In an interview with Sputnik, political commentator Peter Tatchell weighed in on the prospect of the Assange's extradition to the US after a UK court's decision to sentence the WikiLeaks founder to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
Sputnik: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks behind bars for breaching bail in 2012. How significant is this and was it to be expected?
Sputnik: Yesterday we heard that Julian Assange formally told the court that he does not consent to a request to be extradited to the United States. Will his wishes be granted?
Peter Tatchell: I'm outside Westminster’s Magistrates’ Court right now and the hearing on his extradition for us has just been concluded. It is very clear that Julian Assange published the truth about wrongdoing by the US government military including; war, crime, corruption, human rights abuses and cover up in publishing information performed a great public service. I do not understand how it could ever be justified for any government or judicial system to prosecute someone but telling the truth or giving information about wrongdoing by governments that is a fundamental human right. This prosecution is an attack upon the rights of publishers everywhere. There should be no prosecution of any journalist or publisher, including Julian Assange of Wikileaks. They are telling the truth.
Sputnik: What does the arrest of Julian Assange mean for Britain’s judicial system?
Peter Tatchell: It's very clear that the British government is actually in cahoots with the Donald Trump administration. The US has requested Julian Assange's extradition, and the British government has made it clear that they are complying with that. Indeed, when he was taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy, the first arrest charged related to him skipping bail and the second charge related to the extradition request by the United States. I don't believe that an independent nation, a democracy like Britain, should be colluding with an American government which is seeking to close down and silence the freedom to publish. This is an attack upon all journalists and all publishers everywhere because if Julian Assange goes out, it will learn the silence him and briefly, at least for the moment, but it will have a chilling effect on journalists and publishers throughout the world.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.