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    People attend a video conference of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the International Center for Advanced Communication Studies for Latin America (CIESPAL) auditorium in Quito on June 23, 2016.

    Petition Urging UK Not to Hand Over Assange to US Gets Over 40,000 Signatures

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    WikiLeaks Founder Assange Arrested in London as Ecuador Withdraws Political Asylum (84)
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Over 41,000 people have signed a petition, launched by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) and supported by actress and activist Pamela Anderson, calling on the UK government not to extradite recently arrested WikiLeaks founder and DiEM25 member Julian Assange to the United States.

    "Our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US!" the petition, published on the official website of DiEM25, said.

    The petition's authors stress that Assange's leaks of classified US government data were in the public good and his arrest posed a serious threat to the freedom of media worldwide.

    "The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West", the petition added.

    READ MORE: 'Info War Is Lost': Assange Supporters Doubt Mainstream Media's Coverage of Case

    The petition was launched even before Assange was arrested on Thursday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been taking refuge for the past seven years, fearing extradition.

    "Freedom of speech-the right to express opinions without government restraint-is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece. In the United States the First Amendment guarantees free speech though the United States like all modern democracies places limits on this freedom", Anderson tweeted on Friday.

    The United States accuses Assange of conspiring with former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning and helping her break into a classified US government computer to leak data related to the United States' activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Guantanamo Bay prison, and US diplomatic cables.

    Manning was later dishonourably discharged from the military and served several years in prison for the data leak. In March, she was once again placed in detention after refusing to testify about her release of classified material to WikiLeaks, saying she had already revealed everything during her trial.

    Topic:
    WikiLeaks Founder Assange Arrested in London as Ecuador Withdraws Political Asylum (84)

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    petition, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador
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