02:19 GMT +318 November 2019
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    Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange block the traffic on Marylebone Road to protest against the extradition hearing of Julian Assange at Westminster Magistrates Court, in London. File photo

    WikiLeaks Says Assange's Conditions in Prison Hinder His Ability Prepare For US Extradition Case

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    WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, who was supposed to be released on 22 September as he had served his sentence for breaching bail conditions, will remain in prison until the February hearings over his potential extradition to the US.

    WikiLeaks has said on Twitter that the confinement conditions of Julian Assange are hindering his ability to prepare for his US extradition case.

    ​Earlier, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Assange had been denied correspondence, granted only two social visits per month, and was generally being held under conditions of increased isolation.

    Assange, who has served his sentence for breaching bail conditions and was supposed to be released on 22 September, will remain in prison due to District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s belief that he could “abscond again” upon release.

    The WikiLeaks founder was arrested in London on 11 April and thereafter sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail back in 2012, when he claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden over sexual assault charges, which the whistle-blower himself has repeatedly denied, and possibly being sent to the United States.

    After Assange’s arrest, Washington filed a relevant request asking London to extradite the WikiLeaks founder. Once the request is approved, Assange could face up to 175 years in US prison for leaking classified government data. 

    On 13 June, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that he had signed a US request for Assange’s extradition. It is now up to the court to decide whether the whistle-blower will be extradited. The relevant hearing is scheduled to take place in February 2020.

    confinement, extradition, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, U.K
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