Chris Hedges International Video

John Pilger on Julian Assange’s Extradition Appeal

On this week's "On Contact," Chris Hedges discusses the implications of the latest British High Court of England and Wales ruling for Julian Assange’s case with the documentary filmmaker and journalist, John Pilger.

The British High Court of England and Wales on Monday said it would allow the imprisoned publisher of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, to, in essence, appeal a ruling that would have seen him extradited to the United States where he faces a possible 175 years in prison for the publication of classified documents and videos.

The High Court technically refused to allow an appeal to the Supreme Court, but, in a legal loophole, it left it up to that court to determine whether it will grant permission to consider one legal issue.


“We certify a single point of law … in what circumstances can an appellate court receive assurances from a requesting state which were not before the court of first instance in extradition proceedings,” the High Court said in an appearance that lasted less than a minute.

This single point of law refers to whether the United States was legally permitted to provide assurances to the High Court of Assange’s humane treatment in the United States after it had failed to do so during the initial hearing that blocked the extradition. During a Dec. 10 hearing, which vacated the ruling by District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser in January 2021, the high court accepted the appeal by the U.S. to approve the extradition. Baraitser had ruled that Assange could not be extradited because of inhumane conditions in U.S. prisons that would make Assange, who suffers from physical and mental health issues, a suicide risk. The United States, in its appeal of her ruling, gave assurances that Assange would receive adequate medical and psychological care and would not be subject to measures commonly used in high profiled cases such as prolonged isolation and Special Administrative Measures, known as SAMs, which impose draconian rules limited any communication and allows the government to monitor meetings with attorneys in violation of attorney-client privilege.

It is now up to the British Supreme Court, if it accepts the appeal, to decide this one issue — could the U.S. offer assurances after Judge Baraitser had ruled against extradition. Assange has 14 days to apply to the British Supreme Court to hear his case.

The U.S effort to extradite Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, has been widely condemned by human rights and press groups including Amnesty International, The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, PEN International and Reporters Without Borders, which call the persecution of Assange an existential threat to press freedom.

5 comments

  1. Free Julian Assange Now!

    ‘Without a Free Press, there can be No Democracy”
    Thomas Jefferson

  2. “he faces a possible 175 years in prison ” Please do not repeat this lie.
    “He faces death, perhaps very soon”. Nobody, even Julizn, who had withstood so much, lives for over 200 years.

    How can anyone claim that assurances from the USA have any validity whatsoever.

  3. In the matter of Julian Assange’s FREEDOM, it is my honest opinion (MHO), that amongst the reigning “Warmongers of the World” – the governments of the not so United States of America, the splintering United Kingdom and Australia are duplicitous and corrupt.
    I believe that here in Australia the Federal Government has now made each and every Australian Citizen a war criminal; what with its global illegal pursuits of war and the sale of arms to third parties to kill and maim innocent civilian children, women and men. This they do with no accountability, transparency or responsibility.
    I declare that my (unfortunately) Australian government does not act in my name. IMO, those that currently reside in these positions of Australian cabinet and government are PURE EVIL!

  4. the empire decided to execute Assange during the fascist Obama regime—unless he has a stroke and becomes a dementia patient like joey Biden, he can expect to be assassinated by usa justice

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