Biden Admin Rejects Human Rights Call, Intends on Continuing Assange Case

The Biden administration has said that it intends on continuing forward in its case against Julian Assange. This after calls to drop it.

Earlier, 22 human rights organizations called on the Biden administration to drop the case against Julian Assange. The worry is that if the case proceeds, the precedence is that the US is free to use the Espionage Act against other journalists.

As the case stands now, the UK judge has blocked Assange’s extradition to the US. This on the grounds that the penal system is so bad, it is inadequate to prevent Assange from taking his own life.

From a human rights and journalism perspective, the next decision seemingly represents the first big test of the Biden administration. Will Biden choose human rights and the integrity of journalism, or will the quest for revenge overrule common decency?

It seems that the Biden administration has chosen the latter. They have announced that they will carry on with the case against Assange, thus rejecting the call for human rights and the rights of journalism. The move picks up where the Trump administration leaves off. From AlJazeera:

US President Joe Biden’s administration will continue to seek the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the United Kingdom to the United States, a US Department of Justice official said.

Spokesman Marc Raimondi said on Tuesday that Washington would continue to challenge a British judge’s ruling last month that Assange should not be extradited to the US because he is at risk of taking his own life.

“We continue to seek his extradition,” Raimondi told reporters.

The Wikileaks founder is facing 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse, which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

“The indictment of Mr. Assange threatens press freedom because much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely—and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do,” said the groups, which included Amnesty International USA, the American Civil Liberties Union and Reporters Without Borders.

“We appreciate that the government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona fide national security interests, but the proceedings against Mr. Assange jeopardize journalism that is crucial to democracy.”

From the perspective of the case against Assange, we are, unfortunately, seeing that Biden is no different than Trump. As a result, the ball will eventually fall back on the UK courts side. The hope now is that Assange’s legal team will win the appeal. As a result, this sad case will carry on even longer. It carries with it a giant middle finger from the Biden administration to human rights and journalism just to add insult to injury.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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