Russia slams UK’s decision to extradite WikiLeaks’ co-founder to US

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  • April 20, 2022
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Russia on Wednesday slammed Britain's decision to extradite WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US where he faces life in prison on espionage charges.

Speaking at a weekly news conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Assange's extradition "a blow to freedom of speech and the rights of journalists."

Calling it persecution and harassment, she said the decision is against freedom of speech and the right to disseminate information.

Even the manner in which Assange was arrested, she noted, showed "gross disregard for human dignity."

"We hope that all the rights of Julian Assange will be respected. We will certainly take this matter to the platforms of international organizations. It seems to me that it is very important that the relevant journalistic organizations also have their say, because, indeed, the situation is unprecedented," she noted.

A British court on Wednesday issued a formal order to extradite Assange to the US to face espionage charges.

Assange will face 18 counts of hacking the US government computers and violating the espionage law if he is extradited to the US and a potential prison sentence for years. He may face a prison term of up to 175 years.

The 50-year-old was dragged out of Ecuador’s Embassy building in London in 2019, where he took refuge for more than seven years.

Source: Anadolu Agency