A supporter of Julian Assange displays a poster outside the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, Britain on April 20, 2022. The UK Home Secretary on June 17, 2022, approved Assange's extradition to the U.S. (Reuters/Tom Nicholson)

British Home Secretary approves Assange extradition to the United States

New York, June 17, 2022–In response to British Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision on Friday to approve a U.S. request to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

“The extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face trial on charges under the century-old Espionage Act is a blow to press freedom with implications for journalists everywhere,” said CPJ Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “We urge the Biden administration to live up to its stated commitment to a free press by dropping all charges against the Wikileaks founder.”

U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of leaked military and diplomatic documents. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Wikileaks released a statement saying it would appeal the decision, according to news reports. The Home Office said Assange has 14 days to appeal.

More CPJ coverage on Julian Assange