s years-long persecution for exposing U.S. government secrets as an attack on transparency and a threat to anybody who embarrasses powerful officials. Comfortable seat-warmers who are cozy with the powers-that-be may hesitate, but real journalists battling censorious politicians recognize Assange as one of them.

‘UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed an order to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on charges linked to Wikileaks’ publication of information in the public interest,’ Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) noted on June 17. The organization described the decision as “a failure by the UK government to protect press freedom and will have dangerous implications for journalism around the world.”

The Assange case: International solidarity and implications for press freedom globally – Don’t Extradite Assange (dontextraditeassange.com)

“International and national organisations from Brazil organized a parallel online event to the 50th Ordinary Session of the UN Human Rights Council. The main speakers of the event were Stella Assange, wife of Julian AssangeVijay Prashad, journalist (International People’s Assembly), Zuliana Lainez, vice-president of the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), and Rebecca Vincent, director of campaigns of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The event was livestreamed in English and Portuguese.

‘Without strong international mobilization, journalist Julian Assange will not be free. By publishing on WikiLeaks thousands of documents, photos, and videos that showed the involvement of the United States and its allies in the death of innocent people and in spying on an international scale, Assange fulfilled his duty as a journalist. That is why the struggle for his freedom affects all of us. It is a fundamental struggle in what it says about revealing the truth about war crimes and for press freedom,’ declares Giovani del Prete, of the Operational Secretariat of the International People’s Assembly.

‘It is essential that the international human rights system closely monitors and take a position on the situation of Julian Assange, in particular on his situation of imprisonment and psychological health, but also on the issue of freedom of the press and freedom of expression under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This event adds to the many international actions on the case, with a strong appeal for the human rights system to enforce the guarantee of dignity and rights of Julian Assange,’ comments Eneias da Rosa, Executive Secretary of the Articulation for the Monitoring of Human Rights in Brazil.”

Julian Assange Represents Freedom of the Press

The Assange case is the most important battle for press freedom in our time

“If the WikiLeaks founder is extradited and found guilty of publishing classified material, it will set a legal precedent that will effectively end national security reporting…Assange is being extradited because his organization WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous US war crimes – including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to US checkpoints. He is also being targeted by US authorities for other leaks, especially those that exposed the hacking tools used by the CIA known as Vault 7, which enables the spy agency to compromise cars, smart TVs, web browsers, and the operating systems of most smart phones, as well as operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux…

If Assange is extradited and found guilty of publishing classified material, it will set a legal precedent that will effectively end national security reporting, allowing the government to use the Espionage Act to charge any reporter who possesses classified documents, and any whistleblower who leaks classified information….The long campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations and the security and surveillance state.

There is no legal basis to hold Assange in prison. There is no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the US Espionage Act… Assange’s ‘crime’ is that he exposed the more than 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians. He exposed the torture and abuse of some 800 men and boys, aged between 14 and 89, at Guantánamo. He exposed that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered US diplomats to spy on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other UN representatives from China, France, Russia, and the UK, spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, and personal passwords, part of the long pattern of illegal surveillance that included eavesdropping on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He exposed that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the CIA orchestrated the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, replacing him with a murderous and corrupt military regime. He exposed that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and General David Petraeus prosecuted a war in Iraq that, under post-Nuremberg laws, is defined as a criminal war of aggression, a war crime, which authorized hundreds of targeted assassinations, including those of US citizens in Yemen. He exposed that the United States secretly launched missile, bomb, and drone attacks on Yemen, killing scores of civilians.

He exposed that Goldman Sachs paid Hillary Clinton $657,000 to give talks, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe, and that she privately assured corporate leaders she would do their bidding while promising the public financial regulation and reform. He exposed the internal campaign to discredit and destroy British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by members of his own party. He exposed how the hacking tools used by the CIA and the National Security Agency permit the wholesale government surveillance of our televisions, computers, smartphones, and anti-virus software, allowing the government to record and store our conversations, images, and private text messages, even from encrypted apps.”

Free Assange Human Chain

Now, 2,561 people of the 5,000 needed have pledged to surround UK parliament on October 8th to form a Human Chain to demand Assange’s Freedom. Keep up the momentum!



Share on social media: https://dontextraditeassange.com/human-chain/
Short link: https://dea.to/humanchain

“Courage calls to Courage everywhere! I did this video to give everyone an idea of what the Surround Parliament human chain will look like on 8 October. Julian is fighting for his life – his life depends on not being extradited to the United States. This is a political case, it can be stopped here and it must be stopped here. So, on the 8th of October, come to London to show your solidarity, come help free Julian Assange.

Thank you for your support.”

-Stella Assange

Free Assange Now

#FreeAssange is about freedom of press and preserving democracy.

“The extradition of Assange is a dangerous precedent. Therefore we demand from the UK and US governments: Don’t extradite! Drop all charges!”

T-shirts from the WikiLeaks Shop

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JUSTICE is the token that governs the AssangeDAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and runs on the Ethereum blockchain. They can be traded for with cryptocurrency on exchanges such as MEXC or Coinex or on Uniswap.

For full details see https://dontextraditeassange.com/donate/

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

Top image credit: Don’t Extradite Assange

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