Julian Assange's lawyer warns his life is 'at risk' if final UK appeal against extradition to US fails
Julian Assange's lawyer warns his life is 'at risk' if final UK appeal against extradition to US fails
  • Yoo Jin, Reporter
  • 승인 2024.01.15 09:15
  • 수정 2024.01.15 09:15
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. (AP=Yonhap)
Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. (AP=Yonhap)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is at risk of suicide if the UK High Court next month rejects his final appeal against extradition to the United States, his lawyer has warned. 

International human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson says her client is so unwell mentally that he would be unlikely to survive extradition if the High Court does not rule in his favour.  

Assange remains in London's high-security Belmarsh Prison while facing extradition on charges related to the publication of thousands of diplomatic and military documents in 2010. 

He potentially faces up to 175 years in prison over 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over the leaks.

Ms Robinson, who is visiting family on the NSW South Coast, said more than a decade of detention had taken its toll on the award-winning journalist. 

Free Julian Assange Campaign. / Guardian
Free Julian Assange Campaign. / Guardian

Assange spent almost seven years living in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London before it forced him to leave. He has been held in Belmarsh Prison since 2019. 

"As a result of the 13 years he's been effectively in prison or under house arrest or some form of restrictions on his liberty inside the Ecuadorian Embassy he is really unwell," Ms Robinson said.

"Because of the treatment he has suffered, he suffers a major depressive illness, he has been diagnosed as being on the [autism] spectrum, and the medical evidence is if he was extradited to the United States those conditions would cause him to commit suicide.

Assange, now 52, has one last avenue for appeal outside of the US, but his lawyer is not counting on it.

"We have our final appeal against his extradition coming up in February and if we fail, if we are not given permission to appeal, that is the end of the road in the UK and he will be extradited," Ms Robinson said.

"We are hoping that the European Court of Human Rights will step in. We will make an application to the European court to try to stop [his extradition] but that's not guaranteed." 

Persecusion of Julian Assange. /Pressenza
Persecusion of Julian Assange. /Pressenza

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed in late November that he had personally lobbied the US government to drop the charges against Assange.

"I have raised this personally with representatives of the United States government," Mr Albanese he told parliament. 

"My position is clear and has been made clear to the US administration. 

"I will continue to advocate, as I did recently in meetings that I have held."

In May last year, Mr Albanese told ABC 730 the matter needed to be brought to a conclusion. 

"It has been too long. And in my view, as I've said before, I see nothing is served from the further incarceration of Mr Assange," he said.

An unlikely coalition of Australian parliamentarians converges on Washington to lobby US decision-makers to drop the legal pursuit of Julian Assange and grant his freedom. 

Free Assange Campaign. /Pressenza
Free Assange Campaign. /Pressenza

Last September, a cross-party delegation of Australian politicians travelled to the US to meet with the Justice Department to call for Assange's release.

Ms Robinson described the Australian government's role as "supportive" and said she had been working with government representatives to reach a resolution.

"We have been calling on the US to drop the case for years and the Australian government supports bringing Julian home as soon as possible and bringing the case to an end," she said.

"To consider that he faces 175 years in a US prison, in a prison of our ally which purports to bring democracy to the world and have the best free speech protections in the world, it says a lot about democracy in this era."


Free Assange Campaign /AP
Free Assange Campaign /AP


  • 서울특별시 마포구 마포대로 127, 1001호 (공덕동, 풍림빌딩)
  • 대표전화 : 02-702-2677
  • 팩스 : 02-702-1677
  • 청소년보호책임자 : 소정원
  • 법인명 : 위키리크스한국 주식회사
  • 제호 : 위키리크스한국
  • 등록번호 : 서울 아 04701
  • 등록일 : 2013-07-18
  • 발행일 : 2013-07-18
  • 발행인 : 박정규
  • 편집인 : 박찬흥
  • 위키리크스한국은 자체 기사윤리 심의 전문위원제를 운영합니다.
  • 기사윤리 심의 : 박지훈 변호사
  • 위키리크스한국 모든 콘텐츠(영상,기사, 사진)는 저작권법의 보호를 받은바, 무단 전재와 복사, 배포 등을 금합니다.
  • Copyright © 2024 위키리크스한국. All rights reserved.
  • [위키리크스한국 보도원칙] 본 매체는 독자와 취재원 등 뉴스 이용자의 권리 보장을 위해 반론이나 정정보도, 추후보도를 요청할 수 있는 창구를 열어두고 있음을 알립니다.
    고충처리 : 02-702-2677 | 메일 : laputa813@wikileaks-kr.org