Julian Assange’s extradition case could deal a fatal blow to free press worldwide, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters told RT as a British court weighed final arguments on whether to transfer the WikiLeaks co-founder to US custody.
Though the UK High Court did not hand down a ruling after Thursday’s appeal hearing and is now taking time to consider a decision, Waters said he’s “deeply, deeply concerned”How the case will unfold, and blasting the appeals procedure as an abusive process “kangaroo court.”
“It has nothing to do with justice or the arguments provided,”Waters spoke to RT during an interview. “It is absolute nonsense that this man has been locked up a single day – whether it’s in the Ecuadorian Embassy or in Belmarsh.”
This court case will determine the future of everyone, including our grandchildren and children. If they destroy the fourth estate – which is what they’re trying to do by destroying Assange – they destroy the world.
The WikiLeaks co-founder has been held in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh prison since 2019, arrested by UK authorities after spending some seven years in the city’s Ecuadorian Embassy under political asylum. Assange is accused of publishing classified information, violating the centuries-old Espionage Act. If extradited from the United States and found guilty, Assange could spend up to 175years in prison.
While District Judge Vanessa Baraitser initially declined Washington’s extradition request, citing concerns about Assange’s mental health and the risk he might commit suicide in an American prison, the US has since appealed, making its final arguments during Thursday’s hearing.
Waters denounced the original verdict as “mealy-mouthed,”Baraitser claimed that the case should have been dismissed and no opportunity for appeal.
If she’d listened to the evidence and if she was a proper judge and if she made a proper judgement, she would have said there is no case to answer – case dismissed, set the prisoner free. She didn’t.
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US authorities offer “assurances”Waters demanded that Assange be released from American custody. “they’re lying through their teeth,”Citing torture and indefinite detentions at Guantanamo bay prison, Cuba by Amnesty International. Amnesty International and other rights groups have rejected US assurances, citing a poor record in human rights.
The rockstar did note, however, that if the court decides to grant the US request, Assange’s defense team will have an opportunity for its own appeal, and “will get a chance to challenge all the ludicrous nonsense that’s gone on up until this point.”He encouraged supporters of WikiLeaks, Assange and free media to continue supporting him, regardless of what the outcome of his legal case was. “go on making as much noise as they can.”
“They should try to persuade their neighbors and their uncles and aunts and grandmas and grandpas and everybody they know to take to the streets to protest it,”He added.
Our voices will continue to be heard until Julian Assange’s freedom is granted. We won’t stop fighting for our rights. You can be sure of that.
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