LONDON (Sputnik) – Civic leaders, activists, and politicians, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have gathered outside the London Palace of Justice in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose extradition process to the United States is to be considered during a preliminary appeal hearing on Wednesday.
Although UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled in January not to extradite Assange to the US, citing health and the risk of suicide in the American prison system, Washington has challenged the decision. In early July, the High Court of London allowed the decision to be appealed.
On Tuesday, Amnesty International urged US President Joe Biden to lift all charges against Assange, calling them politically motivated.
Assange was arrested in London on April 11, 2019, and sentenced to fifty weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012, when he took refuge inside the Ecuadorean embassy in the British capital to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing sexual assault charges that were later dropped by a Swedish court.
The whistleblower is wanted by the US Department of Justice on espionage and computer fraud charges after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified documents that shed light on war crimes committed by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces up to 175 years in solitary confinement inside a top security American prison if convicted in the US.