before a decision UK Supreme Court refuses to grant Julian Assange leave to appeal High Court ruling that allowed his extraditionJulia Hall, Deputy Director of Research in Europe at Amnesty International said:
The decision announced today is a setback for Julian Assange and for justice. The Supreme Court missed an opportunity to make clear the UK’s acceptance of diplomatic assurances against wrongful torture. These safeguards are inherently unreliable and leave individuals vulnerable to serious breaches upon delivery or other transfers.
The Prolonged solitary confinement significantly limits the lives of many people held in high-security prisons in the United States and constitutes torture or other ill-treatment under international law.. The ban on torture and other ill-treatment is absolute, and empty promises of fair treatment such as those made by the United States in the Assange case threaten to significantly undermine this international ban.
The Supreme Court’s refusal is also a Bad news for press freedomBecause it leaves out the infamous avenue the United States used to try to prosecute publishers for espionage. Requiring countries like the United Kingdom to extradite people for publishing classified information in the public interest sets a dangerous precedent and must be rejected. The United States must immediately drop the charges against Julian Assange.”
The Supreme Court ruled in December 2021 that Assange could be extradited based on guarantees provided by the United States about his protection in prison. The US has given written assurances that if Assange is extradited, he will not be held in a maximum security prison or subject to special administrative measures – such as prolonged solitary confinement, which can amount to torture or other ill-treatment under international law. Law – and will receive appropriate medical care. But such safeguards included a caveat: if Assange did anything in the future that required special administrative measures or a placement in a maximum security prison, they reserved the right to do so.
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