On 6 June 2023, the UK High Court rejected Julian Assange’s latest appeal against the extradition order signed by then-UK Home Secretary Priti Patel a year earlier, bringing him dangerously close to extradition to the United States.
If extradited, Assange could face the rest of his life in prison for publishing leaked classified documents in 2010. He has resubmitted a revised appeal to the High Court and if he loses this appeal, all legal avenues in the UK will be closed. He would have to lodge a formal application with the European Court of Human Rights to further resist extradition.
Julian Assange’s publication of disclosed documents as part of his work with Wikileaks should not be punishable under the USA’s Espionage Act, as his publishing activity mirrors conduct that investigative journalists and publishers undertake regularly in their professional capacity. Prosecuting Julian Assange on these charges will have a chilling effect on the right to freedom of expression and global media freedom, leading journalists to self-censor from fear of prosecution.