UN expert urges US to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Assange

Geneva, March 2 – A UN expert has urged the UK authorities not to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the US government to drop the charges.

Irene Khan, UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, said on Friday in a media statement that the possible extradition to and imminent prosecution in the US of Julian Assange could have serious implications for freedom of expression.

Assange is awaiting the decision of the High Court in the UK on his appeal against extradition to the US, where he is facing charges for publishing classified information on the WikiLeaks platform, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I call on the US and the UK, which profess to uphold the right to freedom of expression, to uphold these international standards in the case of Julian Assange,” she emphasised, noting that Assange, if extradited, would be the first publisher to be prosecuted in the US under an espionage act.

Khan was appointed UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression in 2020.


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