WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Will Not Agree to U.S. Extradition

Assange faces up to a five-year sentence related to his alleged assistance of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.




Julian Assange is not interested in extradition to the United States.

Today the US extradition case against our publisher Julian Assange formally begins in British courts, but this extradition case actually started in 2010.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 2, 2019

The recently arrested WikiLeaks founder affirmed his stance on the issue during a livestreamed court appearance in London Thursday, per the Associated Press. Assange said he will not "surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many awards and protected many people."

A separate reported from BBC notes that Assange faces up to a five-year sentence if convicted in connection with his alleged involvement with whistleblower Chelsea Manning. In a letter to the court apologizing for the difficulties he's caused amid his London embassy stay, Assange said he found himself "struggling with terrifying circumstances" for which he couldn't determine a fix.

Thursday's court developments were met with protests from Assange supporters, who gathered outside with signs calling for his release:

Protesters block the road outside the court #julianassange #protest #demonstrations #london #journalist

— Abigail Riem (@AbigailRiem) May 2, 2019

In April, news broke that Assange's asylum had been lifted and he had been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been staying since 2012. A subsequent press relate from London's Metropolitan Police Service explained that Assange had been "further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities" when he arrived at the station.

"This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act," police said at the time.

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