Julian Assange’s extradition order will be sent to the U.K. home secretary Wednesday. Here is an open letter taking into account Assange’s changed health as it affects U.S. “assurances.”
WikiLeaks‘ publisher Julian Assange’s extradition order will be sent to British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday morning by Westminster Magistrate’s Court after the U.K. Supreme Court declined to hear Assange’s appeal of a High Court decision to allow the extradition to the United States to proceed.
Assange initially won his extradition case in the magistrate’s court based on the high likelihood that his mental health would lead to his suicide in harsh prison conditions in the United States.
After the case was lost, the U.S. made diplomatic “assurances” to Britain that it would not put Assange in so-called Special Administrative Measures (SAMS), the most severe condition of isolation in the U.S. prison system. The U.S. also promised that Assange would be given adequate physical and mental health care.
The U.S. then appealed. Based on those assurances alone, the High Court on Dec. 10, 2021 overturned the lower court’s decision to block extradition. But that decision was made after Assange had suffered a stroke during the first day of the two-day High Court hearing. The stroke was not made public until the day after the ruling.
That markedly changed the conditions upon which the decision was reached as one of the High Court judges made the distinction during the hearing that Assange was suffering only from a mental and not physical disability. The crucial question remains: when did the High Court learn about the stroke?
The Assange legal team has four weeks to appeal to Patel not to follow through with sending Assange to the United States. The following is an open letter sent by Consortium News to the home secretary, addressing these issues.
Cathy Vogan is the executive producer of CN Live!