New York, December 10, 2021–The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed deep disappointment at a British court’s decision to uphold the United States Justice Department’s appeal to extradite Julian Assange, which allows the U.S. to continue pursuing the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder, according to news reports.
“On the same day the Nobel Peace Prize honors journalists, a UK court ruled that the United States can extradite Julian Assange, a move that seriously damages journalism,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “The U.S. Justice Department’s dogged pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder has set a harmful legal precedent for prosecuting reporters simply for interacting with their sources. The Biden administration pledged at its Summit for Democracy this week to support journalism. It could start by removing the threat of prosecution under the Espionage Act now hanging over the heads of investigative journalists everywhere.”
If extradited and convicted in the United States, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison on 18 charges under both the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, CPJ has documented.