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“Weasel Words” – Stella Assange Challenges US Over Julian’s Fate

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Stella Assange has once again urged the Biden White House to give up on prosecuting her husband Julian Assange, at the same time accusing the US authorities of resorting to “blatant weasel words” when addressing the issue of granting the WikiLeaks founder First Amendment protections.

In a post on X, Stella Assange said that a diplomatic note from the US that was supposed to provide assurances regarding Assange’s future if extradited to the US did not succeed in doing that.

When it comes to the First Amendment, the note amounted to being “a non-assurance,” Stella wrote, which did not override the prosecution’s claim her husband had no rights guaranteed in this respect because he is not a US citizen. Instead it now only said that he can “seek to raise” the First Amendment if he finds himself in custody in the US.

At the same time, the note contained “a standard assurance in relation to the death penalty,” the post said. (Reuters cited the document as stating that “a sentence of death will neither be sought nor imposed.”)

The note “does nothing to relieve our family’s extreme distress about his future – his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in US prison for publishing award-winning journalism,” Stella Assange wrote.

The “assurances” note she is referring to was requested by the British, as a court there is getting ready to issue its final decision regarding Assange’s ability to again appeal extradition. The High Court in London previously said a new appeal would not be possible if the US side provided “certain guarantees.”

Specifically, they are concerned about extending First Amendment free speech rights to Assange, if put on trial in the US, as well as the prosecution there refraining from adding more charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.

These guarantees, such as they are, have now arrived, prompting Stella Assange to dismiss them as “weasel words.”

Now it will be up to the UK court to interpret whether the US note provides satisfactory guarantees.

The US government accuses Assange of “putting lives at risk” and going “considerably beyond” what a journalist would do when classified documents concerning. most prominently. US wars in the Middle East were published some 15 years ago.

If extradited, Assange will be put on trial indicted on 17 counts of espionage and one related to computer misuse.

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