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“In America Julian would be buried alive”

VBefore the expected verdict in the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange at the central criminal court “Old Bailey” in London, members of the Bundestag from various parties have appealed to the British government. An extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, where he was not facing a fair trial and up to 175 years in prison, would endanger his life and would also set a precedent for journalists and whistleblowers around the world, said the Bundestag working group “Freedom for Julian Assange” on Sunday in Berlin.

The court is due to decide on Monday whether Great Britain should accept the Americans’ extradition request. “Should the extradition be legally decided, we call on the British government to protect against persecution of unpleasant journalists not to extradite Julian Assange to the USA and to prevent the Wikileaks founder from being transferred to Washington,” said MP Sevim Dagdelen (left), Bijan Djir-Sarai (FDP), Frank Heinrich (CDU), Frank Schwabe (SPD) and Margit Stumpp (Greens).

The organization “Reporters Without Borders” (RSF) filed a petition against the threat of extradition of the Wikileaks founder to the British government. The list includes more than 108,000 signatures, as the organization announced on Friday in Berlin. RSF called for Assange to be released immediately and no longer prosecuted for his contributions to journalistic coverage. The Americans’ indictment against Assange was clearly politically motivated, said RSF managing director Christian Mihr. The United States wanted “to set an example and have a deterrent effect on media professionals around the world.”

“A kind of life-long death penalty”

There was also criticism of the process in London – for example the lack of access by supporting organizations and journalists. Assange himself is currently in London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison. Most recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, had described Assange’s imprisonment as questionable.

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