Australian PM urges end to Assange's incarceration

AFP , Tuesday 21 May 2024

Australia's prime minister called for an end to Julian Assange's imprisonment on Tuesday, after the WikiLeaks founder's extradition from a London prison to the United States was temporarily halted.

A protester stands outside the High Court in London, Monday, May 20, 2024.
A protester stands outside the High Court in London, Monday, May 20, 2024. AP


The UK High Court has permitted Assange to appeal the extradition, frustrating Washington's efforts to put the 52-year-old Australian hacker on trial for leaking US military secrets.

Following the ruling, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese repeated his calls for the pursuit of Assange to end, saying there was "nothing to be served" by his "ongoing incarceration".

"We continue to work very closely to achieve that outcome," Albanese told reporters, while also declaring "Enough is enough".

Assange will be allowed to launch a narrow appeal that will look at whether he will receive free speech protections as a foreigner in the US legal system.

The UK government approved Assange's extradition in June 2022.

He has been detained in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London since April 2019, after spending seven years holed up in Ecuador's London embassy.

Earlier this year, Albanese said the seemingly endless prosecution of Assange "cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely".

US authorities want to put Assange on trial for divulging US military secrets about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is accused of publishing some 700,000 confidential documents relating to US military and diplomatic activities, starting in 2010.

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