WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday was granted the right to kick off an appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking to review a decision that would see him extradited to the United States – where he would face charges of espionage.
This new development in the case comes a month after the UK High Court today ruled in favour of Assange’s extradition, overturning a lower court decision that refused the extradition request due to concerns about his mental health.
The High Court disallowed a direct appeal, meaning that the Supreme Court would need to decide whether to accept the case for review – for which Assange’s legal team have two weeks to file an application.
In a statement, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomed the decision, highlighting the significance of the case on journalism.
They explained that if the review is accepted by the Supreme Court, it would consider matters related to the US government’s provision of diplomatic assurances regarding Assange’s treatment, filed only prior to the proceedings’ appeal stages, meaning “the assurances were not scrutinised in the evidentiary portion of the extradition hearing”.
RSF welcomes today’s decision by the UK High Court to allow Julian Assange the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. His extradition case will have enormous implications for journalism and press freedom around the world, and deserves Supreme Court review. https://t.co/5GjKrOjwyR
— RSF (@RSF_inter) January 24, 2022
“This case will have enormous implications for journalism and press freedom around the world and could be hugely precedent-setting. It deserves consideration by the highest court in the land. We very much hope that the Supreme Court will indeed accept the case for review,” said RSF’s Director of International Campaigns Rebecca Vincent.
In a separate post, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), called today’s court decision an “important step for (Assange) and his defence team”.
#UK ??: #JulianAssange has won right to ask Supreme Court to consider his extradition case ??. An important step for him and his defense team. Julian should be released immediately and be provided all the necessary care his medical situation requires https://t.co/a15fCxBcDb
— IFJ (@IFJGlobal) January 24, 2022
“Julian should be released immediately and be provided all the necessary care his medical situation requires”.
Assange is wanted by the United States for publishing secret documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – documents that were then used in reporting by journalists globally.