Assange appeals decision to extradite him to the United States

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LONDON (AFP) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday appealed the British government’s decision to extradite him to the United States, the London High Court said.

The 50-year-old Australian is being tried in the United States where he faces 175 years in prison for the massive leak of confidential documents. After a long legal standoff with twists and turns, British Interior Minister Priti Patel signed an extradition decree on 17 June.

Mr Assange, who has been lodged in the high-security Belmarsh prison near London for three years, had until Friday to appeal.

The British Justice has confirmed that “a notification has been received from Julian Assange to appeal against the Home Office’s decision to extradite him”.

On Friday, ahead of Julian Assange’s 51st birthday on Sunday, a few dozen of his supporters – including his wife Stella Assange, whom he married in March – gathered outside the Interior Ministry to protest the extradition decision.

They then boarded a “vintage” London bus and drove around the center of the British capital, shouting “Free Julian Assange now”.

“He is in jail for speaking the truth. He is innocent so why is he in jail?” Retired Gloria Wildman, 79, who is used to rallying in support of the Australian, told AFP.

“If Julian Assange is not free, we are not either, no one is free,” she said.

If allowed to appeal, the hearing could not take place until early 2023, Kate Gould, a partner at the law firm Bindman and specializing in cases, told the British press agency PA in mid-June about the extradition.

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According to him, Mr Assange could also seize the European Court of Human Rights, a process likely to take several years.

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